I have been running my own language school by myself for over 11 years.
As you all know, I love my job and I am very happy that I have managed to create such a strong brand that my service is recommended, and that my former clients come back to me when they need to polish their English again.
What did self-employment teach me?
Working with people is extremely demanding, there is absolutely no doubt about that. But working with people on a 1-on-1 basis is another dimension!
I think the sociology studies I graduated from prove that I like human beings, and I get pleasure and satisfaction from interacting with different people. I think that I have this ease in working with different personalities, and people of different ages and in my work I focus mainly on an individual approach.
Good customer service is essential for me.
For me personally, good customer service is about ensuring, first and foremost, that the person I work with leaves my classes satisfied and wants to continue. It is my job to ensure that the courses I offer are of the highest quality and, of course, I want everyone who chooses to take classes with me to always feel completely comfortable.
It is also my responsibility to comply with the rules and regulations and to ensure student satisfaction at every stage of our collaboration. I also want my brand to be associated positively, with an individual and flexible approach to the student.
Now let's take a closer look at the principles that I have established for myself over the last years, which now form the basis for me to run my own one-person school:
I never negotiate my fees. I only want to work with people who value quality, my commitment, subject matter expertise and experience, and do not start their emails by asking for discounts. I always offer a free trial lesson, where my potential customers have the opportunity to see what they are getting into by going on this adventure with me.
Be the teacher you would like to have yourself. Expect not only from your students but also from yourself, enrich your knowledge, and don't stand still.
I have rules and I enforce them. I respect you, but you also have to respect me. This usually concerns the cancellation of classes and payment delays. Yes, if you don't show up for a lesson and cancel it in time you have to pay for it, but in return, you get a beautiful and valuable self-study package. Do I sometimes bend the rules to ensure customer satisfaction? This happens very rarely and usually only to long-term customers. This applies, for example, to late payments. If I have been informed in advance, I don't make a big fuss about it.
I do not work at weekends. Obviously, I also need the extra time because of my online business, without those extra hours, I wouldn't be able to write my blog, embrace social media, contribute on Instagram. In addition, do not forget the preparation for lessons, the search for inspiration for lessons and all the administration. These are very labour-intensive activities. Well, that is why I am already trying to let go at weekends and distract myself from teaching in order to enthusiastically get into teaching on Monday again.
I prefer to teach adults. I enjoy teaching adults for many reasons, but perhaps the most important is that such lessons never get boring and always remain a challenge for me as a teacher. Adult learners are usually very aware of their needs, have clear plans and know what they want to achieve. They also usually don't need additional motivation, at least those who need English for a specific purpose. An adult learner is also a more interesting companion for discussion, which is important, especially during individual classes.
That will be all for this moment. If I recall anything else, I will add it to the list. However, please bear in mind that this is only my perspective, which is based primarily on my subjective feelings and experiences.
And if you are tempted to find out what it's like in my lessons, I invite you to POWER HOUR - a free trial lesson⟶ https://www.polish-your-english.de/anmeldung