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Increase Revenue at Your Business with E-Learning

Increase Revenue at Your Business with E-Learning

As we wrote previously on our blog, online training videos make learning easy, with training that is accessible and easily reinforced through repeated viewings.

In that post, we also alluded to the financial benefits of enabling your employees to learn on their own time. Now, we’re going to talk about more financial benefits businesses can reap by investing in e-learning software.

When corporations replace instructor-based training with e-learning, the savings can reach incredible levels, often higher than 50% and even reaching as high as 70%. Over the course of just three years, one study found a return on investment of nearly $14 million per year.

How is this possible? Here’s how:  

Your employees don’t have to travel.

Sending an employee or group of employees to an educational conference costs your business money – a lot of money. According to one case study: “After finding that up to 40% of its classroom training costs were spent on travel and lodging, IBM moved half of its training programs to an e-learning format. Over the first two years of the program alone, the company saved $579 million.” As it turns out, our CEO here at LearningZen was even personally involved in IBM’s new rollout at that time!

Even if your business doesn’t cover the actual travel expenses, the absence of the employee(s) while they’re traveling will decrease your revenue. Online videos allow employees to learn in short sessions over several days, meaning no time away from the office.

Savings increase if your franchise has many locations.

Implementing e-learning to replace face-to-face-learning or complement other instructor-led training in the form of blended learning is a profitable decision. More locations mean more travel if you use face-to-face learning, so the more costs you reduce, the more money you save.

E-learning can also attract and help customers, partners, and other business connections.

Customers who need specific information and channel partners who sell your company’s product are just two kinds of people associated with your business who can utilize e-learning software. For example, you can give your customers a step-by-step demonstration of how to install your product, or make a video that explains a financial plan with the help of visual aids like charts and graphics. When you impress these first-time customers, they’re more likely to become loyal return customers, and you’ll add to your revenue.

The possibilities, and the savings, are practically endless.

As an investment, e-learning is a win-win for franchises and businesses; your employees will learn faster and retain the information, your customers will appreciate the convenience you offer them, and your business will save money and increase revenue.

And while we’re on the subject of videos, here’s a video about the benefits of using videos in training:

Unlock profits for your business through e-learning by contacting LearningZen today!  


The 3 B’s of Training Content

The 3 B’s of Training Content

For the longest time creating training content meant one of two things. You built the content utilizing your subject matter expertise or bought the content containing someone else’s subject matter expertise. Building content was relatively affordable while buying content was extremely expensive. More expensive than buying someone else’s content was paying someone to build your own. Today we finally have a more affordable option that combines these two common practices.

The newest concept is what we playfully call the third B of the 3 B’s. This is what we call Borrowing. You either buy/purchase content that’s been pre-built, you build it or hire someone to build your subject matter expertise into a course or what may be the most cost effective method of all you borrow it. Because of the internet Creative Commons Licensing Laws common pre-built content that is not private can be reused in your own material so long as it is not being presented as your own original thoughts.

Here’s the 3 options quickly explained. Build vs. Buy vs. Borrow

Build – This one is easy. You are creating training material from in house subject matter expertise. Whether it be from your own original thoughts, repurposing pre-built presentations and manuals, using 3rd party content editor or using the easy LearningZen pre-built editor. You are taking your own training material and hopefully creating engaging, interactive online training courses. This is the most cost effective way monetarily but it does take time to build courses so it is the most work. It’s going to be unique to just your business.

Buy –  Content can be thought of a few different ways. You can purchase an entire pre-built online training course built from a 3rd party vendor and import it into a LMS using the SCORM uploader. Vendors sell pre-built courses, subject matter experts build and sell pre-built content and stand-alone videos can be purchased to add to your original material. This is the most expensive option but it’s also the quickest. The downfall here is it is not your message, it is someone else’s. Customizing this content is harder and sometimes copyrighted making it impossible or illegal.

Borrow – This can be thought of as a combination of the first two. Pre-built content to borrow can be found in forms like YouTube videos, Vimeo video’s, Slideshow presentations found on sharing sites, images from third party vendors, Ted talks you’ve watched and infographics someone else created. There’s lots of types of pre-built shareable content. The advantage to this is you can borrow some sections and create or modify the content that doesn’t match up with your business. This is probably the quickest way to build content. If there’s a video you watched on YouTube that you wanted to train your staff on you could embed the video into a course, ask the students to answer questions about what they watched, assign it to them and track their understanding of content. Borrowing content is a lot like having access to the world’s largest content library. The possibilities are endless and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Someone built what you borrow and you still get to make tweaks to make it your own.

So, in summary we’ve outlined 3 options. Building is the most time consuming but doesn’t cost you anything other than your time. Buying is the most expensive option but the quickest. Borrowing is very inexpensive but you still need to add some of your own time to pull this information into a course. 
Train your staff…. for their good and yours!

Train your staff…. for their good and yours!

