“Until Then I Was Doing Sites For Friends, But Deep In The Topic Has Not Been Touched”

The story of the founder of the Spanish school Barcelona programming Code School George Kovalev. Since 2008, Georgy Kovalev wife developed in Moscow its business — publishing manga “palm Press” and did not plan to move to another country. For the first time about moving to Spain Kovalev was conceived in 2009 after a few trips to Barcelona.

He liked the Mediterranean climate, the sea and the rhythm of life, so he decided to take a chance and to start over in a new place. The entrepreneur did not want to live “in two countries”, so in the summer of 2014, he sold the publishing house competitors. The money decided to invest in a new project.

When Kovalev came to Barcelona as a tourist, he thought that the city can implement any business project. To rent out apartments to travelers, to open a coworking space, photo Studio or kids club. After moving Kovalev could not understand what idea to implement. It turned out that in Barcelona many of the niches busy.

The owner began to rent out the camera equipment, but he was quickly bored by it. Then Kovalev was thinking, what hes strong, and remember that knows how to program. Once the developer site “palm Press” is lost and the entrepreneur had to understand the code. He liked to do it, and he was fascinated — I made sites for friends that were customers.

“I loved programming, but it was only a hobby — I didnt know how to bring the case to a new level. School programming was one of my projects in the distant future.”. In the summer of 2015, in the period of searching for ideas, Kovalev found a platform meetup.com where you can select the event to register for it and attend. For example, yoga on the beach, running in the mountains, the lesson programming or meetings of the book club.

Kovalev spent several months on this site, when I decided to organize a master class on the development based on WordPress. In September 2015, Kovalev made the announcement of the event, announced a price of €10 per person for a three-hour master class, but no one came. Someone even wrote that its too expensive. The entrepreneur does not believe that €10 is expensive, and suggested that if he raises the price to €50, participants will see more value from the lesson and decide to come.

According to Kovalev, at the master class enrolled one student who was satisfied. Inspired by the feedback from the student, the entrepreneur decided to continue his studies — to promote them to meetup.com rent a meeting room in coworking and recruit a small group of students. “When I no one came, I had nothing to lose — the rent I was paying, only if the activity took place”, — says Kovalev.

After the third master class entrepreneur came up with the name of the school and drew the logo. He declared classes on behalf of the school, which legally did not exist at that time Kovalev did not know how events will develop further. After four months of regular classes in February 2016 Kovalev officially registered the Barcelona Code School, and a year later in the spring of 2017 Kovalev moved the school from coworking in a separate rented office with two rooms for workshops. In addition to WordPress, the entrepreneur decided to hold classes on JavaScript to teach students how to create mobile apps and web applications on the example of popular sites like airbnb.com.

In the beginning of 2016 Kovalev drew attention to the fact that the parents during school vacation try somewhere to attach children to they are not sitting at home all day. The entrepreneur saw this as an opportunity for school and in the spring of 2016 organized the first intensive course on WordPress for kids. According to Kovalev, at first elective for four days, he gathered a group of five people.

So the entrepreneur realized that the classes in programming for children a profitable niche. Children quickly learn and was pleased with the lessons. After the course, Kovalev started to engage with students in the evenings, and in July 2016, held its first summer camp. According to the businessman, he gathered 15 children and earned €2 thousand.

In the classroom he was teaching the kids programming and assembling of robots. In parallel Kovalev preparing to launch an intensive course for adult students. According to the entrepreneur, to organize the program was more difficult than for children. He didnt know how to create a web application, so to run the course, he decided to hire an instructor who owns JavaScript.

The first course for adult students was scheduled for March 1, 2016. Kovalev found the American teacher, has announced a start date, but the lawyer Kovaleva told him to hire a foreigner in Spain unemployment, and to obtain in such circumstances a work visa is almost impossible.

The entrepreneur has found a new teacher — this time local. He had already postponed the launch in September 2016, when he learned that the teacher received a job offer in Madrid, where his family lives. He left Barcelona, and Kovalev had to cancel the course and return prepaid registrants. After two attempts to run the program, Kovalev decided to go to another country and take a course on JavaScript to teach yourself, if he cant find instructors.

In the fall of 2016, the entrepreneur went to Brussels for three months, studied and brought to Barcelona a new teacher — student program. In may 2017 Kovalev has launched a course for adult students, a year after the first attempt. Kovalev Code School Barcelona promotes through Facebook and Google AdWords. In Facebook he advertises school events, and uses Google AdWords to promote two campaigns for courses — one focused on Europe, the other on the rest of the country.

Advertising in Facebook cost the businessman of 30 thousand rubles per month, and Google AdWords — €50 per day. According to Kovalev, the hardest part of the promotion is to understand the local target audience and build a relationship with her. “I can see the difference of cultures and not understand how to position school.

