The 3 Biggest Headaches for Australian RTOs

Based on a quick survey including some of our clients and other RTOs, the biggest issues facing these businesses are:

  • Attracting and retaining high value clients.
  • Managing AVETMISS and other compliance requirements.
  • Managing staff and contractors.

These businesses use enormous resources to support administrative functions to manage and execute key business processes.  Many are also facing enormous competitive pressures due to commoditisation of their products and services.  Commoditisation is making it harder for many RTOs to differentiate themselves to prospective clients and increase their sales revenue.

Here is a short list of some solutions that we have implemented for clients and were found to be effective.

  • Get very clear on your target market[s] and your ideal client profiles.
  • Adjust your ‘messaging’ and communications to fit your market and ideal clients.  One size does not fit all.
  • Get some help with your internet marketing. Unless you have some spare time or a resource available to do this critical work.  Internet marketing includes your website, social media, search engine and content marketing.
  • Automate as many processes as possible.  Our clients use DOTS LMS as a multi-faceted business management tool for compliance, client and staff management.  You may already have the tools to do this effectively but have not leveraged them effectively.
  • Use technology to personalise the client and learner experience.  Our clients have the option of creating unique learning management environments for their corporate and government clients.  You may not have the resources for a comprehensive LMS but you can still set up online resources for your clients that cost little or nothing depending upon your objectives.
  • Start having regular meetings with staff and contractors on a team and individual level.  Create an agenda and use these meetings to make sure you are touch with every element of your business.  Regular one on one meetings with staff that review goals, performance and roadblock issues are much easier than one big performance appraisal every 6 – 12 months.
  • Use technology to support your sales process from prospect to client stages.  If you have a system use it well and if you do not have a system look for one that is easy to use and includes reports.  This type of software does not need to be super expensive.

If you have any questions about these points or you are interested in exploring some ways to make your RTO more successful in 2014, you are welcome to get in touch using the contact details on this website.

Sometimes Speed Trumps Quality

You have developed a new set of marketing and sales collateral for your sales team.  You load it into your CRM to enable the sales team to access it easily for email and face to face presentations.  You are unsure that each member of the team will know how to access and use the new collateral.  It is too risky to simply send an email to each member of the team and hope.  This new collateral is part of a new product launch and the company needs consistency to maintain and develop its brand.  What next?

 

In my client’s case this is what the Marketing Manager did.  Firstly, she used a screen capture tool to show visually how a sales person accesses the new collateral in the CRM.  In her case she used Camtasia and there are plenty of other tools out there including the much acclaimed Storyline.   Once she captured the navigation to the files, she demonstrated how to attach them to emails and use them for both online and face to face presentations.  Total time to create and edit the screen captures?  About 2 hours.  Next she did a voice over, it was not ‘talent quality’; it was short and to the point.  Time to do the voice overs?  About another 1.5 hours including editing.

 

Next step was converting the screen captures to SCORM, importing into DOTS LMS and configuring the course settings.  She made herself the trainer so she could track the learning and interact with the sales team.  She enrolled each member of the team in the course and each member of the team was alerted by email of their enrollment with a message to complete asap.  Overall we are up to about 4 hours of time spent creating and deploying the course.  This particular individual is familiar with Camtasia so she was productive from the start.

 

The course was effective and to the point.  It was not intended to be a showcase of e-learning content mastery or be linked to a compliance competency.  The Marketing Manager had automated what could have been a logistical headache of assembling the sales team together at the office for a presentation.  She would have had to prepare the presentation anyway so she used her time wisely creating content that can be re-used both as a refresher and for new hires as part of their induction.

Who is Your Chief Collaboration Officer?

I came across an interesting blog on the Mindjet site by Troy Larson.  There are individuals in some very successful companies that hold the title of Chief Collaboration Officer.    In my experience, the contribution that collaboration makes to a competitive business includes:

  • A culture focused on activity and execution
  • Knowledge and learning is informal and effective
  • There is greater resilience against both internal and external forces acting on the business
  • Reduced risk of knowledge drain when people leave the organisation

Many of my clients see the use of an online learning platform like DOTS LMS to be an integral tool in supporting a collaborative environment.  I have recently been introduced to an online collaboration platform called Podio that is a feature rich, multi- faceted solution that includes knowledge capture, sharing, project and task management, recruitment, customer relationship management among many other features.  The client using Podio has a diverse workforce operating in corporate and home offices.   The employees are able to access the online Podio environment via a link in the DOTS LMSuser interface.

The technology is only the easy part of collaboration actually.  The more difficult aspects of collaboration relate to organisational and individual change processes.  The best collaboration tools will not overcome a reluctance or unwillingness to engage in collaboration.  The people side of collaboration is where most efforts fail.

There are many reasons for such failure.  In his blog, Troy Larson covered the idea of having a person or team accountable for collaboration as opposed to leaving collaboration to individual whim or interest.  In your organisation, is there a person accountable for collaboration?  If not, what role would be most likely best aligned to plan and execute a collaboration strategy?

Never Assume People Know

I have a client about to begin content -marketing  that expressed a sentiment that I think may be very common, “why would anybody read what I write?  I have nothing new or exciting.”  These feelings are not conducive to a good start at writing content.

I will admit that I have often had the same feelings.  There are times when I am writing a blog or article and thinking, ‘this is common sense stuff, no person will care about reading it.’  My experience  and those with whom I collaborate confirm a different scenario entirely.  There are a number of points I would like you to consider if you feel your writing and content will not be read or dismissed.

· Your ideas, observations and comments are as valid and worthy as any other persons.

· If you really look at what is included in the avalanche of online information, there is rarely anything truly new or ground breaking.

· People read online content for a number of purposes.  These may include learning, confirming, questioning, innovating, and sharing.  You do not need to write the ‘theory of everything’ to make an impact in the online world.

· Once you begin it is important to get in the ‘flow’ of content creation.  You will make an impact on others when they know you are a producer and the time spent reading your material is worthwhile for whatever purpose they are after.

· Write from personal experience and you will instantly have people interested.  There is nothing better than something written in first person to capture attention.  We are all interested in other people’s experiences as opposed to general information or theory.

· My clients are in business.  If you read business blogs can you count on more that one hand the numbers of time you read something truly new or earth shattering.  It is the same  with business books.  The ideas and information are re-purposed for the audience and you can make even the most commonly understood business ideas more interesting by telling a story.

If you are stuck and you need some help getting those fingers tapping on the keyboard, you are welcome to contact me and I can give you some ideas to help you get started.