December 21, 2020
As a small business owner or someone who coordinates L&D for a small business, you understand the need to get and maintain a competitive advantage. With tight budgets, time constraints, and the continuous pressure to evolve to today’s changing world, using a Learning Management System (LMS) can assist in training employees to be effective members of your small business team.
In brief, an LMS is a way to deliver and track employee training. Through personalized training modules, businesses can maximise learning retention and ultimately support your business with the information and growth needed to succeed. Finding the best LMS for your small business can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 cloud-based LMS systems for small businesses below.
EdApp is a completely free LMS for small business, bursting with features to help take your training to the next level. The mobile-first training solution allows your employees to complete their training via smartphone whether they’re on-site, at home, or anywhere in between. In the platform’s editable course library, you can find ready-made content to support your small business on everything from onboarding to product knowledge and much more. Using the easy-to-navigate authoring tool, you have the option to build content from scratch with the support of an extensive template library, to help create the most effective and interactive lessons that even the least tech-savvy can create.
Their spaced repetition feature can help reinforce learning by distributing courses at increasing intervals to ensure that the information is remembered. Meanwhile, EdApp’s quiz maker Rapid Refresh can be used to assess how effectively your team understands a topic. Knowledge gaps can be filled with the use of these learning technology tools, leading to better knowledge retention and comprehension.
The microlearning platform also includes a collection of built-in tools designed to boost interaction, lesson completion, and ultimately result in better learning. Since EdApp offers a uniquely free platform in an unlimited capacity, it really makes for the most affordable LMS for small business meaning you don’t need to compromise the quality of training if you have a small (or non-existent) budget.
Coassemble, formerly known as eCoach, offers packages for 9/month, making it affordable for most small businesses. Users can create their own small business training programs, conduct simultaneous courses, and view training progress which means there is no need for third-party software.
Coassemble includes customizable templates and some choice in the way the user interface appears. A variety of learning options supports virtual, traditional, blended, and microlearning. There are also some limited built-in features to get assistance if needed; these include live chat, local support, and onboarding help. Tracking learner progress is also built-in allowing for data-driven decisions. If more features are needed, however, you must integrate with a third party system to reach all your training needs.
This scalable LMS offers virtual, mobile, traditional, blended, and microlearning. There is also a drag and drop course builder feature that makes it possible to design courses that align with your small business. When it comes to tracking your employees’ progress, Tovuti includes built-in features to assess and make decisions about what needs to be done to improve the course training. While the learning engagement platform does include a course library that has ready-made courses, but it comes at an additional cost and you cannot edit the content once purchased. Learners can earn badges and certificates through Tovuti which can help your employees to participate and complete courseware but there are no built-in prizing options.
In terms of cost, there are two subscription options depending on what matches your small business’ needs. Each package provides specific LMS features, so coordinating what exactly you need to be able to do is important before making a subscription choice. You must discuss this with a vendor before purchasing but unfortunately, the support stops there. Users have noted that their support channels “usually take a long time to respond.”
WorkWize is a good option for small businesses needing a multilingual LMS, however, it should be noted that only a free trial is offered and using the platform to its full capacity will come at a cost. The platform does allow for small business users to easily add users, send reminders, create courses, and modify existing courses.
WorkWize is designed to work at scale, so that’s something to keep in mind for your consideration. Specifically, this LMS works best with a minimum of 100 employees. With a heavy focus on compliance, some of the platform’s key features include non-compliance reporting, HR system integration, automated user enrollment, and email integration. The quality closed-loop compliance also allows for HR and/or L& D professionals to quickly pinpoint training issues but beyond this, features are limited. A design support team is available to assist with any technical issues you may run into with WorkWize and they offer annual pricing plans.
Noted to connect people to content and systems that facilitate learning, Schoology is another LMS option for your small business. As the name might suggest, the platform is designed specifically for classroom learning to support students and teachers. Schoology does offer both a free and enterprise option which can cost 0 per student and is free for educators in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. Keeping this in mind, it’s somewhat costly for a small business but those who use Schoology praise its easy-to-use platform and suite of tools available.
