By Greg Marsello, LERN
New offerings are critical to maintaining the vitality and viability of your programming, and LERN recommends that every program offer 20 to 30% new courses each year. There are seven important reasons to create new courses. If you’re adding a new course for another reason, closely evaluate why. The 7 reasons to create new courses:
- To generate new sales. You need to add dollars to total income. Certain divisions may be lacking or need beefing up. Failing to look at numbers can mean missing out on targeting courses that can be expanded.
- To increase operating margin. Your present mix of courses may not be generating the operating margin you need. Although popular, the cost may be too high or the price too low. New courses with a better operating margin can increase your current operating margin. You may choose to price these courses higher or reduce costs. Even if you are already doing this, be aware that too many courses with low operating margins could jeopardize the future of your total CECT program.
- To build customer base. By offering more new courses, you do a better job of targeting segments that are not being served and reaching those not currently involved in your CECT program.
- To keep your promotions current. Customers may move on to another organization if there aren’t enough new products to choose from. Potential customers may not even review an organization’s offerings if they feel it is just a rehash of what came across their desk 6 months earlier. Always be adding new courses so learners feel you are spending time listening and responding.
- To energize and challenge the staff. Programming staff can easily fall into a routine. If they are not being challenged to develop new courses, they will do what is easy. Also, if they are not made accountable for the courses they develop, they will not look to add new courses.
- To respond to customer needs. If the customers are looking for new courses, it is our responsibility to give them what they want.
- To cut out losers. Developing new courses forces the elimination of courses that are not carrying their own weight. Many times losers are left in way too long and weigh down all of our hard work.
Developing new courses takes dedication, concentration and a lot of hard work. You need to be actively engaged in a process that has specific steps, tools and strategies.