How to Design a Business Course for SMEs
How to Design a Business Course for SMEs
One of the most common mistakes that business owners make is to overlook the need to invest in their own development. A lack of business knowledge, or a lack of understanding about how to run the business better or more efficiently, can be detrimental, even fatal, to the success of your business. That’s why we suggest that you take advantage of our professional and tailor-made training courses for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Just tell us what you want to learn about and what your budget is, and we’ll develop an educational course with affordable fees that perfectly suit your needs!
Know Your Audience
To create an effective business course, you need to know what your audience needs. Start by creating an outline of all of your class objectives and make sure you’re targeting those goals with specific learning outcomes that relate directly back to your business’s bottom line. If there are any legal requirements (i.e., training certifications) you must meet, include them as well. Once you have a solid outline of your goals, it will be easier to create relevant content and develop practical examples. And remember: Always stay focused on giving actionable tips and strategies that teach specific skills related directly back to your company’s success metrics.
Keep it Focused
The general rule of thumb when designing business courses is two hours per module, so it’s important to think about what you want students to know or be able to do at each point in your course. If you’re developing a certificate course, consider how many units it will take; if you’re building training, consider how long you expect employees to be working on it. Some businesses are looking for skills development that takes only an hour or two; others may be more interested in 10-week courses with more structured programs that teach specific content and assess students’ progress. So as you build out your training course, start by making sure there’s enough time for students to learn what they need to and then plan accordingly from there.
Choose Appropriate Topics
Teaching business concepts is a lot like teaching in any other subject: you should choose topics that your students will find relevant and helpful. Just as an English teacher would never teach about plot structure in chemistry class, an accounting teacher would never discuss how to run Facebook ads. That doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity for cross-pollination or collaboration between teachers of different courses, but topics should remain consistent within each course. (Side note: if you really want to learn more about business from an English perspective, I highly recommend reading Wired For Story .)
Create a Balanced Schedule
When you have a small business, it’s easy to get stuck in your own routine and forget that employees need some amount of down time, too. Yes, they’re more familiar with your day-to-day operations than you are (unless you happen to be running that one person show), but there are still times when they could use some encouragement and additional guidance. To help combat boredom, create an employee schedule with varied tasks and short breaks scheduled throughout each day. It doesn’t have to be pretty or follow traditional structure—it just needs to make sure everyone gets what they need from their time on duty.
Offer Flexible Scheduling Options
A good business school needs to be accessible, whether you’re working full-time, running your own company or managing family responsibilities. Flexible scheduling options let you sign up and attend courses when they work best for you. Courses offered in evening sessions, on weekends and via webinars give busy people like yourself access to great classes without interrupting your schedule or adding stress. Choosing a course at an institution with flexible scheduling options means never having to put off learning what you need; it’s always just around the corner.
Consider Alternatives to Face-to-Face Courses
The size of your audience will determine what type of course you design, but there are lots of alternatives to face-to-face courses. If you’re working with small business owners in a local area, consider conducting workshops or live events that don’t require an extensive time commitment on their part. Or if you’re targeting corporate audiences, consider using webinars as your primary delivery mechanism—and even uploading recorded versions to YouTube and LinkedIn Learning so employees who aren’t able to make it into a training session can still benefit from your expertise. Regardless of how or where you plan on delivering content, keep in mind that providing ample opportunity for interaction and participation is key!
Include an Online Platform
Whether it’s an LMS like Moodle or Blackboard, or a custom-built solution, creating an online platform for training is vital. This makes it possible to create and manage content in real time—and importantly, make that content searchable so employees can access it when they need it. It will also allow your workers to take any needed course at their own pace, which helps create self-directed learners with greater levels of engagement and knowledge retention. And finally, bringing your courses online also makes it easy for employees to access what they need on mobile devices. Of course, you can do all of these things manually (or just offer classroom training), but building an online platform adds efficiency and convenience—which helps both you and your staff.
Share the Presentation Slides
Presentations can be intimidating to give, especially when your audience has been invited by your boss or colleague. No one wants to be that guy who’s up there getting grilled by his own peers! As such, we tend to worry way too much about being perfect. The reality is that you don’t need perfect slides and you don’t need hours of preparation time. All you really need is 30 minutes and access to an online presentation program like PowerPoint or Google Slides.
Think About Additional Benefits
Do you like team building? How about looking back on your time with a company fondly in later years? There’s always room to discuss these topics and talk about how they apply to small businesses. Who knows, maybe you can convince them that their business will benefit from scheduling regular fun activities or try something like an activity-based approach.