With the advent of the internet, almost anyone can set up a website - a shop window, if you like, for a business - and charge customers for a service or product. Sometimes, you won't be able to tell if you're booking a company that can meet your training needs, has a good track record, and who will "look after you" as a valued client.

Here's a guide to five things to look out for when you're booking a training company.

1. Look for a wide variety of courses

Specialist training companies will have a wide suite of courses to choose from, since they know what the professional world needs and is looking for. If a company only trains in one thing - for example, in Photoshop, and it's only one version, this may be a sign that they haven't created the training material themselves, and are merely a "middle man" between you and the real training. Ask about their expertise, how long they have been trading, and even testimonials - any genuinely good training company will only be too happy to provide you with this information.

2. Are they open with contact details?

If you've found the perfect training provider on the internet, but they only want to "distance train" you, this may be a sign that they cannot accommodate large groups, do not have suitable equipment or premises, and only want to be contacted when they like, not when you'd prefer. If the website has a business address, phone number, and many ways of contacting them (email and so on), then they are likely to be established and trading in their own premises.

3. They won't mind bespoke requests

Any training company used to dealing with businesses or individuals requesting special training will be no stranger to bespoke requests - in fact, most companies demand bespoke training as a "one size fits all" approach sometimes doesn't work. Check if they offer personalised courses to suit you and/or your particular business, and if they will tailor a course to suit you. Most good companies will offer this alongside their standard training.

4. Cancellation and refunds

This is a big caveat, because an unscrupulous company may literally "take the money and run". Are they going to cancel on you without notice, or not run the course you're booked on if they don't raise enough funds? Check for a guarantee that you're actually going to receive what you pay for. The same goes for how they handle feedback- if you're not happy, most companies will offer another course or a refund. They won't leave you in the lurch once training is over, either.

5. Follow up support and post-training help

Some companies may train you, and then close the door on any further queries. It's natural that when you've just learned a new set of skills or a new piece of software, that questions will be raised that weren't covered in the training. You can't expect the training provider to spend hours and hours with you after a course (otherwise they wouldn't have time to train anyone else!) but they should be open and available to help you and guide you through, with feedback, on performance after the course.

These are just some of the things to look out for when booking a training company. Of course, most are reputable and skilled, but with these tips in mind, you should be able to get what you're looking for, and have a successful result with booking your training.