In the last ten years there has been a major growth in education for business owners. Some good, and a lot, not so good. Part of the challenge as business owners is figuring out what you should spend your hard-earned money on. Most new or small businesses don’t have the luxury of wasting money on mentoring, seminars. You don’t want to have regrets if a workshop doesn’t provide any real value. Here are a few tips to help you in choosing the right seminar.
Don’t Buy on Impulse
There are some effective sales people in the world. They know how and what to say to get people to jump at their golden opportunities. No matter how great it sounds, be patient. Take the time to research what you’re getting. Remember, if they have to offer you a price that makes you buy it right away, that’s a good indication that they don’t want you to dig too deep. Let that be a red flag for you. No one offering you value will ever pressure you into buying something. They don’t have to if they know what they are offering sells itself.
One of the best ways to see if a seminar or training is effective is to ask your colleagues and friends if they’ve ever attended. Remember to dig deep though. Anyone who has attended will most likely remain polite and say something like, “Oh yeah, it was great.” Or, “I loved it. It was fun.” Our culture loves to exaggerate superlatives. Make sure you ask them what they learned specifically or what results they experienced. If they can’t point to something significant, take note. Many times, people selling seminars are preying on an owner’s insecurity, because many owners question their own knowledge. Sometimes we even assume there are things out there we don’t know and it’s hurting us. More times than not, my clients have attended these workshops and realized they knew everything they were taught already.
Think about what you want to get out of a workshop you are taking. Knowing what your goals are can help you determine how much to invest in for education. Sometimes its about learning something about your industry, so mentoring with a successful colleague can be effective. Other times it’s about gaining more contacts. Maybe you decide to go to that $2,000 retreat to the Bahamas, not for an education, but to meet people that you can build profitable relationships with. For some, you may just need a pep talk to help get you motivated.
One financial consideration is to think about is how many new clients or sales you’ll need to earn to offset the cost. Based on what you’ve decided your goals to be, will you get that return on your investment? If you need to add 4 new clients to offset the cost of that amazing seminar being sold by the guy with the perfect smile, really ask yourself if what he has to offer is going to relate to you getting those additional sales. There should always be a positive return on your investment. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it and you can probably find something more effective.
Lastly, budget, budget, budget. Your money is precious. Make sure you can afford to attend. There are no magic pills or beans that grow money trees. Even with a decent return on your investment, you still have to pay the bills. It’s unwise to sacrifice necessities of day to day operations for the promise of a better tomorrow from someone who frankly may not be there tomorrow.
To close, take the time to determine what you want to achieve from a workshop. Do your research and find the best fit, and never buy on impulse. If you follow these steps, you should find yourself in a position where you’ve chosen the right seminar for you. If you have questions about taking a workshop and if it’s right for you, please contact me. I’m happy to help!
Written by Tom Barnhill, co-owner of Business by Barnhill