Ed-Tech or Edu-Tech, as Educational Technology is popularly referred to, is a booming sector that looks to utilize technology to impart quality education in an organized way. Technology, since its deployment, has affected, far and wide, every aspect of industry, including the education sector. Among the many advantages of Ed-Tech, a critical benefit is its ability to reach out knowledge to every nook and corner of the world and aid educators in exploring untapped territories. The last 15 years have witnessed the introduction of several Ed-Tech products in the market, however, the product is yet to grow. Going by the eager acceptance of the existing products in the market, Ed-Tech is set to experience significant growth over the next decade.
Any aspiring Ed-Tech entrepreneurs may abide by the following guidelines in launching their product…
Select Your Domain
No one technology product can cater to the vast spectrum of the education sector. Hence, an Ed-Tech entrepreneur needs to determine the particular domain that he/she wishes to serve. Once the domain is marked, identify the problem and formulate the solution statement to address the problem.
Clarity of Roles and Responsibilities among the Decision Makers
This is a crucial factor for any start-up. The co-founders should be united on the key factors defining the firm, including the vision, mission, broad roles, and respective equity shares and role and responsibilities. This step is often initially ignored by the entrepreneurs for the uncomfortable and unpleasant aspects, however, during the later stages of the organizational growth, these points may become serious impediments.
High-Quality Academic Content
Ed-Tech entrepreneurs often ignore the importance of including high-quality academic content in their product. This is a crucial mistake that should be avoided. Do not only focus on the fancy features of the technology, on employing cutting-edge software tools, or on the efficiency of the tool, pay more attention to the content. Without good content, your Ed-Tech product will not succeed.
A Sound Technology Development Team
Your biggest support in launching an Ed-Tech product will be a sound technology development team. While your team of academicians will arrange the content of the product, the technology team will be required to actively contribute to the constant feature upgrading and debugging activities. You may employ a technology team, or share equity with a technology partner, or appoint a vendor, either way a competent and stable technology team is a must.
Keep It Simple at the Start
Do not expect to finalize the first product that you successfully launch and market. One can never have a “perfect product”, the objective should rather be to progress over perfection. Approach the market early with a simple product and do not wait to develop the fancy version or you will be late to gain the market. Once your product is out in the market, you will be able to grasp the requirements better. You will gain the learning curve and will command a better stand to employ your innovative ideas. Do not prolong the go-live, roll out the product as early as possible, and keep upgrading the new features in periodic releases, a necessary step for every technology-based product.
Rigorous Beta Testing Is a Must
Even if you onboard the best minds to your software development team, some bugs will yet remain in the software. Hence, once the software clears the internal testing, float the product free to a limited number of real users. The beta testing will help you analyze the bugs and provide you with a broad feedback on market preferences. The product will be market-ready only when you are confident that the software has smoothly sailed through this second level of testing.
Only Sound Marketing Plans Can Earn the Critical Volume
A planned budget and a sharp marketing plan are absolutely necessary to obtain the critical volume, or sell the number of licenses that you consider will earn you the market. Once, your name has pierced the market, sales will fast pickup! Remember to spread your marketing budget to include several domains, instead of depending on only one marketing tactic. Set small milestones for the firm instead of targeting a large number at the outset. Further, do not continue with the same sales and marketing plan, rather keep a close tab on the sales performance and improvise to improve.
Feedbacks are Crucial
Incorporate two crucial keys in your software: feedback and report-a-problem. Do not ignore the negative feedbacks, rather try to explore avenues to address the concerns reported. Always be cordial in acknowledging both positive and negative feedbacks – your users are your brand ambassadors, ensure they have an honest perspective of your ethics and work ethos.
Important: Build a Profitable Instead of a Fundable Enterprise
My advice to all budding entrepreneurs has always been that keep your focus on your end goal. Rather than getting distracted by the concerns of how much growth was attained by whom, concentrate on building a profitable company. Once, your idea starts earning you profits, you will invariably be pursued by eager investors!
The following article has been inspired by the thoughts of Mr. Mayank Srivastava. He is the Founder of Experts’ Global, one of the world’s leading EdTech firms in the field of GMAT prep and MBA admission consulting