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The business of training is concerned with teaching skills to individuals and teams within companies or organizations. In the US, training is a multi-billion dollar industry. Individuals buy training when they want to gain the skills needed to enter a new career. Companies of any size usually have an employee or department dedicated to training new employees in required job skills. As the size of the company increases, both the number of people assigned to training as well as the breadth of training offered within the company increases.

Building an independent training business

The demand for independent training services tends to wax and wane with the health of the economy. When times are good, corporate demand for training increases as companies who find it more difficult to find qualified people are more willing to invest in upgrading the skills of their current staff. During a growing business cycle, jobs are plentiful, qualified people are scarce, and training existing team members is usually the best if not only option. In this environment, companies are more likely to consider bringing in independent trainers either as contract employees or as an adjunct or even replacement for their internal training organization.

When the economy is faltering, training is one of the first corporate expenses to be cut. This is because the first priority is reducing costs, and it is easier and quicker, to stop training than to cut staff.

Keys to Success

Setting up an independent training business is very simple: You create a curriculum or course based on your expertise, and reach out to your network of contacts to let them know that you are in the business and what courses you are offering. Almost 100 percent of all independent training business is by referral. So throwing up a website and / or sending out flyers or faxes is usually a waste of time and money. Some enterprising individuals are creating on-line courses in areas that require state certification and offering the education on-line, an intriguing concept as the training does not require the active participation of the trainer. This instance may be an exception to the referral rule, however success may depend entirely on whether the certifying organization is willing to provide a link to your business. Beyond getting the word out, the independent trainers need to possess passionate enthusiasm for their subjects, fairly good teaching/training skills, as well as expert level experience and knowledge to draw upon.


American Society for Training & Development - A must visit website for those considering a career in training. Site includes resources, tools, networking links and certification programs for members.

International Association for Continuing Education and Training -Many employers offer employees the opportunity to choose their own external training courses. IACET offers certification of training courses - a process that certifies that courses meet minimum standards.

A Few who do it well

Spectracomm - Dallas, Texas - Provides a popular customer service training program that teaches employees the skills needed to deal effectively with difficult customers.