Some of the tools include advanced analytics also make it easy to see how learners are doing on training assessments. With an open-access integration, self-paced courses allow for flexible completion and varying instructional tools give teachers or content creators the freedom to create personalized learning experiences.
This LMS provides course management, scalable design, and an intuitive online learning environment. While it’s geared primarily towards formal classroom education, Blackboard is a convenient platform that includes comprehensive learning management tools to boost things like engagement and social learning. It’s not a free platform, which means your small business must have a budget to use Blackboard. The LMS has a somewhat complicated pricing system which means you must contact the vendor directly to get an accurate estimate for your small business.
Once you’re registered for a paid package, HR or L&D professionals can track users’ progress through Blackboard’s analytics tools. Mass notifications are also built-in to the platform, which are designed to keep users up to date with the right content. The platform focuses on elements to boost learning results like social learning and collaboration tools to connect learners. Professional development can be disseminated to all employees and certificate can be provided following completion.
Firmwater has monthly payment options but does offer a 14-day free trial to test out the LMS before purchasing. With straightforward content delivery, Firmwater reduces the need for administrative overhead since users will be able to navigate the program with minimal guidance.
The courses can be launched on different platforms, so if you already have training courses on another LMS platform, this can be switched over. SCORM compliant, the automated training program will supplement face-to-face training. Users can also use their own domain to access this LMS and Firmwater also offers a unique option to sell your courses online. Similarly, courses can be bought individually, in bundles, or subscriptions. As such, Firmwater ends up being a costly option, starting at 95 per month.
This online learning community was created for small to medium-sized businesses wanting to get learning into their hands. Using Skillshare will help employees learn new skills, gain new insights, and acquire instant feedback. The platform’s accessibility makes it easy for learners to keep learning on the go from their preferred platform (mobile, desktop, or tablet).
Skillshare includes some free features, but a premium version will increase the options available to your small business. Step-by-step course publications are made easier with guidelines on course creation, class lists, publishing lessons, and promoting courses. While there are thousands of courses available, they come at a cost and quotes can only be obtained by contacting customer support.
This LMS has a focus on statistical software, so if your small business’ needs are solely around statistics, Minitab could be the platform for you. Within the platform, process improvement solutions are paired with quality training courses and these courses are focused on boosting operations and streamlining workflow.
Minitab offers data importing, real-time insights, process mapping, and project roadmap plotting, all of which round out as some of the platform’s key features. There are different modules available, so finding the one that is right for your small business is an option, as long as you have a clear vision of what your business requires. Minitab can be integrated with a training module that covers different topics, and it includes ready-made training materials prepared for you to deploy to your teams. Like most LMS, Minitab works both on desktop and mobile, so users have some choice in how they access and complete their training. The platform operates as a ‘store’, where you must purchase a license option to use, which is broken down by single-user and multi-user licenses.
Lastly, Agylia is another option to train team member within your small business. Noted to be flexible, mobile, and globally inclusive, Agylia offers a training solution within a modern LMS, where content can be accessed online, but there is also an offline feature that meets the training and does not have to stop just because someone loses connectivity.
Agylia includes a native mobile learning app available for Android and iOS with push notifications, meaning your employees can receive reminders of training they need to complete. Offline tracking is also available should you need it and while the LMS offers different languages, it’s limited compared to other learning platforms. In terms of pricing, Agylia’s is based on the number of active users and it operates at a sliding pricing scale. To get a quote, you must contact Agylia directly.
Qstream is a microlearning platform dedicated to delivering learning programs that combat the forgetting curve and improve knowledge retention among employees. Delivered through an eLearning mobile app, Qstream reinforces knowledge, develops skills, and enhances productivity through its feature called Content Hub that enables training managers to create content with a template library and a set of guide questions, as well as the ability to facilitate real-time practice through videos submitted by your personnel. You can also track learning progress through an analytics dashboard and proficiency heatmaps.
Hurix Digital is an end-to-end digital content solution provider integrating different content creation and delivery platforms designed for modern-day learning. Among these platforms is a custom LMS that enables organizations to deliver training content through eLearning, classroom training, and blended learning accessible across multiple devices. With this tool for training managers, you can customize your LMS according to your organization-specific training workflow. The custom LMS can support your small business with customized training modules based on your business and training objectives, such as onboarding, sales enablement, compliance, and process training.
