How to Get Started with Small Business Employee Training

You often hear that you’re “only as good as the people you hire.”

There’s no doubt this phrase is true, especially when we’re talking about small businesses. But, what you don’t hear as often is that continuing training and encouraging employee development is just as important as hiring, if not more so.

When you’re a small business owner, it’s easy to adopt the ‘learning on the job’ approach and let small business employee training take a backseat. After all, you’ve got a lot on your mind, and everything else seems to take priority.

But, employee training is crucial to the success of your small business. Providing resources for building new skills and knowledge is going to make your workplace more efficient and productive, as well as a happier place to be.

When you have a happy staff, you have happy customers. And when you have happy customers, you have a successful business!

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses report found that small business owners who spend the time investing in proper training are more likely to enjoy growth and success.

But, we’re not here to lecture you too much on the importance of employee training programs for small businesses —  as a business owner, you already know this, and that’s exactly why you’re here!

We want to share how you can provide proper training for your employees to keep them motivated and happy in your workplace, without breaking the bank.

So, let’s get started!

The starting point for small business employee training

Before we rush into how to prepare a training plan for employees, we have to rewind and start at the beginning.

The first step is sitting down and thinking about what you want your employees to learn. What knowledge do you want them to have, or what skills should they develop that’ll benefit your small business?

You’ve got to think about your future and the direction you want your training to take before trying to create a training program for employees. Sure, this seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people just want to get the training over and done with.

Employee training and development is an ongoing process, and setting out your goals at the very beginning will let you successfully shape your training and figure out what you want to achieve in the future.

Of course, remember that not everything’s going to be done overnight. Nothing’s perfect, and you’ve got to be willing to make some revisions along the way.

Persevere and remember that investing in small business employee training provides a lot more value than the initial cost of training programs for employees.

Training with e-learning courses

You’ve maybe heard a lot about e-learning courses recently, and there’s a good reason for this. E-learning courses are one of the lowest-costing, yet highly effective, training methods for employees.

Let’s face it, small businesses just don’t have the same kinds of budgets as large organizations, and traditional training programs tend to be expensive and time-consuming.

On the other hand, e-learning courses cut out the middleman and let you enjoy training from any location, at any time. You have the control.

E-learning courses are a great way for employees to learn new skills from the comfort of their own homes or devices. There are games, quizzes, videos, webinars, and endless ways to make training fresh, fun, and fulfilling. After all, not everything has to be so dry and “corporate” feeling!

Nobody actually enjoys formal training days. And, training can mean scheduling out-of-office events that interrupt your business. But, e-learning is engaging and can be accessed on an employee’s own time.

There’s an endless range of online courses available to suit your goals and let employees learn at their own paces.

For example, if you’re a small IT business and want all of your employees to learn about the security of sensitive data and keeping networks safe, you can assign them to complete the IT Security Fundamentals online course. It’s that simple!

How to Get Started With Small Business Employee Training

Don’t forget encouragement

You’ve got the plan and you’ve chosen your e-learning courses, but don’t forget to speak about the training you’ve arranged for your employees. Never underestimate the power of encouragement when it comes to learning.

You want your employees to want to learn and further their skills. Since there’s an element of freedom associated with e-learning, you should try to motivate your employees to do additional and optional courses, as well as the mandatory ones.

There are even a few things you can learn from online courses as a business owner too. What better way to motivate your employees than by joining them in training!


From business plan essentials to learning how to maximize your profits, there’s a range of e-learning courses for everybody to explore and further their knowledge.

E-learning courses are definitely part of the future of employee development. They are customizable for your needs, cost-effective, and engaging.

While you can oversee the training, e-learning courses also allow employees the freedom to learn more skills at their own pace. It’s the best of both worlds for employees and business owners.

These views are made solely by the author.

Scott Cooper

Scott Cooper is the Global VP of Marketing at GO1, founder of, and a co-organizer of the Bay Area Learning Design & Technology Meetup.
These views are made solely by the author. Patriot Software is not affiliated with, and does not necessarily endorse, the products mentioned in the article.

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