These days, I am launching a unique home for Excel VBA enthusiasts and professionals. This is a result of a careful examination of the Excel VBA market, constant dialog with customers and years of projects, authoring and teaching. Here is the story of the Excel VBA Inner Circle.
Where do Excel VBA professionals Meet?
Microsoft Office is one of the most ubiquitous software serving almost every business and many individuals. In 2016, windowscentral.com estimated 1.2 Billion Office users worldwide.
When I segmented for Excel AND VBA interest in Facebook Ads Manager, Facebook found 400,000 people worldwide.
The largest LinkedIn group I’m aware of titled “Excel and VBA Users” run by Martin Fishlock, lists 112,530 members. That’s quite a community!
I looked for VBA “clubs” online – but couldn’t find any!
There are a lot of courses, books and even an active workshop to build a specific application, but no real home with a solid knowledge library, ongoing training for people in different levels, a professional forum, Q&A led by leaders in the field, VBA code reviews, etc.
Oh, I don’t count all those Facebook and LinkedIn groups as a serious home for professionals to cover all those activities. They aren’t even designed, from a usability point of view, as a place for such a “club”, let alone facilitate all those services.
Why do we need a home for Excel VBA professionals?
Realizing there’s a huge group of professionals out there but no serious place for them to meet, exchange knowledge, get help, learn professional coding etc., the first question I asked myself was: WHY?
Is there no demand? How could that be?
As I kept looking for signs, I noted myself that Excel VBA is among the most searched-for course on Udemy with well over 100 courses offered (including mine!). In fact, their market analysis tool tells me that 98% of all searches target Excel VBA!
I also found out that Udemy and LinkedIn advertise their Excel VBA courses online on a regular basis.
These are all encouraging signals that tells me there is a vibrant market for Excel VBA.
But maybe it is only courses they’re after. After all, the “club” I described above is way more than just online courses.
So, I went out and carried my own survey. As a matter of fact – two surveys.
I asked my own Excel VBA students and registered followers, totaling several thousands of people I know are very much into Excel VBA, and invited others on Facebook and LinkedIn Excel groups to take the surveys.
I had a total of about 90 respondents and the results confirmed: Excel VBA enthusiasts are eager to have a home with a varied range of services. Main highlights I saw in the results are:
- The top requested activities (in order) are: Knowledge Library; Advanced Programming; Getting Help; Learning VBA; Code Review/Workshop.
- Two distinct audiences need to receive attention: advanced VBA programmers on one hand, and beginners on the other.
- Among the 23 countries represented, most respondents are from India, United States and Great Britain.
- Answering the question whether they will pay $47/month for such a membership service, assuming it will provide value, about 20% replied YES and 65% replied MAYBE.
Mind you, I did not provide any details on the nature, format or content of such a service, and still, a resounding 85% said they will either pay or consider paying for such a service, if it will provide them with value, of course.
At this stage I was confident: There is a need, there is demand, I don’t know how come it did not come to be until today, but I got my green light!
Planning the Excel VBA Inner Circle
Equipped with valuable insight from my two surveys on the breakdown of VBA level, employment type and expectations, I set out to plan a membership service that will:
- Accommodate both Excel lovers new to VBA as well as VBA experts and all those in between.
- Offer a range of services in which everyone will find their cup of tea: learning, getting help, finding peers and opportunities, practicing VBA.
- Help grow professional consultants that are establishing a business to serve customers in the highest possible level: building and sustaining a career as a top Excel consultant.
- Provide high value, and yet affordable with a reasonably low fee as a career investment.
I knew that I cannot offer a one-size-fits-all program if I want to meet all the above goals. That led me, in early stages, to realize I need to break it into 2 or 3 (eventually 3) different membership plans.
Another challenge was how can I sustain 3 plans running in parallel, covering all the services I want to include, with only 24 hours a day and 7 days a week? Mind you, I am still delivering projects myself and working on a new startup with a partner. Is that even possible?
As I started getting into the details, bridging between the demand and audiences I got from the surveys and securing the time I need to promise a high-value service, I started to see that it is not that impossible!
I remember the moment that I laid out the 3 plans with all services, counted the time it will require and felt a huge relief: YES! It is very much possible without waiving any plan or much needed service.
From that point on, it was just rolling up sleeves and putting it all to work: the content thoughts, the back-end facilitation, the marketing materials, and the like.
It took me a little more than I thought. I never compromise on the quality and value, so I was OK with stretching it a little (well, OK, more than just a little…).
Today, as I’m writing this story to you, I have it all ready to launch!
The Excel VBA Inner Circle with Mor Sagmon
I can’t tell you how much I’m happy with the end result and excited launching the “club” for all Excel VBA lovers out there! I call it: The Excel VBA Inner Circle with Mor Sagmon.
It’s important for me to be very clear that this is not just a “club”, or a home for Excel VBA professionals, but it is a coordinated, maintained and exhibits high value from me, a leader in the field with a track record of 35 years – hence my name in the title.
Why is this important? because I want people to know they can learn and get support and answers by at least one expert (I hope more!), not just stop by for a beer or coffee. This home is a professional place for growing one’s career to any level – sky is the limit.
We finally have a home, a professional space, to grow our career, master VBA, find colleagues and potential opportunities and know we are not alone in carving our career and Excel VBA mastery.
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