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How to Start a Training Business (How Profitable Is It?)

June 21st 2024
Home > Blog > How to Start a Training Business (How Profitable Is It?)
How to Start a Training Business (How Profitable Is It?)

There has been a huge demand for business training in the last few years, and with 59% of employees admitting that training improves their overall job performance, it’s not difficult to see why. Business training helps develop employees’ existing skills and acquire new ones, and it even contributes to higher employee retention. With the shift to e-learning, it’s never been easier for companies to acquire new skills – or for you to start a training business. Here’s how. 

What is a Training Business?

A training business aims to equip companies, clients, and individuals with specialized knowledge to develop their skills in business-related areas. They use programs and courses that cater to the individual needs of their client, focusing on professional and even personal growth. Some popular niches found within the training business sector include:

  • Business management training – Developing management skills for current and future managers.
  • Business leadership training – Improving leadership skills and qualities within clients.
  • Small business training – Helping small businesses develop.
  • Business storytelling training – Teaching professionals how to communicate better through storytelling.
  • Business communication training – Improving communication skills within businesses.
  • Business strategy training – Helping companies adopt strategies and develop business plans.
  • Business presentation training – Developing skills that will allow employees to present effectively in a corporate setting.

What Does a Training Business Do?

A training business predominantly focuses on career development. As mentioned above, it equips its clients with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in specific areas of business, whether that’s management, leadership, soft skills (such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, etc.,) or another area.

According to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report, 90% of employers are concerned about employee retention. That’s not all – 1 in 10 people say that learning improves their connection to the company. Companies need to invest in career development to retain talent, which is why it comes as no surprise that providing learning opportunities and developing skills is the no.1 retention strategy that companies are turning to. And with the rising trend of e-learning, business skill-based classes are more accessible than ever.

How Much Money Does an Online Training Business Make?

Online training businesses make anything from $100 to six-figure salaries. Much of this depends on your time investment. If you’re creating courses as a side hustle, you can make $5000 to $25000 a year, whereas companies that invest in their online training businesses full-time are likely to make significantly more.

Keep in mind that many different factors may influence how much money you make as a training coach, such as your experience level, your niche, and the size of your client base. As with everything, you cannot expect to make huge salaries when starting as an online business coach. It takes time to build trust, source a client base, and gain the experience you need.

A group of people attending a training session.

Do You Need Training or Certification to Become a Business Trainer?

Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer, a good, reputable business trainer will have a blend of professional expertise, practical experience, and formal credentials or training. If you don’t have one already, consider studying for a Bachelor’s degree in an education or business-related field. From there, you can gain work experience in a department related to your niche. The more experience you have in addition to your degree, the more knowledgeable and trustworthy you will be to potential clients.

How to Become an Online Business Coach

With the online course market growing so rapidly, and on track to reach $319 Billion by 2029, knowing where to start can be a daunting task. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you start  your own training business, and stand out from the crowd.

1. Understand the Market

Understanding the market is essential to starting an effective and profitable training business. Once you understand current trends and demands, you can carve out a gap for your business.

Seek Out Current Trends

The top trends in business training include corporate training, e-learning, and personalized training. Look for other business training programs and note what type of services and training they offer. Research your competitors to identify gaps in the market. Look for niches that are high in demand, such as business intelligence training.

Identify Your Niche

Choose a specialization that aligns with your skills. For example, consider niches like business management training, business leadership training, or business ethics training. 

It’s also important to evaluate the market needs. Conduct interviews or surveys with potential clients to better understand what they’re looking for, as this will help you settle on a niche. Use tools like SurveyMonkey, SmartSurvey, or Typeform to discover which types of training are most in demand. From there, you’ll better understand the most profitable niches and how to use them to start a training business.

Define Your Target Audience

To start a profitable training business, you need to segment your audience. Create segments for small businesses, individual professionals, and corporate clients. From there, create detailed personas for each segment or client type. This will help you understand their preferences and needs, helping you cater to them better.

Identify the specific problems each segment faces, otherwise known as the “pain points.” For example, corporate clients may struggle with management efficiency, whereas small businesses may need guidance on business growth. Your training programs should solve these problems.

Analyze the Competitive Landscape

Before you start a training business, you need to analyze your competitors to give you an idea of what training and services you could offer. 

