The IDC predicts that by 2013, at least 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will be made up of mobile workers.
By Martyn Lewis, principal, 3g Selling
This week, President Obama announced the launch of Startup America, a national campaign to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship. A partnership between private companies, such as IBM and Intel, and public organizations, such as the Small Business Administration, the campaign promises to provide both an economic and a social framework for economic growth and sustainable job creation.
What I hope Startup America supports is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world today: training knowledge workers. A major cost for companies is training: In 2009, more than $47 billion was spent in the U.S. for training services with outside vendors, and $126 billion was spent on training in total. Forty percent of these costs involved bringing participants to a physical classroom, where training takes place. Given the prediction by the IDC that by 2013, at least 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will be made up of mobile workers, it makes more sense to leverage technology for virtual training and save the expense of travel and time off work.
The next step for Startup America would be to include a roster of virtual training programs as an integral part of its support for startups and their staff. Besides saving time and money, virtual training has the potential to deliver a superior learning experience than does a physical classroom. A recent white paper 3g Selling coauthored with Citrix demonstrates that a best-in-class, instructor-led and live virtual training program can engage learners, increase the rate of program adoption and behavioral changes, and improve performance results.
What startups need besides money and mentorship is the ability to provide training quickly and effectively to an ever-growing pool of knowledge workers. We would hope that Facebook—a partner in Startup America, which is hosting a dozen or more Startup Days around the country to provide entrepreneurs access to expertise, resources, and engineers to help accelerate their businesses—will include virtual training vendors in its offerings. And although the field of virtual training is crowded, there is enough variety among training offerings—such as 3g Selling’s use of a broadcast studio format combined with live, virtual training—to satisfy and support startups, as well as established businesses, everywhere.
Martyn Lewis is a principal at 3g Selling, which develops and delivers live virtual sales training experiences. For more information, visit www.3gselling.com.