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Opening a Language Centre/Service Advice

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    36

    Opening a Language Centre/Service Advice

    Hi

    Okay, the title is getting a little ahead of myself but I'm hoping to grab the attention of the right people on here!
    I have been teaching ESL here in HK and would like to go my own way (I can see you rolling your eyes!). The eventual plan is to open a language centre and/or provide ESL teachers to local schools under my employment. One of the main reasons I am confident in going down this route is because I have the resources and support to create an excellent curriculum and materials for learning - which quite frankly I believe a LOT of places lack.

    I know I will start off small by tutoring small groups etc. But I wanted to know if the market is too heavily saturated or is there still a place? Any advice is welcome.

    Thanks


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,120

    In general I don't think the market is too saturated BUT you'll have to consider a lot of factors other than your own curriculum and materials. A lot of small learning centers fail because they don't properly consider factors such as location, marketing, admin and running costs, the competition etc etc.

    HKtostay and hin23leung like this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    5,491

    The thing is, you have your way, the Chinese have theirs. No one is buying your curriculum. Don't expect to get into this and make the next best thing, the only thing you are doing is following their way, providing the western face, and taking a cut.

    Location is key, how to get western staff and keep them (expect to lose up to 50% of your students on staff turnover).

    Marketing, costs, administration and communication with parents, and how to hook them long term instead of a discounted trial. Referrals are important.

    What can you offer that another tuition centre doesn't? Providing teachers you need to cover when they are sick, under your arrangement.

    Kinch, Natfixit and HKtostay like this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    4,689

    i sugget you should make this into a kick starter project.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    猴山
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    15,244
    Quote Originally Posted by dumbdonkey
    i sugget you should make this into a kick starter project.
    Perhaps a go fund me campaign

    https://www.gofundme.com/

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,074

    Have to chime in that the *worst* job I had in my life (in the UK) was teaching EFL at a language centre. Nothing is worse than working for a company who hires a full time "curriculum developer" (or "materials manager"), who is a non-native speaker, who sits in a nice office, who never comes up to the grimy teacher's room to see what we're actually doing, who gets a regular pay check (while you make just a few pounds *per teaching hour only*!), to make crappy "curriculum" that is completely disconnected from what you as the teacher are experiencing and doing in the classroom. Teachers who are well qualified and experienced know how to teach with *nothing* (there's even good books on this ) -- so what is the big bonus of having "special" curriculum? Plenty of good resources already out there, which teachers will already know and know how to use. At least as far as teaching a language as a second or foreign language is concerned. But note, that this was an experience not in Hong Kong and it was teaching EFL or ESL to adults and teenagers (not this whole crazy exam tutoring thing).

    If you think you have a novel approach with curriculum, then go into publishing, but I'm not sure starting a teaching centre around it is a good idea here. I just want to share how it can feel as the teacher to work for a place that emphasizes curriculum too much.

    HKtostay likes this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    3

    Well, I'm the former owner of a tuition school in HK. I had the centre for abt 12 yrs.
    It was successful and paid me a pretty good living for 10/12 years. Why this worked?...I built up a big client base of home students before I committed to any rent. And my over heads were kept low as I was a FT time too, the Manager and I had low rent in a "basic" shopping centre...but a centre with many kids visiting....I took abt 100 students with me from my home. Those students were built over years.... I'll tell you now.....don't rent over $25k pm and have a client base of at least 30 kids...before you start this....or you will be very challenged to make money. I had rents of only abt $14 k and had 200 plus kids per week. I made money...enough for a decent lifestyle ......U cn imagine though if yr rent is say $35 k,,,,,,how many students you'll need to consistently get...........You'll be better off being a home tutor....


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    1

    Opening a small language center

    Dear Geoexpat friends


    I am planning to.open a private language centre ...
    I'm looking at max 1- 6 kids per class .
    What are the rules to open ? How and where can I register ?who can help and advice ..
    Thank you


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    5,491

    Are you seriously asking this?