How We Built A Top OSHA-Authorized Course Providing Company

Published: August 8th, 2023
Elis Enano
OSHA Outreach Cou...
from Chicago, IL, USA
started October 2008
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Hello everyone! I'm Elis Enano, the co-owner of OSHA Outreach Courses, which I joined in 2018. I live in N Halsted St, Chicago, with my husband and two kids.

The company I'm co-owner of falls under the category of top OSHA-Authorized course providers with the main goal of expanding the idea of maintaining and fostering a safe and healthy work environment in every workplace.

We are a training company that provides workplaces and people with OSHA-approved training so they can adhere to safety regulations at work.

To comply with OSHA requirements and avoid hefty penalties and fines from OSHA during site visits, workers and employers can enroll in OSHA Outreach Courses pertinent to their field of job operations. We sell OSHA 10-Hour and 30-Hour training courses for Construction and General Industry.

In addition, these courses are also available in Spanish courses to bridge the language barrier gap for Spanish workers. Our OSHA safety courses apply to all organizations and companies, including the construction sector, the healthcare industry, factories, warehouses, retail, and manufacturing businesses.

The category of workers we mainly target with our OSHA 10-Hour courses are entry-level workers, while OSHA 30-Hour courses are for workers who opt for supervisory roles such as Safety Officer, Superintendent, Safety Manager, Safety Consultant, etc.

During the initial stages of our startup, we were struggling to come up with the desired growth. Still, with the expansion of our niche nationwide, we sell our courses to hundreds of customers per month on average.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

With a passion for managing my own business someday and an interest in business management since the beginning, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Business and Administration from Chicago State University in 2015. During my bachelor days, I focused solely on pursuing a career in marketing and finance due to my excellent leadership and management skills.

Though initially, I wanted to establish myself in a reputable corporate firm where I could showcase my expertise in relevant business functions and operations, I decided to start my own business after graduation. Those days e-learning platforms were on the rise. I found it unique and innovative since everyone was experimenting with showcasing their business ideas through e-learning.

Since my bank account had already been exhausted with my campus expenses and tuition fees and to begin my startup journey, I had to save up some finance for a good investment budget; I settled on an average-paying job in project management and did multiple online marketing projects. But little did I know, I was about to catch the big fish!

In 2018, I came across a gig with a job description requiring an efficient project manager who can successfully implement e-learning strategies based on vigilant planning and execute a virtual training plan smoothly.

The main business objective was to make OSHA online training courses accessible to individuals seeking jobs, preferably in Construction and General Industry, and transform it into a user-friendly interface. Since I already had three years of experience in supervising projects, collaborating in in-house reviews and meetings, recognizing and distributing internal responsibilities, and leading the project’s execution and internal marketing, I successfully got the leading position as a project manager of OSHA Outreach Courses.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

When I joined, I found it an absolute mess. The website needed to be updated, lacking design attributes and important features affecting its overall performance directly.

The most common flaws I observed were a monotonous interface that eventually failed to garner the target audience's attention, missing and inaccurate information, cognitive overload in design that caused interruptions, and too much unnecessary repetitive text content, which made the site under-optimized, hence lacking engagement.

Most of you must know that a successful educational eLearning website relies upon factors that boost better engagement and site performance, such as great content, user-friendly UI and UX, SEO, social media/email marketing, and active customer care support.

Thus, keeping my comprehensive understanding of the goals, objectives, steps, and tasks involved, I pitched my ideas decisively to the owner, the founder of OSHA Outreach Courses. My then-boss agreed upon the terms I put forward, which particularly involved revamping the website, including web design and content strategy. To develop a standardized and optimized website, we carefully discussed what works and what doesn't to achieve a productive outcome for the future.

We concluded that for a successful online business, we must ensure our target audience is enrolling in the courses, execute and observe training schedules, effectively manage the Learning Management System, LMS, obtain score and progress reports and updates from candidates via customer care support, and guarantee our team has the information it requires to accomplish the job.

Your education website must, first and foremost, offer something in addition to what most similar websites already provide.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Well, brainstorming ideas is insufficient to make your goals concrete unless a practical and functional approach is immediately taken. The first initiative we took was to expand our team into multiple designations required for our business's growth; for that, we rented a small office in a commercial building.

