Training: It’s About Profits
In the past 5 years, I’ve read about 400 training proposals from businesses. They’ve spanned from the spectacularly creative to the truly terrible. What few businesses realize is that training can have a measurable, meaningful impact on the BOTTOM LINE.
Too often, I’m surprised by business owners who want to do training “to give back to their employees” or because they want to foster “a culture of learning”. While these goals are certainly admirable, they are also auxiliary. Business owners founded a business to make a profit. They stay in business only if they make a profit. Training is valuable because it helps owners do things like cut their costs and expand into new markets.
Below are some of the ways I’ve seen businesses propose to use training. Can you find the ones that will help increase profits?
If these examples give you an idea for boosting sales or cutting costs at your company, pitch us your plan. You might be eligiblefor up to $400,000 in funding. Next step: Complete the first step of the training proposal plan at www.nyc.gov/training.
CASE #1: A producer of all-natural crepes based in Brooklyn wants to train 23 employees in food safety certifications and flash freezing techniques. Once the business achieves these food safety certifications, it can begin selling to large retailers such as Costco and Sam’s Club. When the business implements flash freezing, it will be able to extend the shelf life of its products to 30 days (from 18-20 days).
CASE #2: A Queens-based accounting firm wants to train all 55 of its employees in social media marketing and on-line sales. Training will focus on using personal networks and multiple channels to promote the business’ services. By training all of its employees, the business plans to maximize outreach to generate new customers.
CASE #3: A Brooklyn-based manufacturer of natural beauty products wants to train 17 employees in PowerPoint presentations, diversity, business etiquette, mission-driven performance. The program is projected to result in an increased job satisfaction among trainees, a connection to the sense of organizational mission, and increase sales 30-40% as a result of a stronger commitment on the part of employees.
CASE #4: A Bronx-based manufacturer of HVAC systems wants to train 23 employees, including 7 new hires, in drafting software and welding. Some employees will pursue air balancing certification. The training will allow the business to move in-house a costly function it now pays external consultants to complete.
Quiz: which training proposals are great, and which are not-so-great?
Great: Case #1 and Case # 4 are great. They both include training directly connected to increasing profits.
Not-so-great: Case #2 and Case #3. They lack clear understanding of how training will directly connect to the business bottom line. They might be worthwhile but it is unclear what the ROI is.
Sara Schlossberg is the Executive Director of Training for NYC Business Solutions. In this role, Sara helps New York City businesses become more competitive by improving employee skills and productivity. NYC Business Solutions invests more than $1 million each year in helping businesses train employees.
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