How much does online training cost?

How much does online training cost?

Barrett Pryce

Barrett Pryce

Marketing Manager

Barrett Pryce is the Marketing Manager with Vivid Learning Systems, an online safety training provider making life a little easier for safety professionals.

Great question. Let’s assume that you’re in the market for online training. Naturally, you want to know how much it costs, but you’re having trouble finding a straight answer. As you search around, you find that nearly each provider in the business obscures pricing. And if they’re talking about pricing at all, they’re all really saying the same thing: “It depends.” 

There are several reasons for this…

Most every company thinks they are special. This phenomenon is not limited to the online training space; many software businesses and online service providers think they can’t or shouldn’t talk about pricing because there are simple variables to cost like “number of users” that make discussion of flat fee pricing disadvantageous or impossible.

To an extent, this is true. Like the customers we serve, each online training company is slightly different, from products to services, and some even radically so. Yet there is a “hive mind” around pricing disclosure, and a strong bias toward keeping this stuff a secret until it’s time for a quote, and adhering to pricing practices adopted by competitors across the industry.

The online training business is competitive, and there’s a real fear that business is won or lost with early disclosure of pricing. In some cases that’s true—ask any veteran sales rep in the industry. Working in a relatively small provider pool, online training companies frequently find themselves bidding against each other for opportunities large and small.

The larger the opportunity, the more important the pricing question for all parties. That’s why online training companies want to talk with you and build value before explaining pricing, because pricing does require a bit of explanation, in most cases.

Pricing flexibility isn’t the worst thing when you find yourself in those competitive bidding situations. And it can be a great thing for customers, particularly those with limited budgets; if you want the product or service but require some budgetary jujitsu—trial periods, staggered start dates, front/back loaded agreements—then online training companies are typically willing to work with you because they want to earn and keep your business, and help you sustain organizational support for progressive safety training.

Alright. So what’s the true cost to train your workforce online?

Here’s the simple equation:

# of courses + # of employees + LMS hosting = cost of online training

But wait! Of course it cannot be that simple (or, can it?). There are, in fact, other important cost factors such as implementation, as some companies charge fees for that service, along with system integration for human resources software. Also, keep in mind that not all courses are equally valued; high-demand compliance courses may be more expensive than others, and course length or concentration of content, may be determining factors in course pricing. 

Remember that not every company needs a Learning Management System (LMS)—many large companies already have these types of systems for training delivery, whereas small to medium businesses do not, and so most online safety training companies offer their own proprietary version of an LMS.

All of this is why we’ve made the bold move to lead the industry in pricing transparency and simplicity.