5 challenges facing training providers in 2023 (and how to overcome them)
The training industry has seen many shifts over the past few years. From online learning trends to the rise of alternative training delivery methods, these changes can come with significant growth opportunities, as well as their fair share of challenges.
In this article, we will highlight the top challenges perceived by training professionals, as well as ways to overcome them. All insights are backed up by the State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023.
Each year, accessplanit release a survey to capture the thoughts, feelings and insights from training professionals on a range of topics from training delivery and digital innovation to opportunities, threats and outlook.
Following this, we then create our annual Training Industry Benchmark Report to highlight trends, opportunities and challenges facing training providers.
To start things off, here are some of the challenges highlighted by training industry professionals when asked in this years' survey:
From the text responses here, we can see a few themes emerging; namely rising costs, training delivery, competition, and staff retention. Although these responses are hugely insightful and valuable for the training industry, it's important to consider that this doesn't quantify the responses in this years' State of the Training Industry 2023.
With that in mind, let's have a look at the top challenges voted for by training professionals this year:
It comes as no surprise that this years' top challenge is increasing costs. 47% of training providers cited this as one of the top challenges for 2023.
The sharp rise in inflation over the past 18 months have of course had a huge impact on our day-to-day; from our weekly shops to the costs of keeping businesses afloat. Shrinking bottom lines and squeezed budgets are driving organisations to find new ways to save costs without impacting their training quality and delivery.
What can you do?
A great place to start would be ensuring you have up-to-the-minute visibility over your financials with in-depth reporting. This gives you the business insight you need to make strategic decisions for your training business.
Whether its course profitability, business development, compliance tracking, budgeting or forecasting, having the right reporting tools in place is key for identifying ways to mitigate the impact of growing costs in your training business.
From here, you could also review the type of technology you use to support your training courses, and explore if there are more cost-effective solutions. For example, open-source learning platforms, or cloud-based infrastructure, could help to reduce your costs whilst ensuring the delivery of high-quality training experiences.
Another way to combat the pressure of increased costs is to build strategic partnerships. Collaborating with industry partners, businesses, or government organisations can help training providers share the costs of curriculum development, infrastructure, and instructor training, thus reducing the financial burden.
Lack of resources
Going hand-in-hand with increasing costs, a lack of resources was the second-highest cited challenge for training providers in 2023, with 41% of respondents noting this as a key pain. This can lead to delays in getting projects completed, causing potential frustration and lower morale in your training teams. A lack of resources is a broad term, but here's the top 3 main challenges we've identified:
- Limited staff: with a smaller team, it can be overwhelming to handle all aspects of a training business, from scheduling sessions to managing administrative tasks. This scarcity of human resources often leads to inefficient processes and delays in delivering quality training experiences.
- Time constraints: being bogged down with time-consuming manual tasks can hinder your ability to focus on strategic planning and business development. Inadequate time management often leads to missed opportunities and an inability to expand your training offerings.
- Insufficient infrastructure: outdated or insufficient infrastructure, such as inadequate training facilities, technology, or equipment, can hamper the effectiveness and scalability of your training programs. Limited resources may limit the number of participants you can accommodate or prevent you from providing the desired learning environment.
What can you do?
Conducting a thorough assessment of your training programs and identifying areas where resources are being underutilised or misallocated can help you streamline operations. By focusing on the most critical aspects of your business and optimising resource allocation accordingly, you can enhance productivity and reduce wastage.
Implementing a robust training management software such as accessplanit can revolutionise the way you operate your business. Our powerful resource management tools help you efficiently schedule trainers, rooms, and equipment, ensuring optimal utilisation of available resources. It streamlines administrative tasks like participant registration, invoicing, and reporting, freeing up your time from mindless admin.
In addition to training management software, leveraging technology in other areas can also alleviate resource challenges. Utilise online learning platforms, webinars, and virtual classrooms to extend your reach and cater to a larger audience. Digital resources such as e-books, videos, and interactive modules can enhance the learning experience while reducing the need for physical materials.
While a lack of resources can present obstacles for training businesses, there are viable solutions to overcome them. Embracing these solutions will not only improve efficiency but also enhance the overall learning experience for your participants, setting your business apart from competitors and fostering long-term success.
Lack of business visibility
Having a deep understanding of your business and its performance is crucial for making informed decisions and driving growth. However, many training providers struggle with a lack of business insight, which can hinder their ability to adapt to changing market dynamics, identify opportunities, and optimise their operations.
Our State of the Training Industry Report 2023 showed that 33% of training providers face a lack of business visibility. Without the necessary tools and systems in place to capture and analyse relevant data, it becomes difficult to gain insights into key performance indicators (KPIs) and track the effectiveness of your training programs. This lack of insight can limit your ability to understand learner preferences, measure training outcomes, and make data-driven decisions to enhance your offerings.
