Bootcamps are in trend. From schools to corporations, various institutions have taken to them. But it can be a daunting task to launch and start one's own online Bootcamp business. Especially, without the right help. Here are some essential tips to help you start a successful online Bootcamp business.
As you know, an online Bootcamp is a set of live online series of activities that offer educational and professional training. They include online discussions, lectures, assessments, and webinars to equip learners with all the necessary skills regarding any topic. Bootcamps are also unique as learners get an opportunity to interact with remote colleagues and learn alongside them. Expanding their perspective along with their skills.
If you are looking to start your Bootcamp business, then this is just the place for you. This article has some interesting and resourceful insights which will help you set up your venture smoothly.
Tips to start an online Bootcamp Business
Start by understanding the market; the needs, the target audience, and the competitors. By conducting surveys, you can an idea regarding what sort of online Bootcamp business you should start. Consequently, you will also be better at putting up any existing market competition.
Moreover, surveys help overcome any performance gaps i.e. what the employees/learners already know and what they will like to learn. You can also conduct thorough focus group studies to get a clearer idea about things. As a result, you will be able to develop Bootcamps that suit individual requirements.
Focus on team-based challenges
An effective Bootcamp is one where learners are keen to participate. And to do that it is necessary to introduce collaborative learning techniques. Collaborative learning is known to improve retention rates and work performance. Not only do they make learning fun and interactive but also teach people how to work as a team. Consequently, employees start seeing their colleagues as partners rather than competition.
Keep learners in the loop
If you wish to improve participation rates, then you will need to stress why you are hosting the Bootcamps. This means having clarity regarding the aims and outcomes of the Bootcamps. Moreover, this also includes what the participants expect from them too. Hence why it is crucial to keep learners in the loop. Communicate with them and come up collectively with the primary goals for the camps. Democratizing the process makes for effective learning.
Diversify the Bootcamps
To start and sustain a profitable online Bootcamp business, content diversification is vital. Besides, trying to accommodate every participant's schedule and needs is impossible. That is why host multiple Bootcamps simultaneously. Since people from different professional backgrounds will be joining and they have varying degrees of prior skill-set, it is advisable to categorize the Bootcamps based on levels. Relying on just one all-encompassing Bootcamp can prove counter-productive for learners and the business as well.
Provide additional learning materials
To ensure that every participant in the Bootcamp is on the same level of understanding, provide additional learning resources. Learners can consult them in times of need when professional help is not available. Moreover, they will be better prepared to participate in the sessions and their understanding will enhance. By letting learners access learning materials on their own, you will also be fostering independent analytical skills amongst them.
Some of the materials that you can give:
- Pre-recorded informational videos
- Case studies
- Content library for the Bootcamps
- Quizzes for self-assessments
Make Bootcamps periodical
A great way of ensuring that learners retain the information learned for longer durations is by hosting Bootcamps periodically throughout the year. You can host mini-Bootcamps. That way you won't have to be burdened by the workload and can still manage running multiple camps. Such a strategy will provide the participants with a sort of continuous professional support. Moreover, they will be more motivated to stay involved in the learning process unlike with one-time sessions.
Start an online Bootcamp business in 5 simple steps
1. Plan your Bootcamp business
Begin by mapping out the specifics of your business. Develop a core business strategy i.e. how you intend to finance, materialize, and market your business. This also involves tabulating all the small-to-big costs of running a business e.g. rental space, tech accessories, and purchasing a reliable LMS for hosting the Bootcamps. Not to forget any salaries for if you employ people for managing the business. Make a tentative expense list and see whether the cost is worth the investment for you.
Moreover, think about the following key things when planning to start an online Bootcamp business:
- Determine and isolate your target audience who you wish to sell to
- Set a realistic price (check here for tips on pricing)
- Name your brand
- Calculate your expected and projected profits.
