First introduced in 1999, webinars rapidly carved out their place in the cyber world. This digital tool is an effective way for hosts to offer advanced training, share innovative ideas and knowledge, and sell specific products and/or services. A webinar business is responsible for the design, development, and delivery of a live, internet-based class. Attendees have the opportunity to download shared educational material and ask questions at the end of the session.
Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.
Learn how to start your own Webinar Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
Start a Webinar Business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Webinar Business
- Form your Webinar Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Webinar Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Webinar Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Webinar Business
- Get Webinar Business Insurance
- Define your Webinar Business Brand
- Create your Webinar Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your Webinar Business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a Webinar Business?
Unlike many startups, the costs involved in opening a webinar business are fairly minimal. When developing your business plan, include the following items in your budget:
- High-speed internet
- Webinar software - Industry leaders encourage new business owners to thoroughly research their options before settling on a software solution. Attendees should not have to download anything to watch the webinar. The platform should be intuitive, with the capability to chat, offer Q&A sessions, poll viewers, and send out reminder/follow-up emails.
- Webinar kit - Kits include webcams and headsets and range from $200-$400
- Proper lighting
- Video, music, and stock imagery licenses
- Tool for payment processing
Minimize your initial expenses by working out of a home office. Just make sure the setting is professional and free of distractions.
What are the ongoing expenses for a Webinar Business?
Industry leaders report a total cost of $1,125 plus employee salaries for each webinar created. While these costs will fluctuate depending upon the specifics of each project, below is a breakdown of what your budget will look like:
- Webinar platform costs - $495
- Equipment - $30
- Advertising and marketing - $600
- Keynote speaker/presenter fees - Since hiring an expert presenter can prove quite costly; most webinar businesses utilize members of their workforce.
Who is the target market?
When mapping out a business plan, it’s important to consider what audience you plan to cater to. If your goal is to create webinars for organizations marketing their products/services, your marketing strategy should target businesses in need of your expertise. If you plan to take a more learning-based approach, your target market is anyone interested in the subject(s) you plan to teach.
How does a Webinar Business make money?
Hosting live, online events featuring verifiable experts on a particular subject is the most direct and profitable way for a webinar business to generate revenue. Organizations have now begun recognizing the value of webinars as part of their marketing strategy and are now hiring webinar companies to organize and host events to help promote their products or services.
How much can you charge customers?
There are a number of factors that should be taken into account when setting the price for a particular webinar. If you have direct competitors, what does their fee structure look like? What does the attendee have to gain from attending? Will this benefit them personally or professionally? Recent research by Leading Learning indicates the average webinar price is between $1.04 and $2.27 per minute, with most classes lasting between 60 and 73 minutes.
How much profit can a Webinar Business make?
If you host two webinars a month, limit capacity to 35 attendees, and have a fee of $199 per client, your business will gross $13,930. Annual total earnings would then be just over $167,000.
How can you make your business more profitable?
To boost annual profits, business owners are encouraged to make on-demand webinars available after the event has concluded. Recent reports indicate that as many as 25% of consumers attending webinars do so from their mobile devices. When shopping for the webinar provider that best fits your needs, consider partnering with one that is mobile-friendly and does not require downloads or plugins.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your Webinar Business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a webinar business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a Webinar Business
Promotional channels such as third-party advertising, Google AdWord, and paid social media ads are all effective ways to reach interested parties. Word of mouth and email campaigns have also proven effective, particularly when offering training and certification courses. Experts recommend allocating between 40% and 60% of a project’s budget for advertising and promotion.
How to keep customers coming back
Research indicates that consumers are willing to pay a premium for online courses that help them build on their skills and work towards a specific goal. Certification programs and educational series are an excellent way to attract and retain customers. Holding a Q&A at the end of each session offers valuable insight into attendees’ pain points, providing subject ideas for future webinars.
Delivery of quality content is critical to your business’s short and long-term success. At the end of each webinar, request feedback through surveys and follow-up emails. This will show the client you value their opinion and help identify areas for improvement in future presentations.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2022 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Webinar Business in your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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Is this Business Right For You?
Have you become the authority in your niche? Do others look to you for your guidance and expertise in your industry? Are you eager to share your knowledge with others? Are you technologically inclined? If so, launching a webinar business may be the ideal business venture for you.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a Webinar Business?
When not working to promote your business and gain new clients, your days will be spent putting your skills into action. Once you have determined the subject of a webinar, you will need to draft an action plan, outlining goals and specific tasks. A timetable should be mapped out with clear goals regarding when each assignment should be completed. Following this timeline, deviating only when absolutely necessary, will help minimize unexpected roadblocks and expenses.
Once the action plan and timetable have been defined, each task should be delegated to various team members, playing on their individual strengths and knowledge. In the week or two leading up to the live webinar, your team should go through several dry runs. This gives the speaker an opportunity to practice, test the software, and help identify and rectify any potential issues.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful Webinar Business?
As a webinar business owner, it is important to remember that attendees are looking for premium content. If a stock photo doesn’t match the content or it is riddled with spelling errors, your business will suffer. Therefore, attention to detail is of the utmost importance. Presenters must have a strong command of the English language and have mastered the art of communicating with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Marketing experience and mastery of the technical tools utilized by your company will also prove paramount to long-term success.
What is the growth potential for a Webinar Business?
Webinars are now recognized as one of the top ways for businesses to generate leads. In fact, 61% of marketing teams use webinars as part of their content marketing strategy. This fact, coupled with the fact that this business model is not constrained by factors such as time and location, ensures the potential for significant long-term growth.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a Webinar Business?
The most common mistake made in the industry is underestimating the time commitment required. Industry leaders recommend a timeframe of four to six weeks for each project. When planning a webinar, it is also important to keep in mind that timing is everything. Carefully map out the details of a webinar to ensure it has proper timing and adequate flow, and try to keep the length around 52 to 60 minutes. If the goal is to promote a product or service, the pitch should occur 30 to 45 minutes into the presentation and should promote benefits over features. Industry leaders also recommend tailoring webinars that deliver a face-to-face experience, utilizing the webcam, and limiting slides of text.
How and when to build a team
There are three chief players in developing a webinar - organizer, presenter, and assistant(s). As the business owner, it is critical that you consider your strengths and weaknesses and hire accordingly. Each team member should have a clear understanding of the business’s overarching goals and what is expected of them to ensure those objectives are met.