One thing we’re super passionate about at Administrate is making sure our customers are as efficient as possible. We love making sure you’re never wasting time on pointless tasks, and we want to make sure your training runs super smoothly.
Today we’re going to look at our top time-saving techniques for training companies, so you can hopefully spot any problem areas you may have within your business and learn how to tackle them!
Why You Should Invest in Saving Time
So why is it so important to look at how you can save time as a training company? As the old saying goes “time is money” and this is something that is super important to always keep at the front of your mind whenever you are spending time on a task.
Time spent on manual processes or unproductive meetings is basically money wasted. The people that you have completing those tasks and in those meetings, that need to be doing other jobs elsewhere, leads to a lot of money and time wasted for each person involved in those needless tasks.
The odd manual task or unnecessary meeting may not seem like a big deal, but these can quickly add up, especially if multiple team members are involved every time, and can affect your business in several negative ways:
Less Time to Spend on Training
As a training business, your main aim every day is obviously to deliver as much quality training to your customers as possible. You want to deliver lots of training to lots of students and ensure that they will come back to you for their training needs in the future.
If you're spending lots of time on admin and meetings, that's time you could be spending on delivering training!
Smaller Training Offering
If your staff are spending a large chunk of their time on tasks that could be handled automatically by software or sitting in meetings that could have been cleared up within a couple of emails, it means you’ll have less free time as a business in which to actually offer training to your students.
A lowered time capacity means you won’t be able to offer as many training courses as you might be able to otherwise. This means fewer students are coming through your business, which also means you’re bringing in less revenue!
Less Time for Planning and Analyse
Taking some time to reflect on your training offering and plan your strategy for growing your business for the future is a hugely important task for a training company, but if you’re already feeling overloaded with lots of other tasks, this could be one of the first things that starts to slip.
Time Spent vs Revenue Growth
The main thing you want to keep at the front of your mind is as you grow your business, the time you spend growing should not increase no matter how big you get! Your ideal situation would be to spend the same amount of time growing your business, no matter the size, and then sitting back and watching your revenue grow!
You’ve got to put a cap on the time you’re spending on manual processes, internal training, and meetings, and then hopefully you can maintain that time cap as you go on, but see your revenue continue to grow!
There’s a series of tools you can use to ensure you increase revenue without spending any more time (which we'll talk more about at the end of this blog post), and also without hiring a lot more people, as this can be a common assumption.
Here are the things you need to do to prevent time wasting:
- Look at how much time you are spending and where you are spending it – Look at the face-to-face interactions you are regularly having. Think about the manual processes you are currently doing that are taking you ages, but probably don’t need to be handled manually.
- Set limits – Think about how much time you spend on something just now and whether you want to spend more time on that as you grow. If you are currently spending 80 hours per week as a team with face-to-face meetings, do you want to continue to increase this and place further strain on your team to grow your business? Or do you want to place a cap on that particular activity and look at where you can save time elsewhere?
- Identify each drain on your time and go after them – Think about what you are spending your time on and where you could reduce time on certain activities.
The Top Drains on Your Time
Here are some of the top time drains that training company teams can face in their day-to-day jobs.
We talk about it a lot but sending multiple emails to multiple students can quickly eat up a lot of your time. You may think it’s only a couple of minutes per email, but if you’re sending loads in a batch you can quickly lose a couple of hours without even realising it!
Things like generating lots of invoices or certificates for your students are necessary tasks, but they can take a lot of time, and aren’t the most exciting tasks for your team to have to complete anyway!
Lack of Automation
A lot of the processes your business has to do every day could actually be automated, meaning they still get done, but your staff are free to do other things!
Reconciling Disparate Systems
If you make use of technology at work, you probably use a number of different systems to make sure you have all the functionality you need. It’s just accepted as a given that we spend time jumping between these multiple systems. However, this is a massive waste of time, and if you had all the systems you use integrated together it would save you lots of time and make all your processes much easier to handle.
Inefficient Processes and Workflows
If your team is not trained on the same processes as everyone else and if your business has different levels of workflows and process, it’s going to be really time-consuming for your team. Working like this means mistakes are easily made, which you will then have to spend time trying to rectify. You can also spend a lot of time either having to get help or having to help somebody do something when there should be one centralised process that your entire team works with.
Lack of Understanding on ROI
It’s really important to have an understanding of how everything you does affects your ROI. Think about things like the courses you run, the marketing campaigns you run, etc. This is so important because you don’t want to be wasting time on things that aren’t making you money!
You obviously need to spend time on staff training, but it’s important to make sure you are running training that directly affects their job role and will empower them to do an efficient job when they come into work every day. Don’t run lots of training just for the sake of it, as it’s a massive time drain, and a waste of money if your business isn’t getting a benefit from it.
The Effect Time Drains Have on Your Training Company
It can be hard to see right away the negative effect that time wasting can have on your company. Let’s go through all the teams you’re likely to have in a training company and see how inefficiencies and poor organisation can create a number of problems.
Customer Service Team
- Disparate systems make it difficult to find customer information.
