I’m not great at relaxing, I never have been – relaxing for me is planned downtime, it’s where I’m consciously not doing anything, which in itself, is doing something.
In my spare time I like to do bits and bobs around the house. I’m a keen Try-It-Yourself kind of person who, when stuck, hires or screams for help from professionals – this has all culminated in my house going on the market and us moving to pastures new (albeit still in Cheltenham).
Over the last few weeks, with the impending doom of last minute viewings, my partner Simon and I decided to get a cleaner. This isn’t a decision we’ve taken lightly. My mother is the type of woman who does a deep ‘spring clean’ EVERY WEEKEND. In the time I was with her on Saturday, she had cleaned the house, including the oven, kitchen cupboards, drawers, fridge and made me dinner (thanks mum!) – She’s pretty horrified that we don’t share her enjoyment of all things bleached and sparkly.
The truth is my house isn’t dirty, it’s not really untidy; I just don’t enjoy it – and I have other things I deem more important.
The new cleaner, Mandy is doing such a good job it’s made me think… Why stop there?! I don’t really enjoy the mowing or cleaning the windows, and both of those jobs are pretty easy to outsource to professionals who are much better equipped at doing them than I am.
A similar thing happened recently at ES, my trusted long-time colleague and marketing right-hand-woman Alex left – she’s moved back up north to be with her lovely bloke Scott to embark on her next life chapter. Instead of trying to replace Alex, we instead enlisted the services of 10yetis and now I get 3 efficient lovely girls (Sam, Kalli and Helen) for my one (still much missed) Alex – which has increased our marketing activity and results significantly. We now have a PR and social media machine; and the team are doing a wonderful job of helping to launch the new ES product – VITAL (based around Nurse & Midwife Revalidation).
I’m often having conversations with training providers who are at a crossroads with sales and internal capacity – growing sales is brilliant but then they need to cope with the increase in enquiries, joining instructions, reminders, instructor communication, evaluations, cancellations, sending pre-course reading…the list goes on.
Recruiting staff comes with a cost in its own right. That’s before you factor in holiday allowance, sickness and other perks. I’m not saying that businesses need to get rid of their headcount, what I’m saying is outsource the tasks that can be automated; this will increase efficiency while helping customer engagement and ultimately reduce the amount of tedious data entry jobs. Nobody loves entering booking after booking into spreadsheets all day! Then there are the reports…
A Training Administration System, TAS, should be scalable; growing with your business, integrating with your systems and ultimately being a very efficient virtual employee. It should be as necessary as your finance system; it should act as your CRM and hold hands with your website.
The Feature List should be continually growing as the training market changes; it should be adaptable and configurable (switching features on and off is so important for accessibility!) but standard enough to be easily supported if something goes wrong. Training administration shouldn’t just be done by a group of individuals manually sending forms and then adding these to spreadsheets – it should be automated and reportable.
I know, subtle as a brick! But now is the perfect time to review your training booking system. Pop over to the case studies page at ES and read how our customers are increasing sales while showing real financial return.
You’ll soon realise, as much as I did, how a little help here and there with the right systems and people in place can add real benefit.
*Please note, the training administration system doesn’t clean houses, mow lawns or wash windows!
Mark Baldwin, Sales and Marketing Manager. Follow me on Twitter @enterprisestudy
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