Teaching ESL
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Moving an at-home English school to a proper building/office
http://www.mes-english.com:443/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6730
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Author:  mellonhead [ Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Moving an at-home English school to a proper building/office

To elaborate a little I have an at-home English school now and we are getting to the point where we are running out of room and need a little administrative help so we are thinking about moving to a dedicated building.

Wondering if there are any users out there that have done this and can share their experiences?

I know there are a lot of different factors involved so for this post I am specifically wondering if anyone can comment on whether they saw an increase/decrease or no change in the amount of new students joining their school? I would be especially interested in users from Japan comments. My feeling is that some parents/people feel that an at-home school is different and at times preferable to a actual school, as those invoke feeling of the big companies and at times their strict curriculum and drilling styles. Of course this is just my feeling, I don't have much to base it on.

Thanks,

Author:  mesmark [ Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving an at-home English school to a proper building/of

Once things got pretty busy here, to solve some administration strains, I began outsourcing accounting to a local company. That was a big help. But other than that, I do everything myself.

I tried to start a second location a few years back. It was in the neighboring town, about 25 minutes from my current location. I was already working a full schedule, so I hired a teacher to teach at that location part-time. The site broke even after 4-6 months, but the teacher left (returned to England) after one year.

We only had a few management problems and landlord issues but with everything else on my schedule, it was just too much to simply break even. So, when the teacher left, I gave what was left of the business to a friend.

I think you just have to do the (potential) math:
- will you be able to teach all the new classes with current staffing?
- how many new students do you need to cover rent and bills?
- if you need an additional teacher, how many new students do you need to cover that?
- how much time will commuting take away from your schedule? snow shoveling, cleaning, grounds maintenance, etc.

As far as the new location and business:
- will the new location be better for the majority of your current students?
- will you be fishing students from essentially the same area?
- Are you willing to hand over your classes/students and become a manager?

I hope that's helpful in some way and wish you the best of luck with the move. I always feel like if you are willing to work hard and believe in what you are doing, it has a high chance of working out. You seem to have a proven system there with your current student base. If you do decide to move, I hope it's a huge success.

Author:  mellonhead [ Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving an at-home English school to a proper building/of

Thanks for all the tips Mark. I almostmiss shoveling snow! Not something I have to worry about here but I understand what you are saying. I am not at the point yet where moving to a dedicated building makes sense, but now I don`t think just being in a dedicated building is going to attract more students. Possibly if the building is in a highly visible area. And yes I would be sure to pick a location that does not alienate my existing students. Right or wrong I think the majority of my current students come here because of the location.

Author:  mesmark [ Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Moving an at-home English school to a proper building/of

I hope I didn't talk you out of the move. I was just going over what has kept me here. I'm happy with the current workload and income level. I also LOVE a zero-commute work environment :D

However, I do have a 15 minute drive to university classes twice a week when it's in session.

Snow shoveling ... it's not so bad but it takes time. Last year we got hammered. I spent 2 days shoveling:
Image

It's hard to see, but that's my street with enough room for one car to pass.

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