Hot Home Business: Computer Trainer/Tutor

Want to work from home but not sure what you can do? The Hot Home Business Directory helps you find a business to run out of your home, lists the skills you need to do it and tells how to get started and where to get more information. Read on to find out if this Hot Home Biz is for you!

What you'll do:
Teach adults and/or children how to use their computers more effectively.

Skills you'll need:
Complete mastery -- possibly including certification -- of at least one popular program; good person-to-person skills; the ability to develop and use course material.

Equipment you'll need:
A computer capable of running the software you're going to teach, a printer, additional computers if you want to teach multiple students simultaneously in your home office. A legal copy of the software you're teaching for each computer. Many trainers only teach on client premises, and therefore, only need one computer.

Start-up costs:
About $2,000 per computer; more if you're teaching a program that requires a high-end machine. Software licenses can easily run $500 or more, especially if you're teaching highly specialized programs such as Adobe Photoshop ($550) or Lotus Notes ($750), that don't usually come "bundled" with new computers.
Even if you're only teaching on client premises, you should be prepared to invest in a copy of the most recent version of the program you're teaching for your own computer. For certain products, you may want to pay for specialized training and certification. This can run anywhere from $100 to over $1,000, depending on the product, and whether you have to pay travel and lodging costs to get the training.

How much you can make:
You can charge anywhere from $25 to $150 an hour, depending on the programs you're teaching and local market conditions. Highly specialized, career-oriented programs (i.e., graphics programs, programming languages, specialized financial programs) command a premium.

You can also earn more by teaching on-premises corporate classes. A full-time trainer can expect to bring in anywhere from $25,000 to $80,000 a year, with those teaching a full roster of corporate clients bringing in even more.

How to break in:
Network with other experts and users of the software you teach. Many programs have user groups that can help you find new customers, or list you on their Web sites. Some software publishers actively promote the activities of their certified trainers. Check with the publisher to see what kind of promotional support it can offer you.
Advertise in local newspapers, the Yellow Pages and on bulletin boards -- both real and virtual. Call the human resources departments of local businesses and find out what software they're using.

Be creative: Instead of just going after corporate customers, consider the at-home market. Could you create an "Internet for Families" course, teaching parents and children how to find and use "family-friendly" Web sites and promote it through local schools, community centers and "Y's"?

For more information:

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