Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

A means of networking for Eikaiwa/English school owners and information for setting up a business in Japan (procedures, legal issues, etc.)
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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by Ganapoes » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:22 pm

I'm reading this thread quite closely as I am just about set to do this myself. The thought of working for someone else is a real turn off. It will also be at the in-law's house. They have four yap dogs. Two of which are poodles so I've decided on the name of the school. Prissy Princess's Poodle Palace. Should sell itself.

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:19 pm

I like that name! I wish you good luck! Also good luck with your spam business as well!

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by MacGyver » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:22 pm

sirwanksalot wrote:I like that name! I wish you good luck! Also good luck with your spam business as well!
:rotfl: :thumbsup: That's brilliant! :wnw:
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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:02 am

Since I'm only open three days a week I've already filled up my days to capacity with the a few different levels. I have a 6-8 yr old class, a 8-10 year old class, a returnees class, a few intensive temporary private classes with two families that are going abroad in July (all paid for by their company), a TOEIC class, a beginner adult group and a lower intermediate group. I have a small waiting list right now! I had a mini kids class (3 yr. old)that was quite unsuccessful due to me being very green at teaching kids in general especially that age. Both kids quit and that is now off the menu. Now I want to concentrate on filling up the classes I have open. The hard part for everyone involved is matching schedules. Now that I have these classes open I can put that info up on the web page.

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:03 pm

sirwanksalot wrote:Since I'm only open three days a week I've already filled up my days to capacity with the a few different levels. I have a 6-8 yr old class, a 8-10 year old class, a returnees class, a few intensive temporary private classes with two families that are going abroad in July (all paid for by their company), a TOEIC class, a beginner adult group and a lower intermediate group. I have a small waiting list right now!
Good to hear that all is going well. A waiting list is a good thing to have! We have a couple of students leaving at the end of this month (due to parents getting company transfers away from Nagoya), but a couple of phone calls to people on our waiting list and we won’t miss a single yen from those classes.
sirwanksalot wrote:I had a mini kids class (3 yr. old)that was quite unsuccessful due to me being very green at teaching kids in general especially that age. Both kids quit and that is now off the menu.
Now 2 – 4 is my favourite age group but that’s after about 3 years of experience. Back in the day I hated those classes and was crap at teaching them.
sirwanksalot wrote:Now I want to concentrate on filling up the classes I have open. The hard part for everyone involved is matching schedules. Now that I have these classes open I can put that info up on the web page.
Yeah schedule matching can be a real pain! To accommodate students we would have missed out on due to schedule conflicts, we have adjusted our lesson times (and prices) to fit a few extra people in. For example, normally a student aged 6 would take a 45 minute lesson, but parents were happy to get their kid a private lesson into our schedule by taking a 35 minute lesson (price adjusted accordingly).
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:22 pm

As of next week we would have been open for business for 1 year. :clap:

Going into this we did a lot of background research and pre-planning and as our first year of operation comes to an end I think it’s fair to say that our expectations / predictions have been vastly exceeded and while we both realise that this is an extremely fickle and volatile business to be in, we are very happy about where we are at.

INCOME
Image
The spike in income is due to the entry fees received from a bunch of new students in their first month's payment.

STUDENTS
Image

WEEKLY WORKING HOURS
Lesson Preparation: 6
Teaching: 14
Driving: 7
TOTAL: 27 Hours / Week.

The biggest factor in all of this and what was my main motivation in starting our own school, is that I can be home with my two young sons for the better part of every day. Of course ending up with far more money in the bank every month than I would have ever gotten if I was working anywhere else here is also great.

Here’s hoping we can get an equally solid 2nd year in! :mrgreen:
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by Fenrig » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:01 pm

Congrats on a great first year! Good luck with year 2!

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:19 pm

SamhainP8 wrote:
INCOME
Image
The spike in income is due to the entry fees received from a bunch of new students in their first month's payment.

