Is the Training Services Industry on the Rise?

During the recent economic downturn one of the first industry sectors to suffer was the training services industry.

With many organisations making redundancies, staff laid-off and companies looking to make cost savings, many chose to reduce spending on the provision of both in-house and external training. In many cases training staff numbers were cut and the services of external providers reduced or eliminated. Add this to the cutbacks in the Public Sector and training companies, agencies and training providers in general have been hit badly by the recession.

Why then are many training providers now reporting an upturn in their business with many reporting significant increases in business turnover? The smaller independent networks in particular appear to be benefitting from this upturn, as organisations having reduced their in-house expertise during the recession are now looking to outside experts – in areas such sales training and bespoke management training – to fill their skills gap. Many of these smaller companies have seen a doubling in both inquires & bookings and a leading training company recently reported that last year was their best on record.

On theory for this apparent growth in the training services sector is that companies want their remaining employees to have the necessary skills to help them climb out of recession and take advantage of any economic upturn as it happens. Management training in particular is seen as an area for growth with companies wanting to ensure their mangers get the best from their staff and assist in staff development.

Organisations emerging from recession will also be keen to ensure that all front-line, ‘customer-facing staff’ are ‘skilled-up’ and ready to drive the business forward via enhanced sales and customer service skills. Sales training and sales management training will be key to helping businesses drive revenue growth from both their existing customer base and new customers.

Management training and sales training courses can also help businesses to retain key staff as, not only does training enhance employee skills, but it is also often highly motivational for those attending, with individuals perceiving the training as the organisation investing in them.

Providers of bespoke solutions, where external specialists both design and deliver training to meet a business’s specific requirements, are the most likely to benefit from this upturn. Company Training Managers will want to ensure value for money and that they get the most from what are still, in the main, limited training budgets; i.e. if they are to bring in outside expertise in skills-based management, negotiation, telesales, and sales training etc. they will need to ensure that the specific needs of both the organisation and the individuals attending the courses are met.

Franchising, Industrial Base, Service Industry and Thoughts

Many folks are concerned that we are losing our economic and industrial base in the United States and one only has to tune into Lou Dobbs once a week to consider the implications and unfortunate trends. Not long ago someone emailed our Online Think Tank on a Topic concerning the Franchising Industry and our Industrial Manufacturing Base in the United States and asked a dubious question indeed:

I am worried. We have no sustaining industrial base in this country.

My reply to this astute observation and common comment was: Yes, I am concerned, we have over regulated our manufacturing right out of the country, starting with raw materials on up to completed products. What does this nation make? Hamburgers and Pizzas, so I would hate for over regulation to kill those industries too; wouldn’t you – thank god we still have those. On this franchising topic we must consider the value of the Franchising Sector in job creation and circulating money and keeping the flow in our own nation. The individual then asked:

Can we survive as a service economy through franchising?

Probably not entirely, some discuss a knowledge based economy, but that is somewhat a misnomer, because the same nations which have taken our manufacturing are stealing and ripping us off blind on our intellectual capital, innovations and inventions.

Franchising is viable, but not if we force the business models of all types of industries into a single box of regulation, I hold with Greenspan’s comments when he stated: “the problem with making a new regulation, is that the temptation to create follow-up regulations is just too great” and that creates job security in bureaucracy. Nothing should be less secure than a job in the Blob in my humble opinion. Still the questions kept coming:

Where will Americans work?

Our current dilemma is self-induced, and is the result of the law of unintended consequences of making humans weak, fat, dumb and happy. With unemployment so low everyone who really wants a job can have one. We need more robots right now, but when along comes a downturn, we will certainly wish we had not killed the Golden Goose that has made us so prosperous.

Will we lose more and more of our middle class who will fall into the ranks of the poor?

There are issues to keep track of and it is a serious business of course. If we are to equalize the whole world, then Americans will come down as everyone else comes up, but we can if the middle class is lost and China falters, who holds up the game? The answer is to bring up the rest of the world without destroying all we are and all we have built in this greatest nation ever created in the history of humankind.

Will the World continue to invest in our stock market and our government bonds?

Well, if you look at the Chinese market correction, ouch. Our markets are stable today, but we need a market correction too, which is overdue and perhaps needs to be hovering around 12,800 on the Dow. Indeed, we also have a baby boomer demographic change to deal with, meanwhile China’s industrial revolution and labor issues cometh, along with angered populous over everything from wages to environmental poisoning from pollution. Lots to think about, but what is a Think Tank for anyway?

Getting Started in the Computer Service Industry

When pursuing a career in computer services, you will find many different jobs to consider that place you with constant customer contact or behind-the-scenes managing the daily operations of a particular department. Today, computer repair services are also in high demand when it comes to computer service careers. With varying levels of education and experience, a person interested in computers can easily locate employment within the United States and Canada.

Common Computer Service Career and Jobs

For starters, a Computer Operations Manager is responsible for planning, directing, and managing the day-to-day business of a computer department. They are in charge of creating department policies and procedures. Usually, an associates degree in a related field and at least 8 years of experience are required for this position. Reporting to a senior manager is often expected. The typical salary for this job is seen between $65,880 and $96,211.

