The Web is a wonderful place for small consulting firms to show their wares. As training professionals, we need to stay abreast of new ideas and approaches to adult learning and instructional design.

After a couple months of reviews of B2B sites and highly capitalized sites, this week we review the site of an interesting, small training and consulting practice. In 1991, Dr. Nanette Miner founded The Training Doctor , an instructional design firm. The Training Doctor creates customized training programs for various industries, including broadcasting, healthcare, distribution, manufacturing, retail, insurance, and software manufacturers. The client list includes both large and small organizations.

This site has a simple design with the clear purpose of telling visitors about the company’s products and services. Two quotes from the site say much about this organization and its approach. First, from The Training Doctor herself, on the home page: “The field of training and development is still fighting for credibility. We can’t return average results. We must get better at what we do and how we serve our field.” And second, the mission statement of the organization, which is intriguing and sets the organization apart, as any good mission statement does: “Make training fun for the participant and profitable for the company.”

The site’s sections include:

  • Free Consulting
  • The Training Doctor
  • Case Studies
  • Articles & Info You Can Use
  • Programs/Clients/Industries
  • Speeches/Seminars/Workshops
  • Products/Services
  • Training Links
  • More Information

Much of this is standard fare for a training and consulting company site, some of it standard regardless of the business the company is in. Each of the marketing sections is clear and purposeful, and worth a look if you are in the market for instructional design or custom training solutions.

Take a minute to click on the Free Consulting Link. Here the good “Doctor” describes her business model of offering free consulting, unless the training designed is proven to have real organizational impact. This concept, clearly described on this page, is thought provoking for all of us as training professionals. It offers us a challenge to think about the real value our programs bring to our organization’s bottom line. Whether you are a one-person consulting firm, a one-person training department, or part of a larger organization, this concept is great food for thought.

Most valuable section
The most-valuable-section award for this site goes to the Articles & Info page. Here you will find 16 articles in topic areas from communication to training to consulting to human resources management. The articles have catchy titles, and all of those I reviewed are well written and thought provoking, just like the Free Consulting page I mentioned earlier. Any time spent here will be rewarded. This page also mentions how to get reprint rights, so if you find a particularly appropriate article for a client or your staff, you could use it in your publication.

Final impressions
I like this site. I’m not in the market for a consultant, and I’m not in Connecticut. If I were in that market or that marketplace, the reasons to go to this site would be obvious. However, even if you would never need or use The Training Doctor’s services, the site is still worth a visit. While the site could be stronger with even more articles and could use a much stronger Training Links section, overall it stands above most company sites for independent consultants. It offers real value and made me think—not a bad trade-off for a quick click.

Kevin Eikenberry is president of the Discian Group, a learning consulting company in Indianapolis.

To comment on this article or suggest other Web sites to review, please write to Kevin with your ideas.

Here is Kevin’s review of The Training Doctor site