Turnkey Online Training Business For Sale

business value of being firstOne of my clients contacted me last week and told me she’s selling her turnkey online training business.  If you’re a believer in the value of training – and if you’re willing to devote yourself full time to this business – this may be the opportunity of a lifetime for you.

This is a solid business model and the recent shift in the economic landscape just makes this business even more attractive.

Here’s the “back story” of this business.  Way back – at the “turn of the century” – my client was working as a coach and consultant.  She was working with companies on ways to improve employee performance and that sparked an idea.   She created a business providing leadership and management training.  She  hired a top instructional design consultant to create the courses and a local web development firm (not me) to craft her business “storefront” and a business was born.

In the first quarter of the year 2003 – the business’s web site was launched.  During the first year, my client was out actively “selling” businesses on the concept.  At the time -it was new and it was different.  (This business is the one I had in mind when I wrote “The Business Value in Being First” ) During those sales conversations – my client not only filled a few classes – she also filled her coaching practice.  Her time, her attention – her energy – have been focused upon working with her one on one clients.

In my opinion – the fact that the classes didn’t fill as quickly as her practice skewed her view of this business.  I can see what “really” happened  just from out conversations about the subject.  See, when my client went out to sell her distance learning – she couldn’t help but talking about her passion – coaching.  Listening to the change in her voice as she shifts from talking about one business then the other is like having Billy Mays talking about coaching – while you have Ben Stein talking about the training business.    It’s little wonder her coaching practice is full and thriving while this business is still waiting for a spark to get it launched.

If this were a business broker listing on a web site, I would say that she’s selling the business because she doesn’t have the time to devote to it.    However – it’s not a business broker site so you get my opinion, which is:  this is a great business foundation that needs an infusion of time and passion.

The training courses and materials have already been professionally prepared and constructed.  The courses are obviously the work of a skilled instructional designer.  The web site is developed even though it’s in serious need of some basic SEO services.

There are a lot of things to love about this business model – most notably – the profit potential.   However, unlike many business opportunities – the downturn in the economy is actually a GOOD thing for this business model.  See, business NEED their employees to be more productive –  now more than ever before.   Employees don’t arrive the first day on the job with every skill needed to succeed so they must be trained.  Businesses NEED a cost effective way to teach employees new skills – and this business not only offers a cost effective solution – it also offers a BETTER solution.  Employees don’t have to “leave” work to get trained.  Employees get ongoing support which is not possible when training is delivered in a classroom setting.

It’s not often that you see something where “less expensive” is also “more effective” – but that is the case in this business model.

NOTE:  This blog post generated GREAT highly qualified responses for my client.  She reports that she’s found the perfect match – which is truly exciting.

I’m going to leave this blog post up – because I have several other clients for whom I’ve helped to build similar online training based businesses.   If another client contacts me and wants to sell his/her business as well – I’ll simply make a new blog post and link to it here.

If you’re wanting to build your own, unique online training business – contact me. I absolutely LOVE working with entrepreneurs who have a clear vision and possess the courage and dedication to bring their dream to life on the web.


  1. Steve Business Broker in Toronto says:

    As a business broker, your post really hits home. I come across some truly great business ideas that aren’t at their fullest potential simply because of the wrong fit with the owner. The business does sound interesting. Best of luck.