Hey Chicken Little – the Sky is not falling

Hey Chicken Little – the Sky is not falling

There is a lot of doom and gloom around the training space right now as members of our sector learn to adapt to the new world we operate in. I am an active in a number of LinkedIn and Facebook groups, and barely a day goes by without someone jumping on board and listing yet another RTO that has gone broke, or is laying off staff. People seem to be aghast of the changes taking place and everyone seems concerned about when it will end, or when it will return to normal. “Think of the students” are the cries from industry pundits. I’ve even heard suggestions we should return to the good old days before privatisation where the bulk of VET sector training was delivered by TAFE. I don’t know about you, but for me all these comments are starting to have a bit of a Chicken Little affect. Now sure, I know there are a lot of structural changes taking place out there, and I know for some businesses that weren’t doing the right thing or were marginal in the good times, these changes are causing some grief.  And I am certainly not denying that there are a lot of people out there in pain. But what I am saying is that despite that, there are also a lot of training organisations doing well. At OTrain we host and manage the Learning Management System for about 50 Training organisations, spread throughout Australian and across a range of different sectors. In addition to this we have worked with more than double that number to create specific online training courses and programs...
The Automatic Training Machine

The Automatic Training Machine

Have you every thought how great it would be to have more students than you could handle? Maybe you’ve said out loud it’s the admin, assessments and reporting, stopping you from spending quality time with your students and growing business. Have you ever thought wouldn’t it be great if people found my services, selected my courses, paid by credit card and did my training, all while I was enjoying life from the beach? Maybe you’ve even pondered how good it would be to be in training, if only I didn’t have to deal with the students! If you’ve ever had these or similar thoughts, what you’re really looking for is an Automatic Training Machine. An integrated approach to manage your marketing, sales, enrolment, delivery and assessments, allowing you to focus on what’s really important – student outcomes, your business, and your family. Unfortunately, for most training organisations this is simply a pipedream. Finding new students seems like a dark art. Processing enrolments and collecting payments is a full-time job on its own, and marking assessments, issuing statements and certificates and completing the ever growing amount of paperwork, simply detracts you from delivering the service and training you know you want to. In most cases, we truly do like interacting with our students and we enjoy sharing our knowledge and expertise on our subject matter, but with everything else we’re expected to take care of there simply just isn’t the time. By promoting your courses with a sound marketing plan and a good website, you can attract all the students you can handle. With an integrated shopping cart you can...
What does the Future of Work look like?

What does the Future of Work look like?

We were lucky enough to be invited to attend the RedEye Future of Work Conference in Brisbane this week as an exhibitor and speaker. With the theme obvious, the discussions and information shared was not. Dr Alexandra Bratanova, Research Scientist at Data61 CSIRO, set the stage sharing with us the data that shows how the workforce has changed since the 90’s to now and how these changes are only picking up pace at a rapid rate as we move into the future. Their research identified 6 megatrends that make it very clear, the Future of Work is going to look and feel very different to how we currently work.  The 6 megatrends are; The second half of the chessboard Porous boundaries The era of the entrepreneur Divergent demographics The rising bar Tangible intangibles Out of these 6 megatrends, there were 3 that I felt really stood out for our industry, both in how we create and deliver training and education.  These 3 are; Pourous Boundaries Jobs of the future are likely to be more flexible, agile, networked and connected.  As will training in the future.  Future students will expect to be able to complete their training from wherever and whenever they want to.  It will no longer be a ‘nice to have’ but rather a ‘must have’ Tangible intangibles As we moving into a future of knowledge, employment growth in service industry sectors such as education and health care are likely to continue.  Also set to become increasingly important are service sector jobs requiring social interaction skills and emotional intelligence.  Definitely a big hint as to what kind of...
Grow your business with the OTrain Training Company Growth Model

