5 Tips for your Training Budget

5 Tips for your Training Budget

With the new financial year less than a month away, a lot of organisations are now finalising their 2019/20 budgets (if they haven’t already) or considering how they will deploy the training budget to get the best returns and hit their 2020 goals. Here’s 5 areas to consider when putting together your online training budget for the year to come: 1. Platform Maintenance All platforms will need some form of maintenance over the coming 12 months. This includes your Learning Management System and possibly your website and Student Management System. Whether its software maintenance to keep the platform code in a safe, stable and secure working order or data maintenance to keep your information clean, updated and relevant (or both), make sure you put some budget in there to maintain your existing sites and data. 2. Upgrades and improvements Your platforms should not be set and forget. As business changes there will be opportunities to improve your processes and productivity. Maybe you want to add a new feature or plugin or integrate better with your reporting or financial system. Or maybe even its time to consider refreshing your theme to align with your new website or brand. Allow some budget this year to upgrade and improve. 3. Refresh a Course Just like your platform, your online course should not be set and forget. Its important that you keep your courses fresh and relevant. Just as you might update your PowerPoint deck or classroom notes with new examples or more recent images its important to do the same with your online training content. Set aside some budget this year to...
Whats in the budget for Training Companies?

Whats in the budget for Training Companies?

There’s been lots of talk over the past few weeks about the upcoming budget and what might be in it for training companies. There’s also been a lot of talk on the election, and what both Labour and the Coalition might offer to ‘save’ the VET sector. I’ve got bad news. Neither the budget or the election are going to make much difference to you and your operation. The truth is, whilst governments, policy and funding might change, the good businesses will continue to do well, and the poor businesses will continue to struggle. At OTrain, we get to work with a number of RTO’s and are privileged to have some insight. In the 8+ years we’ve been working in the space, we’ve effectively seen 5 governments (from both sides) and numerous policies and funding priorities. The one thing that has remained true across the entire time is the good businesses continue to do well, and poor businesses continue to struggle. When policy is favourable, the good businesses excel. Sure the poorer businesses have an uplift, but not necessarily enough to make a real difference. Sure they might go ok for a little while, but not sustainably and certainly not for the long term. In 2016, I wrote a blog post called “Hey Chicken Little” Iooking at why some people in the sector were thriving, whilst others were just surviving. In thinking about the budget tonight, and reviewing the previous post, I’m convinced the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the previous post I noted my observations on why the successful businesses continues to do well...
The most important 90 seconds in Online Training

The most important 90 seconds in Online Training

Beginnings are always the hardest. You have to draw people away from what they’re doing and try and hold their attention. Nail it, and the rest is easy. Mess it up, and you may never recover. We all know this from delivering any form of communication; from meetings and marketing material to any level of face to face training. But did you know when it comes to online training, its even more important to nail the first 90 seconds. In a face to face environment you can change your voice, ask a question or run you nails down the blackboard to regain attention, but in an online environment when the message is set, if you haven’t got the first 90 seconds right, you may never recover. And in online training it is about more than an interesting opening line. Or a large loud noise or any of the other traditional methods to grab and hold attention. It’s a formula for success with each piece being equally important. Get it right and you set your students up for success. Get it wrong and you can alienate your students and demoralize their efforts regardless of how good your content and messaging is. So how do you get the first 90 seconds right? It starts with your LMS, and specifically the ease in which your students can find it, login and navigate to the course. Any friction here can leave the students with negative feelings towards the process, your content and your training organisation or department. Once a negative bias is developed, its hard to recover from. Make it easy. Have short...

Interesting Stats from my LinkedIn Account. 2017

About this time last year, I wrote an article sharing the statistics for a LinkedIn experience. Specifically, it was on the number of people who reached out and congratulated me on a work anniversary with OTrain. The general point of the post was how little people were using LinkedIn to grow and leverage their business and I used the actual numbers of my very public, LinkedIn Company event as the source. I got a good response to the first post, so I thought I’d run the numbers again and see if anything has changed in 2017. So to rehash, on October 10 I celebrated 6 years with OTrain. LinkedIn reminded me when I started to see messages appearing in my feed. Again, this year a number of people took time out of their day to send a congratulation message. I am very humbled and appreciative of the thought. Not just because of the marketing experiment its become, but because people took the time to acknowledge our company and the anniversary. So now, 36 hours or so after I received the first notification, here are this years numbers and how they compare: I now have over 5000 contacts – an increase of approximately 100% on last year (2016 = 2500+) Approximately 1 % of the people I’m connected with in total, have sent me a message via LinkedIn to celebrate my anniversary. – a decrease of 50% (2016 = 2%) 84% of this years contacts were the default message – a slight increase on last year (2016 = 78%) 16% of people that messaged, typed something specific or a customised...

Interesting Stats from my LinkedIn Account. 2016

I have nearly 2500 contacts on LinkedIn and this week (according to LinkedIn notifications) I celebrated 5 years in two of my businesses. OTrain, my company that puts training online, and OGroupMGMT my management and consulting company. I only know this because I started to receive messages from my contacts, telling me I was celebrating an anniversary. You might see these notifications come up on your feed regularly. As you would expect, a number of people took time out of their day to send a congratulation message. I am very humbled and appreciative of the thought. We’ve been focused a lot on our Marketing and specifically our use of social media over the past 2 quarters and being a numbers driven individual, I thought it might be interesting to see what some of the statistics are. So now, 36 hours or so after I received the first notification, heres what I found: 2% of the people I’m connected with in total, have sent me a message via LinkedIn. 78% of them, used the default message – Congrats on the anniversary! Hope you’re doing well. 6% of the messages I received had a slight change, such as using my name or making a specific comment about me, or my professional profile as displayed in LinkedIn. 15% of people that messaged, typed something specific or a customised note. 3% of my total contacts took the time to write a personal note. Now as I said above, I appreciate the attention and the though, whether fully typed or the default note, but what I though was really interesting is how this fantastic...
5 Essential Pillars of Growth

5 Essential Pillars of Growth

OTrain is a Queensland based, full service provider of online training solutions working with training organisations just like you. Primarily we do two things. We help put YOUR training online, and we help make YOUR online training work. This includes helping you grow. One of the key things we have found helpful for training organisation’s to organise their growth, is having a model or framework. Having worked with well over 100 training organisations since 2011, and managing more than 700 courses, delivered to 125,000+ students, we’ve identified a framework that we consider to be the 5 Essential Pillars of Growth. Most organisations are great at delivering training, and have the experience and advisors to help maintain currency and compliance, but unfortunately success won’t come by simply providing good training and remaining compliant. It takes more. Sure, current and compliant training is important. Very important. But they are just a ticket to the game. It’s the minimum expectation. If you don’t have good training you should go home now and if you aren’t compliant it won’t be long until you are shut down. But in today’s competitive training environment, to achieve success and sustainable growth, you need more. You need the 5 Essential Pillars of Growth: Pillar 1 is Content You need to have good relevant content. But you’re the subject matter expert, I don’t need to tell you about this. Pillar 2 is Platform You need a good, stable and reliable platform and it needs to be fit for purpose. Not just for delivering training, but for managing enrolments, collecting payment, managing reporting and more. Without a reliable platform...
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