STUDENTS
Image

WEEKLY WORKING HOURS
Lesson Preparation: 6
Teaching: 14
Driving: 7
TOTAL: 27 Hours / Week.
Killing it!

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by senseiman » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:53 am

Congratulations, Samhain. Its really great to see things are working out even better than expected for you! :cheers:
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:33 pm

Cheers blokes!

We plan on being here for about 5 more years and if that goes as planned I'll be 40 when we move back. :ack:

Keeping that in mind always we need at least three solid years here with at least a decent years salary sent to and earning interest in the bank back home before I'll start to feel completely comfortable here.

Moving back to Aus with zero immediate prospects and two boys straight into primary school will be a costly adventure. I have a few ideas in mind as to what we want to settle into but none of those options will come cheap.

We are in a great position at the moment, so fingers crossed that we can maintain what we've built so far. :beer:
Last edited by SamhainP8 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by angryboy » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:21 pm

Yeah, good stuff mate!
Just out of curiosity,how did you come up with the expected income? Was it based on the rate of sign ups in the lead up to opening
or did you use some other formula?
[quote="valve-bouncer"]Fuck me, I hope to christ you are a troll because the possibility of someone so mind-numbingly boring as you walking amongst us gives me the fear.[/quote]

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:58 pm

angryboy wrote:Yeah, good stuff mate!
Just out of curiosity,how did you come up with the expected income? Was it based on the rate of sign ups in the lead up to opening
or did you use some other formula?
Thanks!

Long before we opened for business I sat down and crunched through various figures in an Excel Model I built and came up with this formula:
=IF($I$4=4,(($I$4*C14)+(($I$4-4)*D14)+((($J$4-1)*E14)*$I$4)),((($I$4-4)*C14)+(($I$4-4)*D14)+((($J$4-1)*E14)*$I$4)))

That formula is useless to anyone unless you've got the figures to put into it and I got my figures by doing a lot of background research and poking around to see what various schools in my area were doing, by deciding what the absolute minimum I was willing to work for per hour (in order to set my lessons prices) and by working all of our family, friends and contacts to see what we could possible sign up with straight out of the gates. I also factored in that we would be advertising a couple of times early on and the rest was basically taking a steady as she goes approach leading up to what I thought would be a maximum number of 50 students by years end. Signing up nearly 30 students in 3 x 40 minute classes really pushed us up from doing well to do doing fantastically.
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:46 pm

Signed a contract for a weird kind of deal with a new student yesterday.

A kid takes swimming lessons 5 minutes from my place on Saturdays.

Mum wanted in home lessons for said kid at her house 30 minutes drive away after his swimming lessons, despite being over double the price of taking lessons at my joint. Her reason being that she's a very busy lady. :rotfl:

Mother doesn't want "text book" lessons for her son, she just wants him to do what ever he wants to do, play games etc.

Yesterday the kid wanted to play with water balloons and kick a soccer ball in the park next to his house.

One of my major rules is that for children's lessons a parent or guardian must be present for the entire duration of the lesson.

Mum spent 45 minutes sitting on a bench watching us play with water balloons and kicking a soccer ball. :eyes:
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by BergKatse » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:33 pm

My train of thought after reading the above post:

(1) They seem keen to pay you for it, so just give 'em whatever they want.
(2) No, hang on. Isn't that just babysitting under a different name?!
(3) Damn, that's a well paid babysitting gig.
(4) They seem keen to pay you for it, so just give 'em whatever they want.
:D

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:43 pm

My thoughts exactly!

A piss easy and well paid gig for me to finish off my Saturdays but Mum's one of these hoity-toity types, so the wife has to put up with a fair amount of bullshit via a never ending stream of emails and phone calls.

Considering how many students we've got, it's amazing we haven't come across more of these types (yet!).
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:29 pm

SamhainP8 wrote:A piss easy and well paid gig for me to finish off my Saturdays but Mum's one of these hoity-toity types, so the wife has to put up with a fair amount of bullshit via a never ending stream of emails and phone calls.
At the end of the day, there is rarely, if ever, anything as easy money. One way or another you're working for it....
"Yous guys talk a lotta shit. I'm much more smarter than all a yous." - Samurai Jerk after being owned by the Let's Japan crew.

