Many language schools start out slow with a small team or sometimes even as a one wo(man) show before they start to grow and expand significantly.
Sometimes language schools grow pretty fast in an initial phase but then somehow get stuck because of the “Do It Yourself” Mentality some people or even the business founders themselves bring to the table.
While it is understandable that in a start-up phase it makes sense to keep all resources on a shoestring budget if you have no investors or fundraising options, the “Do It Yourself” mindset will hurt you in the long run.
It is a thought trap that tries to get everything done on your own and avoiding to spend money with other people, additional staff, services, external experts and so on.
Even some smart strategy includes working with volunteers and interns as mentioned the article Offering Internships At Your Language School: A True Win-Win.
It should be obvious that it is impossible that the same person is to clean the classrooms, set up the computer and presentation technology, recruits the teachers, does file all paperwork for the tax office and does all Internet marketing – this is exactly how a lot of language schools are run. Maybe not by one person, but by a surprisingly little number of people in the team.
After an initial “we will get this done” phase it will lead to an overworked exhausted and frustrated group of people, often with lots of changing part-time employees that are faced with unrealistic work goals.
In order to have sustainable growth in your language school that produces long-term profits and productive happy people that love to work for your language school, you should consider a few strategic points.
- Focus on your strength and central competence only and delegate everything as fast as possible.
- Create different documents with different work descriptions and skills and workflow that needs to be done and create a system that enables anybody to take over and complete those work routines.
- Find talented people that are better than you to get those tasks done.
- You should be in control of the strategic decisions and not being involved in all day to day workflow aspects.
- Hire specialist for your Internet-related tasks and do not think that building a website alone is good enough. It is not. A website needs to be designed around the necessary online marketing activities and the need that people are able to share and evaluate your services on social media for example.
- Grow a marketing budget fast and find investors to raise the additional money needed instead of doing things all by yourself without the necessary know-how. You will not be able “to save money” by not spending money with the specialists that could boost your business otherwise in a shorter overseeable period of time.
Running a language school is a rewarding adventure if you are able to concentrate on your own strength and how you can translate the vision and personality of yourself and others in your team into practical success.
Hiring the right Internet specialist is an important step toward this.
Did you know that you can also get Interns for your website only? There is a network that brings eager students that will provide some free work for you in exchange for helping you with your online marketing activities.