If you need to train a new employee on spreadsheets, do you choose an Excel 2003 training course or train internally? How would your answer change if you were a business with fewer than ten employees?

Many small businesses choose internal training because their budgets are small enough that they think they can't afford an Excel 2003 training course. In reality they are probably losing more money by trying to train on their own.

Lost Work Means Lost Revenue

Training internally rather than finding an Excel 2003 training course means losing the work of two people: the trainer and the trainee. A small organization isn't going to have a dedicated trainer so that means an experienced employee is taken away from the job to mentor the new worker.

What are those lost hours worth to your company? The loss often goes beyond just the time spent acting as trainer. Missing a couple of days on a project can disrupt workflow for others and lead to more lost production. If the trainer tries to keep up with the work then the student gets intermittent training, which is not the best way to learn new skills.

Do Your Employees Have The Right Skills?

Using Excel and teaching Excel are two different things. Internal training often doesn't teach basic Excel skills, focusing instead on how a particular spreadsheet works. Students learn less about Excel than when they take a course and this limits their ability to improvise and come up with better solutions.

Students pick up more than basic skills in Excel courses. Instructors have an in-depth knowledge of the software. Students are likely to come back with additional abilities that will benefit everyone in the company.

Another flaw with people acting as ad hoc instructors is that they don't know how to teach well. Taking an Excel 2003 training course from a Microsoft certified instructor means getting instruction from someone who has demonstrated skill with the software as well as with teaching.

Students Learn from Other Students

When employees attend Excel 2003 training courses, they make contact with other students at the same skill level. Many students keep in contact after the course is over. Discussing problems with people who have similar knowledge may reveal new solutions that have never been tried in your organization.

Courses allow an excellent opportunity to make lucrative business contacts. Student interaction is an opportunity for your company to make contacts with other companies that might offer complimentary skills. This leads to business partnerships that are rewarding for both parties. Your organization might find new customers or suppliers that will improve business performance.

Although outside training may seem less useful to small businesses than to large ones, in practice the opposite is true. Outside courses are an investment in a small company's future that makes the organization stronger.