As a savvy business owner, you will be acutely aware of the importance of employee learning. But as a startup owner, you will be worried about spending all that money on training that you can ill afford. When every penny counts, it can be hard to justify providing your staff with an incredible opportunity for self-growth when you can barely afford to market your new product. So, the big question for today is – how can you marry up this complicated equation? Let’s find out in the startup owner’s guide to employee training.

Industry associations and trade groups

Most industries have associations you can join when you are just starting out in business. And the great thing about these organisations is that they often offer special training programs at vastly reduced prices. Some associations may even provide free training, depending on the scope of your membership package – so take a look around and see what you can find.

Employ natural teachers

It is possible to educate new employees in-house, of course. But to do this effectively, you have to be careful about your first set of hires. While you want them to have the skills to fulfil their primary roles, you also want candidates that have experience training and guiding others.

Business efficient training

In these early days, it’s vital that when you do offer training, you get the most value out of it. Whether you are looking to put your employees through online engineering degrees or bring external trainers to help with customer service, the courses you choose must have an impact on your bottom line. Ultimately, you want to train up your employees, so they provide better value for your business, as well as enjoying their own periods of self-development.

Invest in problems, not dreams

Identify the critical issues in your business and find courses for your employees that help you solve them. It’s a simple premise, but so many business owners get it wrong and focus instead on trying to appeal to the best candidates by offering them unrealistic training opportunities. Not only will going down this route help your employees feel like they are gaining new skills, but your business will also get a return on your investment thanks to a better company, slicker service, and more sales.


As a startup, you need people that are flexible and able to put on various hats at different stages throughout the working day. It’s the nature of the beast. So, don’t hire people that are highly specific in their skill set. You need salespeople that can handle some basic marketing activity. You need marketers that are happy to do some product testing.

And you need product testers and developers that can chip in with sales, marketing, and everything else involved in getting a startup off the ground. Cross train those employees, and you will find that you get capable hands to the pump and don’t have to spend a fortune hiring large teams.

Do you have experience as a startup owner needing to train up employees? Let us know about it in the comments!