On Creating A Set Of Training And Skill Development Programs
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi, I am Saakshi Choithani, a mompreneur, coach to solopreneurs, and Professional Growth Hacker. I call myself a MOM-PRENEUR because I started my entrepreneurship journey after being a mom.
I own a company called Mindynamics which is a Training and Skill development company. We offer individual training programs being hosted by Mindynamics, Corporate Training programs, Trainer support services, and develop e-learning portals for organizations.
We are offering our programs in countries like India, Russia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and some countries in the UK as well. We could really change the picture of our company by doing more than 100 events in the past year and actually proving that e-learning is the new normal to upskill yourself and grow fast.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
I designed the very first program to help the teachers at the time of the pandemic. Education has been one of the worst affected sectors during the covid times. With my experience in the education industry and understanding the need of the hour, I went into releasing my first online program for FREE during the first month of complete lockdown in many countries.
This gave us a good boost as we got hundreds of participants from 4 different countries attending our FREE Webinar Series. To now start making profits, we converged this free program to a 15 session guided series of e-learning and live masterclasses where we helped teachers run their business online and earn income.
The day you stop experimenting, you will find yourself in a trap where your business is stagnant and things are not just moving right.
We successfully helped teachers create a system that works for them to help them establish their own identity and reach millions of students around the world. This started bringing us some income too. And the students really loved it.
Describe the process of launching the business.
There has to be a lot of product innovation along with strategies to launch the products in the right manner. After we saw a huge surge in the market concerning free webinars for teachers we took another step. We could identify the needs of the people. Many were stuck technologically. So we decided to offer help in content designing, video editing, course structuring, and much more. I have always been thankful to my mentors who have taught me to be authentic and add value to people’s lives.
So we started adding value by helping companies and organizations setting up e-learning programs. We also took some programs on our platform to help people grow.
Initially going online was tough because most of our processes used to be offline. We used to meet clients and take physical training and seminars. But the world took a turn fast and we switched to online training methods.
We had our website from the start but alongside the website we needed social media support to reach a large audience and thus we decided to focus more on our social media campaigns too. I started to experiment. I did run paid ads, posted content, joined social media groups, etc. But nothing worked as decided.
While I started the business with just some 1000$ savings from my previous job, it was tough to manage money. However, to date, we are managing funds through the different activities that we do and we haven’t gone to opt for funding or investors in the company.
The biggest lesson through all these processes includes pointers like work consistently to build that dream in reality which was once a desire for you. Alongside, never stop experimenting. The day you stop experimenting, you will find yourself in a trap where your business is stagnant and things are not just moving right. So keep working with your mind, body, and soul to reach the next level.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Customer is the King and King likes to be served, I always give my team this example so that we understand that every product and service must cater to the needs of the customers. Retaining customers has not been a tough job for us. Due to our on-time project submissions and good reviews from the training participants we do get chances to work again with our old customers. We have even experienced customers returning to us even after 8 months.
Collaboration is the key today. The more you collaborate with people the better reach it would give to your brand.
While retention of old customers is a result of value addition to the customer or service/support given to the customer once he is associated with the brand. Most entrepreneurs consider that customers must only be served when we are selling them our products or services. But often they fail to realize that even if you have given a considerable amount of after-sales service, you still need to give some more benefits to your existing customers. The membership/subscription model works best here.
Adding on new customers is also a task. It is very important to run your campaigns from time to time to bring in more leads. Offers that suit customer’s needs can help new customer attraction. While you want new customers to come in, it’s always important to have a clear picture of your ‘Customer Avatar’ in your mind. Everytime you have a product or service check your Customer Avatar and attract them accordingly.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
The company and personal coaching both are setting new high sales every month. Today we operate from Mumbai, India and we look forward to growing our reach to India as well as abroad. Since we have a flexi work model, we don’t require a big built-up office space right now. And also with the pandemic situations around, it is safe to allow work from home for the employees.
We wish to expand more in terms of online learning modules set up for industries. We are also helping trainers with technology challenges, content creation, and much more, so we look forward to helping more of the trainer community. On the coaching side, I started to coach solopreneurs with a vision in mind, to help solo entrepreneurs run their businesses successfully. In the same direction, I am also a consultant to companies where I offer business strategy consultations. I wish to explore more in that direction too.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Throughout this journey of two years, I have learned a lot many things by trying and failing. The worst one was when I lost my 3 training event contracts due to a sudden lockdown in 2020. We did all expenditures including ticket bookings and other training resources but we ended up giving a full payment refund to the clients. It was a huge loss.
But from those losses, we did recover in the next 4 months. Although the recovery was slow due to the sudden breakdown of the norming business working during the Pandemic times, we did manage to balance expenditures and earnings.
The best thing that happened to me was getting connected to a lot of individuals from around the world. This pandemic gave me a chance to meet thousands of people online which would have not been possible in normal times.
Entering into the entrepreneurial journey, I have upskilled myself with a lot of technical skills, social skills and I try to continue learning and applying my learnings in my business.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Some of my favourite tools are - Clickfunnels, Mailerlite, Mailchimp, SEMRush, Ubersuggest, Zoho Mails, Publer, repurpose and videoask being the newest one.
We are fond of using technology at its best in our company and a lot many times we do try a lot many new apps and software that make our work look professional and save the time for our employees.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
For me and my company, more than books it has been my mentors and coaches who have given the right direction to my business.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
My advice would be to experiment, learn and have a growth mindset. As I have the tag line to my company which says, learn-apply-share. I strongly believe in this philosophy which is like re-ideating your business, again and again, to get consistent growth and add value to your customer.
Also, remember that collaboration is the key today. The more you collaborate with people the better reach it would give to your brand. Normally I see other people deciding to follow their passion and then having a mindset that their venture will start working from the very first year.
Well, the reality is any new setup or start-up takes around 1000 days i.e. 365 days to get into a scalable and sustainable model. Our job as an entrepreneur is to keep the business alive for the first three years and look for options that provide sustainability to the business.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We look forward to getting associated with trainers, coaches, and mentors who can work with us collaboratively.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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