Founder of Heights Platform & Founder/Product Director of Velora. Helping course creators build successful online course businesses. Launched multiple SaaS and ecommerce businesses. Designer, developer, entrepreneur and world traveler. Traveled to over 30 countries and 100+ cities.
What you might be considering to be a fancy website doesn't have to be expensive, or complicated. My company created a software product that helps you build and sell your online course. It provides a website you can customize without a developer, a complete online school platform that you can brand with your own logo, and built in payment processing so that new students can signup and pay you right through your website. Our platform is much more in depth than a simple website with videos of your content. We've studied and carefully optimized our platform to help guide students through your course. You'll also have analytics so you can measure student performance yourself. All of this is $49/month including hosting for your site.
That said, whether you end up using course creation software like ours or not, the site or software itself isn't going to get you new customers. You will still have to do the same work in promoting your courses regardless of how fancy or expensive your website is. If you haven't been selling or building an audience online, then you should start building up your online presence, even if you don't have an online course website built yet. The best way to do this is to start creating great content. We recommend starting with the avenue that is most comfortable to you (maybe that is writing, maybe it is recording videos). You can start publishing content on social media, on a blog (you can setup a medium.com account if you don't have a website), and on sites like youtube. If your online course hasn't been setup yet, what you will want to do as a minimum, is to start collecting email addresses. You can use a tool like Mailchimp, or ConvertKit to do this and to create email newsletters. This way when you are ready to launch your online course website, you will already have a group of email subscribers to promote your launch to.
Finally, don't get discouraged if you don't get a response after creating your first few pieces of content. It takes time and a large volume of quality content before you may start getting noticed. Think of other successful content creators who you've followed before online (even if they weren't specifically course creators). They likely put out a significant volume of content, and when they first started online they were likely in a similar position as yourself.
There much more that could be said about creating an online course business than I can fit in an answer here. If you'd like to read more, we write on our blog to help our audience of course creators learn how to build and promote their online course: https://www.heightsplatform.com/blog
Does your startup absolutely require that you be in Toronto? Why not do both? Take the opportunity of the exchange and start working on your startup on the side (and be ready to get into it in full force when the exchange is finished).
I started a company when I was 18 and was traveling the world before I turned 21. I still travel now whenever I feel like, and it has not negatively impacted me in business. In fact, I think it has had a very positive effect as I've learned countless things about people and global markets.
Happy to discuss more over a call if you'd like.
I just came across this question, and after briefly looking through the answers you have, I am not satisfied with the ideas/solutions they are proposing based on your situation.
I run a design studio, do a great deal of design and development work and hire many designers and developers as contractors around the world. I am 100% confident that I can help you position yourself to raise your rates regardless of where you live in the world.
Send me a message through Clarity and I'll schedule a quick call with you at no charge. I'm sure that in a few minutes I can provide you with a concrete, actionable strategy to reposition yourself in the market quickly.
I would say don't let the revenue be your deciding factor. Build the idea that you enjoy the most. If you'd really like to try both then go for it.
Just be careful to validate your SaaS business idea early and often, as it can easily become a much more complex project than what it sounds like you've put together on the AppStore. Also, something critical to keep in mind here is how you will obtain customers. You mention that the market for this app isn't very used to working with online tools, how will they find you? A benefit of the AppStore is that it can provide a lot of the traffic on its own. With a SaaS app you need to generate traffic yourself.
I've spent lots of time in Romania, though Cluj is one of the few cities I have not yet been to. I am not sure if the intended conference audience is international or meant to be residents of Cluj (though for my answer I'm assuming the former).
I do not have a specific name for you, but I would suggest to not limit name choices to necessarily require Cluj-Napoca or Transylvania. The conference itself and its location can help establish and showcase innovation in Cluj. Think of 10 popular tech conferences. Do any of them have the city name as part of the conference name? The city would always be listed right near the title, so anyone who hears about the conference will know where it is. It's fine to include the city, but if you keep your options open it may be easier to come up with a name. Hope this helps.
Why not go one step further and produce something that can actually be used? My team uses our own frameworks to prototype in HTML/CSS, but when you don't have that I'd say the next best thing is Proto.io (http://proto.io). You can create interactive prototypes to test directly on the device in minutes without code.
If you really need video of interactions, I'm sure you can capture that from what you create with the tool. Even better, now you also have something tangible that you can hand to a potential investor or user to let them experience for themselves.
I'm not affiliated with Proto.io in any way. Since I prototype with code, I haven't actually used the product yet, but I've heard many great things about it. Hope this helps.
Maybe hire a freelance market researcher to find out? ;)
Generally, something like this is going to appeal to fortune 500 companies. Smaller companies and entrepreneurs are going to be doing market research themselves.
From the question it is difficult to tell if you have come into possession of such a platform, or are thinking about building one. Regardless, to succeed it's crucial that you deeply understand who your target customer is and what pain you are solving for them. Most ideas for a business stem from the entrepreneur's discovery of a solution to a problem for a certain group of people.
Since who has the greatest need is unclear to you at the moment, the best thing to do might be to contact people at companies who you think have the greatest need. Find a way to get in touch with someone at the company involved in hiring market researchers, and ask them what challenges they face. You can also talk with a few market researchers themselves to get an idea of where they see the greatest demand of companies looking to hire them. Hope this helps.
An automated system could easily accomplish this. Human call centers would be slow and costly for something like this, if I understand correctly.
I can think of a way of testing this idea without building any technology. You can setup a toll free number with extensions for each driver's cell phone. After placing an order the customer will receive the extension for their driver should they need to be in touch. Actually, in Europe drivers delivering packages are frequently in touch with customers to determine their current location and hand over the package. There they simply use cell phones without any real backend infrastructure.
That said, what is the pain point here that you would be solving? If the customer feels they need to contact the driver, that would likely mean that the driver is either late and/or potentially lost. Both of those things would be better fixed at the root of the problem by getting a better driver/GPS.
Happy to discuss further if you'd like.
I've done consulting for various startups/online businesses and provided exactly what you describe. Spending a couple hours at project milestones to discuss with an expert can make a big difference in clarifying the project so that it continues smoothly and effectively.
Yes, you can figure things out on your own, and while it is great to learn from your mistakes, having a few pointers along the way can save a great deal of time in getting you to that next step effectively.
What type of projects are you looking for a mentor on specifically?