- This leads to poor customer experience and poorly maintained relationships.
- If you have no automatic processes in place, your Sales team will have to process hundreds of enquiries every day.
- This means they won’t have much time to focus on winning big contracts with longer sales cycles.
Course Management Team
- Your Administrators may have to manually enter the same thing into five different systems to ensure the information is entered everywhere it needs to be used if you have disparate systems.
- They may also have to send a huge number of joining instruction emails every day to cover all the new students who sign up to your courses.
- Both activities cost your Administrators time that could be better spent on other tasks.
- You may not think things like this will affect your Management team, but problems can quickly spread and end up hurting everyone in your business. If other teams are overloaded, your Management team may have to spend a lot of time picking up the slack to ensure everything is still getting done.
- This means less time spent focussing on strategy and scaling your business.
- Your Marketing team may also spend a lot of their day sending emails, but this time of the marketing campaign variety. This could be outreaching to past students, getting in touch with potential students who have submitted enquiries, or sending a weekly newsletter.
- If they don’t have a clear understanding of ROI, it could mean they are spending lots of time on campaigns that may not necessarily bring in good results.
- If you have lots of different systems on the go, your instructors may need to look in several places to get the information they need to carry out their training.
- This could lead to them struggling to juggle all the different classes that they have to teach due to the amount of class admin they need to complete.
- Another problem if you have lots of different systems is the fact your Finance team could spend a great deal of time reconciling all those systems to understand your company's revenue.
A Time-Saving Toolkit
If all of these problems seem familiar to you then you may be worried about what to do next but fear not! Addressing these time drains is easier than you think! Here are some easy steps you can take to tackle the most common time drains you may be facing as a training company!
Integrate Your Systems
The first step to tackle one of the biggest time-wasting problems of swapping between lots of different systems and having to endure duplicate data entry is to make sure you pick a fully integrated solution to handle your training management.
If you do need to use lots of different systems to get your tasks done, make sure you can integrate them all within one centralised system. This is how Administrate works! Our training management system provides you with lots of functionality based around your training administration, but we completely recognise that we’re not specialised in some of the functionality you may need, such as email campaign creation or finance. That’s where our integrations come in, ensuring you can still manage all your data and tasks from a central place, but you still have all the functionality you need from each specialised system. To see a full list of Administrate’s integration, you can visit our integrations page!
Automate Communication and Tasks
Don’t waste lots of time completing boring and repetitive tasks every day when you could be automating them. Not only will this mean all your essential business tasks are still taken care of, so you don’t need to worry about them, it also means your team can get on with more interesting tasks, which should lead to increased job satisfaction as well. Double win!
Administrate can help you automate loads of those repetitive tasks that you dread having to complete in the following ways:
- Use templates such as course templates or email templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.
- Send out emails en masse to a specific contact list rather than one by one.
- Create registrations, invoices, certificates, and other documents automatically.
- Automate your emails and SMS.
Take Online Payments
Using a training management system that not only allows you to sell your courses online but also gives you the ability to take online payments will save your team loads of time. Not only will it speed up your sales process, as your Sales team won’t have to spend time processing every single enquiry that comes to your business, it also means that no manual work is created for your team when a sale goes through.
Giving students the chance to pay online also means they can register and pay at any time, even if your office is closed, so you’ll stop missing out on those important sales!
Build an eLearning Empire
If you don’t currently offer eLearning, it’s a great element to add to your training offering as you can provide loads more courses without spending a lot more time, and give you the chance to grow your business.
eLearning allows you to offer a more extensive catalogue of training courses, but you don’t need to worry about spending money on instructors, venues, caterings, travel, or resources every time like you would have to with classroom-based sessions.
You also don’t have to worry about the time capacity each of your instructors have when scheduling eLearning classes, as your students simply work through them at their own pace.
You can also attract a whole different base of customers who find eLearning more suited to their learning style or current lifestyle and wouldn’t have been able to attend training with you before.
We’ve mentioned above how important it is that everyone in your team is aware of the impact everything they do will have on your ROI. Make sure you take the time to set ROI targets for everything you do, from the courses you run to your marketing campaigns, to ensure you’re always getting the best return on your time investment.
If you come across activities that are costing you time and generating little return, then make sure you don’t waste any more time on them and start using your time for something more worthwhile.
Training and Processes
The last thing you need to do to tackle those time drains is create easy-to-follow processes for your staff.
It’s worth it to spend time up-front to train your entire time on these processes because it ensures everyone will be working the same way in the future, and hopefully, that way will be the most efficient for your business.
Make sure you create a single place, like a knowledge base, for your staff to access these processes, so people always know where to go if they need help or have forgotten how to do something, rather than wasting lots of time searching for the answer.
Finally, make sure you iterate on your processes at regular intervals! There is always room for improvement, and you want to make sure you are running things as smoothly as possible.
Watch Our LITE 2018 Talk!
If you want to learn more about this topic, watch our ‘Top Time-Saving Techniques for Training Companies’ talk from LITE 2018!