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Why life coaching is a really really hard sell

Coaching - Specialise and gain more clients

Coaching – Specialise and gain more clients

What they don’t tell you in coaching school? Is that “life coaching” is a really, really hard sell.

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed

I know some excellent life coaches – they’ve written best-selling books, they’ve got 75k+ likes on Facebook, they’ve done everything right, business-wise – they have more of a reach than I will ever have in my business – and they still struggle to get clients. They are still living month to month. And they have to hustle every  day to find new ways to make coaching a viable business.

Why? Because they are generalied “life coaches”. And life coaching isn’t something that people really “get”.  Here are 10 Definitions of Coaching

  1. “Unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.  It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them” (Whitmore 2003)
  2. “A collaborative, solution focused, result-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and person growth of the coachee”  (Grant 1999, basic definition also referred to by the Association for Coaching, 2005).
  3. “A professional partnership between a qualified coach and an individual or team that support the achievement of extra-ordinary results, based on goals set by the individual or team “(ICF, 2005)
  4.  “The art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another” (Downey, 2003)
  5.  “Coaching is directly concenred with the immediate improvement of performance and development of skills by a form of tutoring or instruction”  (Parsloe, 1995).
  6. “Coaching psychology is for enhancing well-being and performance in personal life and work domains underpinned by models of coaching grounded in established adult and child learning or psychological approaches” (Special Group of Coaching Psychologists, part of the British Psychological Society)
  7. “Coaching is about developing a person’s skills and knowledge so that their job performance improves, hopefully leading to the achievement of organisational objectives. It targets high performance and improvement at work, although it may also have an impact on an individual’s private life. It usually lasts for a short period and focuses on specific skills and goals.” (CIPD 2009)
  8. “Psychological skills and methods are employed in a one-on-one relationship to help someone become a more effective manager or leader.  These skills are typically applied to a specific present-moment work-related issues….in a way that enable this client to incorporate them into his or her permanent management or leadership repertoire” (Peltier 2010)
  9. [Co-active] coaching is “a powerful alliance designed to forward and enhance a life-long process of human learning, effectiveness and fulfilment”  Whitworth et al (2007)
  10. “Coaching is about enabling individuals to make conscious decisions and empowering them to become leaders in their own lives” (Wise 2010 – sorry couldn’t help sneaking one in myself!).

So after reviewing the definitions, which one would you say best sums up your offering? The truth is that people will be coming to you because of YOU and what you have accomplished. Your story is important. Your skills and expertise are just as important. And while coaching isn’t about telling people what to do – sometimes people will need guidance, advice, and hand holding. And you are 100% allowed to be their coach, their mentor, their teacher, and  advisor.

You might be veering away from what you learned in coaching school, but in order to stand out from the crowd it will help you fast-track your business success by playing to your strengths and personality and the need of your specific and targeted client base.

So I am going to call out the elephant in the room: The majority of coaches who are killing it in business are doing one of several things:

1. They coach and/or mentor other coaches

2. They coach specialist clients (sports, personalities, celebrities)

3. They coach executives within large companies.

Unfortunately many small businesses who would really like to have a coach cannot commit the resources, this is why most coaches are also starving.

People are interestd in you

People are interestd in you

Here’s what you can do to make the life coaching business easier on yourself:

  • Get specific about who you work with and what problem you solve for them.
  • Drop the jargon STAT of what other coaches have achieved
  • Stop doing open ended, ongoing coaching. It’s hard to sell and doesn’t get you known for anything.
  • Learn the common mistakes people make in creating packages, and then don’t make them.
  • Create ONE specific package for a specific market (based on your unique expertise) and get really, really good at it.
  • Build a solid client base, and THEN you can expand.
  • Create a blog and don’t be afraid to give away step by step advice, it will get you known.
  • And in the meantime, keep your day job.

Home Study Courses to help refine your Specialism for Coaching. Fully accredited. Request course outlineand price by clicking here