Before this, the company's founder was operating and managing everything from his basement, and he used to distribute job operations to freelancers on a fair pay scale. But a consistent team is required to ensure errors and corrections in your website get quickly resolved daily and to optimize the website.

Therefore, we undertook the venture by hiring web developers for both front-end (handle the speed, style, and accessibility of a webpage) and back-end (ensure the website functions accurately, focusing on databases, back-end logic, application programming interface (APIs), architecture, and servers).

Secondly, we hired experienced SEO content writers to ensure the website is optimized to rank on Google. Since high-quality content alone is not enough to add value, our writers provide the users don't come to an empty platform by checking keyword optimization, backlinks, internal linking, website loading speed, domain authority, etc.

Ensure your homepage loads quickly and doesn't have a lot of heavy material. All visual materials should be optimized using the proper sizes and formats for quick loading.

As we know, visuals always convey more information than written words; the platform may succeed or fail depending on how intuitive and usable your eLearning environment is. Therefore, another important step in our strategy was hiring a graphic designer, particularly experienced in UI and UX, to ensure the website is user-friendly, straightforward, simple in design and features, and easy to use.

Our graphic designer works with our developers to decide on a direction for the website's persona by creating and adjusting the layout and aesthetics of the website.

With years of collective dedication and the devotion of our team altogether, we were able to take OSHA Outreach Courses to a place where it stands today. In the meantime, with my exceptional performance of leading the team together and bridging the gap between our website and ranking, I was offered something else, which was a dream too good to be true.

Since the start, I have always wanted to run my own business someday; I was approached by my boss, who was then single-handedly working for the betterment of the company, to join hands in partnership with the business since he had observed my keen interest in managing the objectives relentlessly.

Though originally I wanted to have my own business in a completely different niche since the offer was reasonable, plus I didn't have to invest my savings in it, I embraced the offer.

When I asked my boss what made him come up with this thought, he replied, "It's not something I promptly came up with, for I had been observing your outstanding management skills since the beginning. I had built this business from scratch with all my blood and sweat, and I don't want my hard work and investment to go in vain. Since I don't have any family to look after my company, I want someone eligible and young to take over after me. And with that thought, it couldn't be anyone but you. You're the engineer who gave a struggling business your genius solutions which is a milestone for all of us."

Thus, in 2021 I became the co-owner of OSHA Outreach Courses.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

If I talk collectively, from the beginning to this day, many factors contributed to attracting highly targeted visitors, and the first and foremost is the easy online enrolment procedure.

Most eLearning websites have complicated enrolment procedures that could be more user-friendly to many newcomers. This is a disadvantage since potential consumers leave and choose more convenient websites.

A key requirement for modern eLearning websites is the ability to process student payments easily. Processing payments easily facilitates the conversion of student interest into enrolment. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express (AMEX), JCB, and all other popular credit and debit cards.

The second most important aspect that attracts customers is a perfect LMS that can fulfill unique eLearning requirements. For that, we have invested in custom-built LMS, which is a type that comes with custom tools, specific functions, and third-party integrations.

We balanced cost and effectiveness by investing in a specially designed LMS. It prevented us from having to choose a low-cost LMS that is deficient in the majority of necessary functions or overspending on expensive software that is overloaded with useless tools.

In addition, since there’s a great number of Hispanic customers who find it difficult to proceed with courses in English, we use a dual-language approach. People are more comfortable using their native language. If the option to switch between languages is provided, the platform growing into something bigger will likely happen.

Moreover, with our online training experience that subject matter experts build to provide a well-rounded program with relevant knowledge you can’t find anywhere else, we assure you that our OSHA compliance training is the best in the market.

Our courses are entirely OSHA-approved and created by reputable safety specialists. Furthermore, our strategic collaboration with HSI, which regularly updates course content for a more engaging experience with unrivaled quality, has been developed to provide a satisfying user experience.

Lastly, our outstanding customer support agents, available 24/7 to assist users with their queries and speedily solve technical problems, provide guaranteed customer satisfaction.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

In the last five years, the most essential thing I've learned is to have patience, no matter how complex the matter or situation is. During the pandemic, we were all left isolated in our homes without any social interaction, which affected our mental health.

