There will inevitably come a time in all businesses (or for individuals) where booking a training course becomes necessary in order to keep ahead of current trends, software or skills needed in the workplace. Usually, the course you need is available from a training provider as a pre-prescribed package, and you just book, take the course, and leave having learned the new skill.

However, due to the sheer diversity of businesses these days, it may be that your particular company needs to have bespoke training: that is, a consultation with a training provider to create a tailor-made course with your particular needs in mind, rather than an 'off the shelf' course.

Here are some things to consider if you think your business may need to do this now or in the future:

1. Know what you want in advance of asking for it

Although training companies are well-versed in gauging what a company might want or need as part of a bespoke course, they aren't psychics and will rely on your steer to help them create the best possible training for you. Make sure you have initial ideas about what will be required. This will help in choosing a good training provider who has experience in your line of business. Someone who normally trains retail companies is more likely to have expertise in people and customer management courses rather than software, for example.

Once you've chosen a provider who has the capacity to deliver your training, don't just leave it all up to them to decide what you should have in the course. Take notes, previous training materials, and key members of staff to a meeting where you can brainstorm what is required. Know what you want as an end result, and what skills you want to be developed through training. The more information you can give your training company, the better the quality of the training.

2. Make the course as future proof as possible

When designing a course, don't go into it with the frame of mind that this is only a 'one off' and won't be used again in the future. Most courses can be improved, updated and adapted to suit your future needs without you and the training company starting from scratch all over again. For example, if a business was to train its staff on Office 2007, making sure the new elements such as the office 'ribbon' were included instead of just basic word processing skills, then this would have 'future proofed' the training to include Office 2010 and beyond, too.

3. Keep a record of all the materials and notes

When you use a single training company a lot, and your relationship with them is frequent and mutually beneficial, you may get slack on backing up or saving training materials. In some unfortunate cases, a company may withdraw a course or even go bust - although this is a rare occurrence, imagine the dire consequences if you had left all the training materials and notes to them, and you had no copies. Just like backing up your personal files on your computer, if you don't back up your business materials, it may come and bite you in the future.

These steps are all useful things to consider when booking a bespoke training course. Don't be afraid to ask questions or 'feel the company out' before booking them, and don't be afraid either to give constructive feedback to your training company when required. This will help build the best course possible, for the best benefit in your workplace.