What to write, what to choose illustrations. I cant predict audience response and dont know what to expect from it”. When the businessman planned one of the morning workshops, he chose the picture for the announcement. Girl with laptop sitting in bed and something to print.

Kovalev has announced a master class, and someone wrote in the comments that the illustration does not reflect the essence of the master class. The entrepreneur had to change the picture. According to Kovalev, clients, schools can be divided into four groups.

Children, entrepreneurs, students with the idea of a startup and those who want to develop the skills necessary for professional growth. Children can attend school from the age of nine. The students are children of expatriates or local children from private schools. All classes are taught in English.

Among adult students, Kovalev has identified a group of entrepreneurs who learn to program in JavaScript, not to pay for the website to third-party developers. According to the businessman, in Barcelona high stakes — the hour of the programmers work is worth a minimum of €40. The website will have to pay at least €500. “Local small business prefers to do the sites yourself,” says Kovalev.

Unlikely in Moscow, I had these clients — it is easier and cheaper to hire someone to make a website. Assume that Moscow entrepreneurs do not learn such applied skills, preferring an MBA. According to Kovalev, the school also serves experienced professional online marketers and designers who want to change profession or learn new skills.

“Classes in English allows us to work with students from different countries in school, the poles, the Indians, the French, the Germans. Once we come to the Australian couple, who were in Barcelona for a family wedding and decided to take a course on WordPress”, — says the businessman. In the spring of 2017 four local companies have offered Kovalev to organize corporate training for employees of their it departments. Especially for them it creates an individual training programme.

According to the businessman, he has not spent a single Euro in order to attract these customers. According to Kovalev, he isnt fighting competitors for clients. In every major European city there is a school of programming, students can choose to study any country. The entrepreneur believes that the location of his project in Barcelona is a competitive advantage.

“When compared with Northern European cities, Barcelona is a more pleasant place. You can learn and in Brussels, but in Barcelona more comfortable — there is not such a high cost of living, warm weather and the sea.”. In may 2017 Kovalev hired the first two employees on staff teacher and marketer. “Until that time, I cope on their own, but now do not have time”, — the businessman speaks.

Kovalev is responsible for the overall strategy of the school, launching new programs, positioning, and teaches courses. New teacher teaches students and helps him to write exercises to practice. Marketing specialist administers the site and writing plan to promote school.

His tasks will include communicating with the media, partners and organisation of events with experts. Kovalev plans to build around the school community to as many people as possible learned about the school through public lectures and joint projects with other companies. According to the businessman, the salary of a marketer is €1.4 thousand, and the teacher €1.6 thousand. Along with the tax payments, both the employee and cost him €60 thousand per year.

Opening the school, Kovalev has invested a share capital of €10 thousand and for the registration of the company spent €2.5 thousand. According to the businessman, the largest item of expenditure during the existence of the school is repairs, which spent €20 thousand. Office rental costs Kovalev €2 thousand.

“To lease and repair of office, the biggest item of expenditure was on advertising — about €2 thousand. Now in total we spend €7 thousand a month”, — says the businessman. Fixed costs and obligations to employees urging me to work harder. Now Kovalev is not getting profit because of the costs for office rent and staff salaries.

According to the businessman, it is ready that a few months will work to “zero”. “There were periods when no one was enrolled in classes for two consecutive months. I was upset and thought that no one needs. When, finally, came of the application, I realized that doing everything right”, — says Kovalev.

Participation in educational course costs €6 thousand for eight weeks, three-day course €240, and a week of childrens camp €250. According to the businessman on the training course, he gained two students did not have time to spin. Kovalev estimates the capacity of the eight-week course of 8-10 people and will conduct four courses per year, earning them approximately €200 thousand.

Kovalev has no plans to bring in the project of investors. “I dont want to be accountable to strangers, and prefer to make all decisions independently”. The entrepreneur believes that sometimes the investment does not allow a business to become profitable.

Kovalev familiar with the startup team, Talent Garden is a network of coworking across Europe. When he asked how much money earns them co-working in Barcelona, they said they did and money on the development they take from investors. “I believe that this is not a business but a bubble that could burst,” says Kovalev. In the summer of 2017, the entrepreneur will hire two teachers for the second educational year, and after a few months you will take command of the second marketer.

According to the businessman, the two companies invite you to take interns from Hong Kong and the Netherlands. “I will accept students for internships. This is good for us — understand how to attract a school of Chinese students.”. Kovalev plans to hire local youth.

According to the entrepreneur, the level of youth unemployment over 50%. Kovalev will offer the municipality the quota for recent graduates to get experience in it and then got a job in other companies developers. In 2018 Kovalev will organize four intensive summer camps for children in four shifts and evening classes for 4-6 persons in the group. The entrepreneur expects that in 2017 he will earn €20 million, and 2018 — €100 thousand.

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