flexiblefullpage - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Why Training Is an Investment, Not an Expense

billboard -

Why Training Is an Investment, Not an Expense

Although training may seem tempting to cut during hard times, doing so can decrease sales and hurt your long-term business strategy. 

By Mark Richardson May 10, 2021
Sales Training
This article first appeared in the Sept/Oct 2021 issue of Pro Remodeler.

About 25 years ago, I was on a panel for an MBA program. Another panelist said something that I will never forget that changed my approach to business: “Training is an investment, not an expense.”

At the time, my team and I were very busy and were looking for things to cut to decrease stress. We tried to reduce training, a big mistake that I have learned is fairly common in the industry.

Increases in effective training can increase sales

Fast forward to 2010. I was leading a group of 14 established remodelers that had just come out of the downturn of 2008/09. I asked them who had increased training and who had cut it. As a training evangelist, I was hoping for some vindication that training mattered, but even I was surprised by their responses. The four companies that had increased training had seen an increase in sales, better retention, and a proactive sales environment even in very tough times. All 10 that had decreased it had seen a decline in sales. 

Over the years, I have watched remodeling businesses treat training as an option. While there have been so many changes in business practices and design, training topics and techniques have mostly stayed the same. Businesses forgo practice in favor of just winging it, but that doesn't have to be your method of operation. 

5 tips to improve sales training

The following are a few tips for improving your training mindset.

  1. An orchestra director cannot play every instrument. Try to make a list of the training topics, then think about how they might be accomplished by delegating training responsibilities. Do not do it all yourself.
  2. Create a budget for training. If you can see a 5 % ROI in effectiveness, retention and profit, then investing 1% on training would be a huge ROI. 
  3. Deputize your team to train and mentor each other. If you have someone who is particularly good at something, ask them to do a “Top Ten Tips” on that subject in a meeting. They will not only feel pride by teaching others, but also be more committed to following their own advice in the future.
  4. Create a vault of training videos, webinars and topics. Leverage this collection as a coaching tool when you or your managers are developing new hires or coaching existing team members.
  5. Try to instill accountability in each team member. In your coaching, give them little incentives that show how they can take their game to the next level and invest in their own improvement. 

When you are time-starved, it is hard to invest in things that might not have a short-term ROI. But remember: Your business is a marathon, not a sprint. This longer-term perspective is the difference between being good vs great.

written by

Mark Richardson


Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at mrichardson@mgrichardson.com or 301.275.0208.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Related Stories

3 Remodelers Share Tips for Successful Meetings

Quick insights for right-timing meetings, keeping everyone on track, staying on time, and more

Tips for Conducting Process Review Meetings

On this episode of our Women at WIRC podcast, hear insights into applying lean thinking to your processes 

Putting on the Right Hat

Are you a manager, a leader or a boss? The answer may not be as obvious as you think.

Software Company to Award $150,000 to Home Service Company Owners

The grant program is intended to help strengthen small businesses

What Kind of Business Are You In? (Is it Really Remodeling?)

The answer to that question is not as obvious as you might think

An Open Book Culture

After transitioning into ownership, this remodeler found success in transparency

A Look at Quiet Quitting

“Quiet quitting” is affecting many industries, including remodeling. Here’s what we can do to combat it.

5 Things To Do About "It"

Although the changing economy and resulting consumer behaviors may feel out of your control, there are still a few impactful things you can do

Does Encouragement Really Matter?

Home improvement industry leader Brian Gottlieb shares the importance of encouragement for any business

Tips to Get Started on Your Exit Strategy

It’s never too early to begin planning the next stage of your life. Industry advisor Mark Richardson offers some tips to get started

boombox1 -
native1 -

More in Category

native2 -
halfpage1 -