The first thing you need to do is identify your main competitors. Find similar training businesses and analyze their websites and course offerings to see how you can apply them to your own business. Analyze competitor reviews, as this will give you an idea of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as what customers particularly love about the business. Again, apply this to your own strategy.

By analyzing your competitors, you can also identify your unique selling point (USP). Discover what your competitors are missing, whether that’s specific course material or a certain way of teaching. For example, if they only offer pre-recorded courses, you may choose to offer live support or events to stand out. 

2. Develop Your Training Programs

You can’t start an online business without knowing which training programs to offer your clients. When creating your training programs, use “SMART” goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives. For example, if you’re creating a business leadership training course, one SMART goal could be to improve participants’ leadership skills by 20% within six months. This is a great way to show clients and businesses how they can expect to be successful from your course. You could even offer a money-back guarantee if that objective isn’t met, which will help build trust with new clients and companies.

Design Effective Content

The content you include in your training course should be engaging and interactive to retain participants and appeal to a wide range of your audience. Don’t stick with text – use multimedia elements such as infographics, videos, and interactive modules to showcase your content. For example, you could incorporate case studies and real-life instances to make the material more relatable to your participants, helping them retain the information better and apply it to their own situations.

Develop a Comprehensive Curriculum

Here is a quick guide to help you develop a comprehensive curriculum for your participants:

  • Conduct needs analysis – Identify the potential gaps in your participants’ knowledge. This will help you teach them the skills they need to complete the course.
  • Define learning outcomes – Describe the skills, abilities, and knowledge that participants should be able to master and demonstrate after finishing the course. For example, if you teach leadership skills, one learning outcome could be: “Participants can work with others in a collaborative and effective manner.”
  • Map the content – Design content to ensure participants improve their skill deficiencies and meet the learning objectives. The content should solve the pain points you have already identified.
  • Plan assessments – Assessments come in different forms, such as essays, quizzes, and timed exams. Plan assessments that test the participants on the knowledge they’ll have learned in the course. You can either have them after every module or after the entire course.
A man teaching a group of professionals.

Choose Delivery Methods

When you’re setting up a training business, there are different delivery methods you can offer. Choose the one that works best for you. For example, if you live in a big city and prefer a personal approach, in-person training might be best. But if you would prefer to help people all over the US, consider virtual training.

  • In-person training – If you offer in-person training, it’s important to plan logistics, such as location, materials, and resources. You’ll need to rent a space to act as your classroom, prepare handouts, and design PowerPoint slides to teach your content. Decide how often you plan to offer classes, whether weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.
  • Virtual training – If you’d rather take the virtual approach, film pre-recorded videos in advance. Although this requires a lot of set-up at the start, it means you can focus on other aspects of your business in the future. Or, if you prefer live sessions, you could host live events. Platforms such as Zoom or Teach are perfect for hosting video lessons and live events.
  • Blended learning – If you like the idea of both, combine online and in-person teaching. For example, you could offer online classes for theory and in-person workshops for teaching practical applications or one-to-ones.

Incorporate Engagement Techniques

To engage your students, it’s important to incorporate a range of different techniques and strategies. Use polls and quizzes to keep your participants interested in your content. For example, you could use tools such as Kahoot! for quizzes, which will also serve as a great way to check your students’ progress and whether they understand the content. You can also use “breakout rooms” to divide your classes into smaller groups to discuss or tackle content.

3. Set Up Your Training Business

Legal and Financial Setup

Before you start a training business, consider legal and financial setups. Here are a few steps you need to take.

  • Registering your business – Complete any legal requirements you need to register your company. This includes registering your business with the local authorities and obtaining any licenses you need. You may also need to register your business for tax.
  • Securing funding – Consider funding options such as loans, investors, or grants. You could apply for a small business loan or seek investors interested in the training sector.
  • Manage finances – Set up a budgeting and accounting system, using budgeting software such as QuickBooks. You can also hire an accountant to help manage your finances.

Choose the Right Training Software

Choosing the right software when starting your training business is crucial, as it will impact the quality of your course and your students’ learning. Community platforms such as Teach.io are fantastic for this, as they are specifically designed to help you build and host courses. Teach has a range of tools to help you manage content, schedule live events, encourage engagement, and help your students succeed. Offer one-to-one support with the chat feature and help your students grow.

