Web Class is Adjourned - At Least for Now!

by Michael Stearns from HEROweb on February 12, 2009

Life presents us with learning opportunities at every turn. Staci and I just finished teaching our last session in a 4-week series of classes on getting started with a website. We were the instructors, and we still learned a ton.

The course was called “Making Your Mark Online” and was run through the Lane Community College Business Development Center.

The class was a great challenge for us as we were attempting to distill down everything we have learned after 13 years in the web business down to four 90-minute sessions.

Were we successful? Well, kind-of, sort-of. The participants were an interesting mix of eight individuals, most of whom were considering getting started with some kind of web venture and wanting to gather information so they could make the right moves.

And, boy oh boy, did we give out information. The broad outline of the class was as follows:

1. Planning – Putting together a plan for developing a successful web business.

2. Technologies – Learn about the range of technologies that are involved with a website.

3. Providers – Assessing the different types of providers that you will want to consider working with when building your web business.

4. Marketing – Surveying the range of online marketing strategies for promoting your business.

Our goal was to allow each participant to understand what they need to know to make the key decisions in getting their online business going. I think we were successful in getting people to focus their thinking in the right direction. But, in hindsight, we were way too ambitious in packing all of our material into four sessions. In the wrap-up marketing session, I don’t think I had time to take a breath in the 90 minute session.

Next time around (and, we are teaching the class again in the Spring term) we will tone down the material and provide some more outside resources.

The topics that we covered in the class were ones that we talk about every day with our customers. But, by structuring our knowledge into four concise presentations, we gained a clearer perspective for the challenge a newbie faces when jumping into the web business.

The main lesson I “re-learned” was the importance of creating a plan before diving into a web venture. Every decision point needs to refer back to the original plan, and, the truth is, the plan is going to need to be re-shaped along the way. But if you start by clarifying your vision, defining your metrics, and understanding your current resources, you will be in a much better position to evaluate the range of options before you.

We have posted the PowerPoint slides from the class and some other materials on our website. We will see you at the next session!

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