Very often we only think of training when an individual starts a new role, or if an employee actually comes forward and asks for it because they have identified a gap in their set of skills. Training should be more on the agenda for the whole company, but very often it gets put on the back burner because it's either not thought of at all, or there are constraints with budget or time.

Here are some "red flags" that may indicate that your company needs to find a training provider.

1. Your Staff

The people who work for you are you best indicator as to whether you need to find regular training for them. If you're getting asked often if a person can be trained in something, then rather than booking individual bespoke sessions, it may be an idea to set aside a "training day" for the whole department, or even the whole company. This means that everyone gets equal training and those who haven't come forward and asked for it (but who needed it) also get trained up.

Another good sign from staff that their training might be lacking is if you find that your employees are not willing to either take on new roles or responsibilities (because they're afraid that they aren't trained or qualified enough) or if you find promoting people or getting them to "act up" to a more senior level is met with trepidation instead of enthusiasm. Remember that most people are embarrassed to admit that they may not be trained up or have much knowledge in a certain area, so try to have a policy of openness when it comes to your staff expressing their training needs to you.

2. Company performance

Sometimes, it's lack of training that can be a company's downfall, and it's sometimes never considered as a reason. For example, if you're well-staffed, have a budget adequate enough to complete the job you're all being asked to do, yet somehow it falls behind or doesn't get done, you may look to see if training is the key missing element - whether it's time management for your staff, organisational skills for you, or software training for the entire department, it may be time to book some sessions with a training provider to improve the company performance as a whole.

3. Being out of touch with customers

You've fallen behind in software. For example, your clients, contractors and customers are sending you invoices in Word 2010 and you're forever asking them to resend in an older format because you can't open or edit them in your older software you're trained in. It may be an idea to check out training on the latest software and trends. It can only be an advantage to keep your eye on the ball in your marketplace and see if you're as up to date as your customers and also your competitors - because if they seem better trained, then they're going to see more custom.

This should start to give you some idea of whether you think you should be seeking the expertise of a training company to take yours to the next level. Denial is a killer in business, so if you think you need help - shout loud, and shout now - there are plenty out there waiting!