Change Management: Change and How to Deal With It Managers traditionally have had the task of contributing to the effectiveness of their organization while maintaining high morale. Today, these roles often have to be balanced off with the reality of implementing changes imposed by senior management. Managers who have an understanding of the dynamics of change are better equipped to analyze the factors at play in their own particular circumstances, and to adopt practical strategies to deal with resistance. This one-day workshop will help you deal with change and will give you strategies to bring back to your employees.
Coaching: A Leadership Skill Coach, Role Model, Counselor, Supporter, Guide…do these words ring a bell? Being a coach involves being a role model, sometimes a counselor or supporter, and always a guide. Coaching is based on a partnership that involves giving both support and challenging opportunities to employees. Knowing how and when to coach is an essential skill that can benefit both you and your organization. This one-day workshop will help you become a better coach in all senses of the word.
Communication Strategies This course is designed to help you improve your interactions with other people in your workplace or at home. This course wil help you guide your clients on how to improve the critical communication skills of listening, asking questions and being aware of nonverbal messages. To help your clients who are struggling to find that middle ground between being too aggressive and too passive, and how to counter the manipulative tactics of difficult people.  Your clients will  also learn more about the elements of our communication with others that help us reveal appropriate information about ourselves, and how to get a handle on how to better manage ourselves for a professional image.
 The Art of Delegating Effectively  Delegation is often one of the hardest skills for a manager to master. However, the skill can be learned. You will explore many of the facets of delegation: when to delegate, and who to delegate to. We will also go through the delegation process step by step, to see where the pitfalls lie, and what we can do about getting around them.  These are useful tools for your clients.
Networking for success  Business networking is an effective and efficient way for business people to connect, develop meaningful relationships, and grow their businesses. These achievements don’t come through a direct sales approach, however. They come from being interested in helping others, in listening, and in purposefully meeting and introducing people to one another. You will  learn the essential ingredients to help your clients with business networking, including in-person, people-centered connections and online spaces such as LinkedIn.
Conflict Resolution There are two major myths about conflict: that it always involves anger and that it’s always negative. Conflict can actually be a positive tool for growth if you know how to manage it properly. This course will help you specialise in helping your clients develop quality mediation skills.
Dealing with Difficult People All of us experience conflict. We argue with our spouses, disagree with our friends, and sometimes even quarrel with strangers at a hockey game. At times we lose sight of the fact that all this conflict is normal. So long as people are individuals there will be the potential for conflict. Since you can’t prevent conflict, the most important thing is to learn how to handle or manage it in productive ways. What is critical for resolving conflict is developing an understanding of, and a trust in, shared goals. It requires openness, discipline, and creativity. Showing respect for other people and not blaming them enables people to work for mutual benefit.
Conflict Resolution: Getting Along in the Workplace Conflict Resolution: Getting Along in the Workplace
Conquering Your Fear of Speaking in Public Do you get nervous when presenting at company meetings? Do you find it hard to make conversation at gatherings and social events? Do you lock up in awkward social situations? If so, this one day workshop is just for you! It’s aimed at anybody who wants to improve their speaking skills in informal situations. We’ll give you the confidence and the skills to interact with others and to speak in informal situations and in front of small groups.
Controlling Anger Before It Controls You – A One Day Primer Everyone gets angry; it’s a completely natural response. But do you know how to manage that anger constructively? Most individuals throughout coaching need a set of tools to help them with this problem.
Core Negotiation Skills Negotiation is a key skill that, when mastered, can enhance communications and provide better results from communication. You can specialise in helping your client on how to prepare to negotiate, ways to respond to negotiation challenges, how to create win-win solutions, and how to create sustainable agreements.
Creating a Dynamic Job Portfolio The job market continues to change, as does the way we look for work. This course examines the value of presenting yourself as a complete package by using a resume as an introduction to an employer and backing it up with a portfolio presented at the interview.

You can learn to help to executives for instance prepare themselves for new challenges.

Critical Thinking In today’s society, many people experience information overload. We are bombarded with messages to believe various ideas, purchase things, support causes, and lead our lifestyle in a particular way. How do you know what to believe? How do you separate the truth from the myths?

Help your clients with constructive tools on how to put their thoughts into order.

The dangers of being out-thought and out- manoeuvre by your competitors

soft skills training for sales team by diane shaweBuyers Don’t Follow a Linear Path anymore so why ask your sales team to do the same?

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed

The sales funnel relies on the theory that someone comes into the top of the funnel and sales fall out the bottom. But is that true in today’s world? Do we start at the top and make our way through to the end? Or do we start at the top, leave, jump levels, come back, leave again, come back at the beginning and some point come back and buy or totally just leave? Are sales people  following a linear purchase pattern or an erratic path of engagement that sometimes results in less and fewer sales?

Distraction is the Number One Barrier to Sale

Distraction is destroying the Sales Funnel. It’s clear that buyer behaviour is erratic, but they are also finicky and overloaded with information.. Distraction may very well be the number one barrier to a sale. We get distracted and abandon our cart. We stop reading the article that brought us to you. Simply put, any little distraction means we move on to something else and we may never come back. We are also finicky buyers, what we think one day may be dramatically changed by another piece of content that contradicts our previous opinion.

Let’s take a look at the Sales Funnel Concept.

The sales funnel has been around for as long as any of us has been in business. It is a tool that has been used to visualize everything from the sales process to marketing impact on an organization. I use to be a  fan of the sales funnel.  But the truth is, the traditional sales funnel model has been dead for years; we just haven’t come to accept it yet. They say a picture paints a thousand words, the problem is clients are overloaded with the same information.

SALES-Marketing-Funnels dead. avpt Diane Shawe

Buying patterns have changed drastically in the last decade. They’ve changed so much that they have truly broken the sales funnel as we know it.

Old habits die hard, so the big question is whether or not a sales funnel is still a viable model for sales concepts. Here are the biggest challenges I see with the sales funnel in today’s buying environment.

Selling the way your customer wants to buy…Not the way you like to sell

Sales Plan Mapping is all about Rapport.  Rapport is defined as:

“A state of mutual trust and respect existing between two or more people. Rapport is the primary basis for all successful communication.”

Sales Plan Mapping is all about Rapport.  Rapport is defined as: “A state of mutual trust and respect existing between two or more people. Rapport is the primary basis for all successful communication.”  To build rapport with someone you have not met face to face is a learned skill referred to as NLP.

Learning to Plan a Sales map requires knowledge in a new type of Consultative Selling.  Planning a Sale Map would mean learning new skills in 5 key areas:

  • Best Practices
  • Communication Skills
  • Strategy and Traction
  • Sales Project Management
  • Presentation

The strategic role of continuous education

One way to stay on top of a rapidly changing market is to implement a business strategy that maximises the synergies between lifelong learning and workforce productivity.

