Business Practices in Language Schools

This article’s purpose is to show the reader how to structure and utilize business resources that can help increase a school’s efficiency, and so its profits.The organizational structure that a school follows depends greatly on its size ایران آموزشگاه بانک اطلاعات مراکز آموزشی و خدماتی.

A small school will have a very much centralized decision making structure, while larger schools are more decentralized. It is common to find roll-overlapping in smaller schools, as resources are scarcer and staff take on a series of rolls. This is neither a weakness nor a problem when the number of students is limited.

However as a school grows, its organizational structure must extend to become as efficient as possible.The larger the school the greater the number of staff in each department resulting in tasks being outsourced.The optimum number of staff in each department depends on each and every single school. However, managers must always remember that under-staffing is just as detrimental as over-staffing.

Any organization which wishes to be successful in the 21st century must follow a marketing oriented strategy. This means, finding out what are the consumers needs first, and then matching them to the schools capabilities. The reasoning behind the marketing concept is that although a school may offer excellent products, if learners are not interested in them and do not want them, the school will make no profits.

Market research must be carried out constantly in order to attract new learners as well as to maintain the current learner’s loyalty to the school. However, a strong argument against marketing research is the fact that it may become very costly. Schools should always remember that without research it is very hard to obtain a clear image of the schools positioning and value in the learner’s mind.

So although outsourcing research can be costly, some forms of research are inexpensive and can be conducted internally. For example start and end of term surveys in the form of multiple choice questionnaires can obtain information on learner’s perceptions and their experience.

It is through Advertising that a school can create brand awareness, product awareness and can place the full offering to the target markets. The target markets are not always the learners per se, but parents who wish to enroll their children as well. Through Advertising the schools must communicate its achievements and successes in order to gain students and retain the loyalty among existing ones.

Effective advertising can be achieved by determining who the target market is, and so conveying a message that they would not only understand but be attracted to. This may sound simple, but believe me when I say it is not. Outsourcing advertising is usually the best alternative for all schools who can afford it. Smaller schools usually resort to simple leaflets and word of mouth, which must by no means must be underestimated. Outsourced or not, the Marketing, Advertising and Communications functions must be synergistic and congruent with all the other marketing activities.

It is recommended that this activity is not undertaken by the school teachers, as it happens in many cases. The reason for this being, that it is very confusing for a learner to discuss financial aspects with his/her teacher. However it is recommended that teachers endorse the part of the sale in which academics are discussed. Sales staff must be fully trained, and must have deep knowledge of all the products (courses) on offer.

The school may use as promotional tools not only in-house Attendance Certificates, but also International exam preparation courses such as Oxford and Cambridge ESOL, IELTS, TOEFL and others. The Internet is a magnificent tool for sales and promotions as web-sites let interested consumers have a good look at the school’s offerings and have an inside look at its infrastructure and atmosphere without actually visiting the school. So the Sales and Promotions team must always work closely with the ICT department in ensuring that the school web site is clear, has reliable information, is up to date, and keeps a record of all interested visitors.

Public relations activities are designed to generate goodwill and to create a positive image of the school and its courses. The PR function is to ensure that members of the school’s community are aware of the events, achievements and future developments of the school. Keeping in touch with ex-students and exposing their achievements is a typical PR strategy.

In general, the marketing activities are meant to generate a positive brand recognition that carries the value and benefits of the school’s offerings to the target market. The Marketing Manager must ensure that all marketing activities are coordinated to maximize their effect on student enrolment.

An English Language School must ensure that it has sufficient financial resources to support its overall strategic objectives as well as its tactical goals. It should also ensure that the school has a comfortable liquidity ratio, meaning that there are no negative cash flows. The finance department is also then responsible for monitoring and guarding the inflows and outflows of cash, the credit provided and the debts obtained.

Business Practices in Language Schools

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