Start Teach.io’s 14-day free trial now.

A person working on a digital tablet.

4. Build an Online Presence

Building an online presence is essential when starting a training business, particularly online, because it will help you market yourself and sell your programs.

  • Create a professional website – Your website should include a bio that offers information about you as a person, your services, testimonials,  and contact information so clients can reach out.
  • Have active social media profiles – Create profiles on platforms such as X, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and YouTube. Use them to provide more information about your business. Share business tips and techniques, success stories and testimonials, and anything else your audience might want to see.
  • Plan a content strategy – Use a calendar to plan how and when to release content, including posts, videos, and promotional offers for your course and services.
  • Set up a blog – A blog is a great way to showcase your knowledge in your niche and also drive organic traffic to your website.

Engage and Network

When you’re just starting your training business, it’s important to network and get your name out there. Join communities related to your niche. Participating in relevant social media groups will help you share your expertise and build connections, eventually leading to clients. Search LinkedIn or Facebook Groups to find communities in your niche.

You can also build your own X, Facebook, or Instagram community. It’s important to respond to comments and messages you receive. Reply quickly, answering any questions people may have about your programs or even just thanking them for their kind comments. This will show your audience that you care and are willing to engage. Make sure to be friendly, engaging, and approachable. Rude comments or an aloof nature may put people off trying out your training program.

5. Launch and Deliver Your Training Programs

When launching your training business, you need to market yourself. Create a launch campaign to get the word out there. Use PPC ads and industry partnerships to promote your training programs. 

It’s also important to build an email marketing list. According to a SaleCycle survey, a huge 59% of consumers say that marketing emails influence their purchase decisions, with over 50% purchasing from emails at least once a month.

Here are some tips for creating a successful launch campaign:

  • Host a webinar to introduce your training program
  • Offer early-bird discounts and promotions to attract initial clients
  • Partner with influencers in the industry to create a pre-launch buzz
  • Implement a countdown on your website
  • Showcase tips – bite-size versions of what to expect if people sign up

Deliver High-Quality Training

As mentioned before, it’s important to engage your audience during your teaching sessions. Try a wide range of techniques, such as incorporating interactive activities, splitting classes up for group discussions, and utilizing practical exercises and worksheets. 

But it’s not enough to incorporate a range of different activities – it’s important to track what’s working and optimize your lessons. Ask for feedback regularly through surveys, polls, or ask boxes. Use this data to make adjustments to your training content. You can improve your course using direct feedback, from the content itself to delivery methods.

The homepage for Teach.io.

6. Establish an Online Community for Your Clients

With 76% of internet users claiming to participate in an online community, it’s never been more important for businesses to start implementing them and taking advantage of all the benefits they have to offer, including:

  • Improved engagement
  • Increased value for customers
  • Increased brand loyalty
  • Encouragement of brand advocates

There is a range of community platforms you can use to build a thriving community, such as Facebook Groups, Discord, and Teach.io. Each one offers different features, so it’s important to review them carefully to find what’s best for you. For example, Facebook Groups is a great way for your community members to connect, whereas Teach offers you course building and community in one place.

Communities like Teach also allow you to schedule regular Q&A sessions, host live events, and conduct group challenges to create a sense of community and belonging. They also provide a space for your participants to share their progress with each other, ask for advice, and offer support to fellow community members. They may even make lifelong friends. This sense of belonging won’t just enhance retention and customer satisfaction – it’ll turn their time on the program into an unforgettable experience.

You can try Teach.io’s free trial here.

7. Evaluate and Adapt

Once your training business gets off the ground, it’s important to continuously evaluate and adapt. Track your performance by reviewing the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, client satisfaction, and the finances of your business. Be prepared to adapt your business strategies based on changes in the market and the feedback you receive. Implementing changes and optimizing your business is the only way to ensure it will thrive.

Conclusion

Starting a training business, whether online or in person, can be a daunting task. It’s important to understand the market through research, assess your competitors, and create a content plan that addresses all your clients’ worries and pain points. Platforms like Discord or Teach will help you build effective courses that engage and satisfy your audience, helping them master all the skills they need to succeed.

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