How to: Take your training, consulting or coaching services online

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This is our Quick Guide to all the facilities currently available throughout TrainingZONE and HR Zone to assist you in developing an online element to your training, consulting or coaching business. Please follow each link for more information on the specific resources now available.

Several research reports including the Training Trends 2001 study show the dramatic rise in the use of online learning methods by both large and small organisations. They're not replacing traditional forms of staff and organisational development, but online methods are forming an increasingly important part of the overall mix of delivering training and development - and significant budgets are being spent here.

For many organisations as well as for many providers and suppliers, the picture remains confusing. They know they should be developing their online services but they don't know where to start. Many solutions appear to require a costly investment in both time and money which small providers are unable or unwilling to make.

This Expert Guide from TrainingZONE and HR Zone aims to simplify the choices and lead you to the resources which are available now to help you take your services training, consulting and coaching services online. In many cases, these facilities will also enable you to earn revenues from your online presence.

Practical guides to starting an online business

Start an Online Training Business is a comprehensive electronic file which reads as an online book/manual and 'How-to Guide' written by Cherry Rae and available in our Document Library. It uses simple language to focus on designing, developing and marketing online training programmes and e-learning; it is complete with templates and current online working examples of web based courses developed by the author for various training organisations. This is a self-contained, self-executing (.exe) file suitable for PCs running Windows 95 or later; it costs £20 to access and is available immediately.

Running a live session online

Our Online Events facility allows groups of people to meet together online at the same time and communicate with each other using either chat or audio-conferencing tools. Text-based chat workshops generate a continuous transcript which can be edited and distributed; this is the simplest form of online event and is useful for discussing ideas, team meetings, briefings, question-and-answer sessions, etc. More sophisticated telephone audio conferences supporting online PowerPoint presentations or other briefing documents are also possible and global audiences can be invited using an Events Directory listing. Regular public events are run on this site every week. You can run a public workshop on any subject of your choosing. You can also hire the facility to run a private workshop for your clients and/or team. Further details about running your own Online Event.

Training Provider Partner Pages

This is a practical, low cost facility which enables you to deliver all your resources and learning to your clients online with the minimum of effort. The complete package allows you to show and sell slides and documents online, run live workshops and other interactive tools with learners, and set up online forums for learners to engage with each other. You can also publish news and contact information about your company, and promote special offers. Check here for full details.

Commercial online presentation and conferencing services

We recommend the WebEx service which enables you to set up and host an online meeting using any web browser, present slides, text chat, whiteboard, show a video cam and share documents. A cut-down version of this service is available free-of-charge for up to four people. A fully-featured services is chargeable per delegate per minute.

Selling your training resources online

The Online Library is the ideal medium for publishing and retailing your training resources to others. The Library is currently undergoing significant enhancements to its functionality designed to make searching, purchasing and publishing a great deal simpler. The Library is building into a vast library of resource materials including handouts, programmes, slides, briefing papers, expert guides, manuals and other files, using Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Acrobat formats. The user can search, buy and download. The author determines the price for their resources in the Library and receives a royalty on each document sold. Here are some examples of how the Library is used by other businesses to deliver online services:

  • Selling stand-alone resource documents. Publishing materials such as briefing papers, guides and handouts in the Library means that anyone can find and buy them at any time.
  • Selling stand-alone PowerPoint files. Publishing a well-designed slide sequence as a PowerPoint file means that other trainers and consultants can view and use your original work.
  • Selling supported PowerPoint presentations. By publishing files in the Library and then directing your clients towards them, you can set up a phone at an agreed time with your client/team whilst they view the resources online from the Library - simple training and coaching at a distance, whilst you collect the fee from the sale of the resource.

Email the editor for further information about publishing in the Library.

Offering coaching services online

Our Online Coaches service displays over 120 coaches with their respective subjects and specialisms. Interested potential clients can search for a coach and contact them by email. It is then up to both parties to discuss how you wish to continue the coaching relationship - by email, phone or face-to-face - and on what financial terms. The cost for each entry in the Coaches Directory is £100 per year.
Click here for further information about joining the online coaches service.

Developing a company wide online learning solution

Whilst this Expert Guide is aimed primarily at providers who want to develop an online component to their services, if you want to further information and advice about developing an e-learning strategy for implementation across an organisation, please refer to our dedicated e-learningZONE which is a resource centre dedicated to these issues.

Other practical sources of help

In addition to the facilities identified above, you might also like to check out:

Other related Expert Guides: including advice on facilitating online events, choosing collaborative learning tools, etc.
e-learningZone: comprehensive e-learning resource centre

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