How to start up a training provider business

Starting up a training provider business typically involves obtaining credentials, creating a business plan, making arrangements for classroom space, running sessions and evaluating student performance.

Companies, such as Microsoft, IBM and HP, accredit training providers that complete an application, pay a fee and demonstrate competency in subject matter and instructor skills. The International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction specifies these skills that include effective presentation skills, knowledge of adult learning principles and strategies for promoting knowledge transfer and retention.

Get certified by a professional organisation, company or association in your industry. For example, Microsoft offers programs enabling qualified information technology personnel to become certified support technicians, system engineers, administrators, professional developers and architects. Obtain certification from the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction to demonstrate that you have the skills, knowledge and attitude to plan and prepare instruction, communicate effectively, maintain professional credibility, comply with legal standards, sustain student motivation and evaluate student performance.

Write a business plan. Use templates, tips and techniques provided by resources, such as the Small Business Administration website, to generate this plan. Your plan should include an executive summary that describes the type of training programs you intend to provide, the audience you want to target, your mission statement and your strategic objectives. Your plan should also include a market analysis, a description of how you plan to structure and manage your training business and a financial statement, typically including a projected cash flow for three years, break-even analysis and projected balance sheet. Use your plan to obtain investment funding for your training provider business. Then, you can identify potential customer contacts. For example, large corporations typically purchase training for their groups through their human resources department.

Create or customise your training materials. Arrange for duplication of student materials, such as study guides. Advertise and market your business, typically through industry organisations, print and broadcast media. Additionally, create a website to showcase your training sessions and enable a mechanism to list courses, schedule students, track student progress, administer tests, gather student feedback on course delivery and obtain payment through mechanisms, such as credit cards or PayPal. Learning Management Systems, such as Saba, Moodle or Capterra, provide administrative functions for training businesses.

Set up classroom space for your training provider business or make arrangements to hold events at your customers' sites, community centres, hotels or other locations. Ensure you have enough space, seating and resources, such as computers, presentation materials or reference guides before you run your sessions. In their first few months, most training providers rent space on an as needed basis before obtaining a long-term lease for a location to hold events.

Set up the licenses and permits needed by any business to start, using the resources provided by the website. Follow local, state and federal regulations to run your training provider business. For example, if you hire independent contractors to teach your classes, you generally won't withhold or pay taxes but you may have to fix the IRS form for miscellaneous income to report payments.

Purchase insurance appropriate for consultants. Your people-intensive business may be particularly vulnerable to harassment lawsuits, so make sure you have enough liability insurance. Seek the assistance of a licensed insurance agent who can help you choose the right coverage and limits.