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Corona crisis - trainers and coaches hit hard but also see opportunities.

Survey among trainers and coaches on the impact of the Corona crisis.

Develhub and online platform LearningStone conducted a short survey on the effects of the Corona crisis among trainers and coaches. 



Dick Krikke, chairman of Develhub: "In the course of last week we heard a lot of reports about the impact of the crisis and decided to substantiate them with a short investigation. The results show that this crisis will hit many in our industry hard and will cause irreversible damage to many agencies and freelancers. In the meantime, we are pleased to see that respondents still see many opportunities. I hope this gives some hope during this crisis."


Michiel Klønhammer, co-founder of LearningStone: "The research was important for us to get an impression of what the crisis is causing in our market. Our customers are trainers and coaches who can now do more online but can also come to a standstill, which is also a danger for us. We are now focusing on the possible opportunities indicated by trainers and coaches in the lightning survey. Inspired by the results, we are offering a low-cost course in the coming weeks to help trainers transition to an online blended approach. It can be a difficult time, but we will make the best use of to come out strong."


The survey

The survey was completed anonymously by 116 respondents, including 41 connected to a training agency, 51 freelancers, 8 coaches and 16 in adjacent areas.

Respondents were asked about current and estimated cancellations, the expected impact on their work and the impact on the industry in general.

The severity of current cancellations (measured from Thursday 12 March to Sunday 15 March) was estimated at an average of 3.3 on a scale of 1 to 5. The seriousness of expected losses was above 4. It was also striking that the later the survey was completed, the more pessimistic the estimates were.
Although we had expected freelancers to be more worried, they did not appear to be more worried than owners of training agencies. Coaches seem to worry a little less (2.7 on a scale of 1-5). The 11 Belgian respondents were more clearly worried about the impact of the crisis (on average 4.6 versus the Dutch 4.1) while 6 respondents from the US have experienced less cancelations but expect it to get worse.

Loss of turnover has not yet been systematically asked for, but this was frequently mentioned in the open questions. The percentage of cancellations expected by trainers varies from 20-95% and losses over the coming month ranged from a few thousand to 250,000 euros.


Owner training agency: "I think it's not so bad. My groups are usually a maximum of 8-10 participants".

Training agency owner: 'Sharp decline in turnover next two months'.

Freelance trainer: "This week 3 of the 4 trainings have been cancelled. I expect at least 50% cancellations in the coming month.”

Freelance trainer:  "As a starting self-employed person with a first assignment I had to shut it down immediately after the kick-off.

Trainer in service: 'Trainings up to and including April have all been cancelled'.

Owner training and coaching company: "I only expect individual coaching, so 95% loss of turnover".

Owner training agency:  "There is already a loss 250.000€ for the next 2 months. And 30.000€ remains."

Owner training agency from the UK: “We could see our business collapse if this takes longer than a month. As Brexit for the last 3 years created indecision for business … Covid19 could be the nail in the coffin for us and I am sure many other small-scale consultancies.”



Respondents took a remarkable amount of time to answer a question about possible opportunities during this crisis. Some respondents assume that it is more a matter of delay than total cancelations. According to the respondents, the coming period could be used, for example, for a reorganization; to 'finally' learn something for themselves or to work on e.g. their own site or new training courses. A number of respondents even saw it as an opportunity to simply take a break. Several respondents want to use this period to do a lot more online or to investigate how this can be done.

Some of the reactions:

Freelance learning consultant: "Using time for reflection, investigating digital lessons, networking, using time for things you wouldn't otherwise be able to do.

Owner Coaching Agency:  Smile, take a break and then replan activities. Reschedule/postpone change many projects but many (yet confidential) opportunities lay ahead - already into action mode with customers.

Freelance trainer:  "We might try using video or Webinars during that period. “

Owner training agency: "We have already deployed our online platform more broadly than before. I'm going to take some time off if work comes to a standstill.”

Freelancer culture change: "Calm down and finish a publication".

Program Manager Training: "Opportunities: when the economy takes a beating, more reorganization and change processes will be requested".

Freelance writes coach: "Yes, I'm really going to get familiar with training at a distance. Nice to develop that and to be able to offer it in the future. Another advantage: less travel time.

Owner Training Agency: Online training will probably finally get off the ground.

Owner Training Agency: "I will take a side step and do other work. Moreover, I will make preparations for the period that the work will be there again.

Owner Coaching Agency: Yes, we view this as a time of change...and managing an organization through a period of change can offer opportunities. We need to look creatively and seek opportunities to move forward. People still need what we provide.

Owner Coaching Agency: Yes, we view this as a time of change...and managing an organization through a period of change can offer opportunities. We need to look creatively and seek opportunities to move forward. People still need what we provide.




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