While many businesses have seen a sharp downturn in trading and are facing a bleak outlook for the future, one of the exceptions to this is training. With the popularity of online webinars and training courses already established before the pandemic, there was a clear pathway for training providers to take their offerings online during lockdown.
Not only that, but training was given a boost by the number of staff who were furloughed and therefore unable to work. Many people took that as an opportunity to review their career plans and complete some online training to fill in gaps on their CVs or finally get the qualification they haven’t made the time for.
All of this saw the market for training increase dramatically, and the good news for the industry is that this is expected to continue until and beyond, with an expect growth of almost 8% in the next five years.
However, as the graph above shows, that growth isn’t going to be consistent; in fact, following a major peak in 2021 it is expected that growth will slow until 2025. So what do training companies need to consider over the next few years.
There’s no doubt that Brext is going to hit the education and training sectors quite hard. With additional barriers placed in the way of European students studying in the UK we can expect to see a decrease in those markets. Then there is the issue of the trade agreement, which still remains a major talking point even this close to our departure. What impact that might have on training firms is still hard to say; it may make it harder for overseas firms to win business in the UK, but it may also make it harder for UK firms to compete for EU or worldwide business.
According to Ibisworld, the top 5 success factors for training companies are:
- Your reputation
- Having a loyal customer base
- Adapting to new technology
- Client confidentiality
- The ability to work remotely
Any good training company will capture feedback from their participants at the end of the course, but what do you do with that? Other than driving self-improvement, feedback from course participants can be useful for ‘social proof’ to others considering your services. If you don’t already have a strategy for gathering reviews, now is the time to set one up; having positive reviews on Google has a major impact on your place on the results page.
It’s also worth looking at how you support your customers once the course is done. Are you offering them access to any materials that reinforce their learning as an add-on to their materials? Do you follow up automatically for statutory training that needs to be reviewed?
We have all had a crash course in new technologies and remote working in the last six months, but it’s always worth keeping your ear to the ground for new software or ideas that could help you make your training offer more effective or accessible.
As a bid and tender consultancy that works with several training companies, we know that there are great opportunities out there for trainers to secure public sector contracts. The beauty of working with the public sector is their reliability; contracts usually run for a set number of years, often with the possibility of renewal of the service is working well. Winning training tenders can bring much-needed stability in times of uncertainty.
Public sector organisations are also obliged to pay their invoices according to the Prompt Payment Code. While corporate clients might keep you waiting, your public sector invoices must be settled within 30 days.
The government has made a commitment to supporting small businesses, which we anticipate will continue to remain a priority in the aftermath of the pandemic. The target is to spend £1 of every three with Small and Medium Enterprises or SMEs. In addition, local authorities are increasingly looking to keep their spending within their local area as part of a drive towards a circular economy. This means that small, local forms have an advantage when it comes to training tenders.
We Can Help
If the idea of applying for training tenders appeals to you, we can offer you our support, either through training, mentoring, or writing the bid for you. If you’d like to find out more about how we have secured over £200m for our SME clients in the last year, get in touch today.