Training and Development During an Economic Downturn

When I speak to many of my colleagues who are freelance trainers or run small training organisations they tell me that they are struggling. They all seem to say that most of their clients are slashing training budgets and they seem to say that it’s common for the training budget to go first when things get tough.

But, I have been speaking with my clients about this and in most cases this is not true, or at least they are reducing their budgets, not getting rid of them altogether.

Not to blow my own trumpet, but to date I haven’t struggled. I guess it’s a state of mind and the attitude you take towards the recession or downturn or whatever you want to call it.

I started my business when the recession first hit and my business plan took this into account. I spoke to many organisations as part of my research and this gave me some clear direction on what I needed to do.

I’ve always been a firm believer that any training organisation or trainer should understand exactly what the customer needs and deliver what is required, rather than pitching a range of solutions that they think the customer should have. Let;s be honest, if the customers business is struggling, they won’t want to waste money on training that doesn’t make any difference to them.

Part of my businesses philosophy is to collaborate with clients to clearly understand what they are trying to achieve in any training. Taking base measures, understanding the difference the training needs to make, what results they want to see etc is a key part of ensuring you win work from the reduced budgets that people have.

Presenting or pitching a product that meets their exact needs is key to success, ensuring that you gain business and that is something that has been working for me.

What about you? Have you been struggling to win work or are you winning? Why are you struggling and why are you winning? It would be great to hear your comments.

David Lumley

Managing Director

Revolution Learning and Development Ltd