How An LMS Can Help A Small Business

If you’re a small business, you’ve probably looked into investing in training for your team, but have you considered a LMS to help you?

It’s a common misconception that online learning software is only suitable for sizable operations and that you need a large budget to run eLearning programs. However, we’re here to tell you that an LMS is one of the most valuable things you can bring into your workplace and that whether you have five, or five thousand employees, the benefits are immense.

So, let’s get down to some myth-busting about LMSs and what they can do for your small business now, and further down the line.

Are Learning Management Systems Designed Mostly For Large Companies?

The short answer here is no. Sure, there are online training solutions created with big corporations in mind, but there are plenty of Learning Management Systems on the market that not only cater for small firms but will grow with you too. The key here is that most eLearning software is scaleable. For example, if you’re a small family company, you can offer precisely the kind of training your employees require. Even if that’s only a handful of courses covering two or three skills or job areas. You’ll only need to create and upload the training you need at any given time. This could be just a few videos for instance, and your LMS won’t notice the difference between three or three hundred learners accessing the material either.

What About The Technical Expertise Needed To Offer LMS Training?

Well, the good news is that today, most Learning Management Systems don’t really require any technical know-how to run, let alone a specialist IT department. Many software providers offer off-the-shelf solutions, with cloud-based hosting and easy-to-navigate dashboards right from the get-go.

Essentially the tricky part can be developing your content to hit the right note with your staff, but in terms of getting the actual software up and running, it’s about as hard as downloading an app on your phone.

Are Learning Management Systems Expensive?

You might think LMSs are costly – and in truth – some can be. However, since most online training software is scaleable in terms of what features it can offer, it’s also scaleable in terms of cost. Investing in a basic LMS that can help your small business straight away needn’t be expensive, and it can expand with you if you pick the right one. We’ve taken a look at this in previous blogs, so click here if you’d like some hints and tips on picking the right LMS for you.

An LMS Can Cut Down On Training Costs

While we’re on the subject of budgets, training employees offline is an expensive business, right? Either you hire specialist instructors to come in and train staff on a one-off basis, or you rely on more experienced staff to onboard and teach newcomers about your business processes. The former solution is pricey and a one time-event, meaning you have to hope that everyone at the training session understands the course on the first go. The latter solution puts a burden on your key employees and shifts their focus from the work you need them to do.

If you adopt eLearning software, both of those issues disappear. Creating online training content is a one-off expense, but the skills it teaches will remain accessible 24/7 to everyone in your employment until you choose to change or add to it. In this way, your LMS can onboard new staff members at any time, leaving your SMEs free to get on with their day. Plus, your team can pop back in for a refresh on any topic, whenever they need to.

Standardise Your Training

Making sure your team is all on the same page when you do business is one of the top benefits of bringing in eLearning. In a traditional learning environment, an instructor will give a classroom lesson, but perhaps some of your folks are on a business trip, on leave, or miss the course for whatever reason.

With an LMS, you can ensure that everyone undergoes the same training despite the fact they might be doing it on a different day. They can work through courses in their own time, at their own pace, but essentially everyone has the same learning experience. Whether online training material comes in a recorded video webinar format, a click-box game scenario, or a simple manual to read with a quiz to test information retention, your employees won’t be missing out on important skills.

Create a Training Course Simply And Easily

So you may wonder; how do I create a training course to upload onto my new LMS?

There are a couple of ways to go about this, and you don’t need to be an education expert. First up, if you’re unsure about creating custom content (or commissioning it due to your budget) then off-the-shelf training courses are the easiest way to go.

Many LMS providers now offer a comprehensive library of ready-made eLearning material which you can select from and immediately offer to anyone with your LMS login details.
For example, if your small business is a cafe, you can choose from an array of reputable courses to teach health and safety, or kitchen hygiene which conform to the required standards in your country. Straight away, you have an essential course on offer to your staff without lifting a finger.

If you’d like to present a course or module tailored more specifically to your company, you might want to try creating your own. A good LMS should guide you through the process in detail, offering ideas and practical instruction. From presentations that you can film on a camera phone to audio files or documents you might already have, building an online course is relatively straightforward as long as you know what you need to teach!

Enhance Workplace Culture

Another positive aspect of bringing an LMS into your workplace is that it allows you to cover topics that skills-based classroom teaching may not have time for.

Developing and nurturing a healthy and happy workplace culture is critical for a small business. Toxic work environments are a horrible situation for staff. It’s detrimental to morale, and the ability to work effectively, leading to high employee turnover. Low productivity and a revolving door of new folks who don’t want to stay with you are bad for business.

Your LMS can help you avoid this nightmare if you offer regular courses on things that reinforce positive work culture and assist people in diffusing tense situations. You might want to present courses on diversity and inclusion, types of behaviour that are and aren’t acceptable, or even ways to de-stress and help colleagues under pressure. Furthermore, by using your LMS to demonstrate you care about employee well being, and more broadly, their career opportunities when it comes to training for promotion, you’ll end up with a happy team. And frankly, that’s gold.

Improve Employee Performance

There have been plenty of studies over the years which show learning at work stimulates job satisfaction and improves performance overall. A good LMS will offer a framework for upskilling your team through dynamic and engaging experiences. A range of approaches to information dissemination (including social learning, gamification and mobile-supported training) is crucial. With eLearning, you can offer resources to staff in both the long and short term, including certification and reminders for refresher courses. Both of these will boost your business performance overall.

Grow Your Business Via Online Training

As the saying goes: “mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

You might have a small company right now, but there’s no reason why it can’t grow. Your LMS is an ideal tool to help you do this because at the heart of a successful company is a skilled workforce. Whatever your sector, you’ll have clients, and it’s your team at the coal face, interacting with them and providing the quality products or services you specialise in.

Investing in transformative, effective training online helps your folks be the best they can be. Whether that’s continually picking up new skills through regular courses, innovating through social learning or connecting to their colleagues through fun collective learning experiences via LMS, even the smallest business has so much to gain from eLearning. And the best part is that your LMS is a flexible asset to stay the course throughout your company’s growth journey.