If you’re a small business owner focusing on the day-to-day operations of your business, eLearning may seem like one of those distant, abstract concepts used by major companies like DuPont, and even governmental organizations like the Centers for Disease Control.
You may find yourself asking what exactly a learning management system (LMS) has to offer you as a small business, and you probably see a set of challenges that prevents you from embracing the concept.
The Small Business Community
Small businesses are often considered the backbone of the American economy, with more than 25 million of them operating in this country today. Small businesses are responsible for employing a large share of the American workforce, and they tend to be on the cusp on innovation in many ways, because the people that head up small businesses are often willing to embrace change and be disruptors.
Despite the constant struggle to remain innovative, competitive and ahead of the curve, one of the places many small businesses haven’t been as willing to embrace new ideas is in the use of virtual learning.
So why is that?
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When considering whether to not only embrace, but fully adopt multimedia learning in a small business, the focus is often on the following challenges:
- A lack of a training-focused environment. In a small business, everyone is often working alongside one another and the focus is on the day-to-day necessities of operating that business, as opposed to the larger and more overarching concepts which larger corporations have the luxury to focus on. One of those concepts is training and development. When you’re a small business owner and every minute of your day counts toward your bottom line and the smooth operations of your business, you may feel you simply don’t have the necessary time to dedicate to comprehensive training and development.
- A distrust of technology. For larger corporations, particularly global companies, technology is incredibly important to day-to-day operations. It’s completely necessary to utilize the newest in technology to maintain communications and operations in a large-scale sense. If you’re a small business, you may be more reluctant to rely on technology, which can lead to a sense of mistrust in concepts that rely on new technology.
- Minimal resources. If you’re a small business, you’re not just focusing on the day-to-day, but you may simply not have the resources to dedicate to training employees. You may not be able to afford the loss of time that’s required to have one of your employees undergo training or development.
Overcoming the Challenges
For a small business, while the above challenges may be very real and salient, it is possible to embrace new methods of delivering training and development, and reap the benefits of doing so. You get to speak to our experts free, should you have questions.
To overcome these challenges, it’s first necessary to understand the importance of training and development in a real, concrete way. Small business owners should assess gaps in their employees’ skills and knowledge, and see how training and development can close those gaps and have a direct impact on profitability, efficiency and even customer loyalty. Building the bridge between gaps and your bottom line can help you see how significant your ROI would be for introducing new and innovative forms of training and development delivery.
It’s also smart for small businesses to see how multimedia learning actually addresses many of the hurdles they see to training and development. Namely, it’s a faster and more efficient way to deliver valuable information and training to employees, and it can be done in a way that doesn’t interrupt the day-to-day productivity of an organization.
Finally, it can be an ideal solution for training and development within a small business because of how customizable and easily tailored an LMS is. If your organization has a general mistrust of technology, you can develop training and development materials that are simple and intuitive and introduce them to the use of technology in a way that’s appropriate for their skills and comfort level.
eLearning is also budget friendly and easily scalable to the size of any organization, so small businesses don’t have to be as concerned about a lack of resources that may be required to implement comprehensive training and development.
As a small business owner, have you been willing to embrace a virtual learning environment so far? If not, what do you see as your major hurdles or roadblocks in doing so?