IT Training Business Plan
There is great demand for IT training across the world. Most people find it very difficult to learn a software package from reading a manual therefore there is great scope to create courses to teach people to understand a particular piece of software. As an IT training company you should undertake the planning and running of courses associated with popular or specialist computer packages.
You can also sell the software, and offer updates and technical support contracts.
Your IT Training Business will grow quickly through solid customer service, a great IT Training Business Plan, proven competitive strategies, and a group of people that bring dynamic energy to the IT Training Business and the sales process.
Software trainers undertake the planning and running of courses associated with popular or specialist computer packages. Specialist training will focus on a more limited range of software, often dealing in just one package. Trainers may also sell the software, and offer updates and technical support contracts.
The increasing prevalence of computers in all areas of business has led to a need for more people than ever to be computer literate. While many companies have in-house training, the general trend towards outsourcing non-core tasks means that hiring external providers is popular.
At present, direct training remains the most popular learning method, but distance learning (by Internet link, CD-ROM package, etc) looks likely to become more widespread although the slow down in new software releases, has affected the market for training to a certain extent.
Popular courses offered will cover areas such as MSOffice, design packages and the Internet using software such as Access, PowerPoint and Windows. There has been a move towards network training as systems management becomes increasingly relevant. Most training centers offer a variety of courses on these areas ranging from beginner to advanced. They may run from one to five days intensively, or over a period of months for a couple of hours a week. Courses can cost from $300-$1,000 per day, depending on the number of trainees, the length of the course and how specialist the software is. All-day courses usually include a catered lunch. The software trainer may offer training at their own or the client’s premises; most offer both options.
The Government has poured billions of dollars into expanding the reach of the Internet, and nearly 98 percent of American homes now have access to some form of high-speed broadband. But tens of millions of people are still on the sidelines of the digital revolution.
Administration officials and policy experts say they are increasingly concerned that a significant portion of the population, around 60 million people, is shut off from jobs, government services, health care and education, and that the social and economic effects of that gap are looming larger. Persistent digital inequality ó caused by the inability to afford Internet service, lack of interest or a lack of computer literacy ó is also deepening racial and economic disparities in the United States, experts say.
There will always be some level of skills gap as new software and hardware is developed, so training needs should be fairly consistent. As large companies often require nationwide contracts, these are likely to be inappropriate for a newly established training venture. Hence, small to medium sized businesses will form the initial client base. Clients will often have a variety of existing computer skills, and courses will have to be targeted and flexible accordingly. For example, in an office or educational environment most training will be in word processing, databases or spreadsheets, whereas a publishing business may be interested in DTP. Specialist training should be carefully targeted and the customer base will depend on the kind of software used, e.g. accountancy packages, engineering software, design. Classes should be offered for both individuals and small groups. Tailor-made courses will be needed to compete with in-house company training. Some clients will be private individuals wishing to expand existing skills. This could be a desire to update knowledge or skills, or could be part of a training venture for the unemployed.
Software training is an extremely competitive area. Software giants such as Microsoft, Apple Macintosh and Novell offer accredited courses at many centers throughout the country. A number of courses will be administered by computer trade associations. While offering popular courses will widen the potential customer base, it will also increase the scope of the competition. Specialist training will cover a smaller but possibly more lucrative market; competition will come from businesses who sell the software (who usually offer support and training) and similar training organizations. Locally, competition will come from other software trainers in the area, universities and colleges. Some deliver training directly, others contract out to local training providers. However, some education centers subcontract training to individual software trainers, allowing firms to work together. Further competition will come from businesses with in-house training facilities and from distance learning or easy to use tutorial packages.
An IT trainer is an instructor who specializes in teaching others about computer hardware and software and how they complement each other. He is generally expected to explain how computers work in easily understood terms. A competent IT trainer is normally required to impart his students with enough knowledge about computers to comfortably use them for personal and light business applications.
A person in this position may work for a large or small college, school or university. He may also be hired by a company or organization to work in-house to train employees in systems and software used in the firmís daily business operations. Regardless of the environment, his students traditionally gather in a lab environment where each has a computer to help them learn through hands-on experience.
The hardware education provided by an IT trainer generally focuses on the most basic features of a computer and how to use them. This normally includes instruction on the use of the mouse, keyboard, monitor, audio speakers and disk drives. The teaching may also cover the operation of peripherals, such as printers or scanners.
Software training is normally more challenging for the teacher since it requires educating students on intangible concepts and applications used to create documents, spreadsheets and graphics. He is frequently required to give individual instruction to some students who are totally unfamiliar with computers. His ability to communicate complex techniques in simple, easily understandable terms is often crucial to his success.
Benefits of Training
Training can benefit both the individual and the organization. The following may be some of the benefits associated with training:
- Competence levels improve and time taken to learn new tasks is reduced.
- Job satisfaction, morale and motivation can increase.
- Group training helps to develop team spirit.
- Job flexibility increases, e.g. covering for absent colleagues at busy times.
- Investment in training may add a competitive edge to the business. If appropriate, staff qualifications can be cited in advertising material.
- Quality improves and wastage normally reduces.
- Receptiveness to new technology increases.
- It is often cheaper to train existing staff than to recruit pre-trained staff (depending upon the task).
- Good standards of staff training normally encourage staff to stay and talented people to apply for vacancies.
- Training can help to improve career development options for staff within the business.
- Better trained staff normally improves customer service.
Your mission is to serve individuals, small business and corporate clients that are in need of computer training and to provide high value IT services to corporate organizations and professionals in the world. Your services should encompass instructor led and web based training, educational material and the provision of qualified IT Staff.
You should deliver product innovations and win market-share continuously.
Achievement is through a dynamic internal culture engaged in creating, applying and improving known best practice methods; consistently achieving business excellence.
