Before you invest in any style or image training these are the questions to ask a training provider.
1) Has the training programme been audited or certified by an outside body?
I’m not saying that a course that hasn’t been certified is bad, but being certified will give you piece of mind that a third party has approved the course content.
2) How flexible is the course?
Can you take individual modules and build your knowledge over time or do you have to do the full foundation course all at once? You may not want or need to do all the modules.
3) Are there different training options on offer?
Is there an online home study option if you are unable to attend the fixed training venue, because you live too far away and/or it is difficult for you to be away from home for days at a time?
4) How many people are on the face to face course?
Are you going to be fighting for attention in a room of 10 or 12 trainees? Would you feel more comfortable training with no more than 3 or 4 others so that you can ask questions as and when you want to?
5) What equipment is included in the course fee?
Do you have to buy drapes or swatches, for example, on top of the quoted training fee? It is important to remember that there will always be some extra costs associated with setting up and starting any new business – such as business cards, a basic website and networking fees.
This is vital because if you want to trade as an image consultant, personal stylist or personal shopper you will need some knowledge of how to run and market your new venture and find clients.
7) Am I buying into a franchise?
Although in principal the concept of franchising is great for image consultancy, in practice I think it is difficult to remain within a specific geographical area. Also, you may not be given the freedom and flexibility to try new ideas as you are tied into using the company name and business practices.
8) Do the style modules include in-depth information on how to conduct a wardrobe sorting session or a personal shopping consultation?
This a very lucrative and popular area of work and I’m finding lots of existing image consultants are coming to me for top-up training as these areas were not covered in any depth on their original courses.
9) Does the course offer any sort of assessment or assignments during or after the training?
This is really important for your confidence in your ability to do the job and also to ensure that you have understood the concepts that you’ve been taught.
10) What support do I get from the training company before, during and after the training?
At the very least, you should have email support, on-going mentoring and the opportunity to link up with other trainees.