- You want a competitive advantage
If you’re like most businesses, the difference between what you and your competitors do is minimal, so any competitive advantage you can gain is crucial. When it comes to training your employees in the areas of customer service, sales, or even management and leadership, if you’re buying the same training as your competitors, you’re losing the advantage. Build it instead.
- You have a certain way of doing things
Companies that are serious about their “brand” are successful because of two things: what they do and how they do it. If you have certain ways that you sell to the customer, produce your product, manage your employees, or even answer the phone, then you need to train your employees on these ways – particularly new employees. Because of the unique nature of your processes, building your training will help you better propagate your brand. Many of our franchise and retail clients fall into this category but it’s true of any organization. It’s also true of your technology. If you’ve custom built any of your systems, it’s probably obvious that you should custom build the training for those systems.
- You have a certain way of doing even generic things
You could argue that you should buy generic training like time management, meetings, or presentation skills; and that could be the case unless you have a certain way that you want your employees to manage their time or make presentations or run meetings. If you’re in the latter group, build it. We’re seeing a lot of growth in this area.
- You want to showcase specific examples, case studies or success stories
You’ll often hear that you can buy off-the-shelf training and then “customize” it by adding your specific examples, case studies and success stories. While this might be true, I would argue that if you have specific examples, case studies and success stories, you more than likely have specific processes, and therefor see reason #2 or #3 above.
- You have an overall training strategy
To see a return on your training investment, it’s not wise to throw disparate training at your employees to see what sticks. You have to create an overall training strategy, and this means that all of your offerings under that strategy have to align. It’s much easier to align training you build.
- You want managers to reinforce the training
A common explanation (i.e. excuse) for why training doesn’t always work is that managers don’t reinforce it. Believe it or not, many managers feel undermined by training because they think it contradicts how they do things. By building your training, you can involve the managers, which creates ownership. That way, they are fully committed to reinforcing the training since they approved of it in the first place.
- You want to save money
When it comes to the training cost “per person over time”, believe it or not, building your training can be less expensive than buying it. This is not always true, especially for a smaller company or if you’re only training a few people at one time. However, even if you are training a small number of people each year in perpetuity, building it could still be cheaper.
If your situation meets even one of these criteria, you may want to consider building your training. To truly make the decision between buy and build, you need to compare the cost verses the return on investment (ROI).
The challenge is it’s often difficult to compare “apples to apples”, so you should mandate that potential vendors provide you with details as to the services that are included in their fees.
In our custom training proposals, we provide unit costs, so it’s easier to calculate the total cost if the scope changes. We also provide a “menu” of services so companies can pick and choose.
For an example of unit costing or examples of any of the “build it” training discussed in this article, contact us at www.novitatraining.com
Robert Bilotti is Managing Director of Novita Training, an award-winning employee and franchise training and development firm. Novita works with corporations and franchisors in designing custom-made training programs that increase performance and operational efficiency, decrease costs and boost revenue.Website: novitatraining.com/