Learning and development allows businesses to run more smoothly, helping staff past potential blockers throughout the working day with a range of support that helps us do our jobs better.

The e-learning industry is constantly talking about weird and wonderful ways companies can benefit from e-learning, which, unfortunately for small businesses and startups, usually requires a fairly substantial learning and development budget.

With resource difficult to find at the best of times and the very thought of set-up costs making MDs and small business owners break out into a sweat, it makes perfect business sense not to over-invest in L&D in the early days of a business. But as a business begins to grow, how do you get out of the habit of training on the back foot without spending over the odds?

E-learning isn’t just for big organizations

There are some really big e-learning vendors who charge tens (and hundreds) of thousands for e-learning solutions and infrastructure at enterprise scale. It’s a common misconception that e-learning has to be this expensive, with many small businesses put off the idea because they see it as more of a big, corporate venture. Today, this is becoming less and less of the case, with cloud solutions offering ‘start small and scale’ solutions to meet every business’ unique needs without eating up too much valuable revenue.

What can e-learning do for small businesses?

Without e-learning support, senior members of staff are the fountain of all knowledge; onboarding, upskilling and troubleshooting new and current staff in order to keep everything and everyone ticking over. Choosing to invest in e-learning is a bit of a chicken or egg predicament – you need to employ more staff (and want them upskilled quickly) but you have no way of training them. On the other hand you may want to invest in training, but worry you don’t have enough people to make it valuable.

There are range of benefits startups and small businesses can gain from implementing e-learning without breaking the ban, here are just a few…

  • Improve core company competencies
  • Understand what people do and don’t know about your business
  • Provide centralized support for soft skills
  • Train remote workers and freelancers
  • Ensure all new members of your team get the same training
  • Reduce the time taken to train new staff
  • Turn downtime into personal development time
  • Improve on-boarding and induction processes

The basics of a learning CMS (LCMS)

A learning management system (LMS) or learning content management system (LCMS) is where learning is stored by a business and accessed by staff in order to keep people moving. Modern learning CMS’ are much more nimble, cost effective, scalable and less feature-focussed, allowing businesses to start small and move up as and when new staff join.

A learning CMS is useful for small companies and startups as it gives some structure to the development and support of staff, providing one central system for them to head or be directed in. It also allows for staff to collaborate and share their learning experiences, while the business can analyse what courses people have and haven’t taken, helping understand what people do and don’t know. This helps your business because a system does the heavy lifting and organizing, taking over as the fountain of all knowledge from busy, senior staff within a business.

multi-device learning analytics

Solutions available

It’s probably wise to avoid open source solutions, as you’re going to need a developer on hand to get things up and running, as well as a means of hosting it. You want something that’s easy and takes up as little of everyone’s time as possible, giving staff an easy means of support wherever they may be.

The gomo learning suite is a cloud based solution which allows you to create, host, update and track multi-device e-learning content for as little as $1,780 a year, all in. This gives you a means of creating e-learning plus a cloud hosting and distribution suite to give you multiple distribution methods to reach your teams, wherever they’re based.

Sound like something that would suit your business and budget? Check out this video of it in action to get a better idea of how it comes together to support your organization’s learning and development.

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