Over the years, we’ve helped training providers of all sizes take their expertise online for the first time.
We’ve found that, to be successful, it’s just as important to work on integrating your new online product into your day-to-day operations as it is to create a fantastic product for your learners and clients.
There’s a lot to consider when taking your training online. There are the obvious factors like what your training will include, the experience your learners will have and the technology you’ll use to power it. But you also need to think about the changes you’ll make to your existing business to accommodate it.
Not only will this help you maximise your opportunities and minimise any niggles, it’ll also help you ease any growing pains once your online training takes off.
We’ve put together a quick checklist of the preparations you might need to make when adding a new online learning product to your business.
(Don’t be put off by the length of the list! Yes, there’s a lot to think about, but some items will be more relevant to your business than others.)
Naturally, it’s important to prepare your internal team for the change ahead. Ask yourself:
- Do they know the details of your new offering and how it will benefit customers? Whatever their role in the company, they should be able to talk about it with confidence and enthusiasm. Make sure they’ve had the chance to discuss this as a group and experience the new product themselves.
- Do they know how the new product might affect their role and how they can prepare for any adjustments they may need to make? Again, discussing this as a team may be useful for everyone involved!
Any trainers or associates delivering your existing face-to-face courses also need to be able to articulate the benefits of your online product:
- If your new learning product helps to deliver a blended offering (a mix of face-to-face and online training), are they confident in how the two parts will work together, especially if they are delivering some, or all of the training?
- If they are delivering the new online courses, what training and support do they need to do this effectively?
- How can you capture customer feedback on your new product via your tutors? They’re likely to be an important conduit for any comments!
- How does your digital product affect any processes you currently use in the delivery of your training, e.g. assessment or certification? What do you need to adjust to these changes?
Your marketing will play an important part in raising awareness of your product and attracting new customers. Consider:
- What’s your launch strategy? How will you get the word out there? What promotional content do you need? Who can help you with this?
- What will change on your website? It’s likely that you’ll need a dedicated web page for your new online course, but what else does it affect? How will you integrate your new product into your site as a whole?
- How can you measure the impact of your marketing strategy? You may need to set up the necessary tracking in advance to understand if what you’re doing is having the effect you want it to.
- If you choose paid advertising to launch your product, which keywords will you use? Which third parties can promote your new offering?
- Who will update the information about your business on any third party or external websites and when?
Once you’ve chosen the software that will support your online learning product, you’ll need to set up your platform and maintain it. Consider:
- How will your new product work alongside any existing systems or services you use? Do you need to integrate these, or get them working well alongside each other?
- What technical skills do you need? Will you use external providers, recruit specialist talent or train your existing staff to look after the platform?
Finance and business performance
Your business processes may need to be updated to accommodate your online product and measure your return on investment. Ask yourself:
- How will you track the sales you make? Can you build a simple dashboard you can refer to quickly should you need to?
- Do you need to make any changes to other reports as a result of the new product?
- Will taking online payments change anything that your finance team need to be aware of?
- How will you track your cash flow and forecasting?
If you work with any accrediting bodies, resellers or affiliates, you’ll need to consider how your new online product will affect these third parties:
- Will your new product impact any existing accreditations you have? Does it open up any new accreditation opportunities? Will you need to get a separate accreditation for it?
- If third parties help you sell your training products, what information and resources will they need? How will the new product affect their sales strategy?
Finally, we come to your most important consideration: your learners.
- Determine how your online product will affect your existing customers. How will you inform them about the changes?
- Is there an opportunity to upsell the online training to your current clients? How can you get them interested in it before it goes live?
- How can you capture their feedback on the new product? Having a process to record their thoughts on what’s working well and not so well will allow you to make any necessary tweaks quickly.
We hope this checklist has given you some useful pointers to think about as you’re developing your online learning product.
If you’re unsure about any of the considerations above, simply get in touch and we’ll do our best to help!