Did you know that unskilled staff are one of the biggest problems for small business owners, in fact over 50% of SME’s cite this as a barrier in their business. Understandably if you are a start-up or SME, then you’ll want to counteract this problem without breaking the budget.

So what should you do? You have a few options: you can decide to train your existing team, or hire someone new who has the skills you require to drive your business forward. Although training your existing team can seem like an added expense, its often more costly to hire a new employee instead.

As a training provider, we feel that training is king and being able to give your staff the necessary skills to do their job more effectively is extremely important. We understand that pricing is an issue and that you probably feel that the cheapest option is the best one. That’s not always the case, so in this article we are going to give you some cost saving tips to help you keep your commercial training costs to a minimum.

How to save money on commercial training

Shop around

This is an easy one, first of all identify what training you require and then start shopping around. However, the caveat here is to compare like for like, different training companies will offer different types of training.  So just be clear about what you are getting and what you’re paying for.

Comparing takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth doing. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, you should also go and check out the training facilities to see what they are like. If they are professional and of a high standard, then chances are the training should be satisfactory.

Look out on their website for testimonials to find out what their customers think about the training. Its also worth finding out about the instructors, make sure they are qualified and experienced when it comes to training.

Be polite and ask for a discount

Many people don’t feel comfortable asking for a small discount and I can fully appreciate this. However, sometimes if you don’t ask you don’t get. If you don’t want to ask for a discount, then rephrase it and ask is this your best possible price?

Most training providers will go through their pricing structure with you and at least tell you how they have come to a price.

Location can sometimes affect the price

Sometimes it can be cheaper to train outwith the city and avoid city prices. So when you start searching for providers and prices, think about contacting training providers a little further afield to see if there costs are different.

Does loyalty mean anything?

If you have been with your elected training provider for a significant number of years, then you could enquire if you could get a discount based on the fact you’ve worked with them for so many years.

Most training providers will not want to lose your business and will at least have a conversation with you. If you have given them repeat business over many years, then they should at least be able to offer you their most competitive price.


Are there any funding sources you could use to help with staff training? If you are a small business you should contact the Business Gateway to find out what sources of funding are available to you.

If you are a slightly larger company, then you should contact Scottish Enterprise and see what funding options are suitable for your business.

Train your staff who need training

Decide who needs to be trained or ask yourself who will benefit from training the most? Basically identify which members of your team need training and who doesn’t at the moment. You can always train other staff members at a later date or as and when required.

Good luck saving money on your commercial training!

Anna Mcarthur
Training Manager
Fife Group