I was teaching for a school in France for 800 euros a month, now I’m working for myself with the help of this guide and I earn a minimum of 1800 euros a month! Dave U.K


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Be your own boss!

Start your own ESL - English School, it’s so simple.
-Do you want to make extra cash from your day job?
-Are you fed up with teaching English for someone else?
-Have you just finished your TEFL teaching course and want to start your own ESL teaching business?
-This guide is for you too!

Getting started in the ESL business
Business cards Flyers & posters
Administration & Set Up
Tips for what a price list should look like
Tips for new ESL student form
ESL Textbooks

Just follow these few tips…

Let’s get started

Name and email
OK, so let’s start getting you ready to make money!
Firstly you need to think of what you’re going to call yourself, for example;
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

It’s probably best to use a free email provider like Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail.
Try a choose a name you can take with you kin the future, if you have dreams of a school empire then get the name right now – market presence and continuity are key in student confidence!

Now you need to get a SIM card for your new work telephone number, these can be bought in most mobile phone shops. It is better to use a different number to your own personal number as it can be very confusing. Either get a cheap phone and card for work, or switch SIM cards in your personal phone during working hours.

For FREE 250 business cards follow our link on the website for Vista Print - just sign up and you can have your cards delivered to your home within days!
This site also offers free rubber stamps, free postcards, free car door magnets, & free logo design. Plus lots more offers for flyers, posters and design your own t-shirts and post cards!
FREE Business Cards and Free Websites!

How and where to advertise your ESL business / School

Once you have decided a name, and made a new email address, you can think about designing a flyer to promote yourself.
One of the most effective ways to get your name/ESL school known is to use flyers. These can be placed in shops, bars, cafés, restaurants, local businesses and of course on cars. Be careful though, different towns have separate by-laws with regards to many things including flyering.
For example, in our surrounding area we can flyer all cars happily, but in the town where we live, this is illegal and carries a €400 fine – we can however, hand flyers out if we give them directly to people in the street!
FREE Business Cards and Free Websites!

What your flyer should say:

English courses for (put kids or adults it depends who your are targeting)
Then most importantly add your contact details (seems obvious, but it does happen!) this can simply be a phone number, email or address. If you have a website, then that too.

You must take into account your ability to answer the phone in the local language, and the availability of internet services in the area.
For example, in many parts of Italy & Spain, the internet is not widely used, and most people prefer to pick up the phone.
If you give an address then you could get walk-ins, are you ready for this?

You will need to translate all your text into the local language. If you have a friend then fine, the printer you use may do it or at least check what you have attempted!
You can use a free translation tool on the net, Google translate for example. However try and get it double-checked because they are often far from perfect.

Images: I use Paint shop pro, but you can also use Photoshop. If you don’t know how to use these design programs just ask a friend to help you.
Or again the printers will often offer basic designs for free or quite cheaply.
Make your flyer look interesting; add a few photos or images.
But don’t make it too busy, simple clear images and text that stands out, which can be read clearly, is the key.

Not to much information either, keep it clear & concise.

It’s up to you whether you include prices on the flyer.
Cheap offers could be worthwhile as an incentive, but adding normal prices removes the need to call you or ask any questions. Plus if you decide to change the prices then you could end up with a load of incorrect flyers!
95% of the job is to get potential students to call, and then even more importantly to come and meet you!

You can also add to your flyer any certificates you may have e.g. TEFL CELTA PGCE TESOL.
And how many years experience you have teaching English.

Note that colour flyers are always a lot more expensive sometimes 3x as much as black and white ones.

Common flyer sizes are A5 and A6, but if you are on a tight budget you can just photocopy some flyers on A4coloured paper and cut them out yourself. Just design your flyer on a word document and take to a photocopy shop.

Another thing to be aware of is the charge for posters, sometimes it may be necessary to pay for a poster to have an official stamp! Most cafes etc don’t check the stamp and will let you put them up regardless, but technically it is illegal and you could get fined. Many people poster the walls and hoardings around town, and they are torn down on a weekly basis, this may be worth it initially though– little follow up is likely from the authorities. You could of course invest in the large official notice boards – the price is high, but the returns may be too.

All prices for flyers & posters vary, but the general rule is - the more you print the lower the individual price. Also, try to avoid the older printers who use presses and are more expensive, the digital printers do shorter runs and are always cheaper.

Advertise your new ESL School on the net for FREE!

Start your own language school in Italy or Spain in-depth E-book www.myscuola.co.uk

ESL School Administration & Set up

Your spare room / office.
Some English teachers work happily on a table in their front room, while others prefer a dedicated room – a spare bedroom, dining room etc. Or eventually you may rent a separate room in an office building or even a shop front.

A dedicated ESL room needs to look like a school environment – posters are good (especially the free pone from the book publishers!)
A world map is priceless, maybe the alphabet and a time clock too. Look academic!
Another nice touch is photos of previous students or photos from your hometown, always a good talking point!

You can buy posters from any good book store or you can make your own posters.
In your office you should get a white board most good stationers sell them. Initially better to get the tripod version rather than the DIY one you need to attach to your wall.

Get yourself a daily planner or diary to keep note when your lessons are. Again this may seem obvious, but it is so easy to double book or even forget when you word independently. It’s also better to write down all paid-for lessons – even if it’s 10 weeks in advance.

