desks

This guest post was written by Jade O’Donoghue, who is web and social media editor at Hotcourses, where you can search for courses by subject, location, or just have a browse of what’s available.

You’re qualified in your trade, you’ve got all the certificates, you’ve been doing it for some time now and you know you do a good job; but have you ever thought about taking another course? We’re not suggesting you go back to school, just that doing something extra to add to your trade skills set can be really beneficial when it comes to giving your services an edge in a competitive market.

On trend
Sometimes it’s good to take a course in order to ensure you can cater for new trends coming up. For example, there are plenty of air conditioning courses out there. What used to be a luxury reserved for executive offices and up-market shopping centres has become something more and more people are considering for the home and they’re looking for builders with the skills to install it. Or perhaps you’ve noticed an increase in the number of solar panels popping up on roofs across the country? They’ve turned into a must-have for the environmentally friendly home owner, so being trained to fit them can be lucrative.

Business brain
If you’re self employed, your job isn’t just offering a trade – you’re running a business too. Brush up on your knowledge of what that entails on a business course and learn more about how to make your enterprise really efficient, or go for marketing classes to help get your name out there. Though going back to basics might seem like a daunting prospect after many years on the job, it will pay off when your business is going from strength to strength.

Something extra
In these tough economic times, customers are often looking for that little additional service to make the price they’re paying is really worthwhile. Why not take a short course that will add something to the service you’re offering? If you’re a kitchen fitter by trade, why not try a kitchen design course to add a bit of creativity into your work and allow you to give the client some ideas? Or, if painting and decorating is where your expertise lies, go for an interior design course so you can understand how colours mix and give advice on redecorating a room. These little extras will cost a little to learn, but could earn you more money in the long run.

Adding to your skills
Often, when you’ve been doing something for a while, it’s easy to get stuck in your ways. This is when taking a refresher course can be beneficial. There are plenty out there, from courses that run through the updates to building regulations and new laws, to ones that will teach you different ways of doing things and how to use state-of-the-art tools to help. You could even train in another trade, perhaps as an avenue into a new career or just to compliment what you already know. There are plenty of building maintenance and construction courses out there and though you might think you know it all already, there’s always someone willing to show you otherwise!

Photo by Robert Couse-Baker.