Without appropriate technological support, training programs appear to be less effective. No matter the size of your business, if you stand still and basque in your current success, this is surely the biggest route to new challenges.

Even though research has shown that E-Learning proves to be an excellent way to achieve quality results in a short timeframe, most users still only dabble with free flimsy or overbearing solutions that provide no tracking, evidence or further sign posting to continue competence training.

Getting the world back to work with skills we can trust

Getting the world back to work with skills we can trust

POINT OF NEED TRAINING

Point of Need Online-delivered learning, using mobile technology within a context of continuous education, is considered strategic because it:

  • Keeps the workforce appraised of their job functions’ developing requirements, enabling them to make a positive impact on their role individually and as a team and help that Organisation achieve its aims and goals
  • Aids succession planning, helping workers to acquire the knowledge and skills to help them progress within their Organisation
  • Allows Organisations to keep training budgets under tighter control, develop and retain existing employees and reduce the costs related to external human resources recruitment, selection and on-boarding

The current speed of change means that employees need to be trained continuously for Companies to avoid the dangers of being out-thought and out-manoeuvre by competitors especially on qualities such as leadership.

A poorly educated workforce results in decreased, indeed ever decreasing, levels of productivity and reduces their ability to deliver results. Ignorant and poorly skilled staff can’t (or, at least, shouldn’t) be promoted — since they don’t have the appropriate skills to help their company reach its business objectives. So Organisations need to go to the expense, in terms of time and trouble, of recruiting staff with new knowledge and competencies from outside the organisation to cover middle and senior level positions. It’s important to realise that not only does this practice have a negative impact on the organisation, regarding high costs per individual worker, but company results show that this approach isn’t always successful.

According to recent research (Lifelong Education and Labour Market Needs, published in The EvoLLLution online newspaper) examining the need for continuing education in the workforce, 64% of executives who are recruited externally fail within four years of joining the organisation.

Ideally, every company should have a Personal Training Needs Analysis plan in place for each of their employees. This project should engage the employee in identifying training programs that will enable the employees to develop the necessary knowledge and skills specific to them.

How can we help up-skill your sales team without them taking too much time of work?

Modernising your Sales Team – Project Manage Sales Mapping Whitepaper by Diane Shawe M.Ed

Can you Maintain Continuity of a Team in the face of personal ambitions and solicitations from other companies?

Building Better TeamsOne of the biggest problems team leaders face is maintaining the continuity of the team. Once the right people are in place on your staff, how do you keep them there in the face of their ambitions and solicitations from other companies?

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed   Accredited Clarity4d Business Partner

Clarity within the team can go a long way toward solving the first problem, and embedded processes that recognise peoples’ contributions can help with the second problem but this can often be a slow and costly procedure.

Well, I went on the most incredible 3-day accreditation course on this very matter, and I just had to blog about it before sending out some information to various organisations who might find it useful. In a nutshell Clarity4d help each member of staff become better at making the team more efficient through feedback and coaching, in days rather than weeks, it’s a game changer!

Research on why people leave companies or underperform found two key reasons: 1) they don’t like their boss,

2) they don’t feel appreciated.

Teaching managers to be “coaches” rather than “bosses”—asking questions rather than just telling someone what to do—would help to create UNITY WITHOUT UNIFORMITY. But where do you begin?  The Old fashion words such as Molding a Team of Leaders does not go down well in today’s working environment. Educating and bringing people along with you instead of dragging them is far healthier and cost effective in many ways.

GETTING YOUR TEAM TOGETHER

So you’ve taken the time and made the effort to spot, recruit, develop, and get in place a group of smart and talented people who are your direct reports. That’s crucial. But the bigger challenge is educating these high-energy, high -powered, high-ego people into a working team of leaders who synchronise their efforts and propel the business forward. Individual team members naturally focus on their own functional specialties and have their own personal ambitions, but those differences often cause them to pull in different directions especially considering the inherent tensions that exist between various silos of the business.

As the leader, you have to get your direct reports to submerge their egos, aggression, and personal agendas so they’re pulling together. You can’t mediate every dispute, ensure that every trade-off is properly made, or that information is flowing as it should on a daily basis. Clarity4d can provide the tools to help all team members learn how to develop team communication strategies, so the business will perform better as they focus and commit to the total business.

Clarity4d will help them create a common granular picture of the company in its external context as you see it or even more critical the way the market it moving. That way, they’ll know how their respective areas fit together, and they’ll have both the motivation and information they need to keep their efforts aligned. You have to mold people’s behavior as well. Too often, talented and ambitious people have a single-minded focus, little aware of what their colleagues in other silos are doing, at worst deeply suspicious of them.

Claim your personal training need analysis

Resources and information are hoarded, and communication is sporadic and formalistic. You’re the one who tolerates or challenges narrow self-interest, big egos, and dominant personalities. Most of the work of educating a team happens in group settings, which may require that you change the way you lead. You can’t just work with your direct reports one to one, setting their budgets and goals in private and coaching them individually as you shift your attention from one part of the business to another. You have to help the group create a picture of the total business and correct any disruptive behaviors in the presence of the team, so you need the emotional strength to direct and stand up to powerful individuals on whom you depend on.