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by Edogaijin » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:47 am

My school grew quickly and is now 12 years old. However like ramen shops the flavor of the month can often change.
My school was situated amongst as many as 10 other schools within a 4km radius. I'd get lots of students turn up sometimes from the school down the road that was a little more expensive but obviously the lessons were not so good.

The mothers would be flippant and you couldn't trust them up and leaving and moving on to the next school depending on what 'new' schools were opening up.

Most of my students would stay 4 years which I think is pretty good.

About 5 years ago I had mostly long term students of 3 or 4 years and was not getting any new ones. I could see things were slowing down and a lot of the local eikaiwas had closed down. The large school down the road seemed to be only open a few days a week.

I decided to scale down and find work elsewhere. (from 5 days to 4, to 2.5. Told a lot of kids to try the school down the road as I was only going to teach adults. (The truth was that the kids who had been coming to me long time were no longer taking the lessons as seriously as I wanted them to and it was just babysitting. I told some of the mothers they were wasting their money as the kids were not coming for the right reasons. Most of the mothers asked me not to close down.... but I was kind of fed up with the situation.

2 years later I decided to get fresh kids and started advertising again for new classes. I got a fresh bunch and they are all very motivated.
It was still hard work though to get new students.

I got the wedding gig on the weekends because the money is just so much easier....no lesson prep. Teach the same lesson over and over again and the students only ever come for one lesson. They are motivated. Happy. Pay well. And you never see them again. I really enjoy the weddings over all the extra work required to teach.

I only have 6 hours a week at my school now and they are all profitable classes with good students.

I know I can turn the volume up or down on my school depending on how much effort I want to use and am considering opening up a second school one day in the future closer to our new home.

I'm just too tired to do so at the moment.

Having your own school is better than working for another, but you have to really work hard at it to make it a continuous success.

Except for one adult, I had no new student inquiries this Spring. The area where my school is has a dwindling population of young kids...and eikaiwa doesn't seem to be as popular as it was 10 years ago.

I did 5 weddings last Saturday and yes, that was hard work....but much easier than 5 english lessons.

( I have 7 lessons today reduced from 9 on Tuesdays last month...still going to be a killer day...)

3 days a week at the high school is a nice buffer....between my own school and the weddings... eggs and baskets....

Then there are the other side businesses to juggle on my days off.... :omfg:

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by Raelene » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:53 pm

The mom-and-pop school I work for has signed up 17 new students, all first-graders, from this month, bringing our total to 64 children. We're small, but popular. I can attribute the popularity to two effects: the rise in the number of working mothers (who tend to get more ambitious for their own kids), and the famous "Raelene effect." I'm notorious for being extremely strict, and having very high standards. I don't take any crap from the kids, and believe me, the mothers appreciate it. Yesterday a kid angered me so much that I threw a glass of water in his face, screaming "time is money!" (He had indeed been wasting my time and his parents' money by disrupting the class: picking his nose and wiping it on the desk, grabbing the other students' notebooks and ripping them up, trying to leave the classroom without asking permission, screeching hysterically at my admonishments. I am going to give his mother quite a tongue-lashing when I see her next. Obviously she's a terrible parent).

