Programming — or coding — bootcamp businesses offer accelerated programs in various information technology fields. For example, if you want to become a web developer, you can enroll in a coding bootcamp and learn the basics in a short period, often months. These businesses often help place graduates in jobs as well, which makes them quite popular with people who want to change careers.
Learn how to start your own Programming Bootcamp Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
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Start a Programming Bootcamp Business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Programming Bootcamp Business
- Form your Programming Bootcamp Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Programming Bootcamp Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Programming Bootcamp Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Programming Bootcamp Business
- Get Programming Bootcamp Business Insurance
- Define your Programming Bootcamp Business Brand
- Create your Programming Bootcamp Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
We have put together this simple guide to starting your Programming Bootcamp Business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
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 will you name your business?
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
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.
What are the costs involved in opening a Programming Bootcamp Business?
According to Eric Wise, the founder of The Software Guild, you need to be prepared to invest six figures to start a business like this. Rental space, computer equipment, furniture, software licenses, snacks and beverages, staff salaries, health insurance, workers' comp, certification — many different costs go into starting a coding bootcamp business. You also have to consider if you are going to create and fund student housing.
What are the ongoing expenses for a Programming Bootcamp Business?
The ongoing expenses of a coding bootcamp business are similar to the startup costs outlined above. Maintaining a coding school means paying for a rental space, keeping equipment in good working order, purchasing new computer equipment as necessary, and paying software licensing fees. Additionally, you will need to pay teacher salaries, support staff salaries, benefits for staff, and more. These can all add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — especially with multiple staff members.
Who is the target market?
The target market for a coding bootcamp business is students who want to learn coding. The majority are hoping to start a career in tech. Many are younger people who may or may not have gone to college – but many are also older and eager for a career change. Whatever their demographic, the main appeal of a coding bootcamp is the opportunity to quickly learn a new skill that can translate into a stable, lucrative career.
How does a Programming Bootcamp Business make money?
A coding bootcamp makes money by charging students tuition fees. Those fees may be paid by lenders serving the students or the students directly. Some coding bootcamps are now also offering the option of no up-front tuition and instead having students sign an agreement to give a percentage of their first-year’s salary after they get a job for tuition.
How much can you charge customers?
Coding bootcamps charge between $7,800 and $21,000 for tuition. The costs tend to be higher the longer and more in-depth the program. The average cost for a coding bootcamp is around $13,500.
How much profit can a Programming Bootcamp Business make?
It is difficult to find profit figures for specific coding bootcamp businesses. However, it is known that overall coding bootcamp revenue reached $460 million in 2019. As the tech industry continues to grow, revenue is expected to climb steadily in the years to come. One of the more successful coding bootcamp companies, Code Fellows, has an estimated revenue of $10 million a year.
How can you make your business more profitable?
You can make your coding bootcamp business more profitable by attracting more students and/or finding ways to make more money from each student. The recent increase in bootcamps offering free tuition in exchange for a percentage of graduates’ first-year salary is one example of how to increase profits. The higher the salaries of graduates, the more these businesses get in tuition.
Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!
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 Programming Bootcamp 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!
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.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.
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.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
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.
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.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a Programming Bootcamp Business
One of the biggest draws of coding bootcamps is the potential career upsides following graduation. Successful coding bootcamp businesses focus heavily on the relatively small upfront cost for a significant reward down the line. When marketing your business, highlight the growth in tech careers, the initial salaries of graduates, the job placement stats of graduates, and the short time period of the bootcamp.
How to keep customers coming back
Coding bootcamp businesses focus less on getting students to return for more courses — since the goal is to get out of school and into a career — and more on attracting new students. The most effective way to attract new students is to make sure your graduates get good jobs. The better your graduate stats — job placement, starting salary, long-term satisfaction — the easier it will be to attract new students.
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.
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. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
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Is this Business Right For You?
Entrepreneurs who are passionate about information technologies and education are often drawn to the idea of starting a coding bootcamp. Starting a coding bootcamp is a team effort, so it is important to be able to attract and manage staff, bring in investors, draw in students, and more. In other words, starting a coding bootcamp is a big venture. However this type of business is right for entrepreneurs that are willing to go the extra mile to build something big.
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 Programming Bootcamp Business?
A typical day at a coding bootcamp business involves managing all the parts of the organization. As the founder, you will check in with your managers and verify that things are going according to plan. Are the students progressing in the curriculum as intended? Is your funding on schedule? Do you need to speak to any investors or potential investors? Are you compliant with government regulations? The questions will vary, but the overall goal is to keep your organization running smoothly.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful Programming Bootcamp Business?
There are many skills and experiences that can prove useful in building a successful programming bootcamp business. Attracting investors, managing information technology professionals, adhering to government regulations, designing curriculums — all of these things are necessary to make your business successful. Probably the most important thing is the ability to create the right team for the venture.
What is the growth potential for a Programming Bootcamp Business?
The growth potential of a coding bootcamp business is substantial. Technical skills like coding are becoming increasingly important for the workforce — young and old alike. The more people that are looking to start a new, more lucrative career in coding, the more students this business can draw in. And the opportunity to scale up is significant given how most of the curriculum can be completed online. However, it is worth noting that some coding bootcamp businesses have failed to find a sustainable business model and have closed their doors in recent years.
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 Programming Bootcamp Business?
One of the most important and most often overlooked aspects of starting a coding bootcamp is education regulations. Most regulations are at the state level, although there are some federal ones as well. You must determine what your state requires for you to start a coding school and make certain you meet those requirements. Failing to get certified and meet regulations can result in your school getting shut down and make your students’ diplomas potentially worthless.
How and when to build a team
You cannot start a coding bootcamp business on your own. There are too many factors that need full-time attention to be successful. If you are going to start this type of business, you will need to have a team from the start. You need great teachers, skilled managers, and logistics people making sure all of your ducks are in a row — like certifications, regulations, funding, etc. Fortunately, many talented people are interested in this type of business because of the huge potential upside and the chance to change lives.