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Bespoke training in Sussex – The pros and cons of customised training and how to choose your training provider.

Bespoke training in Sussex – The pros and cons of customised training and how to choose your training provider.

If you’re looking for a bespoke training package that can be delivered at your offices, then you’re probably looking for a provider that is reasonably local!

That’s usually a good move. All training providers will factor in travel expenses and tailor the cost accordingly. Therefore, going with a Sussex option means you’ll get the best rates possible.

It can be tricky finding exactly the right provider and getting exactly the right training for your business needs.

I’ve written this article to help Leaders in Sussex find the right options for them. I’ll be exploring the advantages and disadvantages of bespoke training and also how to choose the right Sussex training provider.

It’s easy to talk about the reasons for bespoke training because we provide this service and help businesses develop their people time and time again. However, I feel like it’s important to cover the pit falls and why it may not be right for you so that you can make a fully informed decision either way.

Man leading a company meeting

Advantages of bespoke training

The most advantageous aspect of bespoke training is the fact that it’s designed for your requirements.

You might be thinking that’s pretty obvious! However, there are different levels of bespoke.

Sometimes bespoke means just focusing on one specific subject, such as customer service training or sales training.

Sometimes it means being an extension of your business, digging deep into the challenges your whole team faces. They’ll consult with you to establish the areas which will have the greatest return on investment so that they can design something exclusive and guarantee results.

The more bespoke you go, the more likely it is that your training solution delivers everything you want and more.

If we compare this to an off the shelf training course, you can be sure to get a better return on investment with bespoke. In the training course you send your employees to, there are a mixed range of attendees, all with different challenges. The training is led to work with the group needs, not just your needs.

Now that doesn’t mean that training courses already designed do not add value because they absolutely do. As long as you find a good course and trainer, of course.

The reality is though, that off the shelf courses have not been put together to address your specific business aims. That in itself means that it’ll be less effective than bespoke training.

During bespoke training, 100% of the content will be tailored to your business needs. All of the practical tasks will be based on what will have the most impact on your bottom line.

The training will develop your culture, your key messages, and engage the people with your business. The training provider should work as an extension of your team.

Here are some other reasons why many businesses choose bespoke training:

  • Keeps the control and the power with them to have input into what they’re paying for
  • Directly tackles relevant areas of focus
  • Supports business plans and can be chosen to help achieve a specific people goal
  • They don’t have to pay for travel for several employees
  • The whole team gets the knowledge at the same time and can support and encourage each other
  • It’s good for team building
  • Engages employees more effectively because it’s relevant
  • If you have the training on site then you save the money that would be charged for the venue
  • Employees are not mingling with people from other companies which may make them curious about other job opportunities

I could spend ages listing the advantages of bespoke training! However, there are disadvantages too and it’s important that you know them.

Young colleagues discussing work over one persons desk collaborating together

Disadvantages of bespoke training

It can be such an appealing prospect to get a course designed exclusively for your needs. It’s easy to overlook some of the disadvantages.

So here are some of the less attractive aspects of bespoke training for you to bear in mind:

  • Something exclusive will ALWAYS cost more

However, just because it costs more, is bespoke training expensive? It really depends on a number of factors, which is mainly down to your own business circumstance and what you want out of the training.

Why does bespoke training cost more?

The training provider has to spend time designing the workbooks, materials, the learning methods, the presentations, and every aspect of what they train. It all has to be tailored to you and therefore there is planning and preparation time which needs to be covered by the cost. There may also be their travel costs if you’re booking a provider that’s based out of your area.

They’re not just delivering something they’ve gone over a hundred times. They’re delivering on a completely exclusive course for you and your people.

In any industry, exclusivity always pushes up the price, doesn’t it?

So when I say we don’t consider bespoke training all that expensive, we’re really talking about the value it provides in comparison to the true cost. What’s more important to you, paying less and your employees take away a couple tips that might help them get an extra sale or two a month, or paying more and guaranteeing that 100% of the content supports your aims and business, with an unlimited level of improvement for your team.

Of course, this level of customisation also comes at the cost of time. Any good provider who designs your training will seek your input to understand exactly what you want out of the training and what learning outcomes you’re looking for. If you don’t have the time for this, it may be a better option to send your employees on a pre-designed course or wait till you have the time to invest.

This next point could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your needs, but bespoke training allows for your team to be together.

Some of your employees might like that. It’s great for team building when done well. However, some employees look forward to a day out of the office and be separate from their immediate team for a while. It can feel more special and exciting for them. Of course that’s more down to the training provider you choose – it’s their job to make the training engaging and exciting for everyone, bespoke or not.

There’s no right or wrong answer here, because it depends on your budget and preferences. It may be that you find an off the shelf solution that’s perfect for what you’re looking for and that will give you just as good of an ROI as a bespoke solution. It also provides a great opportunity for your employees to network with other like-minded people as most off the shelf solutions have multiple businesses being trained together. This could be a great opportunity to raise the profile of your business with your team acting as ambassadors.

I would never presume to say what’s right or wrong for your business without having a consultation with you specifically. Only you know whether you would prefer to send your employees on a course that’s covering some valuable topics or if you would like to ensure that the whole course reflects your aims and vision. There is no right or wrong.

Whichever way you choose – you should always factor in what qualifications your team will get and whether it’s important they gain an accreditation or not.

For example, training providers with CPD accreditations will have pre-designed courses approved by the CPD standards office. Not every course they design will have CPD accreditation as it takes a fair amount of time to be assessed and signed-off, as it’s all done on an individual basis. So, just because it’s bespoke and they’re accredited, it doesn’t mean you’ll gain the CPD points.

People discussing work with their manager

Sussex training providers: how to choose the right one

There are literally dozens of training providers throughout Sussex. It can be tricky finding the right one.

The first step is to check out their subjects – particularly ones they say they’re experts in.

If you want health and safety training, don’t go for someone who doesn’t specifically mention health and safety on their website.

We could train on health and safety, however we don’t mention it on our website because it’s not what we’re best at. We’d always recommend going to someone who’s an expert or specialise in what you need.

You should always choose a company that reflects care for your business results and sticks with specific subject areas. Check out what assurances they’ll give you about the quality of the training.

Look for a training provider you can trust. One that tells you the honest truth and cares about giving you good advice.

You’re trusting them with your people and putting your employee’s development in their hands. You need to trust them. So I would always recommend going for a company that asks good questions during the consultation phase that shows care for your business and your investment.

In fact, I’d say this was the most crucial point of all.

How can a training provider know that they’re exactly right for you if they don’t ask good questions?

I’ve turned down many work opportunities because although I could do it, I didn’t think I was the best person for the job and I’ve passed them on to other providers. It’s my belief that if you’re honest and have integrity in what you do, people will remember you for it.

Clients that I’ve turned down initially have come back to me just because they felt that I cared enough and understood what was important by giving honest advice.

When you make contact with a training provider and all they talk about is what they can do for you, it may not be the right choice. Look for a training provider that will ask you deep, meaningful questions about your business so that they can get a real insight into what you need. They should guide you thoughtfully and accurately to the right training path.

Of course there are many other factors you should be taking into consideration, however everyone has a different strategy to how they find the right product or service for you.

Interviewer shaking interviewees hand and smiling

I hope you’ve found it useful to weigh up the pros and cons and I wish you every success in finding exactly the right training provider for your business. If you have any further questions about training or how to find the right training I’m more than happy to help. You can email me on natalie@podhr.co.uk or send us a message below!

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