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HOW I STARTED MY OWN ELT BUSINESS

"I decided to develop my own business as an English teacher because the freedom and independence was attractive to me. If you are starting your own ELT business, hopefully I can assuage some of your fears with a few tips from my own experience".

By Julie Richko Labate 

We all have fears: fears of trying something new, fear of change, fear of the unknown. If you are starting your own ELT business, hopefully I can assuage some of these fears with a few tips.

 

I decided to develop my own business as an English teacher because the freedom and independence was attractive to me. Now, I have over half of my students that are my own clients. Oxinity has helped me with this process; however, there are some additional resources that are worth mentioning.

 

Getting Started

After you have your NIE and Social Security number, apply for freelance or autonomous (“autonomo”) status. I used www.soloautonomos.es which processes all of your paperwork and helps with guidance through this, sometimes confusing, process. There are some assistance programs to be aware of as well. For example, Ayudas del Programa de Consolidación del Trabajo Autónomo, is an assistance program which extends your discounted “autónomo” fee for an additional 12 months is available within your 4thto 7thmonth as an “autonomo”. It is important to also stay organized with your expenditures as well as your invoicing. Using websites, like www.contasimple.com, can assist with your bookkeeping.

Strategies to market yourself & Personal branding
Keep fishing – Start with creating your own Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and twitter account for your business and add all of these to your personal website.
 
You can do this by logging into your website, go to edit and add the link to your pages there. Also, add the Oxinity logo in your cover and/or profile photos in linkedin, facebook professional page, adverts, etc.
 
Once you have established your professional pages, post every day and try different posts. Post about events or subjects that you interest you. Include activities are you talking about in your classes this week.
Paying attention to analytics - Use the analytics tools that are provided by Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. In addition, there are many new analytic tools to try which have been developed this year.
 
Keep track on postings - Keep track of your posts through analytics or manually. You can use websites such as hootsuite.com or tweetdeck.com which can help you to schedule your posts. Regardless of how, it is important to keep organized so that you can track what is working and what is not.
 
Finding new places - Be creative and always think outside the box. To start, here is an example of the text you can include in your posts:

“Tan pronto como entres a mi clase estarás hablando en inglés y continuarás haciendo hasta el último minuto, no perderemos tiempo en escribir. Haremos una variedad de actividades por las que aprenderás a aplicar la gramática en uso y contextos reales, desarrollar tu vocabulario general así como el específico y a expresar tu opinión, intercambiar ideas y hablar de temas de actualidad.”

Here is a list of websites to post your advertisements for classes, but check for new sites every now and then:
 
Keep at it!
Lastly, don’t give up. It will take some time and patience to see what works for you but keep it up and your hard work will pay off. Good luck!

 

 Julie Richko Labate is an ESL teacher and a TEFL trainer at Oxinity.com. In 2017 she started her own ESL business and became an Oxinity partner.
29/5/2018