Add online training to your business portfolio

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Add online training to your business portfolio

Have you ever thought about teaching your specialist skills to others? A local entrepreneur has made it easier to deliver online courses.

Perhaps you are a carpenter who could show people how to successfully complete DIY jobs around their homes, a skilled cake decorator interested in arming home bakers with the tips of the trade, or running some other business with transferrable skills. But just as you don't develop your own accounting software, you'd almost certainly want to avoid building a course delivery system.

Shilpa Bhouraskar co-founded YesCourse when she realised there was a need for a platform that would make it easy for non-technical people to build online courses. YesCourse was beta tested by her own online natural medicine academy, which has attracted more than 15,000 students.

Even newcomers to the platform can "put a course together and publish it in a day," the Sydney-based entrepreneur said. Users assemble their content and publish it on YesCourse, which takes care of delivery, payments and the other technical issues. Once a course is set up, "it runs on autopilot."

YesCourse offers two plans: $0 a month and 19% commission minimises the financial risk, while the $97 a month with no commission plan lets you keep a bigger share of the takings of a popular course.

Two years after YesCourse went live, more than 3500 academies are running on the platform. They are offered by people with a range of backgrounds, including coaches, consultants, fitness trainers, psychologists, bakers and herbalists.

Not surprisingly, professional trainers attract the most students, but people with expertise in other areas also do well, Bhouraskar said.

Shilpa Bhouraskar

Bhouraskar noticed that while YesCourse had taken the technical complexity out of running online courses, some people struggle with the business aspects. So more recently Bhouraskar started The Course School, a free course, delivered via YesCourse, that aims to teach people how to turn their expertise into profitable online courses. It's relevant even for those planning to use a platform other than YesCourse, she said.

Around 2000 people are participating in The Course School. Between 80 and 90 percent are based in the US, according to Bhouraskar, with most of the rest in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

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