running a training business: how to boost performance and grow a training business

If you’re running a training business, whether it’s brand new or an established brand, you may be wondering how you can further grow your business, attract new clients and find the right training software to boost your economic performance. With thousands of training businesses vying for the attention of organizations worldwide, it can seem daunting on know where to stand out.

Training Orchestra has over 20 years of experience helping organizations optimize their entire business cycle from order to invoice, so we’ve learned many lessons along the way that will help you grow your training business. 

Running a Training Company

Building a Strong Foundation

For both well-established training companies or those just starting a training business, the competition is fierce, and it’s not always easy to find a way to carve out your niche in the market.

There are two key factors that lay a solid foundation for successfully running a training business:

    • The knowledge, skills and personality of the business executives. It is their leadership and guidance that will make or break the training business, so getting the executive team right is crucial.
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    • Their ability to transform their potential into results. No matter the skills or expertise of your executive team, the capacity to turn this into real ROI and make smart decisions is what will ultimately lead to your success as a training business.

Identifying your unique selling propositions (USPs) will also play a key role in your success. Will you focus on a specific region? Will you specialize in a certain industry? What unique problem does your training business solve that others don’t? Or can you solve a common problem better than your competition? These are the questions you must consider when starting a training business.

Marketing Your Training Business

One of the hardest things about managing a training business is developing business activity and attracting leads. Marketing will be crucial for this stage of running a training business, as you will need to establish your brand, authority and expertise in your area. How can you market your training business?

Utilize Your Employees to Be Ambassadors

Your executives should be highly visible and present online, and your employees should be committed to sharing your marketing content from day one. This might include blogs, press releases, social media posts, guides, eBooks, resources and more. Work closely with your marketing team to get your messaging right and ensure it resonates with the right audience.

Collaborate with Your Clients for Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Word-of-mouth marketing should never be underestimated. Be sure to solicit testimonials and case studies from early adopters of your products and services to act as “social proof” for your offering. Many training professionals a part of learning and development departments and training companies usually work with software review sites to be the loudspeaker for their training company’s services. While this has proven to drive positive traffic to company’s site it could take a good amount out of your marketing budget.

A better alternative? Work with previous and current clients on developing customer reviews, case studies, and testimonials. We’re not talking about a simple review about your favorite meal at a café. Your training company should work with your client in discussing certain key aspects of your partnership that drove results. 

Topics you can ask discuss in potential case studies and testimonials could revolve around the following topics:

  1. How your training company deployed a fast and efficient training program for the client’s employees. 
  2. How you organized a easy-to-follow schedule that showed when courses were available based on the qualified instructors’ schedules. 
  3. How you solved a training and learning gap for the client’s talent base. How fast was the training program deployed? How many of the employees were able to complete their training on time?
  4. Explain how your training company streamlined and skyrocketed the training processes of the client (more than what their L&D department couldn’t do!)

Let Your Website be Your Talking Point

You could have the latest and greatest service offerings as a training company but all of that means nothing if you’re not displaying that on your website. Like other businesses online, a training company should use utilize their website as a their “digital storefront”. From the moment customers land on your home page to the reading the case studies you have listed on your site, visitors should have an understanding that you’re an expert at initiating and consistently delivering successful learning operations from one client to the next.

Training company websites should primarily discuss three things:

  1. Expertise as a training company providing training solutions, management solutions, and employee training and re-training programs for clients.
  2. Training company services based on specific factors to the client. These can include the industry the client is in, the size of the company, and the company’s goals.
  3. Proof and research that discusses how their training company has provided value to companies in starting, streamlining, or improving their client’s training management processes.

These three pillars should be the guiding talking points in crafting content for your website’s SEO strategy, media – including video, eBooks, and guides – as well as any affiliate marketing or paid media you may be doing. 

