Blog Post

Why eLearning is a great option for smaller businesses

I’ve just recently set up a great offer for small business owners who share membership of 4Networking with me, which gives them access to learning on demand, via the Lightning Training eLearning Academy.  I’ve chosen to advertise that on the placemats we use at every meeting, and they have just recently been rolled out across the UK wide network.

I’ve been a bit stunned to have a few people contact me to ask me why I’ve done that.  They’ve questioned if this would be ‘good for my business’, and if I’d thought through the ‘potential impact on my client base’, and, the two best of all ‘that won’t make you any money – had you not thought of that?’, followed by ‘of course you didn’t have to pay for that advert though’.

Well funnily enough, I believe it will be, and yes, I had, and yes, I did.  With real money too.

So I’ll tell you why.

4Networking is a relaxed business networking organisation, with breakfast, lunch & evening meetings running 5 days a week all across the UK.  I run 6 active groups in my region, and have three more ready to launch next year.  Members of 4N already demonstrate they want to invest in the development and growth of their business by paying for membership and meeting fees, and in the 5 years I have been an active member of 4N I have been deliberating how best to offer the great learning that Lightning Training provides to them in a format that works for them.

I’ve tried running public courses in the past, and with some success too, but most business owners who are wearing all the business hats now have little time to spare, let alone a whole day to be away from their business.

Issues I have been asked to help with many times over the years I have been having 1-2-1 business appointments during 4N meetings (3 of them, every time – did you not know that?  how many other networking organisations can guarantee that for each meeting you attend?) by small business owners are:

  • I need help creating & managing invoices
  • I need help to understand how social media could work for me
  • I need help managing my email
  • I need help to understand how to market my business
  • I need help to be a better public speaker
  • I need help understanding how to manage my customers
  • I need help to create more leads for my business
  • I need help writing proposals & tenders
  • I need to create better documents & spreadsheets

Followed by ‘but I don’t have time to take a whole course/only want to learn this bit/am struggling to find an affordable option/need someone to chivvy me along’.

I know that 4N members are committed to their businesses – to developing them and moving them forward – and I wanted to provide a service that would give them access to the skills development they need, when they need it, without being reliant on an open public schedule.

The eLearning Academy at Lightning Training provides an easily accessible, modular, and affordable platform to do just that.  Learning is available anywhere you can access the internet.

It’s not just exclusively for 4N members either – any individual or learning partner can be part of the academy, and many of my learning partners already are – they realise it’s a great way to address a specific need for a smaller amount of people in a short amount of time, and that it complements the instructor led learning I provide in the classroom.

The eLearning courses I offer are not ‘death by PowerPoint’ CBT *shudder* – they are interactive, monitored & time constrained – whether you are simply looking for a single module to show you how to create a pivot table in Excel, or a full online programme to help you become a better public speaker.

But more importantly, to me, doing business well is not always about chasing the money.  It can also be about looking at how what you have can be offered to a wider audience at a price they can afford, without diluting its value or your brand.

So – all you ‘well meaning’ doubters – that’s why.  Go figure.

 

Find out more about 4N here:  www.4networking.biz

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