Many leaders think molding a team isn’t worth the effort, but they’re missing a tremendous opportunity to differentiate themselves and build the business. The more people can see the entire anatomy of the company, the team, each and the intersections of its moving parts, along with the broader context in which it operates, the better job they do. When they all see the same facts, discuss their observations and thoughts, and come to understand the interconnectedness of their functions and skills, they’re able to raise the bar, setting higher goals and achieving them faster

So how do you map out your teams strength and weakness and put them all to a positive use in a matter of days?  Clarity4d Profile and Team Profiling solution is designed to give strategies for communicating with people with different personality preferences.

SHAPING A COMMON VIEW OF THE TOTAL BUSINESS

A team of leaders starts being molded when everyone is on the same page. To be on the same page, you first need to understand more about yourself and know more about how others see you.  Once you have identified how personal influence can be enhanced by meeting the needs of others, the team can then move towards getting on the same page.  The key is to develop an internal team dialogue in which each member contributes to the discussion that shapes the team’s collective view of the business— its challenges and opportunities and the resources available. Getting on the same page tests the cognitive bandwidth of not only each member of the team but the team as a whole. Once drawn, however, the conventional picture channels the team’s energy and, more important, provides a reference point for future dialogue as the team members influence and are influenced by their colleagues. The stage is set for collaboration.

FEEDBACK BREEDS BETTER COLLABORATION

Contact us for a Consultation 0203 551 2621

Keep a mental inventory of the skills and methods for getting things done for each member of your team. One team member may be too blunt in arguing a point with others, another may be too shy to participate in debate, and yet another may have a habit of holding back information essential to reaching a good decision. All these impediments to effective teamwork must be clearly identified to the individual, and he or she must be counseled in overcoming them.

Feedback is most effective when given in written form and given frequently, but human beings typically can change only one or two behaviors at a time.

Most people don’t like to give feedback, but they have to look at it from the proper perspective.

Feedback says you’re committed to someone’s development.

Higher performers want to know how to get better, and the only way to achieve this is share numbers, reasoning, and results to share a single view of the business and its context. Having the intellectual courage to confront behaviors that harm the team’s effectiveness. Anticipate, surface, and resolve conflicts. Pick the right people. Provide prompt feedback and coaching. Recognise and avoid derailers.

Having all the right people and great processes isn’t enough. You also have to have the right behaviours and to get the right behaviour people need to understand more about team member’s preferences.

Everything we’ve covered so far needs to be translated into results. The first and most critical step in execution is choosing the right goals. This is where the buck starts. Many leaders are conceptual, high-level intuitive thinkers, this matters because understanding the other variable such as Sensing v Intuition,  Thinking v Feeling thinkers and Introversion thinking v Extroversion thinking can misalign people’s energy within a team.

ARE THE EIGHT KNOW-HOWS BURIED IN YOUR TEAM?
  • Positioning and Repositioning: Finding a central idea for the business that meets customer demands and that makes money.
  • Pinpointing External Change: Detecting patterns in a complex world to put the company on the offensive.
  • Leading the Social System: Getting the right people together with the right behaviors and the right information to make better, faster decisions and achieve business results.
  • Judging People: Calibrating people based on their actions, decisions, and behaviors and matching them to the non-negotiables of the job.
  • Molding a Team: Getting highly competent, high-ego leaders to coordinate seamlessly.
  • Setting Goals: Determining the set of goals that balances what the business can become with what it can realistically achieve.
  • Setting Laser-Sharp Priorities: Defining the path and aligning resources, actions, and energy to accomplish the goals.
  • Dealing with Forces Beyond the Market: Anticipating and responding to societal pressures you don’t control but that can affect your business.

DO YOU KNOW WHO’S PERSONAL TRAITS THAT CAN HELP OR INTERFERE WITH THE KNOW-HOWS IN YOUR TEAM?

  • Ambition—to accomplish something noteworthy BUT NOT win at all costs.
  • Drive and Tenacity—to search, persist, and follow through BUT NOT hold on too long.
  • Self-confidence—to overcome the fear of failure, fear of response, or the need to be liked and use power judiciously BUT NOT become arrogant and narcissistic.
  • Psychological Openness—to be receptive to new and different ideas AND NOT shut other people down.
  • Realism—to see what can actually be accomplished AND NOT gloss over problems or assume the worst.
  • Appetite for Learning—to continue to grow and improve the know-hows AND NOT repeat the same mistakes.

DO YOU KNOW WHO’S HAS THE COGNITIVE TRAITS IN YOUR TEAM THAT COULD IMPROVE THE KNOW-HOWS?

  • A Wide Range of Altitudes—to transition from the conceptual to the specific.
  • A Broad Cognitive Bandwidth—to take in a broad range of input and see the big picture. Ability to Reframe—to see things from different perspectives.

It can get really complicated, but with Clarity4D’s Profiling tools and range of workshops you will find your team members around the world, at home, school or socially easier to communicate with as you become clearer on how you can tend to their preference whilst appreciated your.

Try this simple questionnaire and we will send back your profile report.  We will then explore how it can be used in a team environment. Click here to start the journey to better team building.

http://www.clarity4d.softskills.expert

2 Tips on How To Put Optimism Into Practice On a Daily Basis

Practice being Optimistic each day

Practice being Optimistic each day

Can Optimism be taught?

