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Language School

Discussion in 'Franchising, Chains, Traditional B&M' started by anthonyseoul, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. anthonyseoul
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    anthonyseoul New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Hello,

    I'd like to get this out there and see what feedback I can get from anyone here.

    Could setting up a language school be Fastlane? I know it depends on the location, size etc. Just looking for some general feedback on the idea.

    My background is in teaching English, so starting an English language school fits what I currently do. But, having read TMF, I know this isn't always the way to go!

    I think branding and marketing are key, as I would need to be able to franchise it at some point to scale up. What other things do you think should be taken into consideration? What other ideas could be implemented to differentiate it?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jon.a
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    jon.a Legendary Contributor LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Why couldn't it get to fastlane?
    You have to start somewhere.

    Have you done an intro?
    (Edit)
    Found it.
    It doesn't give us much to work with.
     
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  3. G-Man
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    G-Man Platinum Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Yes. I've never started a language school, but I've paid top dollar to attend some, and at least 1 was a top notch ongoing operation with an absentee owner that had created a great system.

    If I were a Korean living in Korea, I don't know that I would start an English school. Have you thought about teaching Korean and marketing directly to businesses that employ expatriates? Another market that the school I attended tapped: bored stay at home wives of high earning expatriates. They pay their bills, are less price sensitive, and are low maintenance.
     
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  4. anthonyseoul
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    anthonyseoul New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Some more info on me and my situation.

    I've been in Korea for the last few years, but I'm returning home to London this year. One idea is to start an English language school. I have a few others but I'd like to get some more ideas on this one.

    Like you said G-Man, creating the system is key. One worry I have, though, is that relying on teachers is a big risk. They are not only the face of the business, but they also determine the quality of the school to a large degree. Teachers can come and go from year to year, and finding quality ones can't be easy.
     
  5. G-Man
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    G-Man Platinum Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Sorry, didn't pick up on the fact that you aren't Korean, which is pretty relevant.

    The teacher issue is one that every language school I've ever attended had, except the one mentioned above. That's because they focused on getting higher quality customers. Higher quality customers gives you the revenue stability to get higher quality teachers. It was the only school I attended where some of the teachers were actually older than me (over 30), and some of the students were also middle aged.
     
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  6. TheDillon__
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    TheDillon__ Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    The most Fastlane way to do language schools, in my opinion, is audio courses. They seem to be pretty popular, and they're starting to pop up all over the place!

    Check out Michel Thomas, Pimsleur, SaySomethingIn, Mango (app), and Language Transfer for some good examples.
     
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  7. anthonyseoul
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    anthonyseoul New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks for all the replies and advice. I'm going to look into this much further over the next few months before I head back to the UK and execute!
     
  8. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    What can you do this week to make a sale?
     
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  9. AgainstAllOdds
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    AgainstAllOdds Platinum Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    You're going to get horrible advice on this forum. It's not because the people here aren't smart, but it's because the majority the people on this forum are based in Western countries and unaware of the language school market in the east.

    To answer your question: Yes, language schools can be fastlane if done in Korea, China, etc. In those countries, language schools can IPO. In the west, I can't name one that has.

    My advice: Structure the language school the same way that real estate brokerages operate. Create the infrastructure. Get the students. Give a place for teachers to teach. And give teachers opportunity to increase their pay. Start them off at something like 50% of profit, and then work them up to 90% of profit if they're the best. Focus on low teacher turnover and you'll have a solid business.
     
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  10. KSR
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    KSR Bronze Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    That's why you need to take your time to employ teachers that are trustworthy and efficient. Unfortunately, since you're leaving soon -- it'll be pretty rushed, you need to vet your employees thoroughly. After all, they're the ones that are the face of your company.
     
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  11. anthonyseoul
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    anthonyseoul New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    I should have been clearer: I'm planning to start a language school in the UK, not in Korea.

    I will be targeting students from Europe to come and learn with me in England.

    There are plenty of language schools in the UK, but as far as I can see they all seem similar (rather dull and academic). That's why I think a cool, fun school might attract students. Marketing this is absolutely key.

    Thanks for everyone's input so far.

    This is tricky since I'm not in the UK yet! But I'm working on my website. This is going to be where students are won over. Getting my intended message across on the website is vital.


    I like this idea! Give the teachers something to work towards and make them feel a part of the business. This is one reason why language schools have a high turnover: teachers don't have incentives and they basically take it easy once they get a contract. They can easily move on to the next school.
     
  12. AgainstAllOdds
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    In that case I'd rethink your plan. You have a lot of competition from universities and essentially anyone that speaks English (most of the UK).

    In East Asia people are more open to for profit schools. I don't know how it is in Europe, but in the U.S. people are apprehensive to paying for something they can get in regular school.

    If I were doing your due diligence, then I would start by looking at for profit language academies in the UK and seeing how much money they're making. This isn't a new field, so looking at the established players will give you a better idea of whether or not it's worth pursuing.

    Here's one Chinese company that teaches English:

    [​IMG]

    $9.5 BLN in market cap.

    If you can find a company in Europe that's similar, then go for it. Otherwise, you're likely fighting an uphill battle that's not worth fighting. Personally, I'd cater to Korean, Chinese, and Japanese students that want the "London experience" instead of Europeans. But you can proceed as you think is best; however, first do your research.
     
  13. anthonyseoul
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    anthonyseoul New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I'll certainly do more research into this. There are a couple of pretty famous language schools in London that offer franchise opportunities, plus a few 'teaching methods' that can be franchised. But there's nothing on the scale of that Chinese company!

    If I were to move forward with this, I would differentiate myself by having smaller classes (language schools typically have 10-20 students per class) and a more personalised experience.
     

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