If you’re an aspiring language teacher, you’ve probably thought about starting your own school at least once. The thought of opening your own business is exciting—but also daunting. There are a lot of things to consider when setting up shop: what languages you’ll teach and where will students come from? As with any other type of small business, it’s critical to do your research before setting off on this path. Here are some tips for getting started:
Figure out what languages you want to teach.
What languages are you good at? A good language teacher must be able to deliver the material clearly and effectively. What languages do you speak? Which ones do you know well enough to teach? If there’s one particular language that comes to mind, it’s a good idea to learn more about the demand for this language in your area or country. Not only will this help draw potential students into your school, but it will also give them an opportunity to practice their skills while they’re learning English or another foreign language from you!
You’ll want to make sure that your native tongue isn’t too difficult for new learners; if not, then maybe go ahead and consider teaching them something else instead. After all, if no one wants anything related with linguistics then there won’t be any need for teachers later down the road either so take some time now before making any kind of decision.
Decide what type of language school to start.
As a language school owner, you will have to decide what type of language school you want to start. The most common types are:
- Private language schools: These are privately owned and operated by one person or a group of people. They may offer classes in private settings (like offices or homes) or in public places like churches and community centers.
- Chain language schools: These are large corporations that own multiple branches across multiple locations. They often use franchises to operate the branches, which are then managed by franchise owners who pay the company for branding rights and curriculum materials.
- Franchise chain language schools: These can be thought of as chains but with smaller numbers of locations (usually between 5-10). Franchises typically require an initial investment from franchisees before they can open their own branch; in return, these businesses benefit from shared marketing efforts among other benefits offered by franchisors such as national advertising campaigns and financial aid packages.
Determine your target market, or who you will teach.
The next step is to determine your target market, or who you will teach. The question of “who” is not as simple to answer as you might think. Your target market isn’t necessarily the same as your geographic location; it could be one city, or it could span multiple cities in one country or several countries. You don’t have to select a demographic that matches the age range or language level of all of your students—you just need to find a group of learners whose interests are aligned with yours and whose goals align with yours.
Decide whether you want to start a school or purchase a franchise school.
If you’re thinking about starting a language school and have no experience in the industry, it might be easier for you to buy into an existing business. Franchises are usually well established with a good reputation and will save you time and money by providing all the necessary training materials, lesson plans, business systems and management support. However, if your goal is to create something unique or to start from scratch with minimal risk then it’s possible for you to do so by purchasing a franchise license at a cost of around $2-3 million USD.
Determine a location for the school.
The location of your language school is a crucial decision. You want to be near universities and other educational institutions, but also near tourist attractions, public transportation, and shops. Consider the following when choosing a building for your new language center:
- Is it in an area with lots of students? If so, can you reach them easily?
- Is there space for expansion or renovation if necessary?
- Is it close to a train station or bus stop? In many cities, public transportation plays an important role in getting around town—this could be good news for your business!
Hire the right teachers.
Once you have a clear vision of the kind of school you want to open, it’s time to start hiring your staff. It’s important to hire qualified teachers who will be a good fit for your language school and its students. When hiring teachers, look for people who have experience teaching in similar settings and teach the language you want to teach. Teachers should also be able to communicate effectively with students and adapt their teaching style based on student needs.
Set your prices and services.
- Price according to your market: If you’re in a large city and there are lots of language schools, you’ll need to charge more than if there are few other options. If you’re targeting tourists who only have a short time to learn the language before they leave, then it’s okay if your classes are a bit more expensive—they’ll be able to get a lot out of the experience in that short period.
- What services do you offer? Can people take group classes or private lessons? Do they have an option for e-learning? Will you teach at their home or office? Set up an online booking system so students can easily find out about these options and sign up for classes from their computer or phone 24/7!
Choose a name and register your school.
Now that you’ve decided on the field of language education and you’ve obtained your startup funds, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of starting your own language school. The first step toward starting a language school involves choosing a name and registering it with the state and federal governments.
In order to choose an appropriate name for your language school, consider what mission statement or philosophy will guide its work. You may want to pick something snappy that reflects your educational goals or something more formal if there are already schools in your area with similar missions.
For example, if you’re going for something formal: “Our School for Language Students” could be an appropriate choice; however, if you want something more playful: “The Fun Language School” might be better suited for reaching out to students who are looking for fun learning experiences as opposed to serious ones (though we should note here that both kinds can exist within one institution).
Once you’ve settled on a name, check with state and federal government agencies such as the Department of Education before making any official decisions about registering it under this title—it may not be available!
Create an online presence.
It is important to create an online presence for your school. You can do this by having a website and social media accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram.
Having a website allows you to be found online, which will help potential students find your school. If you don’t have the funds to create one yourself, there are many companies that will help you with this process at low cost. This is often called “online marketing.”
You should also promote your school through social media like Facebook and Instagram so that people can follow along with what’s happening in your classes as well as get info about them (what language they’re teaching).
Starting a language school is an exciting and rewarding process. The best way to get started is to research what other schools are doing, learn from their successes and failures, then come up with a plan that works for you and your students.