The surprising downsides of opening your training centre in September
Posted on 13th June 2023 at 14:22
With summer approaching, this is often the time when we at The Education Management Group speak to entrepreneurs and business owners who want to open a training centre.
And, when we ask what timescales they’re looking at, the answer is often “in September, because that’s the best time for people to start a course”.
Starting a training centre is a significant investment and rushing into it without proper planning and research can lead to costly mistakes.
Here are a few reasons why September is not necessarily the best time to start your training centre:
1. Evergreen might be more attractive than seasonal
When it comes to training courses, there are two types: seasonal and evergreen. Seasonal courses are geared towards a specific time of the year, such as academic-year-led programmes that you might expect to take at a college.
Evergreen courses, on the other hand, can be taken at any time of the year and are not tied to a particular time. Providers allow students to enrol at various points, giving the student more flexibility.
If you open a training centre in September, you may be focusing on seasonal courses. This means that once September is over, you may struggle to attract new students and keep your business running.
2. You’re working with adults who aren't necessarily concerned with the start of the academic year
In September, many people are focussing on getting their children get ready for the new school year. This means that they may not have the time or energy to commit to a new training course themselves.
Summer can be a really stressful time for parents as the children are off school for an extended period and, when September comes, taking on another new challenge may be the last thing they want!
3. You’ll be competing with colleges
If you open a training centre in September, you may be competing with established training centres and colleges that have already built a reputation. These centres may have already attracted students through open evenings and events throughout the year.
Lots of people choose to study at a college because colleges feel reliable: it can feel like a risk to pay – potentially – thousands of pounds to a private training centre – especially a new one!
If you want to compete with these established centres, you may need to offer something unique or different that sets you apart from the competition.
Flexible, or at least not just September, can be something that makes the difference to your adult learners.
Carry out some market research: what time of year do your current connections feel is the best to start a course? To succeed in the training industry, you need to understand your target market and their needs. Rushing into opening a training centre without proper market research can lead to courses that do not resonate with your target audience, which can result in low enrolment and, ultimately, revenue.
While September may seem like a good time to open a training centre, it may not be the best time for your business.
Consider offering evergreen courses that can be taken at any time of the year and focus on marketing your services to people who are interested in learning something new regardless of the time of year.
If you’d like some bespoke advice and guidance on opening your own training centre, read our blogs or contact us for further information.
Please note that The EMG does not give free advice and guidance. All free advice and guidance is available in our blog posts.
Tagged as: adult learning, AET, PTLLS, Training, Teaching, Award in Education, how to open a training centre, Set up as a training centre; training; assessing;, starting a training centre; centre set up
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