In current times, when so many companies are either choosing to, or being forced to switch to virtual methods of conducting business, the value of a learning management system (LMS) is being realized to a greater degree. This is something that larger businesses typically turn to out of necessity and an LMS is the obvious choice for keeping all of their information organized.
Conversely, small businesses and entrepreneurs are less likely to rely upon an LMS, at least in part because they don’t feel it’s necessary. They feel like they can get by because they don’t have many people to look out for, whether that means employees or clients.
What entrepreneurs and small business managers don’t often realize is how helpful an LMS can be. In fact, having fewer people to manage daily business is precisely what makes an LMS so useful. If you’re a small business owner who offers training courses, you simply don’t have the time to be dealing with unexpected issues. Incorporating an LMS can be a game-changer in this regard.
Here’s what an LMS is, how it works, and how it can help your personal business.
A learning management system is very much what it sounds like — it’s a system that organizes training materials. An LMS creates one central place to manage online training courses, track client progress, and conduct assessments in order to obtain certifications. It’s essentially a one-stop-shop for professional development.
In our internet-centric world, an LMS is typically created in software, but it’s not the same as old software you’d download to your desktop computer. Learning management systems typically operate in a cloud-based environment and users interact with it via browser-based software. No special downloads are necessary because everything is stored on cloud servers.
Companies building their training courses can upload all of their content into the LMS and then users only need to click a link to access the modules. While technology is obviously required to use the LMS, keeping the software on servers (as opposed to making clients download it) allows for quicker updates, fewer technological barriers, and a more seamless product.
An advanced LMS will allow businesses to tailor their training courses exactly how they’d like, given their niche, branding, and teaching methods. Videos can be used to demonstrate movements and instruction sheets can be uploaded so the trainees can save them for later reference.
Everything that could ever be required to complete an online training course can be done within the LMS.
Perhaps the most important positive aspect of a great LMS is that it will allow you to increase your profitability, as well as productivity. Instead of you needing to follow up with administrative tasks associated with clients signing up for training courses, a learning management system will take care of that for you.
You don’t have to make the certificates. You don’t have to create invoices. You don’t have to schedule times in which to do live training sessions. You can simply do all the work once and then load it into the LMS, which will take things over from there. A learning management system basically takes mundane business tasks out of your hands so you can focus on the bigger picture and planning for the future.
When the time comes to update your training courses with new information, you only have to do so once instead of notifying multiple trainers and amending course materials for various people. You simply make the change in the LMS online course and your work is done.
Make no mistake that a professional learning management system is not the same thing as creating training videos on a smartphone and uploading them to YouTube. Perhaps that’s how your business started, but as your business grows, so should you and the way you deliver content.
Once you’ve accumulated enough clients to justify the expense of upgrading your training delivery method, you owe it to yourself (and your clients) to look into an LMS. A high-quality learning management system will allow you to upload videos, audio files, slide presentations, research papers or articles, and administer assessments.
Having a higher quality product will not only help you retain current clients, but will make you more appealing to both individuals (such as personal trainers and influencers), as well as small businesses that coordinate training for their coaches and personal trainers.
The more professional and organized your delivery method, the greater the perceived value — and as the value of your content increases, so can your prices (relative to your product, of course).
One of the easiest ways to make your training materials appear more professional is to add your own branding to the course materials. Remember that packaging still counts, even when it’s digital.
This helps instill more confidence in your product and can help sway potential customers into choosing your training services over a competitor’s. Having proper branding is basically Marketing 101. How can you tell people about your business if your logo isn't on the product?
Branding your training isn’t an area you want to overlook. Keeping consistent branding throughout your training course (from sign-up to certificate printing) is crucial to keeping your clients fully engaged and coming back for renewed certifications and training.
Furthermore, if your clients are clicking onto a new website to enter the LMS, you want to make sure that they understand they’re at the right place. At this point in the digital age, it’s so easy to stumble upon a website that seems legitimate, but is absolutely not. Giving your clients a warning that they’ll be clicking onto an LMS that will take you away from your website can help retain your clients, in addition to easing their worries about security, data, and identity theft anxiety.
When someone completes a training course, they’ll need some sort of certificate that provides proof of their new qualification. Some will choose to print it out, while others will simply save it as a digital file that they can send to prospective employers as needed. Regardless, providing proof of completion right when they’re finished with the training course is a great way to add perceived value.
Additionally, having your own custom branding on the certificate shows these prospective employers that their applicants have obtained their training from what appears to be a professional organization. Not only is it helpful for your clients, it’s an opportunity to network without much effort. The fitness community might be large, but it’s also small in that people are tight knit and everyone seems to know everyone — at least within their particular niches.
A learning management system will free up time for everyone involved. For you, as a business owner because it carries part of your workload, but also for your clients. Having everything set up in an LMS means that they can learn at their own pace, take courses when they have the time available (perhaps after children are in bed, or after work at another job), and no one has to rearrange their schedules in order to complete a program.
One of the best things about the digital age is that every business has an expanded reach. The internet has opened doors for companies that otherwise would have been restricted to their own cities, or limited to their own professional network. Now, business owners can advertise anywhere and sell their products globally, allowing their business to grow larger than they would have ever thought possible in previous generations.
An advanced LMS is the perfect platform for delivering the same high-quality training courses across the globe. You can control the content from the very beginning, and you won’t be reliant upon finding additional employees who could train in new cities.
Logistically, a learning management system is like creating new satellite offices for your business all over the globe, but at a much lower price point and without the worry that your remote employees are maintaining the standards you set forth. You get to grow your business without losing any of the control you need on your training courses.
It would be a mistake to ignore the role of social media here. Not all learning management systems will be set up to do this, but we think it’s an important component.
Social media in the fitness industry has become a way for people to interact with members of their community, both close by and far away. Brands, athletes and trainers share what they’re learning, what they’re doing for workouts, and what they’re making for dinner, passing along hot tips and exchanging ideas along the way. Choosing to share progress in your fitness certification process is one component in building your own fitness community.
This is why we believe it’s a great idea to incorporate social media into your training course materials in your LMS. When someone earns a certification, they can share their accomplishment on their favorite social media platform, tagging your company in it automatically (for marketing and brand awareness, of course).
In our LMS, the functionality is there, and you can choose to incorporate it into your training courses, or you can skip it (or your trainees can skip it).
The more training courses you offer, the harder it is to be organized. You can label everything meticulously, you can have all the folders and good intentions in the world, and you’re bound to mess things up at some point. It might not be anything catastrophic, but perhaps you’d send the wrong folder or the wrong document to a client. With all that information, it would be easy to mix it up sooner or later.
With a learning management system, you’ll only need to put everything in place once. You’ll set up the course with the proper materials (assessments, presentations, reading materials, videos, etc) and then you’ll leave it along until it’s time to be updated with new information. Your clients won’t need to contact you to ask you for information unless there’s a problem, so there shouldn’t be much room for error.
With over 35 years of combined experience in the health, fitness, and wellness industries, we believe we are uniquely positioned to help you organize your online training course offerings and sell them with greater confidence. We take a lot of pride in our LMS platform. We’ve spent years working on it, improving it, and perfecting it. Fortunately, our clients tend to agree.
We work with educational organizations, equipment companies, and health and wellness experts, including over 200 major brands. Hundreds of companies have used our software to improve their content management and training course offerings.
We partnered with each of them to make sure they were getting the product they could imagine, and we’ll do the same for you, regardless of the size of your business.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your business, we’re ready to help walk you through it. To get started with Inspire360, contact us or request a demo so you can see how our learning management system can work for you.