Are you a small or medium enterprise looking to dive into e-learning and make it a part of your employee training? If yes, you’re on the right page then! In case you think there’s a training solution that fits both small and large enterprises, let me make it very clear that there is no one size that fits all. When it comes to choosing an LMS for a small or medium business, you must focus on all aspects, in addition to the ones splashed all across your e-learning magazines and online communities. So, brace yourselves and let us look at the different capabilities you must look for in an e-learning solution and these are as mentioned below.
Pricing model which suits your needs
There are different pricing models, and it is always a good idea to understand how different vendors charge for software. Being a small business, you must opt for the model wherein you choose to pay for what you use. Moreover, clarify what all is included in the pricing plan upfront. There are some vendors who might charge you separately for setup, technical support, hosting, and upgrades, which makes it expensive overall. On the other hand, you can also look into free-to-use, open-source LMSs that offer a free version with basic software.
Optimized and user-friendly interface
While large enterprises can afford the staff to manage their training platforms and tech support desks, an individual carrying out multiple tasks is a common scenario in a small business. So, it is ideal to choose an LMS which is user-friendly, i.e. it allows users to get acquainted with the know-how of portal like managing learning content, adding users, assigning courses, and tracking results. Moreover, don’t forget to evaluate the vendor’s support team. It should be responsive and must offer effective support.
The right feature set
There’s no denying that the traditional LMS designed for large businesses and enterprises do not suit the requirements of small businesses and hence are not the right fit for them. Besides, today, LMS offers a multitude of benefits. You have a plethora of features in front of you when you plan to purchase an LMS. And, such an LMS can cost you a fortune. But, are they all essential to your business? Not necessarily.
So, when planning to opt for an e-learning solution, make sure to evaluate the features of the platform, whether they offer a solution to your business, and fill the demand gaps. This not only prevents you from spending a lot of money but also allows employees to work with ease and without unnecessary functionalities that hinder the work process.
For being able to decide what features exactly are perfect for your business needs, conduct research, and get inputs from the stakeholders. These include learners, administrators, content creators, executioners, and designers. Once done, sort them and define your list based on priority.
Opt for a cloud-based solution
Gone are the days of platforms that used to be installed on your servers as you can now opt for cloud-based solutions that minimize rollout time and don’t require any system maintenance as it is the responsibility of the vendor. Updates are a part of the platform and users need not worry about them. Cloud-based solutions are the most convenient of all as they can be accessed anytime, anywhere since all the content (be it courses, tests, or presentations) is stored in the cloud.
Flexibility in terms of Mobile learning
One of the biggest advantages of being in a small business is flexibility which is delivered by mobile learning. Hence, make sure to opt for an LMS which supports m-learning. The main benefit extended by mobile learning is accessibility. Even if the employees are working remotely, you can still launch corporate training and reach your teammates and colleagues with learning content and track it. For example, like the eLearning industry mentions, you can provide your learners with a free mobile learning application that works with both Android and ios devices enabling learners to undertake assigned courses anytime and anywhere even with no internet connection.
Integrated reporting tool
An LMS is incomplete without a reporting tool just like learning is invaluable when it’s not evaluated. Reporting plays a vital role in evaluating a learners’ performance, measuring program success, and even driving improvement for your content. And, it is all the more crucial for small businesses to track learners’ progress in real-time. So, an LMS with an integrated reporting tool is what you need to measure the effectiveness of a certain course or get acquainted with the overall organizational performance.
Choose a scalable LMS
As time passes and trends change, so should your training. But, what if your training platform is not able to meet the evolving demands of its learners? It might seem a burden to you. And, you definitely wouldn’t want that to happen!
As it is, migrating from one LMS to another is not an easy task at all and consumes a lot of time and effort. So, it is suggested to be prepared well in advance for it and choose an LMS which is scalable in the first place. An ideal LMS is the one that comprises features that meet your business needs and can add more features in order to meet the growing demands. Thus, start small and add more features and capabilities as and when required.
Now that you’re aware of the most important parameters when looking for an e-learning solution for SMBs, start your hunt today. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the points mentioned above as it might cost you additional time and effort in the long run. Besides, you can also take assistance from the top e-learning content providers, which will equip you with the best solution.
Lastly, if you’re still stuck in figuring out the best LMS for your business, look for free trial versions. These are offered by most LMS today. This will help you get accustomed to its working and analyze which one is right for you.