There is nothing like walking into a business or receiving a service from a company whose employees are friendly, effective, efficient, knowledgeable, and encourage referrals. As a customer, you leave the business satisfied and ready to tell everyone about the great service you experienced. You then flash to your business and wonder if your employees could deliver that same level of product knowledge, and service in the same manner.  For restaurant and franchise businesses to thrive having a great product or service is only half the battle.  Without great employees to deliver and represent your business, the best business can find itself treading water. After all, great employees still require direction, motivation and incentives to propel them to give the business they work for 100+ percent.  How do you make fair to good employees great? Training. 

For most restaurant and franchise businesses, trying to get everyone trained at the same time is like herding cats. Attempting to schedule everyone in the same place at the same time or even in shifts is difficult for most part-time employees and many full-time employees because of other jobs, school, and family obligations. But the benefit of providing training for employees far outweighs any downside, and on-line training is the tool that can make it happen.

Training not only provides employees the necessary tools to perform their jobs but it also provides something even more valuable to a business; confident employees. When employees are given the tools necessary to be great at their job, it increases their confidence which increases their need to perform above and beyond and increases their desire to make each customer happy and satisfied. That confidence, increased self-worth and desire to succeed translates to a more successful business.

Study after study has proven that training is important in improving an employee’s capabilities, overall productivity and efficiency. But it doesn’t stop there; training can also improve other areas of the business. Imagine a workforce that is consistently trained with substantial, relevant material. A workforce like that will produce increased revenue, productivity and create an atmosphere of strong working relationships, all of which will more than cover the costs associated with the training. Wouldn’t it be amazing to walk in the doors a business and witness a crew of friendly, effective, efficient, knowledgeable employees servicing increased numbers of happy customers and realize it’s your business? 

– contributed by Felita Estes
10 Signs You Should Invest in Online Training

10 Signs You Should Invest in Online Training

The team here at Learning Zen got to thinking about the top reasons someone would want to be investing in online training. It’s kind of our business to know these things. We help so many diverse companies from Zoos and Aquariums to 1000+ unit franchisors, individual restaurants, non-profit associations, family fun centers and government agencies. Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot by helping a lot.

Let’s get to it. 10 Signs you should be investing in online training

1. You have Multiple Locations. Let’s face it, you can’t be everywhere all the time but your message sure could be.

2. You struggle with Consistency. Okay this is a killer problem with most businesses whether you have multiple locations or just one. Training coming from different people tends to stress different points. One instructor might think profit is what needs to be focused on while another instructor believes profit comes from a superior customer experience. One concise message helps make it clear to everyone what your company message is.

3. Those darn Rating Sites are beating you up and giving you a bad reputation. If you want to be able to address problems being reported how nice would it be to point that person, or store, to training that is available right now to address those areas being reported as weaknesses.

4. Turnover is happening but you don’t know why. Look, all businesses deal with turnover but the ones that are the most successful get that way because they invest in their employees, the most valuable asset of any business. Investing in your employees helps empower them, they understand what they are supposed to do and how that is being measured. Everyone inherently wants to do a good job but not everyone knows what that means.

5. Profits are down. When profits dip there is almost always a cause and effect you can point to. The bottom line is to keep profits up you need to have a great product, with a good customer experience so people want to buy what you are selling.

6. Quality is dipping. Whether its food, craftsmanship or customer experience somebody needs to be making sure the quality has not changed and expectations of that level of quality remains high.

7. Hiring is tricky – Finding good quality candidates to hire is not easy. Teaching people how to hire right the first time is one of the best skills you can hand over to someone. Take the time to understand what are the qualities you want in your new hires. What can you work with and what can you absolutely not work with.

8. Your workplace needs to make sure you meet certain Safety and Compliance regulations. Training of safety and compliance isn’t an option it needs to be done. It keeps your employees and your patrons safe, happy and secure. One incident can cripple a business.

9. Company Policies are not being followed or enforced. Hand in hand with training is also the adherence to your specific company policies. Online training systems can manage these policies and protect you from unwanted frivolous law suits brought about from an employee against the employer. Protect your investment by tracking adherence to your policies so everyone is clear.

10. You don’t Trust your staff. This one is huge. At the end of the day employers need to be able to trust their staff or they would have to do everything themselves. No one has a true duplication machine that we’ve found to date so you can’t make more of yourself. You need employees that understand their job and how they are being measured, act professional and friendly. You need to trust that they are handling a customer or situation in a way you would be satisfied with.

This list comprises 10 signs that you should be considering investing in online training. These aren’t the only reasons but these are all things that can be addressed with online training. Online training gives you the ability to put your message in front of your employees regardless of where they are located or whether you can be there. With video hosting being so affordable now your message can get to every employee, you can track that they are retaining the training and you can identify strengths and weaknesses. Investing in employees is worth every single penny. After all, they are the backbone of any product or service you are selling yet somehow training budgets always seem like the first thing slashed. If at the end of the day I know that I have well trained employees that I can trust, my business will succeed and my expectations will have been met.