View Full Version : How to start an English Lang School?
2002-12-02, 09:35 AM
Am coming to Japan in Jan to start working with an English Teaching School, teaching English for one year. Am interested in starting a business in Japan in future, and English Language Teaching School seems obvious choice, as there is a market, and plenty of demand, although I have no idea yet what the profitability is, after all expenses. I would like to ask if anyone could give me any tips, or advice, or pointers, or any info at all that they might consider helpful to me in trying to follow this plan further. I will really appreciate any experiences or information anyone could provide to me. Also, does anyone else have any suggestions for business startups in Japan, which would be suitable for a foreigner, other than language schools?
Thank you for your help.
2002-12-02, 11:01 AM
without wanting to rain on your parade, I'd suggest that what you ought to do first is to determine both whether you like living in Japan and whether you have a liking and aptitude for teaching English here. Until such time as you've done at least that much, it seems unlikely that people will think it sensible to give you advice about how to set up a company here.
Two sources of information that will be of use: the Small businesses/SOHOs section on this board and the school at which you begin work. Assuming that school is profitable, take a very good (insider's) look at what it does right and what you think could be improved. When you feel confident that you could run a company like that (or a very much smaller version of it) get in touch with one of the numerous English speaking lawyers who advertise to help foreigners establish businesses here.
2002-12-03, 05:13 PM
Thank you for your reply, and of course it makes good sense to examine my school and try to learn any lessons there, and to eventually talk to a lawyer nearer the time for set up.
Does anyone else have any advice or knowledge of the legal rules etc which govern foreigners opening a language school? If anyone has any experience or knowledge of this type of operation, I would seriously appreciate any help or advice you could give - especially any knowledge of the legal rules regarding such a startup, and any logistical concepts I should be aware of - eg whether foreigners are allowed to lease premises etc before having permanent residency status etc.
2002-12-15, 06:39 PM
I never been to Japan myself, but maybe I can help a little bit.
If I were you, I'd work at a respectable English school for a while. During that time, you will gain a good reputation, that is if your good. After you have a good student and parent fanbase, start your own school and there is a good chance that your reputation will bring you students.
Personally, I would never attend a Japanese school owned by a person that has no experience and no record. Get the experience first and see if you like Japan.
2003-02-18, 02:08 PM
I need someone to take over my English Classes!!!
I have been living in Kyoto for 8 years teaching almost exclusively private students located all over Kyoto. The students range in age from 3 to 70. I have appx. 37classes for sale with hourly wages paying from \1250 an hour up to \13,000 an hour. I will post the schedule as I teach it now with wages:
Sunday 1030-12 \5000
Monday 10-1130 \4000
Tuesday 1030-12 \6000
Wednesday 915-1015 \4000
Thursday 915-1015 \1250
Friday 2-315 \5000
Saturday 10-1030 \2000
These are the classes and schedules I currently teach. With the exception of a few, these times are flexible, because the majority are elementary school students or younger. These classes are available around mid-April. I am under contract with the schools to teach until Mar. 20th or so and will have to stick around until then. I have 3 elementary school classes that account for 15,000yen a week.
THE IDEAL TEACHER
I am looking for someone who is professional enough to teach the TOEFL as well as hyper enough to dance Ring around the Rosies 4 times a day. All the classes do exist and I would verify that with you if you were ready to take over. How long they exist depends on the teacher. A younger teacher who can make little kids laugh and have fun while teaching English has a better chance of retaining these classes over a longer period of time than lets say, an older person who has a PhD in Pedagogy with a Masters in Linguistics, but couldnft get little kids excited to save their life. Not all these classes are fun and games and a well-educated person could really clean up with my Monday classes in particular, as those requirec. BRAIN POWER!
I must stay until the end of March. I will not sell my high-paying classes until the end of March unless someone gives me a price I canft refuse. Ideally for me, I am looking for one person, who doesnft need a visa, who can start April 1st, who can work all these classes, move into my furnished apartment, and buy my bikes and my car for the right price. Thatfs the ideal person, but if you only want the classes, thatfs fine too.
Ifm not a philanthropist. I donft have the money to be one. This is a great chance for someone and it is worth a lot of money. All these classes are for sale to the highest bidder.
I will make no bones about it. I have put in thousands of hours riding a scooter in the rain, the cold, the heat and the snow getting together this schedule. I have put in many more hours behind the scenes preparing curriculums and plans and games and so on in order to win these jobs as well as get referrals to others. I have basically done 8 years of footwork for one lucky person. I know that there are a lot of people out there who donft make \140,000wk and will pay for the opportunity to do so. I am ready to start a new and different chapter in my life and thatfs why I am leaving this all behind.
SO WHEN CAN I DO IT?
A serious bid on these classes will do wonders
THERE ARE NO VISAS OFFERED AT ALL WITH ANY OF THESE CLASSES!!!
2003-02-18, 03:17 PM
This is certainly a new one. Some joker is 'selling' the right to teach his classes. This isn't eBay, Tony. Wow! I want to work a ridiculous 7 day week. How much will that privilege cost me? BTW, please answer this question, TBlack: if you are under a contract to a school or schools as you say, then how can you gurantee they would want to hire me?
2003-02-19, 02:16 PM
I agree with some of what The Devil's Advocate says. What guarantee can you offer that all (or any) of your present employers will be prepared to accept as your replacement someone whose chief qualification will presumably be his/her being the highest bidder in your offline auction?
But, I disagree with TDA's suggesting that this is a new wrinkle, and that it's odd or somehow out of order. I've seen lots of ads from people "selling" the right to take over private lessons (these in KFM &etc.). And I rather agree with Anthony that it's perhaps fair enough: I've also put in a lot of legwork to develop my own set of lucrative private lessons, and would feel reluctant just to hand them over to someone other than a close friend without my being rewarded for this.
You're in Kyoto. If you consult the KFM, you'll find ads from a couple of companies willing and able to "buy" your private lessons.
A last point. I feel that this should properly have been posted in the classifieds section. It's a commercial proposition, not a contribution to the discussion.
2003-02-19, 04:39 PM
I will go class to class with any prospect willing to buy these classes and we will get confirmations from each and every student before we hammer out a price.
2003-02-19, 05:04 PM
How much are you asking for each class or the whole package? A week or month of income? If these are not formal arrangements with a school, how can I be sure the students will hang around long enough for me to regain my investment and make a profit that justified the investment? What I'm trying to say is that if you're expecting anything more than a token amount, you will probably be disappointed. What your basically doing is holding a classes sayonara sale, in which cases things are always sold at a discount, no matter how valuable you think they are. And you can hold out for the amount you think is fair, but that amount is going to shrink rapidly as your date of departure draws near. But good luck with it.