My advice? Find your niche! This is the best advice I could give anyone. I live in a city where the people are very familiar with foreigners, and have dealt with them for decades. They are not too impressed with the dancing bear thing, and they demand real value for their eikaiwa classes. On the other hand, if you live in some ghastly boondock town where people are thrilled to pieces to be in the same room as a *gasp* real live white person, then you had better get used to being a performing monkey. And you had also better get used to your students making absolutely no progress whatsoever in English ... not that you'll give a shit, as long as they pay.
[i]"Bored and decided to try her hand at a bit of trolling. Not the worst I have seen either by any means."[/i]

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by AsahiSupaSpy » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:54 am

Raelene wrote:The mom-and-pop school I work for has signed up 17 new students, all first-graders, from this month, bringing our total to 64 children. We're small, but popular. I can attribute the popularity to two effects: the rise in the number of working mothers (who tend to get more ambitious for their own kids), and the famous "Raelene effect." I'm notorious for being extremely strict, and having very high standards. I don't take any crap from the kids, and believe me, the mothers appreciate it. Yesterday a kid angered me so much that I threw a glass of water in his face, screaming "time is money!" (He had indeed been wasting my time and his parents' money by disrupting the class: picking his nose and wiping it on the desk, grabbing the other students' notebooks and ripping them up, trying to leave the classroom without asking permission, screeching hysterically at my admonishments. I am going to give his mother quite a tongue-lashing when I see her next. Obviously she's a terrible parent).

My advice? Find your niche! This is the best advice I could give anyone. I live in a city where the people are very familiar with foreigners, and have dealt with them for decades. They are not too impressed with the dancing bear thing, and they demand real value for their eikaiwa classes. On the other hand, if you live in some ghastly boondock town where people are thrilled to pieces to be in the same room as a *gasp* real live white person, then you had better get used to being a performing monkey. And you had also better get used to your students making absolutely no progress whatsoever in English ... not that you'll give a shit, as long as they pay.
ugh :puke:
Do NOT arrest this man.

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:43 am

:roll: More diarrhea from the brown eyed trollip. :hohum:
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:38 am

Raelene wrote: I am going to give his mother quite a tongue-lashing when I see her next.

That coupled with the username gives me half a chubby.

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by Raelene » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:56 pm

I think it's trollop, not trollip. Odd that you managed to spell diarrhoea correctly, though. Obviously you are familiar with the condition.
[i]"Bored and decided to try her hand at a bit of trolling. Not the worst I have seen either by any means."[/i]

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:04 pm

I have no way of knowing if you're a trollop or not but you're most definitely a brown eyed trollip. :bird:
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by Raelene » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:16 pm

Um, okay, that's probably some Antipodean insult that I'm not familiar with, having been out of the southern hemisphere for the better part of my adult life.

Here's one I do remember! "Harden the f*ck up."

But yeah, whatever. :?
[i]"Bored and decided to try her hand at a bit of trolling. Not the worst I have seen either by any means."[/i]

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by sos » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:50 pm

Raelene,

I teach kids and 95% of the students who have taken my trial lesson have signed up. One of the mothers told my boss she liked that fact that I was strict. But, my strictness means to have kids sit in the chair nicely when that is necessary, to not hit other kids, and those type of "manners" that a parent would want their child to have. I can never imagine throwing water in a child face unless we are at a pool and even then, not a glass of water.
I am a mother and I would definately not want you teaching my child. If you were a once-a-week English teacher at my child's kindergarten (where I doubt you would be able to get the job as their level is quite high), I would pull my son out of the school if they didn't allow him to miss your class.
It is not your job to shout at kids and abuse them.

You may disagree and this is your choice. As it is my choice to think your boss is stupid and your students' moms even more so. For the kids, I just feel sorry.

And for you, I sincerely hope you grow up before you have any children of own.
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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:41 pm

SOS, don't waste your time feeding the troll moll.
:thumbsup: :hohum:
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:46 pm

SamhainP8 wrote:SOS, don't waste your time feeding the troll moll.
:thumbsup: :hohum:
Agreed. Most of what she writes is BS and from some warped fantasy that she (probably a guy actually) has. Be careful not to step in the bullshit....
"Yous guys talk a lotta shit. I'm much more smarter than all a yous." - Samurai Jerk after being owned by the Let's Japan crew.

