James DeCicco: There Is a Strong Presence of Tech in California and Generally People Are More Aware of the Tech Industry

James DeCicco of BeachCoders Academy.

Tell us about yourself?

James DeCicco is a C-Level Executive, Speaker, and Author in technology and finance.

James is the founder of BeachCoders® Academy web coding school in Manhattan Beach, California and is an expert on personal success psychology with training in human needs psychology and Neuro-Linguistic Programming and has several successful private company exits to his credit.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

Many startup founders typically put too much emphasis on the idea and not enough on the execution. Everyone has great ideas. Doing what’s necessary to make them happen is the key.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

The biggest lesson is to own your experience. You can’t control everything but you can control your response. Deciding that its ultimately up to you to create success changes your outlook.

For me, it’s empowering to know that I am responsible for my own success and that I determine my value and how large I want to play the game.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Get a crystal clear picture of what you’re doing, why, and where you’d like to see the business go. It’s important to think about how you will exit as this sets up your strategy from the beginning to what an exit looks like and if it’s in alignment with your goals.

From there, work backwards and begin to build systems for the operation, attract the right people to help and most of all, learn to re-frame obstacles to see the opportunities in them and how you can continue to refine the systems.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

Your life is one complete experience. It’s not work and play. The key is to integrate your daily activity to support how you like to live. There will be times of focused work and times of leisure. Strive to integrate them so they support each other.

Every desire you have in life is important so find ways to fill those desires every day. Things get uncomfortable when you resist what you want for what you feel you are obligated to do. It’s your movie so write the script to fit your desire and support everyone around you.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

We follow the core values from content in the books “Good to Great” and “the E-myth”. By those, I mean we focus on our customer first with product and strive to optimize systems for operations.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

Our model has brought us 100% completion rate in our courses. This is something no other school anywhere has been able to touch. Our understanding of human needs psychology and how to deliver a transformational experience is what sets us apart.

From that standpoint, we almost have no competition because a deep understanding of these concepts is not something another company can simply bolt on, especially after they are up and running.

We built this from the ground up to be fundamentally different in this way and our customers are delighted to experience our “Education as a Hospitality Service” (EAHS).

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

Sales is simply giving the customer what they really want. Although they may ask about them, your company’s features and benefits are not what they really want.

A customer wants to be valued, to be heard and to have the certainty that they will get the experience they are envisioning. This applies to any type of sales.

What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in California over other states in the US?

There is a strong presence of tech in California and generally people are more aware of the tech industry. Plus, students from other areas typically place more value on us being in California as it is home to Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach, where we are located.

What (if any) are the weaknesses of operating your business within California?

California, like may states has a fair bit of red tape to navigate but other than that, it’s a great place to be, especially the weather!

We are currently suffering through a cost of living crisis. With California already being one of the most expensive states to live in, how has this impacted your business?

Fortunately for our students, we have not raised our prices and continue to find more ways to remove any financial barriers to getting skilled up for better paying careers.

It is no secret that California is the birthplace of innovation. But that also makes it incredibly competitive. How have you found the competitive environment of California?

Competition is everywhere. It’s good to remember that any company can experience incredible success by being in the top 10%. This widens the playing field from trying to be always number one.

We feel we are number one in our offering because we are so different. However, being in the top 10% of all coding bootcamps is a great place to be.

Have you considered moving your company to another state? If so, which state and why?

We currently have a nationwide presence and a recent partnership is providing us the ability to be in-person across the nation as well so we’re already in other states!

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

We are looking to have our presence saturated across the US and into Europe and maybe attract into a larger education or consulting group if not take the company public.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

The best place to start is on our website or email [email protected]. I still pick up the phone, view all the emails and am actively involved in our student admissions and graduation so reach out – i’d love to meet you!

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