No Image Available

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

Five ways to re-energise your training business


Nip a flagging business in the bud and give yours a boost. Sharon Gaskin says it's time to get strategic.

Over the last few weeks I've been talking to my network of trainers trying to get a feel for how people are faring in the current economic climate. Most people are holding up pretty well but are definitely finding it a lot tougher than in previous years with corporates scaling down their training activity and training companies trimming down their associate contracts.

I've been talking to a mixture of people from freelancers who are just starting out having been made redundant and also trainers who have had successful businesses for years and are now finding the work harder to come by. When you are faced with this situation it's easy to get sucked into all the gloom and doom out there and let negative feelings overwhelm you. Sometimes you can feel so paralysed by the feeling that you must do something that you end up doing nothing at all. Here are some simple steps to get you and our business back on track.

1. Get motivated to change your situation

Resolve to take action. Be positive. OK, so you know things are going to be tough for a while but you also know that this situation won't last for ever. The people who take action now will be the ones who will have the most solid business when we eventually come out of recession.

2. Do an audit of your business

List on a piece of paper or on a spreadsheet every single piece of work that you have done since you set up your business. List client name, nature of the work, the number of days and the value. Once you have done this go back through all the items in turn and ask yourself this simple question: Where did this work come from? This exercise is very useful for three reasons:

  • It gives you an accurate and realistic picture of what marketing methods have really worked for you
  • It identifies what you are good at - we trainers have a tendency to think we aren't very good at marketing. You've now got proof that you are!
  • It identifies the things you must carry on working at to continue to be successful

3. Try something new

There is also an old saying that if you do as you've always done you'll get what you’ve always got. If you're not happy with what you're getting at the moment, maybe now's the time to try out one new approach as well as your tried and tested ones. Think about all the possible marketing methods you could use, for example public speaking, starting your own networking group or building your online presence. Write them all down. Give each one a rating on a scale of one to ten in terms of how happy and confident you feel about using them. It's important to choose something you feel comfortable with, otherwise you'll just feel demotivated before you even start. You also need to feel positive to give yourself the best chance of success.

4. Stay close to your clients

Beware of focusing too much on getting new clients. What about the clients you already have? You already have a relationship with them. They already like you, know and trust you. You are already half way there to your next piece of work. Spend some time thinking about your clients. Who are they? When did you last speak to them? What strategies do you use for continually building and maintaining a relationship with them? Do you stay in regular contact or only make an effort in your quiet times when you are not delivering training? What one thing can you do today to re-ignite your client relationships?

5. Get yourself certified!

As competition for training contracts get tougher it makes sense to consider doing things that are going to differentiate you from the crowd. This is a perfect time for you to get yourself certified or accredited. There are three good reasons to do this:

  • Assurance to any potential client that you are knowledgeable, skilled, competent, professional and credible
  • Increased opportunities - many of the bodies that provide accreditation actively recommend their accredited trainers to organisations looking to purchase training services
  • Improved self confidence that comes from demonstrating and proving your worth

One of the best accreditation schemes for freelance trainers is Certified Learning Practitioner from TrainerBase while The Training Foundation also provides professional development, assessment and certification via the Tap Learning System. If you train in the financial services sector you may want to check out the Financial Services Skills Council Recognised Trainer Scheme or there are a wide range of qualifications available from CIPD from the Certificate in Training Practice to more advanced qualifications in learning and development.

Sharon Gaskin runs The Trainers Training Company which helps freelance trainers to create successful businesses. You can also read her blog here.

No Image Available

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!