Author Profile Picture

Stuart Banbery

Interactive Software


Read more from Stuart Banbery

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Do more with less: Train smarter not harder (Part 1)


Owners, MD’s and Marketing Managers at training companies regularly tell me they are constantly under pressure to “do more with less”, having to come up with new and innovative ways to deliver training and grow their business.

Client budgets are being squeezed, saturation amongst training providers is high and operating costs continue to climb.

Despite these challenging conditions, business change and growth still needs to occur – CEO’s are now looking to Directors and Managers to be the catalyst for this change.

Some of the best marketing activities I’ve seen executed by training providers haven’t cost a lot of money. Of course there is the labour involved, that certainly is a real cost. But, if you offer a great training service, have a strong team around you that are open to new ways of doing things – you’re halfway there. Add to this the implementation of some simple marketing tactics and your business will grow - maybe not as fast as you might want it to, but it will grow.

Adding sound marketing practices to an already solid product, effective sales approach and organized business infrastructure, can be like lighting the blue touch paper on Bonfire Night.

Based on interactions with our portfolio of ambitious training company clients, we’ve identified the top 10 ways they are competing, developing and growing their business. As the first in a three-part series, here are the first 3;

1.Plan, plan and then plan some more

To develop an effective and achievable marketing strategy you must immerse yourself in your business, sector and competitors. What are the key trends and drivers? What are your clients’ pains and needs? What are your competitors’ offerings and what are their strengths and weaknesses? Read as many independent sector reports as you can, identify the direction of travel for the industry and orientate your business accordingly.

Develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed) goals for your business. From this you can then develop a marketing strategy which will help you achieve your goals, and then marketing tactics which will help you achieve your strategy.

2.So what’s so special and about you?

Spend time developing your unique business value proposition and market position. I can’t say enough about the importance of spending quality time crystallizing your business value proposition. Consider where you can achieve a competitive advantage over other training providers? What do you current customers value about you? Is there a gap in the market you can exploit and achieve a unique position?

It’s time consuming, but it’s your marketing foundation. Everything else you do will ultimately lead back to this - and will benefit if you get this right. When you finish this, you will be able to clearly and succinctly communicate the value of buying your product and why it’s clear that prospects should buy from you.

3.Bad news travels faster than good

A large percentage of every training purchase is in some way influenced by a referral. Before people buy training they will talk to someone who has already experienced that training. This means that your customers need to be leaving your courses with a positive impression. Good customer communications, effective feedback and evaluation tools and a quick and simple booking process will help ensure your happy customers pass your name on to colleagues and peers. Consider, do your customers blog about their experiences? Are there independent websites that review courses?

Implementing effective training management software and robust processes can deliver a huge return on your time and investment. You should look at every new customer as a foothold into the company they work for and their network of colleagues.

I hope you’ve found the first part of this series useful, the main takeaway here is that, with the right tools, software and strategy, there are a lot of things you can do to grow and change your training business for the better. So, work your way through this checklist and see which you are doing, could do, or can be doing better.

Look upon challenging conditions and increased competition as a driver for innovation and an opportunity for change, helping you and your team find new, and better ways to run and grow your training business.

Look out for Part 2 later this month…

Developed in collaboration with leading L&D partners and fully-accredited by the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI), ATMS (Achiever Training Management Software) is a robust, powerful and scalable solution for the training provision sector. ATMS utilises the latest technology to enable training providers to drive profits through communications and conversion, reduce costs through automation and visibility, and manage courses and customer experience across multiple touch-points.

Author Profile Picture
Stuart Banbery


Read more from Stuart Banbery

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!