Being optimistic does not mean forcing yourself to become persuaded that you should always look on the bright side of things. Becoming optimistic is something you can learn. It is a state of mind that is not so hard to assimilate, one that enables you to live quickly the life you want to live.

Optimism is a state of mind

Optimism is a concept that is often poorly explained. Having a high state of mind does not mean that you reject reality because you want everything to be rosy. It means that you can tackle any situation with a state of mind that gives you every chance to take advantage of it or to turn situations around in your favor if you need to.

People often think human beings are either optimistic or pessimistic by nature and that there is nothing we can do about it. This is specifically a cynical way of seeing things! Unfortunately, people often dwell on this incorrect observation.

There are obviously optimistic people. Admittedly, they have an advantage over others, but it does not mean that pessimistic people are destined to remain bleak.

Being optimistic, in a general manner, means that there is a way out of every situation, but it will only show if you do your best, so events turn in your favor.

Being optimistic is not a mere vision of life according to which everybody is good and that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds, one that consists in denying reality – which often refutes this idyllic point of view.

Being optimistic requires first of all that you be realistic and accept the world as it is: that is, with its positive and negative aspects.

Likewise, you can’t say that people are inherently good because some are, while others are not.

In fact, the truth is more subtle than that because these two tendencies do reside in every one of us. Life consists in expressing our qualities for our own sake but also for that of our dear and near ones or humankind.

To become optimistic, you, first of all, have to be realistic and accept the ambivalence of this world and human beings – they can both be good and bad in turns. The second step is to take action by counting on favorable outcomes to arrive and hoping that the people you’ll meet will adopt a positive attitude. Seeing things this way is fundamental.

First of all, know that, if you are not optimistic by nature, as described in the definition above, you will need some time before you naturally become confident at being optimistic. So, summon your patience. But you may not have to wait for too long if you apply the advice you will find below.

Here is how to bolster your optimism or become optimistic. You may be confronted with two cases:

1.    You have already gone through a situation that did not turn in your favor:

– Do not feel guilty for this failure learn from the experience so you can deal with such a case differently next time.
– Approach the situation in question from a different perspective by visualizing it turning out in your favor and doing what you can so it turns in your favor.

2.    If a situation is unprecedented for you:

–    In this case, it is even easier: approach the situation by visualizing it turning out in your favor and by doing everything you can so things go your way!

These two ways of acting is a learning process which will gradually become second nature to you, helping you to earn one success after another.

Looking for a short course? why not tray five short courses and learn on the move. http://www.crashcourses.academy 

Disruptive cloud e-learning has positive implications for employers

start a short course with avpt using mobile phoneThe current speed of change means that employees need to be trained continuously in order for Companies to avoid the dangers of being out-thought and out-maneuvered by competitors.

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed

Real and tangible data proving the argument and the added value of E-Learning initiatives to stakeholders constantly endorse the use of online technologies to:

  • Keep the workforce appraised of their job functions’ developing requirements, enabling them to make a positive impact within their Organization and help that Organization achieve its aims and goals;
  • Aid succession planning, helping workers to acquire the knowledge and skills to help them progress within their Organization;
  • Allow Organisations to keep training budgets under tighter control, develop and retain existing employees and reduce the costs related to external human resources recruitment, selection and on-boarding.

This system of Training management — often referred to as a learning management system (LMS) — is a key element of an effective professional development plan as well as being a key element of an Organisation’s human resources strategy.

There seems to be universal agreement that the worldwide E-Learning market will show fast and significant growth over the next three years. The worldwide market for Self-Paced E-Learning reached $35.6 billion in 2011. The five-year compound annual growth rate is estimated at around 7.6% so revenues should reach some $51.5 billion by 2016. While the aggregate growth rate is 7.6%, several world regions appear to have significantly higher growth rates. According to recent regional studies, the highest growth rate is in Asia at 17.3%, followed by Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America at 16.9%, 15.2%, and 14.6%, respectively.

Each of the world’s regions has its idiosyncrasies In terms of the factors that drive this market. The U.S. and Western Europe markets are the most mature. The U.S.A. spent more on Self-Paced E-Learning than anywhere else in the world. Western Europe is the world’s second largest buying region for E-Learning products and services but Asia is predicted to outspend Western Europe in E-Learning terms by 2016. In 2012, Bersin & Associates stated that there were some 500 providers in the LMS market and only five of them have more than a 4% market share. According to this, the LMS market was expected to reach $1.9 billion in 2013. However the growth exceeded expectations, closing the year at $2.55 billion.

The Cloud is changing the way Organisations, Employees and Partners interact and collaborate. Within the Cloud solutions universe, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is playing a major role. According to Gartner, SaaS will continue to experience healthy growth through 2014 and 2015, when worldwide revenue is projected to reach around $22 billion. Gartner has stated that many Enterprises are now replacing their legacy systems with SaaS-based CRM systems. Enterprise clients also report that SaaS-based CRM systems are delivering new applications that deliver complementary functions which are not possible with older, legacy CRM platforms.

Various surveys and analyses into the reasons behind this big growth in SaaS agree on at least three. SaaS brings:

  • Speed of implementation
  • Savings on capital expenditures
  • Savings in terms of operational expenses

The SaaS model is also playing a major role in helping to increase the size of the E-Learning market. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as large Corporations are making the adoption of a SaaS LMS a key priority. In particular, large Corporations are switching to a SaaS LMS from in-house LMS solutions or they are now using a SaaS LMS as a secondary learning system for special training purposes.

