Seven Lies Of The Education Market Which You Have To Stop Believing Right Now!Jul 04, 2022
I was super lucky to start a teaching business in Spain without ever having worked at a language school in this country myself. Why? I didn’t have any limiting beliefs people from the industry might have.
My first clients were three guys from a little village, starting a small company with the dream of building a new electronics brand, and they needed help to boost their English negotiation skills. After explaining what they needed, I calculated based on the time it took me to get to their office, prep time, and class time and made my first offer: $35 an hour. Two months later, they asked me to travel to Dubai with them for a meeting with their new business partners. I asked for $1,000 for the 3-day trip.
Sounds like a great start.
I was having a blast, living this dream only after three months of moving to Spain. Then people started finding me with more requests for support with their English. One of them was a request from a teacher friend to take over a family with two kids to practice English twice a week with them at their home.
When I asked my friend how much she charged, she said $7/hr. It was definitely a wtf moment for me…
It was not just the hour of teaching, they lived in a village, so in total, after adding up time to get there, it was almost a 3hr activity, and of course, if you’re a good teacher, you’d prepare that class in advance.
So earning like $2 an hour? No thanks...
That’s where I stopped playing by the rules.
I told them I could do it for $25, and they said ok.
That’s when I realized I had no one to tell me how much to charge or how to do my job. I started this business to be my own boss, and I could set my own rules. IT WAS TIME TO DO IT!
Back then, I didn’t know that coming in as someone who had no clue about the market would be my single biggest advantage in business life EVER!
As you can see, I started strong, but when I delved into the teaching business and opened my physical school, I thought I had to stop "mocking around" and had to fit in. So I started checking other schools’ rates, opening times, and rules, as I felt I had to do that, so I was taken seriously. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER.
It took me three full years to recuperate my old self and another 2 to claim back the original freedom I was enjoying so much at the very start.
So today, I brought you THE 7 BIGGEST LIES THAT SLOWED ME DOWN ON THE ROAD and that you hopefully don’t play by. Here they are:
LIE #1: AS AN EDUCATION BRAND, YOU HAVE TO START SELLING FROM SCRATCH EVERY SEPTEMBER OR AFTER EACH MODULE
The biggest and most damaging lie ever! Why the hell do language schools, swimming schools, and dance studios have to start from scratch each school year? Why do I have to sell the same product again in September, or at the end of each module, to the same family, with the same kid, and CONVINCE them to continue?
Does Netflix ask me every month whether I want to continue? Does my gym ask me whether I still want to be a member? Am I getting asked by the public school if I’m still going to bring my kid again in September?
It works the other way around. If I want out, that's when I have to let them know. If I want to continue, I just keep going.
Who says a dance studio cannot assume that my kids are continuing the next school year, even if they are closed for the summer? NOBODY.
When you create new rules around this, will people first think you’re a weirdo? Definitely yes. Will they all leave? No way! How do I know? I have tried and succeeded, just like banishing all the other lies too.
So stick with me….
LIE #2: YOU CAN NOT GO CREDIT-CARD-ONLY AT YOUR SCHOOL. (You have to accept cash, bank transfer, and Paypal payments to keep your clients)
Surprise, it’s a lie too! And let me add something else. As long as the initiation of a new payment is in your clients’ hands (cash, bank transfer, PayPal), you will always have late payments. As soon as you take over and move everything to credit card (or direct debit, if you feel you’re not fully ready), you can forget about chasing late payments forever.
How do I know? I did it, and my clients too! And we all went late-payment-free from one year to the next, just like that. One of the best decisions ever!
Before that, I felt so ashamed when I had to remind someone of the payment that sometimes it took me three months to finally say it... And once, I even received a cake meant as a monthly payment. WTF!?¿ (again)
LIE #3: YOU SHOULD CHARGE LESS IN SHORTER MONTHS (Hello December, February, June!)
Flat-out lie! You just have to organize yourself better and communicate better, not charge less! Distribute the cost of an entire year or trimester to equal payments and explain it to your clients. First, they might be surprised, but nobody will question you once the message gets through.
Have you made this change and are still getting the awkward question in December? Well, then you have to improve your communication, and I can help you with that, but don’t ever consider going back to charging less in shorter months.
LIE #4: YOU CAN NOT CHARGE MORE THAN THE COMPETITION. LET ALONE DOUBLE THAT
You can, my friend; you can do double and triple. Do you have to be double and triple as good? Well, if you’re here, I know you already stand out from your market, so why not charge what you're worth! If you're reading this, you might still be charging low for your VIP services. Time to change that!
How do I know it’s possible at all?
When I started to charge $87/m for the service I used to sell for $37 and then $47, my business didn’t die. On the contrary, that’s when it finally picked up. Don’t forget we’re still at the place where people charge $7 an hour for a private class, including prep time and travel…
Then when I left that place and extended my reach online, I was charging $147 (still the same service), and that’s when we reached our first 6-figure year. Was our magical eBox, which we sent to each kid all over Europe, included in the price? It wasn’t. Clients got it at another $60 one-off price. Do you doubt this has ever existed? Good that I have proof: https://www.instagram.com/kids.online.english/ This is the only thing I kept from my school (2014-2021), an account with tons of memories. Give it a scroll.
LIE #5: YOU HAVE TO CHARGE LESS FOR KIDS’ CLASSES THAN FOR ADULTS’
What if you work your kids’ classes like no one else does? What if your kids’ classes are worth more than other classes for adults? Well, you should charge for them what they’re worth! What your time, your team’s time and years of studies and experience are worth!
Don’t imagine going lower, pleeeeease, as you might get stuck there…
LIE #6: YOU HAVE TO CATER TO ALL KINDS OF CLIENTS, 0-99 YEARS
Just because everyone does it, it doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do it. I was always tempted to be different, so it was easy for me to specialize, yet the market still dragged me down.
“Why don’t you do this for teens too?” >> A week later, we had teen groups.
“Ah, it would be so nice to have it in French too!” >> Within a month, it was available in French.
Did it work? No, it only gave me more work and stress, and less income!
Focus on what you can do best and what you enjoy the most, and go with that! LESS IS MORE!
LIE #7: YOU HAVE TO PLAY BY THE RULES OF THE MARKET TO BE LIKED
I received some love when I tried to please everyone, but we only received TRUE LOVE comments when we went super-specialized and way out of the average budget for our niche. These are the best comments I will never forget:
“I love your school cause it’s a no-bullshit school. You do things differently, but whatever you promise will be done exactly as you say, there are no secrets in your terms, and we get exactly what we are promised. Actually, a lot more!”
“My friend told me about you, and I want to sign up my kids. She told me you’re the most expensive, but I know it’s worth it! When can we start?”
Which of these lies do you still live by? Time to banish them, until there's even one left.
If you are serious about getting rid of ALL and more, about seriously taking your teaching business to the next level, I'd love for you to join our FREE Stronger Together Community on Heartbeat, challenge me on any of the above or ask your questions about how you can go about each one.
See you on the inside!
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