Start a computer training business by following these 10 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your computer training business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a computer training business?
Startup costs to launch this type of business vary depending on the business model. Many computer educators work from home, traveling to their clients or teaching classes online. Others go big from the start, opening an educational facility complete with state-of-the-art equipment.
Launching a home-based computer education program requires little more than computers, software, training materials, insurance, and an advertising budget. This can be done for $2,000 or less.
Opening a training facility, however, requires a significantly higher startup budget. An 850 square foot facility, equipped with multiple computers, furniture, fixtures, and staff, costs $55,000 to $80,000. Exact costs vary based on your region, the number of team members you employ, and how much equipment you plan to start with.
If you have the necessary computer knowledge but aren’t sure where to start, consider one of the many franchise opportunities. While most franchises have specific rules regarding how much startup capital you must have, many new business owners find that they save money in the long run. Aligning yourself with the right franchise gives you access to a proven business model, marketing support, and brand recognition.3
What are the ongoing expenses for a computer training business?
A home-based computer training business faces few ongoing expenses. Your budget should include office supplies, equipment maintenance, travel expenses, marketing, business insurance, payroll, and printing costs for educational materials.
If you elect to open a training facility, you will need to budget for additional expenses. These include rent, utilities, building maintenance, and additional business insurance.
Whichever route you take, your annual budget should also include ongoing education and certification for you and your staff. Consider this an investment in your business’s future growth and stability.
Who is the target market?
When creating your detailed business plan, spend ample time researching what computer skills are in high demand. Identify what parts of the market are oversaturated and avoid those. Focus on niches that lack quality training. This will help you clearly identify your target market and develop a targeted marketing plan.
Examples of target niches include:
- Individuals who have just purchased their first computer
- Fortune 500 companies who require Microsoft training for their workforce
- Real estate agents who lack desktop publishing skills
- Human resources software training
- Patient management software training for physicians and medical staff
How does a computer training business make money?
Your computer training business will make money by charging a fee for your educational services. Most computer trainers charge a flat hourly rate or a flat fee per class session.
How much can you charge customers?
Pricing will vary depending on the course and educational setting. A basic online computer class might cost $49, while more advanced training might cost $175 per person. The average cost for a private training course is $40-$60, depending on the material taught.
How much profit can a computer training business make?
The estimated profit for the 850 square foot facility we mentioned earlier is almost $49,000 in the first year. The second and third year’s estimated profits are just over $77,000.
Now, let’s look at a home-based training business that teaches three hour-long classes six days/week at $175/person. If each class has seven students in it, this comes to $3,675 per week. While the revenue looks significantly lower, your overhead expenses are minimal. If you have $1,000 in monthly overhead expenses, your annual profits will reach almost $165,000.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Diversity is key in this profession. Offer a wide range of classes and attendance options. Offering access to your training materials for a small fee is a great way to boost your business’s annual profits.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your computer training business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Open net-30 accounts
When it comes to establishing your business credit, net-30 vendors are considered the way to go. The term "net-30," which is popular among vendors, refers to a business credit arrangement where the company pays the vendor within 30 days of receiving goods or services.
Net-30 credit terms are often used for businesses that need to obtain inventory quickly but do not have the cash on hand.
Besides establishing business relationships with vendors, net-30 credit accounts get reported to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our guide on the best net-30 vendors so you can start building business credit now, so you never have to worry about cash flow in the future. Keep in mind that poor cash flow is the #1 reason businesses fail!
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
How to promote & market a computer training business
Once you’ve identified your target niches, you can develop a marketing strategy that reaches them. For example, patient management software training includes doctors and medical staff. Approach doctors offices, medical facilities, and hospitals to let them know how you can help them. Place ads in medical journals, online publications, and forums. Create targeted social media ads for the medical community. Be particular about how you go about targeting a niche audience.
In this competitive industry, it’s important that you establish your business as an industry authority. This means crafting quality content that addresses your target niche’s pain points. Your website should add value and showcase client success stories.
How to keep customers coming back
While this is a competitive industry, it’s also recession-proof and is in no danger of becoming obsolete. In fact, business owners who are committed to expanding their own knowledge and keeping up with emerging technology trends can find themselves busier than their business plan predicted. Your commitment to your clients and their pain points will create a dependency that ensures your clients keep coming back for more.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use.
Recommended: Find the best phone system for your business; check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2021.
Start A Computer Training Business In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
Do you have a firm understanding of computers and software? Are computers your passion, and do you enjoy passing your knowledge on to others? Are you ready to be your own boss and take charge of your own future? If so, launching a computer training business could be the ideal business venture.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a computer training business?
As a computer trainer, you will spend your days educating clients on all things related to computers. From computer basics to advanced software applications, it’s your job to ensure every student leaves with newfound computer confidence.
When you aren’t teaching, you will spend your time honing your own skills and learning about new and emerging industry trends. Your clients will look to you as an authority figure on the subject. Gaining and maintaining their trust means you should know about technological advancements and changes as soon as they’re announced.
While your computer knowledge is what will generate revenue, this knowledge is wasted if you don’t have any customers. Therefore, it’s important that you dedicate part of your time to a marketing strategy and other business-related tasks.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful computer training business?
Success in computer training requires advanced computer knowledge and the ability to effectively share that knowledge with others. You must be able to communicate with students from all backgrounds and skill levels.
Depending on your business model, you may work in a group setting or provide one-on-one training. Education sessions should be organized and detailed. It’s also important that you remain flexible and patient. Keep in mind, most of your students are intimidated by the very idea of learning about computers. Therefore, it’s important that your passion for computers shines through and that you create a safe and engaging learning environment.
While not a requirement, having computer certifications is strongly recommended. Your certifications will show customers that you possess the skills you claim to have and that you value your own education. Since there are a number of specialized certifications, this will also help in targeting specific niches.
What is the growth potential for a computer training business?
While the computer training sector is competitive, there is significant room for growth. Business owners with long-term growth goals are encouraged to write a well thought out business plan with defined goals and a growth strategy.
The annual average companies spend on general staff training is $3,000, with $8,200 spent on information systems training. Before launching your business, conduct research on where the greatest opportunities lie and focus your energies there. Play on your strengths and offer training programs that set you apart from the competition.
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a computer training business?
Having extensive computer knowledge doesn’t automatically make you a great teacher. Successful computer trainers recommend practicing over and over before putting yourself in front of a class. In addition to practicing, they also recommend attending a few courses for yourself. Pay attention to how the instructor communicates and interacts, which subjects are difficult for students to grasp, and what teaching methods work best.
When determining what classes you’ll offer, consider what computer and software knowledge is in high demand. If a professional stands to land a better job with certain skills, they are more apt to pay for your training course. Examples of software skills that are in high demand are Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Visual Basics.
Consider joining one of the many industry-related associations. This will serve as a networking tool and help with your business’s professional development.
How and when to build a team
When you build your team depends on your business model. If you open a facility, you’ll need staff to manage the day-to-day operations and educators to teach the classes you offer.
Everyone, from the front office employee to your teachers, should have a firm understanding of computer basics. When selecting teachers, consider your strengths and weaknesses. Hire educators that play on your strengths and fill in the gaps where your skills are lacking. This ensures a well-rounded educational center and positions you for future growth.