It was Sun Tzu, legendary philosopher and author of the celebrated treatise The Art of War (often cited as an influence on business strategy, as much as military) who said “out of chaos comes opportunity”. That principle certainly has resonance now.
A crisis really crystalises what matters, and what needs to be done. It exposes our weaknesses and vulnerabilities and, in that, gives us the opportunity to do something about them.
COVID is such a crisis, and therefore could be seen as a catalyst for individual training businesses, and the industry as a whole, to think about doing things in a very different way. As business owners we’ve had to face up to risks we may not have faced before or envisaged would ever manifest. And it is how each business reacts to those risks that impacts survivability and sustainability.
With COVID effectively shutting down in-vehicle training for a time (and for some trainers, even to today) trainers had to make some tough choices. But even for those who halted in-vehicle training and continue to do so there were still ways they could offer training opportunities to existing customers and potentially net new ones. And in some cases, adapting their business model has not only helped them survive, it’s helping them start to thrive again.
Many of those who diversified what they offered, to which audiences they targeted their services and how they delivered their services did so out of necessity. They have now realised the benefits, in terms of building their business as a whole and building business resilience for the future.
For example, those who became key worker trainers have now carved out a niche delivering to healthcare workers and other frontline occupations. They have built up a new referral network for new business from those sectors alone, so are not so heavily reliant on the traditional 17-25 learner market.
Similarly, those who delivered online learning have developed products and services which pupils now value and are willing to pay extra for alongside resuming traditional lessons. Those who, in this crisis, have realised that focusing purely on one mode of delivery or one type of customer is risky, have evolved their business in order to have a better chance of survival.
Over the next few months in this magazine and in our CPD provision, we’ll be looking at how you diversify what you offer, and how you deliver it. Because to quote another famous thinker (whose insights have influenced more than just the theory of physical evolution):
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”
DIA CEO Carly Brookfield has over 18 years‘ experience in senior management helping to develop and promote both private and public sector bodies including professional membership and industry bodies in the medical, education and financial services arena. She is also an experienced campaigner and lobbyist on road safety issues and a member of the DfT’s Road Safety Delivery Group and a board member of the research and knowledge hub The Road Safety Observatory.
Source: ADI News
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