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How CPD Helps Small Businesses Grow?

A talk with business leaders

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CPD is undoubtedly an essential tool for small businesses to stay competitive in the market. It helps them stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies, allowing them to remain agile and flexible in the face of a constantly changing business landscape.

Miles Beckett, CEO and Co-Founder of Flossy, sheds light on the importance of CPD, saying, ‘It is important to offer professional development through extra training and mentorship. When you nurture your employees’ professional growth, not only in their specific roles but in their careers, you make them feel valued, appreciated, and supported. Naturally, they will feel safe and happy in this kind of work environment, motivating them to work hard, do well, and ultimately enhance the company’s success.’

Contributing to the growth and success of small businesses.

Small businesses can greatly benefit from continuous Professional Development (CPD), which involves continuously acquiring new knowledge, skills, and competencies to enhance professional abilities. CPD enables small business owners and employees to stay current with the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices through attending webinars, workshops, seminars, and conferences. Implementing these new ideas and practices helps small businesses stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing market dynamics. By staying up-to-date with the latest developments through CPD, employees can identify potential applications and innovative uses for these technologies within their small businesses. They can explore new tools, methodologies, and practices that can streamline processes, improve productivity, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Promotes innovation and creativity

Fosters personal and professional growth

CPD also fosters personal and professional growth among small business owners and employees. Through continuous learning, individuals can expand their knowledge base, acquire new skills, and develop a broader understanding of their industry.  

This aspect of CPD is best put by Marie Littlewood, Director at NSI, as “general CPD helps people adjust to positive changes in their work attitudes and abilities, which is good for personal growth. Completing a CPD training course shows commitment to professional growth and self-improvement, which may help any applicant stand out on a resume among other candidates when applying for positions. A person can find knowledge gaps and consistently fill them thanks to CPD. This accomplishment also comes with a wall-mountable certificate of acknowledgment from a respected CPD provider. Opportunities for professional development and ongoing education may introduce both novice and seasoned professionals to fresh perspectives, reinforce their knowledge, and boost their level of proficiency in a certain industry.’

This growth mindset enhances their capabilities, boosts their confidence and motivation, and enables them to make better decisions, innovate, and effectively manage their operations.

A culture of learning and development

Continuing professional development promotes a culture of learning and development within small businesses. When organisations encourage and support their employees’ professional growth, it fosters a positive work environment that attracts and retains talented individuals.

To foster this kind of environment, Paul Edwards, Founder and Publisher at Emissary Publishing, says, If a leader will care for the maturity, space and inner world of the souls behind the faces of the people he leads, the billable work (ghost-writing and publishing in my case) will take care of itself.’

He further shares the learning culture within his team, ‘By encouraging them to share wins, struggles, and things they looked forward to, several members of my team grew significantly. They lost weight, acquired more clients, left 9-5 jobs, quit expensive degree programmes, bought houses, got married, and started families. And they became fantastic writers, editors, designers, and administrators. They learned to work in pairs and be accountable to one another. They learned the way of extreme ownership, so that when they make mistakes, they respond like true business owners, taking 100% responsibility for fixing problems. They never miss deadlines, and rarely make mistakes. For a group of twenty-somethings, they are remarkably calm and indifferent to the endless chatter online about emerging technologies and trends. They’re comfortable trying different methods, and resilient through the ups and downs of their own business cycles.’

Adapting to evolving industry trends and technologies

A tool for managing business finance

CPD, not only helps your small business grow but also acts as a financial tool.

Charlie Wright, Operation Director at Epos Now, has unique insight on this, ‘By investing money into developing members of staff, you are effectively reducing turnover rates, which reduces costs related directly to recruitment expenses – not taking into account further losses associated with reduced staff morale during the changeover periods, etc! Additionally, many government schemes exist today where funding can be applied if specific criteria are met, offering potential tax breaks when used extensively across multiple departments or operations within a business.’

CPD opportunities can enhance employee satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty, resulting in a highly skilled and motivated workforce, leading to increased productivity, efficiency, and
innovation. By investing in CPD, small businesses can showcase their dedication to excellence and quality, building trust among stakeholders and attracting new customers.

Adapting to evolving industry trends and technologies

CPD is essential for small businesses to stay competitive and succeed in rapidly evolving and fast-paced industries.

