Training courses have proven to be vital in any business that aims at improve and grow. Its most positive benefit is better and highly skilled employees. Great training is just as important as a good benefits package for your employees. And generally people commit more to companies that take interest in skill development. Companies that invest in training courses expect the best return on their investment.

Training courses need to be engaging and informative, but they must have clear and measurable objectives too. If your attendees are going to benefit from the training you provide – and tell their colleagues about your courses – they will need get real value from their time with you. There are seven steps to ensuring your courses are as attractive to businesses and organisations.

1. Identify a specific need for training

Your course will only be commercially successful if there is a widespread need for the training you are providing. Identify some major employers and decision makers in the relevant industry, and get their thoughts on your proposed course. What is needed from the training? Is it based on attitude changes, skills or knowledge? Also, talk to your existing clients and students about possible courses for the future. Look for training niches that haven’t already been widely catered for.

2. Set your course objectives

Setting your course objectives is perhaps the most important thing you will do during the planning of your courses. Only by setting clear and measureable objectives can you create the course components that will deliver the required results. Always set your objectives in behavioural terms; e.g. ‘Attendees will be able to administer life-saving CPR after this course’. Of course, you may have several objectives in mind, but always be realistic about what you can achieve within the confines of your training schedule.

3. Develop an evaluation process

All employers paying for training courses will demand evidence of what has been achieved through training, which is why you will need a robust and thorough evaluation process. This might take the form of a test or a feedback questionnaire at the end of a course. Apart from ongoing assessment afterwards by employers, this evaluation will be the only thing that tells your clients that your training has had the desired effect.

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4. Create a varied training course plan

The worst thing you can do is to deliver the entirety of your training class by simply talking at the front of a classroom. In order to maintain concentration levels amongst attendees, ensure you take a varied and interactive approach to course planning. For instance, begin things with an introduction and a light-hearted activity, and then move on to role plays, discussions, cooperative activities, case studies and examinations. Break learning into bite-sized chunks in order to hold the attention of your students. Let prospective attendees know about your course plan through detailed course descriptions.

5. Design some activities and ice-breakers

The best training courses are interactive, collaborative experiences, which often means that attendees must work together in order to achieve their training goals. You can cultivate an atmosphere conducive to learning in your classes by bringing people together at the very beginning – with fun and light-hearted ice-breakers. This will create an open and relaxed forum in which attendees can get to know one another. How you begin your course will set the tone for the rest of the session.

6. Practise your course with colleagues

Your course might look great on paper, but you can’t possibly know whether or not it will be effective until you have tested it out on real people. Organise a dry run with colleagues and trusted clients in order to iron out any problems and identify areas of your course that just don’t work. This might be an opportunity to curry favour with your biggest clients, as free training is always something that will interest business owners and HR managers.

7. Market your course

So, you have developed a killer training course that is certain to deliver on its objectives – but your efforts could be for nothing unless you reach out and get people to book places. Instead of splashing out on glossy brochures, marketing companies and cold calling staff, sell training courses online with the help of a marketplace for training courses. You can create adverts, join referral programmes and manage every aspect of the booking process from a single, easy-to-use online interface.

In order to be attractive, training courses must have clear objectives and concise descriptions – but they also need to be accessible. Planning your courses in detail, and marketing them online with the right tools, will help you to ensure they are as successful as they can possibly be.