How many businesses can boast 600% growth in 2 years?
Training Aid can – and it's all thanks to their new Business Operating System.
Repetitive business processes, especially where a high level of manual input is required, can often be time consuming, costly and peppered with mistakes. Tom and Billy Casserley realised that if they wanted their business to grow quickly – they needed to be upping their game!
Who are Train Aid?
Train Aid are a learning and development provider based in Reigate, Surrey. They offer a wide range of quality on-line and venue based training courses covering disciplines such as first aid, teacher training, assessment and health & safety.
From the very outset of their incorporation in 2009, Train Aid had a firm vision of how they wanted their company to be managed and how they fought to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. They were fully aware of the surge in the number of distance and on-line learning courses being made available – yet were becoming increasingly concerned that many were overpriced, poorly executed and failing to deliver on their advertised objectives.
Their ethos was simple. They wanted to “train people in the way they liked to be trained themselves”. They passionately wanted to ensure that their customer’s journey, be it from a single individual to a large corporation, be as enjoyable an experience from beginning to end as possible and for them to received true value from their involvement.
Train Aid were all geared up for a period of business growth, yet they recognised that a substantial increase in sales could actually harm both their course delivery and customer service functions. Ongoing administrative pressures were already causing them to burst at the seams and a solution was going to be vital to their success.
Management also felt that they weren’t harnessing the full potential of their website. Sure, it received plenty of visitors, but very little of this traffic converted into paid business. Based on the lack of performance, they had also resorted to advertising with a third party training portal which came with a hefty 20% referral fee for each booking received. This was understandably affecting their bottom line and the decision to bring their website in-house and regain control was made.
Let's start with the website
Firstly, Tom at initforthe looked at the functionality and performance of the website. A brief investigation suggested that it was likely that potential delegates were confused by the aesthetics and flow through the site when searching for suitable courses.
The close collaboration between the Train-Aid Team and Tom at initforthe meant that a new website was planned, designed and built, with the structure and functionality largely based on addressing the issues which arose during the investigation.
The content was laid out in easily digestible chunks. Copy was written in plain English and each key decision point was accentuated with a lead to the next relevant piece of content.
Streamlining the Process
Once the website was virtually complete, Tom approached Train-Aid with a view to automating their sales and business processes as a whole.
It was obvious that there was still significant room for improvement and a full-day investigative workshop was organised to establish the exact type of manual and automated processes that were in use across all business disciplines. Tom analysed everything; from how they advertised and took payment, to the way delegates booked and how they tracked their courses and trainers.
The next step was to pinpoint the most painful parts. These were ultimately the time consuming and/or problematic tasks that were preventing them from achieving their goals.
Not long after, work on Train Aid’s new Business Operating System (BOS) began. Tom’s first job was to amalgamate the online and offline booking process so that everything happened in one place. This in itself saved an unprecedented amount of man hours by reducing repetition and allowing staff to view all of their booking information on a single platform.
Being that they worked alongside a variety of UK wide training consultants, the new system also meant that the trainers appointments could become automated; they now had a full delegate list and course content at the click of a button; they were left with virtually no paperwork to do with all course materials being newly Training-Aid branded increasing the level of quality and consistency.
Redesigning and automating their sales process allowed Train Aid to focus on launching five new courses and seventeen new training venues in the first year following the new site launch. They saw an immediate increase in sales - with the first month seeing the site match its own previous year’s turnover - and they went on to double their overall turnover that year.
Similarly the following year, the Train Aid introduced four new courses, nine new locations and more than doubled their sales.
In the third year, one more course was added, along with a further 8 locations which resulted in another ‘double-turnover’ year.
Always looking for new opportunities to improve, Train Aid see this system as a continual work-inprogress, with work currently underway on a module that will allow all delegate paperwork to be distributed automatically via email, as well as integrating with their CRM system.