Growing your training business in 2023

Growing your training business in 2023

With the increased diversification of training methods both online and in-person, the training industry is experiencing significant shifts this year. Although introducing new ways of learning can seem daunting, they bring notable opportunity for growth, and can help training providers to reach new audiences.

In this article, we will explore effective strategies and techniques to help you thrive and expand your training business, backed up by insights from our State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023!

Growing your training business in 2023

This years' State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report highlighted a few key growth strategies for 2023. Let's take a look at a few here:

Prioritising customer experience

Year on year, customer/delegate satisfaction comes out on top as the key metric training providers use to measure success. This is closely followed by repeat business (which of course, is triggered by positive customer experiences). This shows the importance of putting customers at the centre of everything you do when it comes to growing your training business.

When asked about their personal outlook for their training business in 2023, those who track customer/delegate satisfaction were 17% more optimistic about their personal outlook for their training business in 2023, compared to those who didn't track it.

Focusing on your customer's needs, expectations, and pain points allows you to better serve your target customers. Happy customers will not only bring repeat business, but also act as brand ambassadors, referring your services to others.


Embracing technology

When it comes to training delivery methods, the State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023 highlights a big opportunity for growth in meeting learner preferences in virtual, on-demand offerings. 30% of learners want podcasts, however only 19% of training providers currently offer these as learning materials, leaving an 11% gap. We can see a similar pattern in on-demand webinars, with 29% of learners wanting these, and only 20% of training providers providing them; leaving a 9% gap!

Course v learner preferences

What's more, learners' top preference in terms of pace and timescales of training is on demand - self-paced, online learning structured over many weeks, with 31% of learners choosing this over other options of bitesize, intensive, or a combination of all of the above. This further shows an opportunity for growth by embracing new technologies and online learning.

"I think the way forward for us is online learning in all forms. There has finally been a recognition that people do not have to be in a classroom to learn, and that learning can be done in the participants' time.  I want to concentrate on developing bite-size content that is part of a larger course, that can be completed as and when a person has time around their day job."

- Respondent, State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023

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Understanding your competition

With many training providers citing increased competition as a top challenge in 2023, it's important to keep a close eye on what is happening in the current training landscape when it comes to growth.

"There is too much competition, it seems to be a race to the bottom nowadays, with low quality courses being offered."

- Respondent, State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023

A great place to start would be to have a look at where you sit when compared to other training providers. Our State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023 shows training providers how they measure up compared to the current market. It could be that one of your strongest course types is one that most others don't offer - and you could be taking advantage of this!

To stand out in the ever-growing training space, it's crucial to review your competitors in order to identify your strengths, expertise, and the unique value you can offer to customers. A targeted approach will enable you to attract more clients that suit your ideal customer profile.

Switching up your course structure

When it comes to training delivery, it's important to note the changing preferences of learners. In recent years, we're seeing less of the one-day, intensive in-person courses. Learners prefer courses they can complete in their own time, that fit in with their current work schedule. 

"We're reasonably positive, as there appears to be more interest in blended modular programmes than more 'transactional' courses."

- Respondent, State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023

With this in mind, have a quick audit of your current courses and their structures. Are there any that would fit a more relaxed, on-demand delivery method? With less coordination for your trainers and admins, as well as less pressure on minimum delegate numbers for the course to run, on-demand courses allow you to grow and scale your course offerings with ease.

Developing engaging and relevant content

Outside of the courses you're running, consider how you are positioning yourself in the marketplace.

Creating high-quality, engaging content that's readily available (and free) on your website is an effective way to place your training business as a thought leader in your sector. This could include blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, or infographics. You could share practical tips, case studies, industry insights, or success stories.

Creating genuinely useful content for your audience can bring all sorts of benefits, including:

  • Providing value for your audience
  • Building credibility
  • Attracting a loyal following
  • Increasing your visibility
  • Positively impacting your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Showcasing your expertise

There are a few things to consider when creating material for your website. Make sure you're not creating content for content's sake; it needs to be quality, comprehensive, and of genuine value to your audience in order for this strategy to work. This goes for it improving your SEO as well - Google will only recommend your content to others if it believes that it is credible, and genuinely useful.

Building strong partnerships

Collaboration is, of course, a powerful strategy when it comes to business growth. 

Depending on how your training organisation is run, the type of organisations you should be partnering with may differ. It could be complementary trainers (or a trainer agency), industry associations, or other businesses that are adjacent to your industry, that you won't be in direct competition with. A great place to start would be to get your team together and see what type of organisations they think your training business would benefit from partnering up with. 

Once you've identified the types of organisations that would be a good fit, have a think about what activities would benefit you both. These could include:

  • Tapping into each other's networks
  • Sharing resources
  • Cross-promoting your services
  • Joint ventures
  • Co-creating training programmes
  • Offering bundled services

Forming these strategic alliances could really help in reaching new audiences and increasing your market reach.

Investing in continuous learning and development

It wouldn't make sense for a training provider to not keep their own team's training refreshed and up-to-date!

It's important to stay ahead of training industry trends, expand your team's knowledge, and refine their skills in order for them to deliver high-quality training. This doesn't always have to be traditional, intensive courses - think inviting them to attend relevant conferences, workshops, or even recommending webinars. Not only will this develop your teams' skills and knowledge, it will also inspire them to continue their learning independently, too.

This will in turn of course improve the quality of the courses you run, and naturally lead to recommendations and referrals from your customers to their network.

We are seeing a dramatic increase in course numbers, and are currently prospecting for more business. In our industry, certification lasts three years, so we ace currently building capacity for re-evaluations.

- Respondent, State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023

Want to learn more about accessplanit?

If you're interested in learning more about using our powerful tools to grow your training business, why not book a demo with accessplanit today?

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