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My Experience Starting a Computer Training Center

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Kenyan SMEs

Starting a computer training college is an excellent idea that you can leap from. Since computer skills are a necessity for workers, university and college students, it is an opportunity you can exploit. I started my computer training center targeting form four leavers. After completing secondary school education, many high school graduates enroll for computer packages training which created an opportunity for me. This is how you can start a computer training college from my experience.

Carry out a Market Research

To start a computer training college, you need to carry out a feasibility study. A feasibility study helps you understand the business better and the market before venturing in the business. When carrying out a feasibility study, I noted that many high school leavers traveled long distances to learn computer skills. This created an opportunity and setting up the computer training business was a viable idea. 

Write a Computer Training Center Business Plan

A business plan is a road map for any business. To start a profitable business, you need to write a business plan. A business plan should highlight the startup costs, risks in the market, target population, source of business capital, and business strengths. Conducting market research before writing a business plan will help you to come up with a good business plan.

Read also: How we started animal feeds business. 

Find a Good Business Location

For a computer training center, the business location is a critical factor to consider. When I was starting computer training college, I set up my business in a residential area that was slightly in the interior. I was trying to cut down costs by avoiding rent expenses since I was using our rental business rooms to operate the business. Therefore, I didn't have to pay rent expenses. Although I had evaded rent expenses, my business location was working against my business.

A computer training college works best in a town or a market center. I learnt that many high school leavers want to attend a computer training center in a developed area. As such, starting a computer training college in the village or the interior may not work. As such, look for areas with a large influx of people in a town or a market center.

Acquire the Necessary Business Permits and Licenses

First, since you are operating a school, you will need to get authorization from the Ministry of Higher Education to run a computer college. Secondly, you will need to acquire business licenses and permits to operate a legal business. You also need a single business permit that runs for a whole year to run a computer college business. The cost of a single business permit varies from one county to the other. You can obtain the permit from the County government offices. 

Cost of Starting a Computer Training College in Kenya 

The cost of starting a computer college depends on the services you will be offering. You can offer computer training services and additional services like typesetting, printing, scanning, photocopying and internet services. For me, I was offering all of these services. I started my computer training college with Ksh 130,000 startup capital. The following is the capital breakdown.

  • Four computers – Ksh 60,000
  • Printer and scanner – Ksh 30,000
  • Modem – Ksh 5,000
  • Network cables – Ksh 2,000
  • Partitioning – Ksh 10,000
  • Plastic chairs – Ksh 2,000
  • Uninterrupted Power supply – Ksh 5,000
  • Business permit – Ksh 8,000
  • Electricity – Ksh 1,000

Challenges I Faced in Computer Training Business

The major challenge I faced in the computer training business that you can also expect is a drop in students from around April. Many computer training centers usually target form four leavers, and computer packages training is a short course. It takes around two months to complete it. After April, many students typically have completed the course and most start joining other colleges and universities. As such, computer training centers are left with very few students.

The other challenge I was facing was that my business was located in an interior place. Students were shying away from enrolling in my computer center since many want to study in developed areas. I had to move out and rent a more accessible area. 

The other challenge I faced was competition from a community-based computer training center. The center was not charging students since it had been established by the County government. I was charging Ksh 3,000 for the whole course per student. However, most parents preferred to enroll their children in the community-based computer center. I didn't have a choice but to cope up with the few students I was getting. 

Read also: How we started a profitable bookshop. 

Is Computer Training Business Profitable in Kenya?

With a good business location and flow of students, a computer training center is a profitable business. You can make over Ksh 25,000 profit per month. Make sure to set up your computer training business in a town or a market center where there is high on foot population. Also, make sure that it is visible by passersby.