Another obstacle is the limited visibility into the competitive landscape and industry trends. Without a finger on the pulse of the market, training providers may miss out on emerging opportunities or fail to adapt to evolving learner needs. Staying updated on industry trends, competitor offerings, and market demands is vital to remain competitive and ensure the relevance and effectiveness of your training programs.
What can you do?
Implement a systematic approach to gather feedback from learners, trainers, and stakeholders through surveys, assessments, and evaluations. Analysing this feedback can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your training programs, enabling you to refine and improve them based on real-time input.
Invest time in staying up-to-date with industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices in training and development. Engage in industry forums, attend conferences, and participate in webinars to gain insights from experts and peers. By continuously learning and adapting, you can enhance your business insight and ensure that your training offerings remain relevant and effective.
Of course, accessplanit can provide you with valuable insights into your business. With powerful built-in analytics and reporting functionalities that allow you to track anything from learner progress to profitability, and generate data-driven reports. By leveraging such tools, you can gain comprehensive business insight and make informed decisions based on accurate data.
Effective course promotion
Promoting your training courses effectively is key to attracting learners, filling up your classes, and growing your training business. However, many training providers struggle with the challenge of course promotion, often due to limited marketing resources or a lack of effective strategies. Overcoming this hurdle is crucial to increase course enrolments and reach your target audience effectively.
One of the primary challenges in course promotion is a limited marketing budget. Allocating resources for marketing and advertising can be daunting, especially for smaller training providers. However, investing in course promotion is essential to generate visibility and attract potential learners. By leveraging cost-effective strategies and making smart use of your budget, you can effectively promote your courses and maximize your return on investment.
Another obstacle is reaching the right target audience. Without a clear understanding of your ideal learners, it becomes challenging to tailor your marketing messages and select the most effective channels to promote your courses. Identifying your target audience's needs, preferences, and pain points is crucial for crafting compelling marketing campaigns that resonate with them and grab their attention.
What can you do?
A great place to start would be conducting market research to understand their demographics, interests, and learning preferences. Based on this information, develop a targeted marketing strategy that outlines the most effective channels and tactics to reach and engage your ideal learners. This may include digital advertising, social media campaigns, email marketing, content marketing, or partnerships with relevant organizations.
In today's digital age, leveraging online platforms is essential for effective course promotion. Optimise your website and landing pages to showcase your courses, highlighting their unique selling points and benefits. Utilise search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve your visibility in search engine results. Leverage social media platforms to engage with your target audience, share valuable content, and promote your courses. Consider running targeted online advertising campaigns to reach specific demographics and increase course awareness.
You could also encourage course enrolments by offering incentives such as early-bird discounts, limited-time promotions, or bundled packages. Additionally, implement referral programs that incentivise your existing learners or satisfied clients to refer your courses to others. Word-of-mouth recommendations and personal testimonials can be powerful in driving course enrolments.
Lack of time to complete tasks
One of the main reasons training providers struggle with finding the time to complete tasks is poor technology; slow and inefficient systems, outdated computers, and software that lacks necessary features can significantly slow down various tasks, such as course preparation, administrative duties, or communication with learners and clients. Spending excessive time waiting for files to load or struggling with system crashes can lead to wasted time and hinder productivity.
Another obstacle is manual and repetitive processes that could be automated. Many training providers still rely on manual data entry, paper-based record-keeping, and time-consuming administrative tasks that could be streamlined through technology. Without automation, valuable time is wasted on tasks that could be completed more efficiently, such as course registrations, grading, generating reports, or managing learner data.
What can you do?
Start by evaluating your current technology infrastructure and identifying areas that need improvement. Assess hardware, software, and network capabilities to determine where upgrades or replacements are necessary. Consider seeking input from staff members or technology experts to gain insights into specific pain points and potential solutions.
Identify tasks that can be automated and seek out software solutions that can streamline those processes. accessplanit's automation tools allow you to automate repetitive tasks and processes, making everything easier to manage and ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. Rules and triggers automate your time-consuming training tasks including communications, tasks, notes, reminders, surveys and certificate distribution so you can forget about admin and focus on the things that matter. These tools save time, reduce manual errors, and improve overall efficiency.
It's no good introducing new technology and tools to your staff without ensuring they receive proper training and support to use them effectively. From initial introduction and launch through to optimisation, our team of experts will guide you through every step of your journey. And after accessplanit is implemented into your training business, the learning doesn't stop there - we have a whole host of exclusive customer training events to ensure your team stay informed about new releases and best practices that can improve your efficiency and productivity.
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?