Part 2: Searching For Training Companies
In the first part of “How To Improve Your External Training Company” we explored how to identify your management training needs. In this next section we share with you how to complete a productive search for suitable training providers:
External Training Companies
Once you have defined your training needs, the next step is to search for an appropriate training provider to meet those needs.
Naturally, your first port of call may be your current training provider – having them fulfil your training needs could be advantageous as they will already have an existing knowledge of your company and trainers may already be known to your staff.
However, even in situations where your company has used a particular training provider for an extended period, it is always a good idea to look elsewhere as other providers may be better equipped to meet your needs and may offer more competitive prices.
Return on Investment
If you want to guarantee the maximum return on your investment in training, you should always be looking at other providers in addition to consulting your current one.
Training Needs and Limitations
Searching for new training providers can sound like a daunting and time consuming process, but it really doesn’t have to be. Before you begin your search, first make sure your needs have been identified and also ensure that you have given due attention to your training limitations; i.e. the restrictions and factors that could make training choices less effective.
Limitations that you need to keep in mind before beginning your search include:
● Formative restrictions. e.g. day courses may not possible in some companies
● Travel restrictions. Has your company banned overnight travel?
● Location restrictions. If your premises are unsuitable for hosting a trainer, you will need to find a provider that has its own or that is willing to travel to a third party location.
Searching For A Training Company
Once you have clarified your needs and your limitations, it’s time to get searching for a provider. Aren’t sure of where to start? Simply Googling “training provider in (insert your area)” can be a good place to begin, or alternatively you can search for a few key terms that you’ve identified from your training needs analysis, e.g. “ACT database training”.
Another effective way to identify the right training provider for your company is to search some of the key training provider directories, such as TrainingZONE, to see what is available. Additionally, you may wish to attend trade fairs where providers will be present, such as the CIPD exhibitions, to discuss your needs face-to-face with potential providers.
External Training Company Recommendations
One final way that you could find a provider is by seeking recommendations from people in your sector. In fact, recommendations and reviews in general are vital for finding the most effective providers; whether you find a potential provider through doing a Google Search, through TrainingZONE, at an event or expo, or through a recommendation from a colleague; you must ensure that you seek out online reviews and client testimonials to get a feel for what people are saying about the quality of your marketing training provider. You don’t want to end up with a provider that promises a lot, but fails to deliver, and testimonials are the surest way to safeguard your return on investment. Always remember that colourful brochures prove nothing when it comes to looking for a training provider; recommendations and client testimonials really will be the most important tool that you can use in this process.
Read more in Part 3 of How To Improve Your Training Provider
by Carl Duncker