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build a plan to address it. This should include: • What training is required; • Who will receive it; • When it will be delivered; • Who will provide it and how it will be


delivered;


• How much it will cost; and • How the success of the training will be monitored.


Different people learn in different ways, so consider what ways are most effective for you and your staff: seminars; workshops; learning on the job; with others where you can swap ideas; one to one where you can get focused attention on the areas you need? Some things can be learnt at a distance, either through the use of resources on the internet or through a distance learning programme. Others require hands on experience.


In some cases you


may require a formal qualification from a recognised body.


There are many organisations that offer training. Check out your local


67 | ukhandmade | Summer 2011


colleges and arts organisations, trade and other organisations, such as the British Library Business and IP Centre and its partners, dedicated to


helping business start ups.


Alternatively, look to pool the costs of training with other like minded entrepreneurs, arranging training for a group.


Building training costs into your business plan Estimates of the costs of training courses should be included in your budgeted profit and loss account and in your forecast cashflow. Don’t forget to include incidental expenses such as the cost of learning materials and equipment (if appropriate) and travel.


To put your training costs into context, it is helpful to think about them not just as an absolute, lump sum but also in terms of spend per head of staff and as a percentage of your budget as a whole. Do they seem reasonable? There are no right or wrong answers!


Assessing the effectiveness of training Training is an investment; there is an upfront cost attached to it and it might take time to see a return. It is important, therefore, that you can measure the value that the training delivers. Think again about what the purpose of the training was and how you might know when that skills gap has been addressed. Ask staff to report back on the effectiveness of the training and look at measures such as increases in productivity, efficiency or quality.


Reviewing the training plan Finally, remember that neither your business plan nor your training plan is set in stone. They are living documents that should be reviewed and develop as your business does to meet its changing needs.


For more information visit: http://www.bl.uk/bipc/


Illustration by Siobhian Carroll


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