Autumn training was a red letter day on the Ed’s calendar earlier this month. We arranged a session for our fabulous group of Ed’s business owners to get together and enjoy an afternoon of different training topics. In Ed’s we use a raft of different platforms for our frequent training sessions and Zoom has its place and can be very useful in saving travelling time. However, the consensus in Ed’s is that there is no substitute for being able to meet face to face as a large group once again. We missed that so much during Covid times.
Autumn Training – The Format
The business side of the training is really important to make sure our business owners are up to date with all the latest developments. However, we are well aware that the social side is equally as valuable.
We try to structure our group training sessions to have a good mix of both elements, whilst making sure that we have some fun along the way.
Regarding business training, we recognise the importance of keeping abreast of new developments in our sector as well as sharing best practice. We punctuate serious classroom-style training topics with opportunities for business owner interactions as these connections are invaluable. We like to keep a practical element to our training sessions too, which brings us nicely to how we started the afternoon…
From new toys…
We commenced our training session with an excellent kit demonstration run by Ian from Ego, a quality supplier of battery- powered gardening equipment. Ian gave an introductory talk, talking about the range of tools and focussing on their robustness and efficiency.
This was followed by an opportunity to try out the tools. David, our Ed’s business owner in Tunbridge Wells said, “These tools have come such a long way in terms of their performance. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have considered buying battery-operated tools but these ones are really getting there in terms of their output. They look really good too! I am thinking of replacing some kit soon and these tools are serious contenders.”
…To round tables
Next, it was back into the classroom for some business thinking. We agreed some hot topics on the day. Ones that were close to the hearts of our business owners. These could be opportunities or challenges for their specific businesses or even bigger gardening topics. Then, we split up into groups for some round table discussions. Finally, we all got back together again for some group presentations. Everyone had an opportunity to chip in, from newest business owner to our veteran business owners, some of them with more than 17 years of Ed’s experience under their belts.
Autumn Training – Demystifying Digital Marketing
After a break, we moved onto the huge and everchanging landscape of digital marketing. Guy, a true tech whizz, who runs his own website and digital marketing company, came along to give us a talk on where things are currently in the world of digital marketing. Guy gave us a round-up of where the opportunities and challenges are for businesses like ours. The clear message was that it is easy to spend so much money in the digital abyss. However, if you cherry pick and measure your results carefully you can deliver impressive results. We have an ongoing relationship with Guy’s company and find that it is so useful to have an expert in this area work with and guide us.
The Grand Finale
Last, but certainly not least, we wound up our training session with refreshments and a particularly excellent barbecue with none other than Ed himself on the tools. A great opportunity for informal chat over some gourmet burgers. Jack, who recently joined us to run his Ed’s business in Hitchin commented “I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first group training session with Ed’s. It was really great though. Informative and interesting and a lot of fun. Definitely worth rescheduling my diary for. It was great to meet a lot of experienced business owners face to face too. As well as the rest of the new business owners. I’ve made some great contacts to take forward with me and I wouldn’t hesitate to call other business owners up. Everyone is so friendly. Ed’s burgers were pretty excellent too!”
The feedback from all was that it had been a really useful and enjoyable training session. The only blight was a little early-evening shower to contend with but we are pretty experienced at working around those!