Sergey Solonenko, Founder of Algocentric Digital Consultancy reveals, ‘I vividly recall a situation where CPD played a critical role in maintaining our competitiveness. One of our clients in the SaaS space was facing a drop in customer engagement. We leveraged our recent CPD training in advanced AI-based customer analytics to identify the problem areas and address them effectively. Consequently, we were able to turn the situation around for our clients, helping them regain their market position.’

A tool for managing business finance

CPD cultivates a culture of adaptability and continuous learning in small businesses. Encouraging employee participation in CPD activities enables businesses to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to new technologies, methodologies, and best practices. This helps small businesses remain relevant and competitive and identify emerging opportunities.

The best example of this is provided by Maurizio Petrone, Founder & CEO of Must Read Quote, ‘Through CPD, our team acquired cutting-edge marketing skills that allowed us to outperform our competitors in various aspects, such as SEO and customer engagement, resulting in a traffic increase of 50% month-over-month during the last 6 months. It also helped us adapt to evolving industry trends, such as the latest remote work trends, enabling us to develop and implement more efficient work-from-home policies. With a more flexible workforce, our productivity increased by 20%.’

Promotes innovation and creativity

Small businesses can benefit greatly from continuous professional development (CPD) in promoting innovation and creativity. Since CPD emphasises interactive and collaborative learning experiences, such as workshops, group projects, and discussions, it fosters a culture of innovation within small businesses as individuals and employees share ideas, collaborate, and solve problems together. CPD activities automatically facilitate the exchange of ideas, stimulate creative thinking, and promote innovative solutions to challenges faced by the business.

‘I have been studying digital marketing in depth for months; it has kept the agency we hired at the top of their game … Perpetual learning keeps our brains creative, and CPD inspires some connections and ideas that can’t be had otherwise. If I hadn’t kept studying modern marketing, we would have ignored publishing content, and would not be getting the organic traffic that we are getting.’ says Jared Day, COO and Founder of NULEEV.

Regardless of the industry, CPD can greatly contribute to a business’s success for a number of reasons.

Fosters personal and professional growth

Recommended CPD programmes and certifications for small businesses

For small businesses, several CPD programmes and certifications are crucial for employees to stay flexible and agile in their respective industries. Below are some general recommendations from business leaders:

Jonathan Merry, CEO & Founder at Moneyzine: There are many CPD programmes that cater to each respective industry and are dependent on business goals. For example, we in the financial services industry have certifications like Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to enhance expertise and credibility.

Julia Mathers, Marketing Executive at Pasha Funding: ‘I have personally seen the benefits of CPD in my own business. At Pasha Funding, we offer our employees several CPD programmes and certifications, including financial literacy courses, customer service training, and marketing courses. These courses have enabled our employees to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies and have helped them develop the skills necessary to remain competitive in the market. In terms of specific CPD programmes and certifications, I highly recommend that small businesses invest in courses related to their industry. For example, if a small business is in the finance industry, it should look for courses related to financial literacy, accounting, and business law.

Steve Griffin, the CEO of Madison Avenue Technology: There are many CPD programmes and certifications available for small businesses. It is important to research and find the best programme that fits the needs of the business. Some highly recommended CPD programmes and certifications for small businesses include the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and the Certified Scrum Master (CSM).

Robert Andrew, Founder of Reload UX: Small businesses can benefit from various CPD programmes and certifications. Leadership and management development programmes like the Certified Professional in Management (CPM) or Small Business Management Certificate are valuable. Industry-specific certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) enhance specific roles within small businesses. Researching and selecting CPD programmes aligned with business objectives and industry requirements is essential for maximising benefits.

Jeremy Albelda Entrepreneur and Founder of MyFinanceTimes.com: Some highly recommended options include project management certifications like PMP or PRINCE2, digital marketing certifications like Google Analytics and Google Ads, and industry-specific certifications tailored to the business’s niche.

Sarah Momsen, Member & CTO of Jit Home Buyers: There are several CPD programmes and certifications that are highly recommended for small businesses. These include industry-specific accreditations such as the Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, and the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Additionally, many professional organisations also offer training courses and workshops that are tailored to the needs of small businesses. These can be a great way for owners and employees to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices.

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