We used Skype as our communication medium to keep going with our business and stay connected as a team. I genuinely thank God we didn't face connectivity issues; thus, we could catch up and proceed with the daily tasks. Also, I'm very thankful to my team, who worked with me as a family and took their jobs seriously and devotedly.

On the other hand, one of the most important decisions I made, which proved highly advantageous and profitable for my business, was first recognizing and analyzing the target audience. Analyzing the target audience helps you identify the group's diverse learning needs and preferences.

With this knowledge, you can implement personalization features and adaptive learning techniques on your platform. Personalization allows you to deliver content and recommendations based on individual learner profiles, enhancing engagement and relevance.

In addition, adaptive learning adjusts the difficulty level and pace of instruction based on the learner's progress, maximizing their learning potential. Understanding your target audience enables you to develop effective marketing and communication strategies.

By knowing their demographics, interests, and online behavior, you can tailor your messaging, advertising campaigns, and promotional activities to resonate with them. This targeted approach increases the chances of reaching the right audience and attracting potential learners to your eLearning platform.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Regarding the platforms and apps we use for business, Vonage for call support and Jivo for chat support is highly reliable and easy to use.

For email marketing, we use Outlook.

In addition, we have also established our brand name on Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and Facebook, through which we connect with the audience, increase our sales and drive traffic to our website.

In addition, for genuine reviews and ratings, we use shopper approved, a cloud-based tool that enables companies to gather, organize, and actively promote online customer evaluations and ratings.

Teams can design widgets to be displayed on websites from the Shopper Approved platform while selecting the genuine and honest ratings and reviews they wish to show.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Several influential books, podcasts, and other resources have contributed to my eLearning knowledge and provided me with valuable insights for eLearning website development.

Some notable books and podcasts which I perceive can offer practical guidance on developing engaging and effective learning experiences are "Design for How People Learn" by Julie Dirksen, "e-Learning and the Science of Instruction'' by Ruth C. Clark and Richard E. Mayer, "The eLearning Coach Podcast'' hosted by Connie Malamed, and "The Learning Innovations Podcast."

Other than these, I also looked through some online resources such as eLearning Industry (, learning Solutions Magazine (, and the eLearning Guild (, which provide valuable insights, practical advice, and industry trends that can inform the development and improvement of an eLearning website.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Frankly, since I'm still in my learning stage, I don't see myself as someone who can provide the best advice or tips to young entrepreneurs who want to take the initiative with their dreams, but I can disclose what I did to ensure my business flourishes. I've always believed that building the ground and backbone of your business is key to a successful future with desired growth and outcome.

If I throw some light on useful initiatives I adopted, then apart from the essential components of an eLearning website, one should consider some effective design and development measures. To ensure my website stays apart and unique in terms of excellence and learning engagement, the following aspects helped me overcome the constant market competition:

Your education website must, first and foremost, offer something in addition to what most similar websites already provide. While paying attention to the tried-and-true design and development concepts is necessary, you can at least try to innovate above the current level of excellence by adding your ideas.

Before your educational website grows and attracts many students, make internal decisions around intellectual property ownership. A final decision should be made regarding whether materials created or produced by faculty members should be considered their intelligence or the school's property.

The most crucial requirement for any website to succeed is to guarantee quick page loading times. ELearning and educational websites are no exception. Make accessing media files, photos, and heavily graphic information optional to ensure quick loading time.

Ensure your homepage loads quickly and doesn't have a lot of heavy material. All visual materials should be optimized using the proper sizes and formats for quick loading. You can alternatively utilize lazy loading or AMP to guarantee quick loading of the contents the user requires at a specific time.

Another key element in designing an eLearning website is to make it appealing and aesthetically pleasing so that visitors are immediately drawn in and involved in the learning process.

In addition, avail all of your promotional platforms to connect with and engage your audience. Use newsletters, deep promotional links in mobile apps, social media promotions, and handles in addition to traditional advertisements and marketing channels to promote your eLearning website.

Though great content, authorized courses, and a user-friendly UI are what we particularly require, getting user feedback, and reviews can help you tackle the issue at its core. Stars and customer ratings will help you showcase insight into how and what your platform offers.

All of these tips mentioned above can help improve your eLearning space.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!