You already know that eLearning is a smart move for your business.
Between increasing compliance, the growing trend of remote workers, and a younger workforce that puts a high value on career development, a full-service learning solution isn't a luxury—it's a necessity.
So, here is a condensed guide to preparing, planning and building a business case for your company's new eLearning project for guaranteed sign-off.
Define Your Goals
Understanding the goals of your company gives you the reason as to why you are implementing a learning solution.
By defining your goals you give yourself the insight to:
- Choose a learning system with the features your business needs
- Prove that the benefits of your new system match up to the overall goals of your company
- Target the specific wants and needs of the senior executives you'll be pitching to
So what kind of goals should you be thinking about?
Our clients' goals are typically broken down into 4 broad areas.
- Legal goals
- Financial goals
- People goals
- Customer goals
Legal goals refer to the need for every business to abide by the latest compliance regulations. But, on top of that, if your company works in a heavily regulated industry (such as insurance or financial services) your legal goals suddenly become intertwined with your performance as a business.
Financial goals are pretty self-explanatory. It isn't just about cutting costs on your training programs (although that is a huge factor). An eLearning system can help your company achieve financial goals through expediting the onboarding period for new starters and increasing productivity (and revenue!) from your fully competent staff.
People goals may be the most important aspect of your new project. Legal and financial goals are important, but you should never lose sight of what makes your business great—the people. Enhanced learning programs contribute to a culture of continuous improvement and professional development so that every employee can feel fulfilled in their role.
Customer goals can apply if your company sells complicated projects or software. Digital learning courses can help your customers (or franchisees) get the most out of your products. With courses that help your end-users become more competent and see faster results, you can improve customer satisfaction and secure repeat business and loyalty to your brand.
It’s one thing to understand the general goals that any company might have. But, if you want to get your senior leaders on your side, you need to dig deep into the specific situations and problems your own company is facing. So before you start anything else, ask yourself:
- Does your company struggle with compliance?
- Is your business worried about cutting costs and improving revenue?
- Does your company have a problem with staff retention and competency?
- Does your customers’ satisfaction rely on their own competency and results?
By understanding the most important needs and problems of your business, you’ll be able to match up the benefits of an eLearning system to the specific goals of your company - and you’ll be in a much stronger position to make a convincing case to your leadership team.
Do Your Research
Once you’ve got the goals of your company down, the goals of your eLearning project should follow naturally. Once you understand those, you’re ready to get into the real meat of building a business case: the research.
Gathering data and preparing your business case is such a massive step. And, when you’re excited to start making positive changes for your company, it’s tempting to rush through it. But you really shouldn’t. By taking the time to understand and assess every aspect of your eLearning project, you’ll be able to present a watertight business case to your senior leaders (and you’ll make a great personal impression when it comes time to pitch).
So make sure you’ve got all the bases covered:
- Research your team: Both the people directly involved, and the people who need to approve the project.
- Dig deep into the options: Find the best solution to fit your company’s goals and needs.
- Get some numbers down: Understand the costs and savings, and draw up a realistic ROI forecast.
- Give your project time: The move to eLearning won’t happen overnight.
It's important to remember you’re not just building an impressive collection of data on paper. You’re arming yourself with the statistics and numbers that will help you convince and convert your senior teams over to your side.
Time To Pitch
At this point, you’ve defined your goals, understood your stakeholders, compared a few solutions, and armed yourself with some impressive numbers.
You’re almost there! But there’s one tricky stage left, and all of the research and preparation you’ve done has led up to this important next step.
You’ll need to present your case. And that means you could do with a few helpful pitching and presentation tips to give you the best chance of success.
With the right research and preparation behind you, you should be feeling confident in your final pitch to your senior team. But if you’re not someone who is used to making presentations, it might all feel a bit strange—and that’s normal!
So just remember the golden rules of any presentation:
- Keep it short, deliberate, and focused—no rambling and no tangents
- Keep a set of notes nearby—you never know when you’ll lose your train of thought
- Always do a few practice runs in front of a mirror at home—no matter how silly it feels!
Building a business case for eLearning is a solid first step. But really, it’s only the beginning of the journey.
To help you along the journey we've condensed these handy steps into an infographic, see below: