FE Employer Engagement is a Great Source of Reliable Repeatable Income
In many cases, with good Employer Engagement, you are able to generate income that is non-funded. Full cost work is a real bonus because you have far more control over this income and can set your prices without relying on the funding organisations. There’s no one to limit how many courses you run or what you charge.
Employer Engagement Supply & Demand
You might think there is an element of supply and demand governing the fees you charge but, done properly, this needn’t be the case. Customers can only compare prices where they can easily compare like with like. The secret with full cost courses is to ensure that your offer adds more value than your competitor’s offer. And the real bonus is that what the customer values may not cost you very much at all. So for example, lets say you run a two days sales course for local businesses. Most providers will stop at that point.
By stopping these providers have done is turn a course into a commodity. Now say you add value by signing attendees up to an online group (Facebook or LinkedIn works well here) and in the weeks after course delivery add reminders, further tips etc. where the attendees can ask questions, showcase results and much more. Would that not add a dimension that other providers totally fail to provide?
The benefit of running an online group for attendees are many. Firstly, you can now charge a lot more for your courses simply because you are adding much more value. You are holding their hand after the course and that is so valuable to many attendees. The second benefit is that attendees are more likely to come to you when they, or their company, want more training.
On the cost side of the equation you will find that setting up an online group is free and that the time needed to run a group is not high relative to the extra income generated. It’s a win win.
When training courses stop being a commodity it’s then possible to charge based on value rather than on a competitive basis. This can double, treble or even quadruple profits with little extra effort.
Employer Engagement is About More Than Running Courses
The benefits of really engaging with employers is more than running courses and income generation. Employers can offer student placements, host visits, supply guest speakers, sponsor equipment and much more. Plus they might well hire your facilities for meetings and product launches, they may hold business lunches in your restaurant or sit on the board or curriculum groups. Employers are an incredibly valuable resource provided we use work with then wisely.
Employer Engagement Planning
So many providers I meet tell me they actively engage with employers. That’s excellent, but when I check their business and/or marketing plans there’s barely a mention of them. Their employer engagement strategies and plans are sparse or non-existent. And if you can’t measure it you can’t evidence success. One mistake I’ve seen here is where Finance have quite clear financial income targets for EE to hit but the targets are unachievable and/or there is no strategy or planning to hit those targets. Providers that undertake our Strategic Roadmap programme don’t have this issue.
When a strategy and action plan is devised it allows you to offer non accredited courses, devise online courses, charge a discovery fee to ascertain training needs. (Why would we offer free Training Needs Analysis sessions when they are so valuable?)
Once we have planned and have a good relationship with employers the amount of repeat business multiplies from that client. Plus you can implement a Referral Strategy that leads to new business from your clients suppliers and customers, or other divisions within the company. I’ve only ever met one provider that has a robust Referral Strategy.
The Key to Employer Engagement
The secret to employer engagement profitability is to focus on the needs of the employer. When we live their business and focus on how we can help them hit their KPIs, improve quality & customer service and make bigger profits we are then able to deliver a service that also makes us profit!
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You can read more about our unconventional thinking on this site and on ProviderMasterMind.com