You will need a receipt book with duplicate pages - 1 for you and 1 for the student. Though most students don’t really bother!
You should always keep track of time so get a clock and most importantly invest in a good photocopy machine (with built in scanner). Buy the biggest English plus your countries language dictionary and leave it in the office at all times.
Keep your daily planner nearby too,

The ESL Students Arrive

Now you have the flyers the posters the room now you need to think about the prices you want to charge.

I find it best to offer block hours and the student must pay in advance, they may object if you are private, but simply explain it is to reserve & secure the time slot.
If all else fails – negotiate!

So for example
10 hours = xxxx
20 hours = less then xxxx
30 hours = even less

This way you can entice students to buy more hours as the price gets cheaper.
But remember to have your base price or you’ll end up doing 100 hours for nothing at all!!!

Make a clear price list (see below) and stick to it. You must always have one in you place of work, but you could print out some small versions for potential clients to take away with them.

I suggest making a small portfolio of what you are offering e.g. the price list, details about your experience ( who you have worked for before etc). Get it translated into local language and put it in your portfolio, also have a new student form so you can get there details and see when they have to pay next etc….. Look below for example of student form.
You will also need a student sign sheet to keep track of how many lessons you have done with them and what you did.
Below is a sheet for 1.1 student and group classes
Also a copy of the waiting list page.

ESL Registration

Registration is simply the initial meeting, giving a level test and organising when they want their lessons - days and times, and if applicable, where (i.e. in your office or theirs). If you are working privately it is a selling point to NOT charge this as all full schools will. Also, if you working from a room in your house it may be difficult to justify $20-50 simply for a simple text, meet & greet. On the other hand, if you are more established and present yourself in a professional office environment, then this is a valuable source of income!

Your ESL price list should contain

your new name
Contact details
Add you logo or image

Price per hour in my ESL office
1-1 Price per hour in your students home / office 1-1
Price per hour in my office for groups
Price per hour in your home / office for groups
10 hours =
20 hours =
30 hours =
40 hours =
50 hours =
60 hours =
70 hours =
80 hours =
90 hours =
100 hours =
Add any extra costs ESL registration fee
ESL Book price

If students wish to cancel an English lesson for any reason, the English teacher must be informed at least 24 hours in advance.

If there is a sudden problem on the day of the lesson, then the student & English teacher must agree a new time for the lesson within 7 days of the cancellation – failure to do this will result in the lesson being lost.
Please sign below if you understand and agree to these guidelines: NAME: SIGNATURE

Make a form to keep track of how many lessons the student has had and what you have done in the last lessons.

ESL Student Name
Unit and Home work (info for the teacher)

ESL Text Books

Although it’s more than possible to teach English using realia and a good imagination, at some point you are going to need textbooks. The leaders in the field are OUP & CUP, and their contact details are listed below.
Most teachers have a favourite textbook or publisher, and know their way round it like the back of their hands. The big advantage of sticking with one series is that as students move up a level they are immediately familiar with the layout and teaching methods. For the teacher, all those lovingly prepared games & activities can be reused and recycled time and again!

What people sometimes don’t realise is that ESL textbooks are another way to make money. ESL Students are probably familiar with the price of ESL books in the local bookshop, and in most countries that’s not particularly cheap. But the advantage of using a central supplier is that they give discounts to schools/professionals – often as much as 25%. Charge a student €45 for a student and work book, and order a pack from the supplier & pay only €25….€20 profit for the cost of an email!

CUP & OUP also have regional representatives that may visit your school, can offer advice on new ESL textbooks and most importantly for a new school – offer samples!
If you have a new level or business course starting, simply email the rep and ask for a couple of copies of this & that to compare, and you have your school copies free of charge!
They also supply posters and prints to decorate your classrooms, and supply that essential phonetic alphabet chart that everyone school has, and no one uses!

Most ESL book suppliers will allow you to open an account immediately, but won’t give any kind of credit until you have been operating for a while. Simply place an order and pay cash to the delivery man. Make sure you check each parcel before you pay (even though some delivery men don’t like this), and return anything you didn’t order – this may mean the total contents of the delivery, even the books you actually want!
And be patient, some deliveries arrive within a week, but others can take 3-4 weeks – it often depends on the time of year and/or the delivery firm they use.

Once you have your ESL books delivered, make sure you protect the English teacher’s copies – cover them with something to preserve them (that clear sticky stuff everyone used at primary school! Or brown paper etc). And don’t forget to copy the CDs, DO NOT USE the originals in class….you will regret it!

Now all you have to do is wait for the phone calls to come in for your new English school to start making you money!

If you don’t speak the local language ask a friend to take the calls for you, or hire someone to it for you – this doesn’t have to be everyday, you can get them to come in once or twice a week to return all calls. Alternatively, get a local teacher to give you an intensive course in the target language for this purpose only.

Start an English Language School in Italy or Spain - The Laws E-book

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The guide covers marketing, administration, paperwork, advertising & promoting yourself.
How to get started - Useful tips - price list details.

Written by the authors of www.myscuola.co.uk

I had been working for a school for years in Asia and one day I decided to work for myself. This guide helped me to get started. Janet USA