How To Measure Your Training Business Success
It’s that time of year again, time to review the previous six months: what went well and what can be done better for the next half? For anyone working in education, this time of year may signify the time to wind down. However, it also provides a great opportunity for reflection before the summer ends and the chaos of the new academic year begins.
Alternatively, if like several of our clients your key business is short courses and Continuous Professional Development it may be that unlike the academic faculties, summer is peak business time.
And for those businesses who have reached the mid-point in their business year, are you taking time to reflect? Are your courses overflowing or under filled? What have you done differently in 2015 or is it time to change up your processes? How do you measure success and are you doing it at all?
3 ways to measure success
- Delegate numbers: are they rising? Are you attracting enough candidates for your courses to be profitable? How do you track viability? Are you tracking it at all?
- Course feedback: how do you use the information to improve your business? Are you following up results with your customers to promote integrity?
- Repeat business: is your main custom from previous delegates? Do you upsell by marketing additional courses?
For businesses currently using a training management system to automate processes, it should be a fairly simple task to analyse this information and use it to make business improvements. Without one, this may be an extremely laborious and difficult task or not done at all which significantly reduces competitive advantage year on year.
1. Delegate Numbers
The amount of delegates registering for and attending your courses is a key measure of success for any training business, and course viability even more so. What is the point in filling a course if you are only just breaking even?
Automation supports course viability in so many ways. With online course booking, delegates book in real time so courses cannot be overfilled. This has the added advantage of early alerts which enable you to set up new course dates or consolidate existing ones depending on course numbers.
Additionally, ensuring that you have a system with the capacity to report on viability allows you to see at any time course numbers against overheads including trainer, venue, travel and equipment costs.
2. Course feedback
Make sure that you are finding out how your courses impact delegates further down the line by embracing automation to schedule follow up evaluation surveys. This will allow you to investigate not just the immediate course deliverables (how a happy sheet is used) including venue, content and trainer, but more importantly how the content matches the delegate’s needs over a period of time.
It is all well and good that the learner enjoyed the course but if they don’t remember what was covered 3 months down the line will their employer really be interested in sending them on another course?
Find out more by reading this article on The Importance Of Feedback In Training Companies.
3. Repeat business
We live in a world of the Amazon experience where we now expect to be offered additional products prior, during and post purchase. So why should training be any different? Surely learning has no boundaries! However, as a customer you would probably be keen to undertake one course before committing to others which is where more subtle sales techniques come in.
Upselling is the ideal tactic here, it can take the form of offers on the bottom of surveys, or vouchers for loyalty and targeted promotional emails using information you have gathered throughout the sales process. Automation offers multiple ways to subtly increase sales.
So what can you do to ensure that your next 6 months are even more successful than your last?
- Up your analysing game. Look back at your previous 6 months and evaluate which courses are generating the most revenue and which ones may need dropping from your syllabus. Setting up automated reports to monitor this on a daily, weekly or monthly basis is key to allow you to establish any warning signs early on or allow you to up the promotional ante on your most successful courses.
- Use course feedback and gain more. There is no point in collecting feedback if it is just going to sit in a drawer. Design your survey questions to find out the information that will help to grow and better your business such as what could have been done better and what course offerings are missing. Which method is right for you? Check out this infographic that highlights the key differences between two popular feedback methods: the happy sheet and online surveys.
- Make subtlety your best friend. Incorporate offers into all of your course communications. Use welcome back and even birthday voucher offers to promote course sign ups. Offer the next level of a course that delegates have previously completed as a natural progression. Why not combine all three for maximum promotional power?
Looking for a course management software solution to allow you to do all of this and more? Download our 16 reasons to consider accessplanit infographic.
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