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Why Getting Proper Training For Your Business Is Akin To Having A Personal Shopper

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Why Getting Proper Training For Your Business Is Akin To Having A Personal Shopper

Think about the last time you went shopping for clothes, electronics, shoes, or computers in your local town or shopping centre. How did you approach the store? Did you know what you wanted in advance, or thought about finding a helpful shop assistant? Lets have a look at how availing of proper training for your business is akin to a having a Personal Shopper.

So you recognize there is a gap in Knowledge, Skill or Attitude in your business. This is known as the KSA learning acronym, integrated into the Bloom Taxonomy under more complex terms. For now, I would like to re-arrange them by importance – ASK. It is interesting how I have completely turned around the order, but in my humble 2 decade learned opinion, we cannot learn without the proper attitude towards learning.

Even in the old days cramming was considered learning, as there was a motivation, albeit a secondary gain – credits to get into school or Uni! (the first motivation of course was to have a great social life).

Once the training or learning gap is identified, an analysis needs to be conducted. This may be done in-house or outsourced, often by the company who may provide the training. So when we go looking for the training, whether for ourselves as business owners, or for our employees, it feels a bit like walking through the doors of a huge department store, and being bombarded with options, choices, advertising, sales, quick fixes, featured products and ultimately, the till on the way out.

The assumption is that this trip will be successful, as any of us having had this experience before, will not want to have to repeat it.

Lets have a quick look at a shopping spree for Training:

The Sales

You know vaguely what you need. You enter the store having a “BIG SALE” – 70% off everything! Wow, you are mesmerized. You decide to take the challenge head-on. Heading to the jackets, you find five jackets that are actually quite OK, and one has an extra discount. You find it’s not quite a good fit but cannot turn down a bargain like that.

Home you arrive and try everything on – not bad, you think you may wear 80% of your purchases. In fact you wear 20%, and that jacket? Let’s not mention the jacket!

Related: Training Vs Coaching

Window Shopping

So you’ve learned that the Sales do not always offer the best choice and best value. So you head to town to see the latest styles without committing to anything. You are not going to be had, a second time! So you saunter the streets and arrive home empty handed, except for the latte and 3 magazines you still managed to purchase. Another day gone, and  you have seen what’s there but are no better informed as to your choices of what was inside.


Next day, you feel brave. Yes, the window shopping has helped. You now feel more confident after the Sales disaster. You slide into a Dept Store, all sleek and sure of yourself. You spot the styles you had seen in the window before. Yes, they have your size. Yes, the price is right. So you try it on. It doesn’t quite fit your shape. But the size is right. The price is right. You bring it home, and realize you have nothing from your wardrobe to compliment your new purchase. So you mix and match (can’t be stylish every day!)

Helpful Shop Assistant

You decide, enough money wasted. You return your purchase the following day. While explaining to the shop assistant that the garment doesn’t quite fit, they helpfully suggest you try the normal range as you purchased from the “petite” range. Score, it’s a perfect fit. So a bit red-faced, you exchange the garment and head home to recap.

4 days to finally get the right fit and price. Then you meet a friend, and they tell you your favourite department store provides a personal shopping service.

Personal Shopper

The penultimate of shopping experience. Rewind back four days. You arrive in with an idea of what you need but not sure which products fit that need perfectly. You are aware of the brands, and know that different brands have different sizes and colours. Your Store provides a personal shopping service, for free! Once your needs are deciphered, they walk the floor with you pointing out exactly the sizes, colours, shapes and price that will suit you exactly.

You save time. You save money. You save energy. And you will be back to avail of that service again, and you will recommend it to your friends as a great place to shop!

Related: Coaching As Part Of The Training Process


Of course we all know that if we really had the money, we would have a live in maid, a driver and our very own personal shopper. But for now, let’s just stay in the real world of small business.

I know I am using this analogy for Training, and this could be applied for any services or products you need for your business. Shop around, talk and listen to your network, and avail of the personal services that any great company will provide as part of their ethos. What kind of shopper are you?

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Image: “Legs of lady with colorful paper bags in move/Shutterstock

Elaine Rogers is a Business Trainer, Coach and Writer. She takes pain away. She helps soothe the rough and tumble of running a business through education, information and coaching. And a bit of entertainment. Elaine hangs out at The Smart Train She provides online training and coaching solutions in the areas of MS Office Skills, Business Skills, and Soft Skills. She also provides exclusive content for her ever growing email list.

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  • Hi Elaine, nice analogy as always! I’d add, go to different shops (not your usual ones) and make sure you have a professional, size and style you properly! 🙂

  • Sound advice Niall,
    One thing buying the wrong size ourselves, another when we hire/use someone else to do so also!! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • ElliStGeorgeGodfrey


    I had to chuckle as I read your post. We’ve all done what you described in one form or another. But when it comes to an important purchase (like a consultant/trainer/coach/advisor) for your business, making do will not do. It’s my philosophy that if it doesn’t fit and I don’t love it, I don’t buy it. And I expect people I’m working with to feel confident that they are getting the right service from the right person. It does matter how things fit and if they will meet a need or want.

  • @darko “When comparing concrete5 vs WordPress in term of customization, a professional web design agency will often go for concrete5. This is because it is known to be more customizable than WordPress”

    How is it more customizable? You mean design or functionality? In what way can you customise Concrete5 that you can’t customise WordPress?

  • willc

    You must not have heard about Widgets.

  • willc

    Installing a plugin takes all of 12 seconds in WordPress, and I’d much rather add what I want to WordPress core than have to deal with what Concrete5 feels are the best SEO controls for my website.

  • surgeMarketingSolutions

    any good seo engineer just needs the tools to do the job and his skills will do the rest. i can assure you that you dont need anything else as every seo task is built in. if you want to reinvent the wheel you can install a seo addon from the concrete 5 marketplace it takes all of 10 seconds.

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