Starting up on e-learning for your startup


There are only few things in business more challenging and rewarding than running your own startup. We should know, we founded Epignosis as one, and we continue to run it with the same entrepreneurial spirit that served us so well back in the day.

The best thing about a startup is of course the chance to create something out of nothing. And also the feel of having control of what you produce and, ultimately, of your own destiny (however incomplete that control might be).

Of course running a startup also has a number of drawbacks. It involves a big risk, considering that the majority of startups fail. It’s also hard work, due to having limited resources and experience, and having to do everything with limited means.

It’s not a venture for everybody, and it’s not like working at an established company which can even run on autopilot for large stretches of time.

What we, and lots of other entrepreneurs, found from experience is that it pays off to start having some big company habits early on. If, for example, you wait until after you grow to put some proper development practices in place, you might end up in a huge mess of a codebase that could be a liability by then. And if you do all deployments yourself instead of building a small dev-ops team and automating them you won’t be as agile as you need to be.

If you’re a startup founder or are involved in one in some managing capacity, we suggest you take a good look at what best practices and workflows you can adopt and adapt from established companies and try to apply them to your startup early on. This includes investing in an e-learning solution.

Why would a startup need to invest in e-learning? For all the reasons big companies do, and a few more besides.

Running a startup means growing a company. It is the time that company practices and knowledge are forged and established, while also making it the best time to document them, and an e-learning system will help you do just that; to write down your workflow, internal knowledge, procedures, etc., in a formal way, that employees can refer back to. Including future employees.

As your startup business grows you’ll have to hire people. An e-learning system will help you train your new employees, regardless of if you have 5 new hires or if you’ve hit the VC jackpot and are getting 50 new hires. Even better, this training can happen at any available time, without disrupting your normal development process. This is especially important in a startup, were time is of the essence and everyone is busy all the time.

Those are two big reasons to invest in a learning management system: employee training and knowledge retention. But they are far from being the only reasons.

Employee orientation is another thing an LMS can handle with aplomb. It’s something that’s especially important in a startup environment, were employees might be fresh out of college and the general environment might be a little too lax and unofficial.

With an employee orientation course you can make sure that everybody working in your startup has learned its values and operating procedures, and that everybody has been informed of the equal opportunity, sexual harassment, environmental and other policies they need to follow.

Another reason to invest in e-learning is to give your people the ability to quickly adapt to new technologies and business models. As a startup founder you might quickly discover that you need to pivot and modify your initial assumptions about the market and your business model. E-learning will help your employees adapt to such sudden moves by training them in the use of new technologies.

Then there’s you, the founder. Running a startup, especially if it’s your first one, can be an exercise in humility, as you realize how much you don’t know about running a business.

Take advantage of the same e-learning platform you’ve installed for your employees and of the free and commercially available courses to pick up skills such as Economics 101 and MBA basics quickly.

An e-learning system is not something that you’ll have to throw away when your business grows. You’ll outgrow your first offices and the obligatory ping pong table long before you’ll outgrow your e-learning software.

In fact the right e-learning system will stay with you for the duration of the journey from a couple of friends to a 10.000 employee company. We should know, we have deployments of our LMS platforms in everywhere, from small businesses to huge organizations with tens of thousands of employees.

If this article piqued your interest, check our website for more information on our flagship, eFront e-learning management system and TalentLMS, our SaaS Cloud offering. Or contact our product specialists to get a quotation or schedule a demo — we’ll be glad to hear from you and help you get an LMS to cover your needs all the way to the IPO.

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