Your IT Training Business will implement and clearly communicate a performance review policy that applies to those at the bottom as well as the top of the leadership ladder. Credit will be given to the person who performed and / or innovatively modified a project, and compensation will be both financial and in the form of commendation.
Your business should respect the needs and expectations of its employees and clients. If either is compromised, adjustments will be made so that the company culture may remain intact.
To plan a successful training session, a number of points will need to be established. These may include the following.
- Why is training required? - Training is often a solution to problems within the organization. It usually aims to help individuals or groups to acquire skills which will help them in their current and future roles. The need for training is often identified as a response to a drop in performance or to external pressures (legal, professional, etc), as a way of increasing job satisfaction, or to deal with an increase in responsibility. Within the planning process, it is important to consider whether training is the best solution to the problem. The suitability of the training in terms of staff time and expenditure also needs to be considered, especially if the business is fairly small. The session could be part of a wider training program. If so, it will be necessary to work out exactly how it should fit in with the other sessions held.
- Budget and Resources - The planning of the session will depend on available resources and funds. Consideration needs to be given to the suitability of resources for the training. For example, video equipment should not be used just because it is available, but a decision should be made on how appropriate it is for the business’ purposes. Alternatively, if particular equipment is vital to effective training, every effort should be made to obtain it. If the training is ineffective because of problems with resources, the business will not only lose out financially, it will also be a waste of time and may affect staff development and morale.
- Planning - Planning should take place well in advance of the actual session. It is recommended that sessions are timed to take into consideration other organizational responsibilities. It is usually best to avoid training around Christmas or the summer when more staff will be taking annual leave. Important business deadlines should also be considered - staff will not be available for training at these times.
The keys to success will be:
- To maintain client satisfaction.
- To keep overhead low.
- To ensure professional marketing and presentation of services.
- To provide an active and functional website.
Writing An IT Training Business Plan
Writing An IT Training Business Plan
There are a number of conditions critical to successfully building a powerful, executable IT Training Business Plan. You must:
- Simplify definitions and use words in plain business language.
- Clearly demonstrate the relationships among planning elements.
- Successfully link the connections between your strategic,
operational, organizational, resources, and contingency
- Incorporate all functions into a single IT Training Business Planning model.
- Achieve total employee involvement by taking the IT Training Business Plan to all levels.
You must be able to present that simplicity and complexity simultaneously. The picture you create must encompass both the short- and long-term views. It must be strategic yet contain details of the daily requirements. The concept must include verification of where you are today as well as documentation of where you intend to take the IT Training Business. Finally, it must serve as a reference tool for your employees and management as they conduct business.
To succeed in any IT Training Business you will need to have a thorough understanding of your target market, including its size and the share you hope you can realistically achieve. Once you have developed a clear understanding of your market in terms of size, location, groups of potential customers and their profiles, potential competitors, trends and influencing factors, it's easier to define your overall marketing strategy clearly. You can break this down into objectives and targets relating to the volume and share of the market (or market segments) you hope to achieve and when you intend to achieve them.
- Who are your initial marketing targets (specific groups or market segments)?
- What products, services or particular deals will you offer to them?
- What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and how does this differentiate you from your competitors?
- Is there a specific volume, value or share of these markets that you hope to achieve?
- When do you hope to achieve these targets by?
- Why are you choosing these markets first?
- Who will you target next, for instance in six months' or a year's time?
An IT Training Business Plan should look at each of the important areas and have realistic objectives for the short, medium, or long term. Looking at the prices of your products should take into account both consumers and competitors products. Looking at the locations of your products should take into account where the product is sold as well as the distribution methods used to get there. You should firmly know the unique selling points of your IT Training Business and its products.
Sales of one product may help increase sales of another product; you should look at how this can be achieved. If your product is seasonal, look at introducing a new or modified product to sell during the slower months. Both the budgets and message of your advertising and public relations should be reviewed regularly to ensure best results.
Word of mouth is free marketing! Look at how you can encourage it. Special offers and competitions can increase interest in your product and convert possible buyers into sales. Look at how you can maximise this. In a SWOT, Strengths and Weaknesses are internal, while Opportunities and Threats are external. Each point should be written down briefly to provide a quick overview of the status of your business and its market(s).
Your IT Training Business Plan should have a timescale relevant to the nature of your IT Training Business, although different areas of the IT Training Business Plan may have different timescales.
IT Training Business Plan
IT Training Business Plan
In writing your IT Training Business Plan, you will start, of course with a brief history of your IT Training Business, what it has done, what it is doing, the difficulties it has faced and overcome, and the problems and opportunities it now has to solve or exploit and for which the money is needed. A brief schedule of the turnover and profits of the past few years will refer to fuller accounts and balance sheets in your appendix.
Although you have established that you have a satisfactory market, you still have to convince your reader that the market is big enough to absorb the products of your expansion or that the new markets you hope to penetrate will be receptive to your goods or services. As you will have been listening to your customers’ feed back of comment and continuing your market research and exploration, this should not be too difficult.
The section on management is another matter. When you wrote your first or start-up IT Training Business Plan, you had to sell yourself as a manager, and personal details mattered. Now you have proved yourself, at least as far as running your IT Training Business at its present size is concerned. However, on the assumption that you are requiring finance for a significant increase in output, your IT Training Business will be seen as about to enter a new phase, in which the old patterns and methods of management may well have to change.
For example, if there was a shortfall of cash, you could draw out less for yourself for a week or two, postpone the odd payment or ring up a big debtor and cajole a payment out of him or her. As your IT Training Business gets bigger, this style of ‘crisis management’ just will not work as it did.
Great IT Training Businesses don't just happen!
They were planned that way.
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