As a full-service training solution, Violet LMS serves as a strategic partner by ensuring your employees are equipped with sustainable knowledge on onboarding, employee training, sales training, and compliance training. In this eLearning mobile app, learning materials are delivered through interactive courses, and collaboration is also promoted through virtual classrooms, which are adapted into a mobile learning environment. Its course management system streamlines the process for training managers for more convenient learning content creation.
ExpertusONE LMS takes pride in its advanced but simple authoring tool, ensuring that your major shift to digital learning from traditional face-to-face training will be a walk in the park. Not only can you build an e-learning course, but you can further spice it up by adding fun and meaningful interactions such as videos, audio files, images, and quizzes. Another bonus feature is its invisible learning delivery feature, or the ability to bring learning materials to learners without the need for manual searching. This is made possible by its innovative tools like dynamic shareable links and embeddable widgets, placing customized training in specific areas where your learners spend the most time.
AcademyOcean has a variety of tools designed to help you give your new hires a great onboarding experience, something that goes beyond just sending them your company directory modules or presenting static PPT presentations. With this LMS for small business, you can create interactive courses and even personalize their visual settings so it matches your company’s style. You can also build quizzes from scratch, and from there, get insightful data to check your learners’ progress. Another added advantage is that you can use their personalized certificates to verify your employees’ skills and knowledge. All courses published in AcademyOcean are accessible through mobile devices, allowing your learners to access their training anytime and anywhere.
LearnCube is a browser-based virtual learning program and content management system that provides user-friendly features like an interactive whiteboard, custom branding, instant messaging, and class recording, which can be especially useful for teaching languages and online tutoring. Through this LMS for small business, you can customize your virtual classroom by adding your organization’s logo or changing up background colors. It’s also super easy to upload, save, and access multi-media content, which you’ll need to enhance your classes.
isEazy is a free LMS featuring a sophisticated and improved authoring capability. It provides an instructional design that is straightforward, intuitive, and flexible – with or without tech expertise. You’ll always have your progress saved with its cloud training technology features, and you’ll have total control over your training materials, including the ability to edit, remove, and transfer courses in real-time. You’re also given the freedom to duplicate and reuse programs when needed. Adding to that, there is an option to include interactive components like quizzes, catalogs, and timelines to your course to make it more personalized.
Arist is an innovative LMS that uses text-based learning to deploy training. Creating a text course is as simple as composing a text message as you normally would. Text message courses are usually made up of an image, a 1,200-character explanation of a key concept, and an interactive assessment that is sent out daily for several weeks. While this is a great idea to combat learning barriers, especially for those who don’t have stable access to the internet, it can be quite limiting as it only has a maximum allowable number of characters per text message and lacks formatting options to deliver visually aesthetic and engaging content.
Learnbook touts itself as the world’s friendliest LMS platform. It has an advanced dashboard designed to easily help small businesses manage various tasks such as enrolling learners in a course, sending them notifications, and checking their progress. Connecting with your teams from anywhere in the world has also been made easier with Learnbook’s webinar software. You can run, record, and even publish webinars as courses. It also has its own messaging feature so that all communication can happen in one place instead of using external applications.
BrainCert is a cloud-based LMS for small business that incorporates a modern user interface with practical SCORM functionality. It has a range of powerful features including a unified CMS, virtual classroom, course creation wizard, analytics and reporting dashboards, and many other tools to help you deliver courses, perform assessments, and conduct live online classes in just a few clicks. This elearning platform has also integrated social learning with e-commerce by allowing instructors to sell their courses and tests within the site’s global marketplace. Braincert offers a free version, although you may also opt for their paid plans if you want to maximize their tools and features.
360Learning is another collaborative LMS solution designed with advanced elearning features including a content integration system and an analytics dashboard. Their intuitive course authoring suite requires no technical skills to use and enables anyone to create courses in just a matter of minutes. You can even add learning resources like videos, images, blog articles, and research into your course to keep training content up-to-date and engaging. Learners will also have easy access to collaborative learning features like discussion boards and group pages that allow them to participate in meetings with their managers and fellow employees.