Luke Bong
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What’s the Right Corporate Training Model For You?

You’ve confirmed your first corporate training gig. What's more, it’s for a paying client. How good can it get, right? But before the celebration starts, ask yourself this question - does this training fit into your long term business model? 

Many new trainers get stuck because they may have unknowingly set themselves up for major problems in the future. When you have an unclear corporate training business model or worse, no model at all, you may launch excitedly only to see your growth fizzle out.

For many new trainers who are just starting out, the excitement of securing a training gig could overshadow the foundational planning work that is necessary to ensure that the training projects they take on will not end up becoming a stumbling block in their growth.

So, how do you chart the direction for your training business? Here are 4 essential models that you can combine to create a corporate training model that's just right for you.

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The 4 Corporate Training Models

The Specialty Store

Imagine that you are hunting for a pair of quality running shoes. Where would you go to buy them?

Chances are you may go to specialty stores such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance and the list goes on.

With the Specialty Store Model, trainers specialise in a particular niche and become the expert in that field.

The Hypermarket

Think of the Tesco, Walmart, or Giant of retailing. You could buy your running shoes from these hypermarkets.

But at the same time you would probably be buying your groceries and toiletries because it's more convenient.

Trainers who apply The Hypermarket Model will conduct whatever training that is requested by their clients.

Consultant Focused

With the Consultant-Focused Model, you are the star. Your training revolves around you and your expertise.

The focus is on positioning you as the subject-matter expert who is called in to help the client solve their problem which only you can solve.

The difference between this model and the Specialty Store Model is that you may not be confined to a particular niche.​

Programme Focused

Here, the training programme takes centre stage. The trainer is a programme creator and may or may be conducting the trainings.

The trainers typically license their programmes to other trainers whom they have certified to deliver the courses.

In other words, participants attend the trainer's training programme but may not necessary be taught by them.

Each of these models have its own pros and cons. Consider the following carefully before you commit to pursuing a particular corporate training model.

The Specialty Store

Pros

Specialist status, projects impression of quality, possibility to charge higher fees

Cons

More difficult to start off in the initial stage, the niche may be too small to be attractive

The Hypermarket

Pros

Easier to launch a training business, more opportunities available. Not tied to a particular segment of the market.

Cons

May develop the reputation of 'a jack of all trade but a master of none’, face stiff competition due to virtually competing with everybody.

Consultant Focused

Pros

Potential to achieve guru status. Can build an authority-based training business that has the potential to command handsome fees. Ego boosting.

Cons

There is only 1 of you. This may limit the number of training projects that you can take on. Scalability is near impossible because all your clients want you.

Programme Focused

Pros

Scalability, period. You don’t even have to conduct a single training session to make a good living.

Cons

Quality control. Training is a totally different ball game compared to fast food. With McDonald’s, it’s easy to ensure that the Big Mac you order in New York tastes the same as the one you order in Kuala Lumpur. But with people… let’s just say that things can get really complicated.

So, what's the best corporate training model for you? Actually, there are multiple combinations of the models that you may use to build your training business. For example:

  • Specialty store - consultant focused
  • Specialty store - programme focused
  • Hypermarket - consultant focused
  • Hypermarket - programme focused

You might now be wondering which one of these 4 models is the best. The truth though is that there isn't a single best model and what works for me may not produce the same results for you. In fact, there are plenty of success stories for each of the models.

What's important, therefore, is that you decide on the direction that your training business will grow in so that you can focus all your energy to build your training business starting from the get go.

Do you have a clear corporate training business model? Which of the above models are you using? Do share with me in the comments section below.

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