How to Decide What Small Business Training to Take

small business trainingAs a business owner, especially one who spends lots of time online, it can be easy to want to take every small business training course that you come across.

They all sound so great and you just know that this is the one course that will make your business a success.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but most of those classes are not what you need to be successful.

In fact most of us don’t actually finish the ones we buy!

So how do you decide what training courses and quality management systems like are worth the money and which ones you should skip?

Here is the process that I go though to decide if I should buy a course.

Create a Business Plan

Why is this the first step?  Because without knowing where you want to go how do you even know what training you need?  Buying training just because it sounds neat with no plan on how it fits into your business is a great way to waste money.

Sit down and map out what your goals are and how you are going to achieve them in the next year.

If a year is too much or too overwhelming start with three months, the important thing is to set goals with financial targets so you know exactly what you need.

Determine Where You Have a Skill Gap

Once you know what your goals are you can determine where you will need help completing your tasks to achieve those goals.

For example, if you decide that you are going to grow your Facebook page, but you know nothing about how to do this then that is on your skill gap list.

Some more examples to get your creative juices flowing include creating graphics, writing, lead generation or setting up Salesforce.

What Classes Do You Already Have

Next create a list of classes that you already own and have access to.

Then decide if any of those classes fit what you need on your skill gap list.  If you already own the class and you just are not implementing it or have not taken it yet, then use that class instead of paying for a new one.

Should You Learn this or Outsource

Another option you should consider for filling your gap is if it is better for you to outsource or learn how to do it.

For example, I hit a point where I was spending too much time editing videos – and they were not even very good when I did!  Thus I needed to decide if it was something I wanted to take a class on or outsource.  Since it is not my area of expertise and should not be what I am spending my time on, I decided to outsource instead of spending time and money on a class.

After You Decide You Need a Class Ask These Questions

  • Is it in my budget for education?
  • Look for testimonials – go beyond the ones advertised on the sales page, ask your friends or others on social media if they have taken it.  If you are using the testimonials on the page, look to see if it is really for the product being sold or if it is an old one being recirculated.  If it is a new course, then you can go on the reputation of the person or company teaching it.
  • Review the curriculum and make sure it covers what you need at the level you need it.  I for one have taken too many introductory courses when I was way beyond beginner.  Don’t waste money on what you already know.
  • Sleep on it – don’t impulse buy a course that you just finished reading the sales page for.  Especially if it is hot in social media – let your emotions calm down and take your time to make the right decision for you and your business.  This is also a big one if it a time sensitive class – it is way to easy to jump in because we are afraid we are going to miss out.  Remember there is always another class or another time to do it.  (This is one reason I prefer available all the time and permanent access to it classes!)
  • Is this something you would be better off getting one on one help with?  For example, if you are prepping for a big speech and are scared of public speaking it might be better to hire a speech coach then to take a class.  They can help you not only with your speech, but tools to get over the stage fright.

Investing in your small business training is important for its continued growth.  Just make sure you are buying the right course for your business, otherwise it is just wasted money.