2. Sort out the technicalities
The thing about setting up an online Bootcamp business or any business that most aspiring entrepreneurs overlook is the loads of technicalities that they involve. There is so much to do and sort out. Here are some of them listed for you to review before you embark on this journey.
- Form a legal business entity- having such a bond protects you from being personally held liable in case the business is sued.
- Register for taxes - Depending on your business structure and your region, you will need to sign up for various taxes in order to operate your Bootcamp business.
- Open a business account - In order to better manage your business finances, it is best to open a separate business account for your transactions. This will also help you file your taxes better and manage your account books.
- Get business insurance - Often ignored, but very helpful is having insurance. It will provide your business protection is case of any calamity and cover any losses that you will otherwise have to solely pay for.
- Obtain permits - depending on where you live and the kind of market you wish to target, try to get the necessary permits and certifications to legitimize your business.
3. Keep a record
To manage your business finances effectively, keep an accounts tab and an accounting professional. This will save you the time and hassle of tabulating the finances. Moreover, you can invest that time elsewhere to improve your business. Having an accounts tab will also help you with tax filing and profit gauging.
4. Build your brand
Your business is more than numbers. It is about image building and ranking up in audiences' perception. To build a brand, you will need to personalize it and make it unique so it can stand above the competition. Determine the primary mission and goals for your online Bootcamp business. What it stands for and aspires to achieve.
Set up your website and modify it to make it match your ideal style. From the colors to the icon, pay attention to the slightest detail as it can make a huge difference. Then work on promoting and marketing the brand. You can set up affiliate marketing programs, social media marketing, or paid adverts among other methods.
5. Choose an LMS
In order to launch your online bootcamp you will need to have the software infrastructure to host your courses, manage your students and collect payments.
There are thousands of LMSs today for all budgets, but most of them were created a few years ago when the most successful trend in online education was the MOOCs model and they have been designed with specific features for that kind of learning.
In recent years the adoption of online learning has accelerated and the cohort-based learning model is gaining ground above all, thanks to innovative online schools and online boot camps that, using this new methodology, have shown that they can provide a higher level of training and a positive impact on students.
Main LMS features for Online Bootcamp
The backbone of an online bootcamp is, without a doubt, the course curriculum. The best LMS for cohort-based courses must allow the creation of a curriculum, schedule lessons, and manage the school’s calendar easily.
In order to participate in an online bootcamp, students have to go through several stages interview process. Usually, they need to fill out an online form where they send the school their basic details. Typeform or Google Form can be used in this instance. At this point, it’s necessary to manage the payment, which could be done by bank transfer or credit card.
An LMS for bootcamps must also support the option for teachers to carry out the lesson in video conferencing either choosing an LMS that is integrated with video conferencing services such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Gotomeeting or choosing an LMS that has a built-in video streaming functionality.
o create a learning experience that has a long-lasting impact on the students, it is important that they can help each other by creating relationships and friendships linked by a common interest.
This functionality has to be at the center of an LMS for cohort-based courses as the community feature provides a space where students can ask questions, create threads, and exchange useful information.
👉 Read also: Best LMS for Cohort-Based Courses
Teachfloor the best LMS for Online Bootcamps
Teachfloor is an easy-to-use LMS designed to create, manage and sell online bootcamps. It is an all-in-one software that brings together the most important features of a normal LMS such as school management, billing, course creation, landing page but on steroids because it has a suite of other tools designed specifically for cohort-based learning methodology.
Build your course curriculum
Manage your student community
Incentivize engaging student activities
Collect payments and student applications
6. Do a beta-launch and go live!
The final step before going live with your business is doing a final check. Do a beta launch to check if everything is in place, all the functions are running, and check for any potential malfunctions. Beta-launch is when you launch the Bootcamp to a selective audience to do a test run. In return, the participants can be given some incentives like discounts. Beta-launch will help you determine whether your online Bootcamp business will be a success without any risks.
So these were all the basics for how to start a successful online Bootcamp business. Make sure to give them a try when starting on your new venture!
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