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Measuring the success of your training business:

There are three main economic factors that indicate the success of your training business:

  • Profitability
    • Are profits exceeding that of operational costs? Is utilization of training resources optimal? Is training time utilized towards delivering training to the client and not doing back-office administrative tasks? 
    • Furthermore, training managers responsible for one or multiple training programs should ask and see if they’re implementing the right strategies to boost course sales to ensure continued profit growth.
  •  Positive Feedback
    • Is the client giving a positive reception with regards to how your company is rolling out the training program for them?
    • Is the training program feasible for them with regards to employees’ time and availability?
    • Are you addressing their training gap within their current employees or lack thereof?
    • Does your training company deploy a process that gets the job done? Do you utilize an efficient course management system that allows for easy enrollment? Does your course scheduling system make show which qualified instructors are available?
  • Opportunities
    • After your clients are taken care of, does your training business present itself with new opportunities with current clients or potential clients to provide training management services?

In addition, innovation will always be crucial to running a training business. Consider the COVID-19 pandemic: those training businesses who adapted with the times, switching to hybrid learning and pivoting to address the needs of a remote workforce, are the ones who benefited the most from these unprecedented times.

Training companies have their own class L&D challenges that they must come across when meeting new clients. Proving that you have the knowledge and expertise to adapt to new industry changes as well as training tactics will help you improve your profitability in both the short and long term. This means keeping existing customers happy (after all, it is 5x cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one) and attracting new customers by delivering consistently exceptional customer service, unique products and services and getting real bottom-line results.

How Training Software Improves Training Company Efficiency

As a training company delivering training programs for multiple clients it’s no surprise that you’ll need to make sure everything is running smoothly on the operational end as well as on the client side. We’re talking all the functions that keep your training operation running: finance, scheduling, course management, and resource management. Keeping track of all these details can prove to be cumbersome for your back-office admin team so it’s critical that you make managing these aspects of your training business as easy and efficient as possible.

For training companies, it is best advised to integrate all processes into a training management system (TMS) software like Training Orchestra. We want to note that a TMS software is not the same as an LMS or LXP. A TMS like Training Orchestra differs from other training software like a learning management system (LMS) or learning experience platform (LXP) as it is a platform dedicated to solve all managerial aspects of delivering a training program to your clients. 

TMS software systems can vary from vendor to vendor but it’s important to inspect how well does the software make back-office admin work easy? 

As a training company administrator, ask yourself:

  • Is the TMS user-friendly? Is it easy to use?
  • Does it make visualization of calendars and schedules simple? 
  • Are there tools to track budgeting and financing?
  • Are there reporting tools? Can I measure standard training company KPIs in addition to custom KPIs?

When you deploy a training management software that serves the financial, resource, and management needs of your back-office team, not only do you make their jobs easier but you create an opportunity for your training company to grow your book of business with current clients and your prospective ones.

What happens when training company software is integrated?

It allows you to focus on delivering quality training

Better processes from implementing a training management system allows an easy opportunity to improve performance and profitability. The more smoothly you can deliver a training program without error – that is under budget, on time, and with quality instruction – you’ll soon find customers and clients wanting to continue doing business with you. 

Upsell and cross-sell your services

With course management systems in place thanks to a training management software, you’ll be able to focus on offering better training services to your customers.

Upselling and cross-selling will be crucial for any training business looking to boost its profitability. Leveraging the satisfaction of an existing customer will be vital for this stage of running a training business, as these customers will trust you to make solid recommendations that will help them achieve their goals. For example, after realizing how well you were able to roll out a public training course for one particular client, the same client may be interested in continuing using your services for private course training thus increasing profitability.

Incentivize for customer referrals

Additionally, make it easy for happy customers to refer other organizations to you. Many training businesses incentivize customer referrals with discounts, added services or upgrades, which helps you reward loyal customers at the same time as growing your pipeline of qualified, high-quality leads.

The chance to create successful and long lasting partnerships

Partnerships can also be vitally important for training businesses. Creating these partnerships will expose your training business to a whole new audience and will give customers a better experience, with a more robust, all-in-one solution that fully meets their needs. For instance, don’t just become the training company they used for one particular course for their compliance or regulation training, but rather become a trusted source for all of their training needs. 

 

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About Training Orchestra

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For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has been helping 600+ organizations worldwide to better run their training business by automating and optimizing their ILT and vILT training operations, addressing the complexities often found in: session scheduling, resource management, instructor collaboration, cost tracking, reporting and sales cycle management. As a complement to your LMS, LXP and learning technologies, Training Orchestra’s Training Resource Management System can replace all XLS spreadsheets and manual tasks, so you can better manage training as a business.