In Africa, the use of computers has become a necessity in every industry. To secure a job, computer skills are now requested in most fields.
For this reason, starting a computer training center business is not only lucrative but also very sustainable.
In most African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa etc. Computer training centers/schools are considered a neccesity, starting a computer training center business is proven to be a good business choice.
On average, more than 60% of daily office activities are done via computer. This simple fact alone is already a greenlight to start a computer training center business in Nigeria or anywhere else across africa.
The best part about Computer training center business is that, you don’t actually need any computer related skills to start and run it. You can hire someone to do the computer training while you work on marketing and other aspects of the business
How To Start A Computer Training Center
- Create a Computer Training Center Business Plan
- Decide on The Kind Of Computer Training Model
- Decide on The Scale (MSME)
- Estimate the Capital
- Purchase Computers, Printers and other Equipment
- Hire or Train New Staff
- Register Your Computer Training Center
- Marketing & Expansion
1. Create a Computer Training Center Business Plan
Before you start any business, its always a good thing to plan and map out everything the business would feature (Feasibility Study), from startup capital to cost of equipment.
Their are 3 basic aspects you should plan out before starting a computer training center business in Nigeria as context.
Decide on The Kind Of Computer Training Model
Computer training business has different kinds of models, below are listed the several possible Computer training business models.
Office-Based Computer Training Business
This is by far the most common computer training business model in Nigeria. It requires you buying or renting a building or shop where you’ll run the business.
After renting space, you simply follow up by buying computers and other necessity and startup the business.
This model is very profitable and stress free because your customers always know where to find you when ever they need your services.
Home-Based Computer Training Business
This is another common computer training business model, in this model, you render services to your customers at home I.e You teach your students at home without need for a physical building.
Home-based Computer training business has many advantages including,no payment of rent, no need to purchase plenty equipment etc..
The most Profitable way of making it in this model is by “Hiring Trained Staff” and converting it to a Home-Based Computer Training Agency.
You get students, then assign your staff to each and collect monthly payments from customers which you pay your salary based staff.
This models although requires a lot of marketing and trust to work out.
Corporate Computer Training Business
This Model is just like Homebased computer training business model except, your targeting companies and industries who’s workers need intensive computer based skills.
You simply hire well trained staff just like in Homebased computer training business model and assign them to companies in need of staff training.
Best part about this model is that, the companies themselves already have computers and other office equipment setup, your just rendering tutoring services.
The payment for each training section depends on you, you can choose to charge per staff in attendance or per Equipment lesson, your earnings strictly depends on you which makes this model just as lucrative as the rest.
The only problem with this model is finding companies in need of such training, that’s why you also need strong marketing skills to excel here also.
Virtual Computer Training Business
This is a new Computer training business model that surfaced not too long, it entails teaching computer based skills virtually via websites and video calls.
There are a lot of Website services that allow you start this business model right away without any capital.
UDEMY & SUPERPROF are good examples of such websites. For Udemy, you simply record, film and arrange your training videos as a course, when someone wo needs this training visits Udemy and searches for “Computer training” your course gets listed among others.
For SUPERPROF, it helps you get clients for any subject your good at and can confidently teach. it offers both offline and online tutoring facilities so you can use it for other models as well.
Decide on The Scale (MSME)
Just like other businesses, a computer training center business has scales at which it can be started. Unlike other businesses, computer training center business requires you to start at least at a medium scale, WHY?
Simply to keep your customers at one place, if you start a small scale computer training center without proper equipment and few staff, you won’t be able to offer every service and training which prospective customers might need.
Customers end up leaving your business setup for good for others with better equipment etc..
For this reason, you should carefully plan out your strategy, some entrepreneurs start small and outsource some training to larger computer training centers until they can stand, this is also acceptable.
Another reason why Large/Medium scale computer business centers work better is the various services they render apart from training, they can gain additional income from other services ( More on this below ).
How Much Capital Do You Need to start a Computer Training Center? ( Estimate The Capital )
After selecting a model and deciding on the scale you would like to startup, the next step is estimating the startup capital based on your decisions.
Things you should consider include: Office building rent, Equipment lease/purchase fees, staff salary, light bill, transportation and equipment repair fees etc.
You should account for every single thing, if you budget lets say N200,000 then add an additional N50,000 incase things don’t go as plan.
A small advice, do not borrow more than 50% of the capital you need for this business. It takes time before you start seeing any reasonable earnings from this business.
After drafting your business plan, your ready to start the business itself.
Note: For the rest of this article, I’ll only be explaining Office-based Computer training center model as its the most common.
Purchase Computers, Printers and other Equipment
You can’t have a computer training center without computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers etc. each and every one of these devices are necessary not just for training your potential students, but also for rendering other services for extra income.
FURNITURE NEEDED FOR COMPUTER TRAINING CENTER BUSINESS
You would need standard long width tables as well as comfortable chairs, the cost of furniture should depend on your startup capital and budget.
