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E-Business Book: Case Studies - ESL/EFL websites

Why establish a Business on the Internet?
The Advantages of the Internet
What does it take to be successful?
A Word on Success...
Case Studies - ESL/EFL websites - A Success Story
Success Patterns
Who is
What''s in a Name?
Give me web address!
Be creative with Your Domain Name!
Business Idea: Restaurant and Pub Guide
Getting Online
Ask Your Users!
Interactivity is the Key
Fast Loading and Easy Navigation
Modern Font and all Browsers
Update Your Site often
Isn''t it All About Google?
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OK; now that you are aware of what makes a successful internet entrepreneur we can take the next step:

Find a business idea — examine people
This appears more difficult than it actually is. Everyday people demand new needs and services and commodities which have to be satisfied — go out and observe those people and you are bound to pick up your perfect business idea.

Case study:
Our project caters to the EFL/ESL market (English as a Foreign Language/English as a Second Language) and we made our first attempt to establish ourselves in 1998. Although the internet was still more or less in its infancy there were already millions of people online most of whom were learning English as a second language. So, we thought it might be a good idea to build an interactive website for English language learners and registered the domain

We had very little knowledge about internet marketing and the costs for top level domains were many times higher than today. That''s why we didn''t even check whether or or etc. were still available. Looking back we realize now our lack of vision prevented us from making a couple of thousand of dollars today: A domain like or is worth a fortune today. But we not only failed in regard to the domain name but also in our business approach: We used the «suck it and see method». That means we took one step and waited to see if the project would move and when it did, we would take the next step. This type of strategy won''t get you anywhere because once you have made the decision to establish a company you have to move ahead regardless of the current situation. However, in order to move you must know where you are going, that is, you have to identify something people need and offer them a solution. Often you will discover a niche when you are looking for a certain product or service which doesn''t yet exist. Let''s take a look at again: Back in 1998 there were already a number of websites available that offered free interactive English language materials. One of the pioneers of this industry is Dave Sperling who started his famous Internet Cafe in 1995 as a hobby and now is well-known worldwide. Another example of a successful internet business is Josef Essberger''s EnglishClub.

This website has been online since early 1997 and today is one of the most prosperous one man companies in the industry.

We could add hundreds of examples to this list — all websites belonging to the same industry, the EFL/ESL online market. Yet, in addition to catering to the same clientele you will find one common denominator: All these websites focus on one particular area of interest, they all have at least one feature that sets them apart from the rest. In order to succeed , we too had to find our niche within the huge English language teaching business and it took us 5 years to determine what this niche would be: Free Interactive English language tests. We had observed, studied and scrutinized our market for a long time and finally we could see into the future. With more and more people getting online it became obvious that the demand for English language exam preparation was growing too — the internet is the ideal medium to train and prepare for multiple-choice tests. Another important factor for our success is the increasing popularity of one standardized English language test — the TOEIC test which will soon be implemented as part of the state school education program in countries of the EU. In Asian countries, especially in Japan which could be called the birthplace of the TOEIC test this examination has been the most widely used English test for decades. It is estimated that by 2025 there will be more speakers of English as a second language than speakers of English as a first language. This means there must be a standardized world-wide recognized and used test to exactly gauge and certify a person''s command of the English language. The TOEIC test which is issued and administered under the auspice ETS — Educational Testing Service, the world''s largest private educational testing and measurement organization. When we became aware of the tremendous potential this development carries, we set ourselves the goal to become the world''s leading free internet based preparation center for the TOEIC as well as the TOEFL test. The latter is also run by ETS and caters more for academic purposes whereas the TOEIC test focuses on work and business issues.

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Next:E-Business Book: - A Success Story

Author: Torsten Daerr & Alan Townend

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