E-Learning is subjected to the influences of sales trends related to smart connected devices and the Internet megatrend (that is, the spread of the Internet in the world).

According to IDC, the number of PCs will fall from 28.7% of the device market in 2013 to 13% in 2017. Tablets will increase from 11.8% in 2013 to 16.5% by 2017, and smartphones will increase from 59.5% to 70.5%.

The new frontier to address is the trend towards Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) — where individuals take their personal (usually mobile) devices to workplaces. Increasingly, these seem to be being used to help their owners perform work activities (including formal training), both in and out of the workplace. Smartphones are the most common examples of these devices but employees often also use their tablets or laptops in the workplace.

While the corporate-training market has lagged behind other education-based sectors, it continues to represent a viable investment opportunity.

The corporate-training market is among the most cyclical within the education industry. Since 2010, employers’ total spending on training and the amount spent per employee — the key data used to measure this sector — have been declining. However, the corporate market related to outsourced services (net of all ancillary costs) has grown to reach 42% of total expenditure.

Download report here Strategies for Modernising Corporate Learning by Diane Shawe M.Ed Dec 2014

Within the training industry, the E-Learning sector has grown consistently in recent years. All its subsectors (Packaged Content, Platform, and Authoring tools) show positive annual growth. Market acceptance of E-Learning has resulted in its increased use for both large and small companies. SaaS/ Cloud E-Learning solutions are particularly suitable for Organizations ranging from SMEs to large institutions.

General budget constraints appear to be the main drivers of the shift towards using E-Learning. However, E-Learning is not merely a solution which is attractive during an economic downturn but it is also an efficient and cost-effective solution when workers — especially those in Organisations with a widely geographically distributed workforce — need to be brought up-to-speed quickly on relevant knowledge and skills.

With the inflow of an estimated $6 billion of venture capital over the past five years, E-Learning is being driven not only by startup dot-com entrepreneurs but also by big corporations, for-profit spin-off ventures, as well as big and small universities

AVPT, a disruptive Cloud E-Learning solutions provider with over 400 courses. We welcome the opportunity to further the conversation with you to discuss the white labelling of a LMS system populated with bespoke softskills courses or access to a

Our training initiatives (incorporating individual and group training activities) are monitored and managed via a consistent and reliable tracking system that can be stored, consulted and analysed as required. The system’s data will be useful for management reports on productivity and for assessing individuals’ career advancement.

Please contact us to learn more about how an integrated learning management system can empower your employees to greater effectiveness without incurring massive development cost and extensive lead time. www.startashortcourse.uk or call 0203 551 2621

Sources:

  • GSV, Education Factbook 2012
  • IBIS Capital, E-Learning lesson for the future
  • Tower Watson, Global Workforce study 2012
  • Accenture, Technology Vision 2014
  • BMO Capital Markets, US Education Research 2011
  • The EvoLLLution ,
  • Lifelong Education and Labor Market needs
  • Georgetown University, Projections of Jobs and Education requirements through 2018

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US Wireless Data Market Grows 23 Per Cent Year-on-year

All I can say is WAKE-UP SME’s and start smelling the COFFEE!

by Diane Shawe

I-send was sent a recent post from the the analyst, Chetan Sharma, who released its US Mobile Data Market Update for Q4 2010 and 2011.

The report reveals that the US wireless data market grew 5 per cent quarter-on-quarter, and 23 per cent year-on-year, to reach $14.8bn (£9.1bn) in mobile data service revenues in Q4 2010. The final tally for the 2010 year was $55bn, which the analyst expects to increase by 22 per cent to $67bn in 2011.

US mobile subscriptions officially crossed the 100 per cent penetration mark in Q4 2010. The connected device category (including tablets, M2M, telematics, eReaders, etc.), registered the highest growth at 55 per cent, while postpaid subscriptions grew by only 3 per cent for the calendar year. Connected devices now account for 7 per cent of the installed base.

Smartphone shipments overtake computers
The report notes that 2010 marked the milestone of the start of a new computing and communications era. For the first time in the US, smartphone shipments exceeded the traditional computer segments (desktops, notebooks and netbooks). In 2011, the smartphone segment, along with connected devices will not only exceed the computer segment in unit shipment but more importantly, in overall revenues as well.

While connected devices ARPU is low, Chetan Sharma believes this segment will prove to be the most profitable in the coming years, due to higher margins. By the end of 2011, connected devices will be commanding double digit market share.

However, not all sub-segments are going to be successful in the operator channel, until multi-device data pricing plans are introduced. Most of the tablets and eReaders can work well with only wi-fi most of the time. Monthly data plans make sense for enterprise users but not for consumers who might use these devices occasionally. As such, the report says, tablets will be more successful in direct and traditional retail channels. Operators who start to bundle multiple devices by single data plans and data buckets are going to see a better yield in this category. Similarly, OEMs who rely on operators for sell-through of tablets/eReaders will see low volumes compared to players who have more diverse distribution channels, such as Apple and HP.

As previously noted by Chetan Sharma, the iPad and other tablets are making Netbooks irrelevant. In fact, tablets are starting to eat into the laptop category as well. As expected, the device has been a hit with many enterprises with mobile workers. Many enterprises are giving out iPads to their workforce instead of laptops or Netbooks. The analyst expects iPad to dominate the space in 2011 as competitors will find it hard to compete across all dimensions – price, performance, ecosystem, distribution, and brand power.

