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How to Run a Language School
Short-term profit or long-term investment?
It’s a decision every language school owner makes, consciously or not. Do you focus on creating a short-term profit or building an excellent brand?
Short-term profit language schools:
Have low (or non-existent) teacher / staff retention.
Have low (or non-existent) student retention.
Focus on sales over service.
Have too few service staff.
Place students at an inappropriate level.
Don’t focus on staff development.
Have a high refund rate.
Have a high marketing/advertising cost.
Have a low (or non-existent) referral rate.
(By contrast, a ‘long-term’ school does and has precisely the opposite).
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Running a language school for short-term profit may work for a while. You need good marketing, salespeople and a large, relatively uneducated customer base.
Oh, and you must not worry about ‘churning’ through hundreds (thousands) of students a year.
What happens when a language school focused on delivering value opens next door, with superb service and staff development? What happens once your customers get educated (especially if your competition is educating)?
Yes, focusing on people, service and development costs money. Yes, your profit margins may be thinner (customers are usually willing to pay more if you have excellent service…)
Of course, the secret is that there is no conflict between being profitable and being an excellent, long-term school. You have to lengthen your time frame.
See you again in two weeks.
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