If you have little capital, consider going for fairly used office tables and chairs or having them CUSTOM MADE with cheaper materials.
The important thing here is starting, you can upgrade your furniture with them but at least it should be of medium range quality.
You would need at least
- 5 – 6 standard and fully functional desktop computers to startup
- A good UPS that can last for at least 15 minutes per total units of Desktop computers you purchase
- At least 2 Color printers (incase 1 fails)
- At least 1 Large photocopying machine (With scanner built-in)
- A high performant Stabilizer to regulate possible Electrical surges
- Ceiling or Standing Fans (These are necessary to Cool off the systems)
Those are the basic Electronics you’ll be needing to startup, like I said before, you can purchase more than this depending on your budget, this should act as a minimum guide for you.
Other Electronics you might need depending on your location include:
- A standby Generator (Incase of Power outage)
- Air Conditioner (Desktop computers generate a lot of heat, this regulates room temperature)
- Router/MiFi (To connect your systems to the internet when the need arises, for SMEs)
- Network Cables (For large scale & some Medium scale Computer business Center)
There are still many equipment that are might not have mentioned, these ones are very important so they made the list. If you would like to add to this simply comment below and I’ll update the article.
Hire or Train New Staffs
This step is optional if you plan on teaching computer lessons yourself as well as managing every aspect business (Small Scale).
If your planning a standard and Medium – Large Scale Computer training center business then you’ll be needing staff.
Their are two kinds of staffs you need to run a Computer training center business
- Technical Staff
- Non-Technical Staff
1. Technical Staff
Technical staff include Computer training Tutors, Computer Engineers/Repairmen, Computer Networker, IT manager etc.
These are the most important set of staff and should be selected with care.
Don’t just consider Certification, Experience is the biggest factor in this business, Make sure the staff you select are very experienced in their fields ( at least 2 – 3 years experience).
They are also the most expensive, salary of a single Technical staff can range from N40,000 – N120,000 depending on location and workload.
For this reason, its always best to start as simple as possible and slowly scale up according to the need. Some computer training centers hire some of these staffs on contract as the need arises to save money.
2. Non-Technical Staff
These set of staffs have little or no technical experience, hence, they work on aspects of your business like Marketing, Customer Care service, Accounting, Cleaning and Decoration, transporting etc..
If you have a large scale computer business center, these staffs are a most. The average salary depends on certification and seriousness.
On minimum, you can pay from N20,000 – N40,000 for these kinds of staffs.
How to Register Your Computer Training Center Business
Business registration is very important for computer training center business, the process for registering this business is the same as others.
I have written a separate article on Business name registration which you can go through.
Another option is to visit a Cyber Café and inquire about business name registration they normally know the full process involved (They will charge you for it though).
Marketing & Expansion Of Computer Training Center Business
At this point, you should already have a fully functional computer training center. This is just the beginning, marketing is very important to successfully maintain this business.
I don’t want to drag out this article any longer but this is important so, just read through.
What a typical Entrepreneur going into this business would assume is that, once its up and running, you start getting customers and voila, money comes in non-stop. That is absolutely not true.
I have worked in a computer training center before as a tutor (Before I got admission into the university) and even back then, my boss was always walking around non-stop.
From one Secondary school to another, companies, churches, industries etc.
She did a lot of personal marketing, for this reason her Computer training center (though small) was always busy. We had students from different areas and it got to the point that we had to split classes into morning and evening sessions.
If your not good at marketing then don’t even consider this business or better yet hire a few marketers to do it for you.
You can market your computer training center business via the following mediums:
- Sharing and Placing Posters
- Creating Promos/Discounts
- Striking Direct Contract Deals with Organizations
Sharing & Placing Posters
This is the most effective and cost friendly marketing method for computer training centers, Simply have a poster designs with nice colors, it should contain information about your computer training center courses and lessons, Certification to be received, Incentives and other things to spark interest.
You place a few hundreds every month around the Area your business is located, you should also include your phone number or your customer care service number on it, you’ll get a lot of inquires about your computer business center from this and many will convert to customers.
This goes hand in hand with Sharing posters, you can easily come up with promos like 50% discount for first 50 students to apply, Free Photocopying Day etc.
You can also hold free Computer training related seminars for schools and organizations around your business area.
These little things go a long way in creating exposure as well bringing in more customers in the long run.
Direct Contract Deals with Organizations
Another good way of getting clients for your computer training business center is by directly making deals with organizations. Just like the example I gave above, visiting schools and inquiring about their ICT facilities is a good way of finding potential opportunities to exploit.
You could make contract to print all their Examination materials for a good price as well as offer Computer training to all students.
You could also visit Corporate offices directly for potential opportunities as well, its all about consistency and innovative thinking.
This has been a long post with almost every detail you would need to start a successful Computer training center in Nigeria or any other country.
If you have any question or would like to add to this, then quickly respond via the comment box below.