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by Raelene » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:17 pm

sos wrote:It is not your job to shout at kids and abuse them.
Although I understand your point - and I really respect your viewpoint as both a parent and tutor, neither are easy jobs - it is also not my job to raise people's kids, or teach them basic social skills that they should already have learnt by the age of six, such as: don't touch my stuff, don't interrupt me when I'm trying to do my job, don't pick your nose and wipe it on your classmate's sleeves, don't rip up your classmates notebooks just for fun, don't repeatedly attempt to leave the classroom without permission, don't scribble on the desks, don't tell outrageous lies, don't stand on the desks, don't keep interrupting other, more diligent classmates who are trying to answer my questions, don't try to set fire to the classroom with a stolen lighter, and most of all, recognise that no means no!) (you'd be amazed at the number of kids out there who have trouble wrapping their minds around this concept, thanks to their parents).

I am very sorry to have to say this, but some parents have no idea of how their little darlings - especially certain boys - really behave in the classroom. I've had the experience of tape-recording troublesome students in the past and asking their mothers to listen to the tapes later. Most of them were utterly flabbergasted. And then: mortified, and very apologetic.

Most kids aren't that troublesome, by the way. They do tend to be easily led, though. It's the class troublemakers/ringleaders that I target, not the average student.

And you know the little boy who had a glass of water thrown in his face? He is now the class angel. In fact, if he carries on being so angelic, he may soon be the class pet (there's always on in my classes, but I rotate them on a regular basis). Obviously I'm not advocating violence - in fact I abhor it - but if the parents had done their job properly in the first place, well ...
[i]"Bored and decided to try her hand at a bit of trolling. Not the worst I have seen either by any means."[/i]

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Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:58 pm

Once again my business model proves to be a winner.

Two demo lessons this week with kids whose parents baulked at the cost of coming to my joint for lessons but both signed up for lessons at their place at nearly double the cost! :eyes:

The beauty of it is we managed to get their classes well synced on the same day (they live about 15 minutes appart) so that I double up on the travel fees. Works out to about ¥4,000/hr to drive along eating lollies and listening to Akercocke etc. :clap:

Actually so far this year we have focused on getting many of our "in-home" classes better synced, so that I'm not going out to the same area over 2 or 3 different days. Less travel time but the same travel money = more money in the bank and more time at home with my boys :clap:
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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JD9
Eikaiwa Hero
Eikaiwa Hero
Posts: 516
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Under the overpass.

Re: Starting Your Own English School in Japan.

Unread post by JD9 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:48 pm

Almost two years in and we've only just hit our first snag.

Getting ready to resign a family of three 'in home lesson' students and then dad (who in a year I've seen once for about 2 minutes) gets on the blower and starts going off at the wife about how we didn't make it clear before they signed the first contract that they would have to pay the enrollment fee every time they signed a new contract and how if they had of known that they would have signed with a different school. Then his wife and him both start tagging the phone to each other and giving my wife more guilt tripping grief about it (I was out doing another lesson at the time) and eventually get her to concede that it was all her fault and that they aren't going to pay it this time but they will for the 2014 contract if they decide to keep taking lessons with us.

Perhaps the wife wasn't too clear about it initially but the way they reacted is not on and I blew up about it when I heard the story. Usually we charge a ¥5,000 enrollment fee per student every year to help cover the costs of photocopying and what not but because they had been with us for a year and we're going to resign we dropped that down to ¥8,000 total instead of ¥15,000. The rich cunts had the nerve to give my wife hell over ¥8,000! :bird:

Mother fuck you cunts! The wife and I spent some time putting together the 'non-contract renewal' notice to give to them when I go to their place this Friday for a lesson. Should be a barrel of fun! Tape recorde switched on. Good luck finding another school that will send someone out to buttfuck to teach one lesson with all three of your kids (8,5,3) for a quarter of the price we were charging you penny pinching rich fuckholes.

That Friday 1 hour each way afternoon commute was by far my biggest stress here anyways.

:bird: GOOD FUCKING RIDDANCE :bird:
Angryboy: [size=150][color=#FF0000]Fuck I`m drunk.Been nbice knowing you apck of cunts.[/color][/size]

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