Grow your business with the OTrain Training Company Growth Model

I’ve been working with training organisations since 2011 and during that time, I’ve found the OTrain Training Company Growth Model, helps to build a scalable, reliable, and predictable business. Now I’m not talking about the legislated required obligations.  It goes without saying that you need to do things right, including your compliance, reporting and hiring obligations. I’m talking more about the organisational model that underpins a great training business. Whilst conditions will change based on economic and governmental priorities, a business with a sound strategic approach should be able to navigate these changes successfully. This is why some business’ seem to go from strength to strength, whilst others fluctuate depending on environmental conditions. I’ve found over the years that the OTrain Training Company Growth Model, applies to all training organisations including internal training departments.  This model can help build sustainability and predictability into your business, despite challenging external factors. Each stage has it’s own strategy and tactics and when applied together real magic happens. So what is this OTrain Training Company Growth Model, and how do they apply to your business? Content: You’ve got to have good content. This should go without saying. But how is your content presented? Is it in a logical order? Is it engaging enough to hold someones attention? Does it cover the right areas to address the assessment questions? Does your content create a change in behaviour? Is your content really presented the best is could be for your audience? Platform: The Platform you select will have a big impact on the attractiveness of your training and ease of use for your students. In an online sense is the platform you’ve selected...

Reflections on Being CEO of a SaaS Business Through Year 4 and 5, $20m+ of Capital Raised, Triple Digit Revenue Growth

From time to time I come across a post that is so good, I have to do more than simply share it via social media. This is such a post. Copied word for word from its original location, in case its taken down or moved, this is an honest reflection from the Founder and CEO of a fast growth company, sharing some of his learnings from the past few years. The original was posted at: http://www.tawheedkader.com/2016/01/reflections-on-being-ceo-of-a-saas-business-through-year-4-and-5-20m-of-capital-raised-triple-digit-revenue-growth/ Enjoy! Shane Reflections on Being CEO of a SaaS Business Through Year 4 and 5, $20m+ of Capital Raised, Triple Digit Revenue Growth In this blog post, I’ll be reflecting on my journey as the Founder & CEO running companyToutApp over the past two years (2014 and 2015). ToutApp was founded in 2011. Over the last two years, we grew ToutApp’s revenues through triple digit growth, grew from being a 7 person company to now going 65-people strong, and also raised nearly $20m+ of venture capital led by Andreessen Horowitz (Series B) andJackson Square Ventures (Series A). We did all this by bringing on 1,000+ customers whose sales teams now run on ToutApp across their SDR, AE and CSM teams. For those of you that haven’t been following my story, in 2010, I quit my 6-figure hedge-fund job to start my own company. In 2011, we incorporated ToutApp and joined the 500Startups Accelerator Program and raised our advisory round from awesome angel investors including Esther Dyson, Eric Ries and others. In 2012, I went beyond being a just a solo-founder and a one man show and started to build out a whole team. Through 2013, we figured out...

Hey RTO – Does your Online Training Make you money?

This is a valid question for most RTO’s. With online training and elearning the fastest growing part of the training sector, its no surprise that most RTO’s have joined the stampede and started to put their training online. In fact, in my day to day conversations with RTO’s around the country, I rarely come across someone who doesn’t have some sort of online component, or hasn’t tried some sort of online delivery for their training content or assessments. What is surprising though, is the number of RTO’s that have online training, that simply doesn’t work. And by doesn’t work I mean DOESNT MAKE MONEY. The whole reason we put training online is to grow our reach and grow our revenue. Regardless of how great your content is, if your training is not delivering a return, its simply not working. So if your online training not making money, here are a few questions to consider in getting your training to work. Content: You’ve got to have good content. This should go without saying. But how is your content presented. Is it logical for an online learning experience. Is it engaging enough to hold someones attention. Does it cover the right areas to address the assessment questions. Does your content create a change in behaviour? Is your content really presented the best is could be for an online audience? Platform: The Platform you select will have a big impact on the attractiveness of your training and ease of use for your students. Is the platform you’ve selected stable? Is it intuitive to a “green” user. Is it responsive and available on most devices and...