Data traffic more than doubles
Mobile data consumption continued to grow across all networks, increasing by 2-5 times on major US networks. While average data consumption in the US at the end of 2010 was 350 MB/month, many of the superphones introduced in the second half of 2010 are clocking 1-1.5GB/month on average. Thus, while data revenues for the year increased by 23 per cent, mobile data traffic grew by 132 per cent.

The significant rise in smartphone sales and usage in the US market – over 50 per cent of devices sold in the US in 2010 were smartphones, almost twice the global average – means that by the end of 2011, in the US, the smartphones will consume more data than data cards for the first time. Chetan Sharma also expects the US to become the number 1 nation in mobile data consumption this year, edging out Sweden.

The report notes also that the center of gravity of the mobile market has shifted back to the US, which is also the most dominant market in terms of revenue generation for the industry. While the US represents less than 6 per cent of the subscription base, it accounts for over 21 per cent of data revenues, with Verizon Wireless becoming the number one mobile data operator in 2010, edging past the decade-long leader, NTT DoCoMo. AT&T also went past China Mobile to gain its current number three ranking. By the end of 2013, the US market will account for 25 per cent of global mobile data services revenues.

Wake-up call
Chetan Sharma calls the Nokia-Microsoft announcement “a wake-up call to many in the industry who were in denial”, and praises Nokia for decisiveness, and for moving quickly under pressure. But it concludes that the impact on Nokia remains uncertain, saying: “While there were risks with Android, going with Win7 is not an assured path to resurrection either. It all comes down to execution…Nokia has significant talent and it’s a proud company, but jumping into the shark-infested cold waters miles away from the shore will require all the stamina, good weather, and skill it can muster to make landfall before thanksgiving”.

Looking ahead, the report notes that Android and iOS are completely dominating the developer and ecosystem mindshare, and says the race to become a viable third option is on, with operators keen to see another competitive force emerge in the market. Chetan Sharma will be discussing how the  industry is going to evolve in the next decade at its mobile thought leadership summit – Mobile Future Forward, in September.

I-send proximity is launching a series of workshop/expert forums to discuss the implementation and road mapping of apps into any type of business, visit http://www.i-send.co events page for more information.

How do blind people and the visually impaired use mobile phones? by Diane Shawe

Most new mobile phones are difficult for blind or the visually impaired to use without assistive technologies, or at least built-in accessibility functionalities. A more complex mobile phone requires some kind of a screen reader or a voice recognition system to function well for people who are totally blind.

When mobile phones started to emerge on the market, their accessibility was less complex. Blind people practically had to memorize the layout of the phone’s keypad, which is very similar to regular phones, practically with two extra needed keys, send and cancel. After learning these keys, it was possible to use most of the phone’s functionality, even without being able to see the display. Of course, initially caller id was not available, but in practice that was the only difference.

With the growth of the Smartphones it required more and more effort to make mobile phones accessible to blind people. Phone manufacturers started to build voice recognition into their still simple phones.

However many goods, such as mobile phones or digital television devices, are not easily usable by people with visual impairments. Some disability rights campaigners had claimed that a previous draft of the Directive would force manufacturers to change the way goods are made.
Nevertheless, the Presidency has published amendments to the draft Directive that make it clear that the planned law does not change the legal landscape for manufacturers.

“This Directive shall not apply to the design and manufacture of goods,” said an amendment to Article 4 of the proposed Directive tabled by the EU Presidency Many goods are not accessible to people with disabilities.

A position paper from the European Blind Union published last year while goods were still potentially covered by the draft Directive outlined some of the problems.
“Inaccessible products are barriers to independent living for blind and partially sighted people,” it said. “For blind and partially sighted people, digital television is inaccessible because the interface requires the user to be able to see menus and programme information on the television screen.

The major gap started to emerge between the blind and sighted users, when mobile phones started to run operating systems, and users were able to use them similarly to a regular computer. At this point, it became necessary to develop a screen reader, which could be used on the mobile phone similarly to how blind people use the computer.

The emergence of touch screens recently made the situation much more difficult. Before, all input was done through a keyboard, which is the ideal situation for blind people. When touch screens started to emerge, software developers quickly picked up the technology, but in many cases omitted proper keyboard access to their applications. This way, even if blind people had a screen reader to use, it became increasingly difficult for them to enter information, and interact with their phone. But one may argue that there are many different types of Smartphones with keyboards, but some features then mean they omit others.

Screen reader manufacturers started to provide solutions for the use of touch screens. One approach was to disable the actual touch screen, and assign new functionality to it. The screen was divided into four equal parts, and each part represented a button. These virtual buttons were assigned to additional functionality to interact with the phone. Another virtual division of the screen was when a plastic sheet was provided to blind people with holes similar to a number pad. After laying this sheet on the phone, virtual screen areas were created responding to the regular numeric phone pad, which was especially useful with phones which did not have an actual keyboard.

Another invention was modifying the on-screen keyboard functionality. When sighted people touch an area of the screen keyboard with the stylus that key is activated. It was modified for blind people in a way that when an area of the screen is touched, the current key is announced but not activated. After memorizing the on-screen keyboard, people can slide their finger on the screen until finding the desired key. Once the user releases the screen, only then the key is activated.