As a Computer Aided Design Drafter, one learns how to master the transformation of the beginning stages of a rough product design by using computer-aided design (CAD) to produce helpful documents. Some companies demand an associates degree in a related area and 0-2 years of experience to land a position as a CAD Drafter. While working under immediate supervision, a drafter typically reports to a supervisor or manager. The average annual salary for a Senior CAD Drafter is between $38,831 and $50,323.

With an average base salary of $36,062 to $44,738, a Level I Computer Technician will maintain, analyze, troubleshoot, and repair computer systems and other components. This type of job often requires an associates degree or its equivalent with 0-3 years of experience within the field. Sometimes, this job title is also referred to as a PC Maintenance Technician I.

There are also many positions available on the college or university level as professors apply for computer science jobs in the fields of computers and information sciences. Instructors often prepare and give lectures to filled classrooms, which then break into discussion regarding the material. Hands-on computer exercises and laboratories are led by professors to help students grasp the material. A professor must possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree in area of specialty, accompanied by 2-4 years of experience in the field of computers. An instructor in computer science usually receives an average annual salary between $36,811 and $68,932. Depending on the college or university, this figure may vary.

With all of the viruses, spyware, and malfunctions threatening computers, becoming a computer repairer can reap a decent salary. Many computer repairers also go on to own their own businesses, where they mend and maintain PCs and laptops, as well as audio and visual equipment. A high school diploma and 2-4 years of experience is needed to perform the duties of this job position. Usually, the completion of an apprenticeship and/or formal training is required. A Computer Equipment Repairer typically makes between $41,582 and $52,769.

Working in Computer Services: United States & Canada

When becoming a part of the Hewlett Packard family, employees receive a competitive base pay, as well as enter a satisfying performance-related pay program called Total Rewards. It is through this program that employees are offered the chance to share in the success of HP, which comes as a direct result of worker performance. Comprehensive benefits are offered through health plans, retirement and savings packages, as well as income protection. Stock ownership is given to HP employees through the Share Ownership Plan.

Microsoft is a well-known computer services company that has earned awards and rankings as one of the top 100 companies to work for, as well as earned high honors in the training department. A Software Developer at Microsoft earns an average annual salary of $118,500. They are also one of few companies that pay 100% of their employees’ health-care premiums.

As an employee at Intel, workers enjoy the Employee Cash Bonus Plan that offers a profit-sharing plan with cash rewards given to employees that takes place twice per year. These figures are based upon a percentage of net income or pretax margin (whichever number is greater). A wide-range of comprehensive medical plans is available to employees, providing cost-effective and flexible choices. Dental benefits come in the form of two different dental plans.

Best Buy is known for selling consumer electronics and other products dedicated to computer software, cell phones, and cameras. Computer-related majors may find a home as part of the “Geek Squad,” which is responsible for helping others with their computer problems. Common duties include performing system checkups and maintenance; hardware and software installation; crashed hard drive repair; virus and spyware removal; and setting up digital devices. Additional companies to seek decent employment in computer services include Dell and IBM.

Any business, large or small, can benefit from local internet marketing. But if there is one type of company that needs it the most, it is the service industry. These are companies who do their business not through walk-ins, but through appointments. These include many businesses such as dentists, chiropractors, lawyers and realtors.

A local internet marketing campaign is better than a phone book ad for several different reasons. With a phone book ad local marketers are limited in the information that you can give prospective customers. Even if a full page ad is paid for, only so much information will fit within that space. And much of that space is often taken up with logos or photographs. These might be eye-catching and will help secure phone calls, but they do not help build a relationship between the customer and the business. Space is not an issue online, so a company is able to include vital information, photographs, maps and build a relationship with the client before a phone call is made.

More and more individuals are doing searches online when they are looking for a new business rather than flipping through the phone book. While this does not mean that a company should ignore telephone book advertising completely, it does highlight the importance of developing a web presence. It will allow the company to advertise to more of the market, including the young and affluent that are more likely to search online.

Local marketing allows a relationship to be developed between the service provider and the client before the client even calls to make an appointment. By publishing articles on the webpage that give advice, the company becomes a trusted resource. A realtor may write about the local area which helps people who are relocating, or include a mortgage calculator that many potential home buyers would find useful. A lawyer might explain the state’s DUI laws and why a lawyer is necessary in these cases.

Specials can be offered and changed frequently on the internet. This saves businesses money because they don’t need to worry about printing costs or distribution costs. These coupons and special offers are targeted to the people who are looking for them. A coupon for a free consultation is one thing that can be offered. Tracking results from online ad campaigns is efficient and simple, especially with help from knowledgeable search engine optimization professionals that manage accounts and provide monthly reports.

Businesses in the service industry can survive without local internet marketing, but it is important that they learn to adapt to new technology and ways to advertise. If they do not, they are missing out on building relationships with prospective customers.