A Training Business – What Qualifications Do You Need?


Well, the good news/bad news is anyone can be a trainer. There are no official qualifications, no stringent licensing, no rigorous testing or earned credentials that are universally recognized or accepted. But that doesn’t mean just anybody will be good at being a trainer. Nor can any good trainer run a business at it. There are two keys to starting your own training business: training skills and business skills.


Having good training skills is more important than education or fancy credentials. But certainly, if you have the skill set, then some credentialing or certification on top of that would be extra credibility-building. Here are the primary skills you need to possess or be able to develop if you want to do training for a profession:

Compelling presentation skills. To teach others, you have to be dynamic and engaging, someone the class wants to pay attention to. This requires excellent delivery skills, a strong energy level, and logical content organization skills.

Understanding of adult learning theory. Trainers know that you can’t teach adults the same way we were taught in grade school. A good trainer makes adult learning practical and relevant and directly involves participants in the learning.

Subject knowledge. Obviously whatever topic you’re training on, whether computer technology or customer service or negotiating skills, you should know your subject. Your credibility will be lost or made on how well you know what you’re talking about, and for some subjects like presentation skills or leadership skills, how well you model those skills yourself.

Strong listening skills. A trainer is not someone who talks at her audience, spewing information like a fount of knowledge. Good training involves the ability to dialog with those in your classes. This means you listen-to their questions, their concerns, their “ah-hah” moments-and hear, and respond appropriately


So if you’re a good trainer and want to not only do training for a living, but start and run a training business, especially as a solopreneur, you also need to add some key business skills to the mix. There are three key components of having your own business-any business:

(1) A product or service to offer. So you’ve got to develop and own that expertise that you want to offer training in.

(2) The ability to market your product or service to generate sales. Be prepared, it’s a little harder to market yourself, as a trainer, than it is to sell a product. It’s easy to expound on the virtues of your widget, but a trickier proposition to persuade clients how good you are.

(3) A “back office.” You won’t just be out every day doing your training. If you’re running a business, you need to either hire someone or be prepared yourself to keep track of all the administrative issues, from appointments to proposals to bookkeeping.

A final thought: Develop a business plan. It doesn’t have to be formal. It’s primarily for your own use, to force yourself to think about the realities of your business. And one of the realities of starting a business is that you’re not going to be making money right out of the gate. So make sure you have sufficient financial resources to last you at least a year, including both living expenses and some seed money to market and run the business.

Source by Barbara Busey

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