There are many more inventions on using phone touch screens and on-screen keyboards, but the biggest problem is not solved yet. There is only so much a blind person can do with a screen reader on a graphical user interface, when the application is not coded to provide accessibility features. Technology is rapidly going towards using graphical interaction, while not enough information is provided to developers about accessibility. Meanwhile, screen reader manufacturers are trying to catch up with the latest developments and provide the best possible solutions.

With all this in mind, many location based technology is looking at ways in which they can communicate in real time with up to date and intelligent information. So watch this space

Diane Shawe
Project Development Consultant
http://www.i-send.co

Mobile Devices increase usage of online tickets for travel,entertainment and sport

i-send.co has recently review a new study by Juniper Research forecasting a rapidly increasing usage of mobile devices for tickets for all kinds of travel and entertainment plus sports events will be one of the main factors driving the growth of mobile commerce.Mobile ticketing transactions are forecast to exceed $100bn (based on gross transaction value) as soon as 2012: this is more than double the market in 2010.

The mobile commerce report establishes that the rapid adoption of mobile devices for commerce related applications is by no means limited to ticketing. All segments – money transfers, banking, payments and coupons – are forecast to see significant growth rates.

Report author Howard Wilcox explained: “Our report demonstrates the spectacular growth that we forecast across all the segments of mobile commerce. Four of these segments (Ticketing, Money Transfers, Physical Goods and NFC) will more than double in transaction value over the next two years, whilst Digital Goods, Banking and Coupons will still post very healthy growth of 30% to 50% over the two years.”

The Juniper report, however, stressed that commerce providers need to keep users top of mind when developing their applications. If the initial user experience is poor for mobile payment methods – either based on cost, security, reliability or ease of use – then customers will reject them.

Further findings include:
• Mobile banking is becoming a must-have channel for banks;
• The mobile coupons market will approach $6bn by 2014;
• Mobile payments for physical goods will treble within three years as sites such as eBay Mobile and Amazon Mobile are used increasingly.

The new Juniper report features segment level assessments of mobile payments for digital and physical goods, NFC, mobile money transfer and remittances, mobile ticketing, mobile coupons, smart posters and mobile banking. The study pinpoints the key market drivers and constraints and sizes all seven mobile commerce market segments through global five year forecasts of gross transaction values.

Whitepapers and further details of the study, Mobile Commerce Strategies: Prospects for Payments, Ticketing, Coupons & Banking 2010-2014 can be downloaded from http://www.juniperresearch.com.

With all this in mind it has become apparent that mobile marketing in proximity is going to play a major role in the development of location based communication.

i-send has also published a couple of white papers which can be requested from their website on Access for the visually impaired and Can the Big society Policy generate collaborative prosperity.

Shops track customers via mobile phone

Signals given off by phones allow shopping centres to monitor how long people stay and which stores they visit

Customers in shopping centres are having their every move tracked by a new type of surveillance that listens in on the whisperings of their mobile phones.

The technology can tell when people enter a shopping centre, what stores they visit, how long they remain there, and what route they take as they walked around.

The device cannot access personal details about a person’s identity or contacts, but privacy campaigners expressed concern about potential intrusion should the data fall into the wrong hands.

The surveillance mechanism works by monitoring the signals produced by mobile handsets and then locating the phone by triangulation – measuring the phone’s distance from three receivers.

smarter way to connectIt has already been installed in two shopping centres, including Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, and three more centres will begin using it next month, i-send co has learnt.

The company that makes the dishes, which measure 30cm (12 inches) square and are placed on walls around the centre, said that they were useful to centres that wanted to learn more about the way their customers used the store.

A shopping mall could, for example, find out that 10,000 people were still in the store at 6pm, helping to make a case for longer opening hours, or that a majority of customers who visited Gap also went to Next, which could useful for marketing purposes.

In the case of Gunwharf Quays, managers were surprised to discover that an unusually high percentage of visitors were German – the receivers can tell in which country each phone is registered – which led to the management translating the instructions in the car park.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) expressed cautious approval of the technology, which does not identify the owner of the phone but rather the handset’s IMEI code – a unique number given to every device so that the network can recognise it.

But an ICO spokesman said, “we would be very worried if this technology was used in connection with other systems that contain personal information, if the intention was to provide more detailed profiles about identifiable individuals and their shopping habits.”

Only the phone network can match a handset’s IMEI number to the personal details of a customer.

Liberty, the campaign group, said that although the data do not meet the legal definition of ‘personal information’, it “had the potential” to identify particular individuals’ shopping habits by referencing information held by the phone networks.

Owners of large buildings currently have to rely on manual surveys to find out how customers use the space, which can be relevant to questions of design such as where the toilets should be located or which stores should be placed next to one another.

Other types of wireless technology, such as wi-fi and Bluetooth, can be used to locate devices, but the regular phone network signal is preferable because it is much more powerful and fewer receivers are needed to monitor a given area.

Phone networks have long been capable of gauging the rough location of a handset using three phone masts, but the margin error can be as great as 2km. The process is also less efficient when the phone is indoors.

“You’re basically going to know that that person has been in Starbucks,” Toby Oliver, the company’s chief technology officer, said.

Even when the owner is not using it, a mobile phone makes contact with the network every couple of minutes, which is enough for the receivers to get a reading on its position.

Source: http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article3945496.ece

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