Leadership Training for Small Business
We all know that leadership training is effective and important, but small businesses
simply can't afford to provide in-house trainers who develop and present training on a full-time basis.
Any firm of only a few to even a few hundred employees can be hard pressed to determine how
to provide the needed training to leaders in the firm. What are some of the vehicles that can provide this training at low cost to the small business?
Local universities and secondary schools offer courses
and seminars in leadership topics that can be quite cost effective.
Time management, communications, cultural diversity and other courses can be found in many
By arranging for leaders to attend these courses at company expense and on company time,
the training can be cost effective. If you are a company with several hundred employees, talk to the college about obtaining discounts for your employee training.
Conferences and seminars are another source
of effective training.
Often, in larger cities, seminars are held almost every weekend that address leadership
issues. In mid-sized cities, several times each year seminars on topics relating to your leadership training needs will be offered. Spend some of your training and development budget on carefully selected conference
and seminar events.
Vendor-provided training can be another avenue worth pursuing.
If one of your suppliers or vendors presents a trade show or conference, very often some of
the sessions will be on various new developments in leadership skills. New automation ideas and techniques can be gleaned from these sessions.
Another great opportunity at these trade shows or vendor conferences is the opportunity to
interact with leaders from other firms that are in similar businesses and learn new approaches and techniques from them.
Often the cost of these events will be reduced if you volunteer to provide a presentation
or training session on a topic on which you have in-house expertise.
Training consultants can also provide very effective training.
These consultants have all the skills of a full-time in-house training department, but will
visit your venue on request to provide the specific training you desire.
The training can be customized to meet your exact needs and usually will require several
consultations to ensure that the training developed is precisely what your business needs.
Leadership retreats can be great experiences for helping leaders bond into a cohesive team as well as for obtaining
While the retreats may be more expensive than other leadership training
vehicles, the retreat can be used to refresh, renew and get a completely different outlook on processes and procedures.
It is also wise to locate staff leaders that are qualified and willing to present
training courses. A simple one-day or one-half day course can be a great training experience if you select the right in-house employee to develop and deliver this type of training.
The only really bad
leadership training program is one that is non-existent. Even with a limited budget and little time to devote to leadership training, well-chosen activities will benefit the entire organization.