Running a successful computer training business involves using your skills and expertise as a computer hardware and software expert to train others. Depending on your area of interest, pursue certification from software and hardware manufacturers before starting your business. Maintaining a profitable course catalog, promotional material and a learning management system that allows students to register, access and track their progress involves regularly assessing your community’s needs.
- Hire additional instructors only when you have a specific need. Avoid recruiting, interviewing and hiring extra staff unless you have a long-term need for such personnel.
- Develop a marketing plan. Promote your training offerings to companies, community centers and other institutions. Create a website to showcase your training catalog. Produce and distribute simple brochures describing your offerings.
- Maintain an effective pricing structure. Research what similar computer (hardware maintenance and software application or programming) training businesses are offering in your area, and provide superior service at a competitive price. Offer discounts to large groups.
- Offer free classes to entice participants for future sessions. Participate in local events to learn about your community’s needs and establish a presence as a reliable and trusted computer training business owner.
- Offer several training formats. Adult learners possess different learning styles. Offer seminars, workshops, traditional classroom training with lab exercises and self-paced alternatives such as web-based training to meet the needs of busy professionals changing jobs, preparing for a promotion or returning to the workforce. Maintain a convenient, safe location with adequate parking or access to public transportation, and ensure hardware and software function properly before each training session begins.
- Offer additional resources such as reference manuals, job aids, templates and other tips and techniques designed to help your students after they complete your training. Recommend books and other materials to help people develop their skills and experience using computers.
- Conduct follow-up surveys or interviews with your students. Determine if they like the class pace, content and experience. After six months, contact them again to see what impact the training has made on their personal and professional life. Offer refresher courses and other types of training sessions to get repeat clients. Incorporate feedback from students in your course offerings. For example, adjust the length of a workshop on how to use Microsoft PowerPoint from one day to two days if you get feedback that there is too much material to cover effectively in a single day.
- Schedule additional training sessions targeted to specific groups such as children, teenagers, college students and senior citizens. Target areas of interest such as learning to use the Internet for buying and selling products, developing personal websites or creating computer games. Consider providing private lessons.