In today’s global economy, English language school franchises are a popular way to generate revenue. However, the process of opening an English school is not as simple as it might seem. Numerous considerations must be made before even getting started with the actual opening of your school. In this article we will discuss some of these things you should consider when opening an English language school.
Think about how you want the school to look
Once you’ve decided on the kind of school you want to open, it’s time to think about how you want your school to look and feel. Do you want it to feel like a cozy living room with sofas and armchairs? Or will a classroom setting with desks in rows be better suited for learning?
Think about what type of atmosphere will best suit your students’ needs. When they enter through the doors each morning, what kind of ambiance do they want as they begin their day? A stylish modern design or something more traditional? The choice is up to you and should reflect both your tastes as well as those of your potential clientele base.
Find a strategic location
The location of your school is one of the most important factors in your success. This can be a challenge, as many English schools open in areas that are already saturated with competitors.
You should find a strategic location that not only meets your needs but also encourages people to come to you rather than go elsewhere. The perfect location will have many things going for it:
- It’s close to public transport
- It’s near a major road or highway so that customers can easily find it on their way home from work and school (and other places)
- It’s near a shopping center or mall so students don’t have much trouble getting there either
- It’s near universities or hospitals (especially if they’re hospitals where foreign patients come)
Choose your partners carefully
You have to be smart about your choice of partner. It’s important to choose someone who shares your vision for the school and is committed to helping you achieve it. You want a partner who will work with you to make the school a success, rather than just providing some curriculum or teaching materials and then leaving you to get on with things yourself. Finally, they should be reliable and trustworthy—someone who won’t disappear when things get tough!
Set clear policies and procedures
Policies and procedures are essential for your school. They help you to stay consistent, ensure that students and staff have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and create a sense of professionalism in the community.
Below are five key benefits of having policies:
- They help you be consistent. Your school will be more reliable if everyone knows what is expected from them, how things should be done, and when it’s time to do something differently. Policies also make it easier for new staff members or volunteers to hit the ground running because they already know what’s expected of them!
- It helps keep everyone on track with their responsibilities so nothing falls through the cracks (or worse yet—on someone else!). From making sure all textbooks are returned by their due date so we don’t get charged late fees; to making sure homework assignments have been sent home before our first parent conference night so parents can review with their child; making sure weekly lesson plans have been posted online before class begins; having policies in place helps us stay organized!
Have your finances in order
Before you open an English language school, you must have your finances in order. The first step is to determine how much money you are going to need to get started. Once you have this amount, make sure that you have enough money to cover all of your expenses for at least six months and preferably one year.
If there is any doubt about your ability to get through the first few months or even years, consider postponing opening the school until things are more settled. If possible, work on improving your financial situation so that opening a business becomes feasible in the future.
Additionally, make sure that any unexpected costs can be covered by having contingency funds available at all times (at least five percent of the total budget).
Identify the most important skills and experiences for new teachers and staff
Identifying the most important skills and experiences for new teachers and staff is essential to your success, but it can be difficult. You probably have a broad idea of what’s required in the industry, but there are many different ways that people succeed in their jobs. As you consider your needs, keep these questions in mind:
- What skills do you want to improve? What are the skill gaps between your current employees and those who will come with your school?
- How much experience does each prospective teacher or staff member need? Do they need “entry-level” or “senior” level experience? Do they need prior teaching experience specifically in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL), TESL/TEFL/TESOL, or ELT courses at an institution like yours?
- How much time do you have before opening day? This question will help establish how quickly you should start hiring so that everyone can prepare properly for launch day.
Ensure that staff have the necessary English language training and experience
You should make sure that your staff has the necessary skills and experience. As a general rule, the more experience they have, the better. You should also make sure that they are reliable, trustworthy, and honest.
It is important to hire people who can deal with difficult situations in a calm manner. Having an employee who panics easily is likely to cause more problems than it solves. The same goes for someone who cannot communicate effectively in English or another language you are using at your school (for example if you speak Mandarin).
Hire a team of skilled, reliable administrators to take care of important tasks that don’t require an English language instructor. Support them with good technology so they do the job quickly, easily, and well.
There are some tasks that an English language instructor just shouldn’t be doing. For example, if you want to start a business in China and your school is based in Beijing, it’s probably best to hire someone familiar with the Chinese market, and who knows how to deal with local authorities.
It’s also a plus if they speak Mandarin or one of China’s other main languages—especially if you plan on expanding into other parts of Asia. If they don’t speak any Asian languages, but do know their way around government regulations and taxes (which can vary widely from country to country), then that could work too!
Keep track of what’s going on at the school
- Keep track of student progress.
- Track teacher performance.
- Keep track of financial transactions.
- Keep track of school policies and procedures.
- Keep track of school marketing.
- Keep track of school operations, including the management of its staff, premises, and equipment, as well as its reputation within the community it serves.
Opening a school requires a lot of planning, but it is worth it to get all of the details right before you open your doors. A great school is also an asset to its community.
You should start by having clear policies and procedures in place so that everyone on campus knows what they can expect from you and what you expect from them. You will also want to be strategic about where you locate your school and who partners with you to maximize its success. You’ll need a good team of administrators who know how to run an English language school well, as well as how best to teach students who are new at speaking English.
So, there you have it: everything you need to know about opening an English language school. It’s a lot of work and takes time, but the payoff is worth it when your school becomes a thriving part of its community.