The main objectives, strategies, and goals of an English language school in Los Angeles should serve as the primary planning and management tool for the institution’s growth and on-going improvement.
The limits and dynamics of development will be determined by the commercial strategies that a school choose to adopt. Because of this, it is crucial that managers comprehend the complexity of this market. They must do this by creating an organisational structure that offers the staff and students the best environment for maximising the development of their skills.
Any organisation, with the exception of those that are not lucrative, enters into operation with the intention of making a profit. Managers in the English language school industry must strike a balance between instructional value and profitability. This means that despite delivering superior product value and quality, earnings must be maximised. Schools cannot solely concentrate on cost reduction to become viable in such a delicate environment. To maximise resources and performance, managers must focus on efficiency and the marketing value proposition.
The reader will learn how to organise and use business resources in this article in order to increase a school’s efficiency and, consequently, its profits.
A school’s organisational structure is heavily influenced by its size. A small school’s decision-making process will be more centralised, whereas that of a larger school will be more decentralised. Smaller schools frequently experience roll-overlapping because staff members fill multiple roles and resources are limited. When there are few students, this is neither a flaw nor an issue. A school’s organisational structure must enlarge as it expands to be as effective as feasible.
Because there are more employees per department in larger schools, more work is outsourced.
Each school must determine the ideal staffing ratio for each department. Managers must always keep in mind, though, that having too few employees can be just as harmful as having too many.
Any firm that wants to succeed in the twenty-first century must adopt a marketing-focused approach. This entails determining the needs of the consumer first, and then comparing them to the capabilities of the institution. The idea behind the marketing notion is that even if a school offers top-notch items, it will not be profitable if students do not care about and purchase them.
Research is crucial in English language schools in order to identify critical aspects like:
• Product features that potential buyers would want; • Market size; • Potential Demand; • Potential Profitability; • Who the rivals are and what their market share is;
Market research must be conducted regularly in order to draw in new students and keep the current ones loyal to the institution. However, the potential for high costs of marketing research is a powerful reason against it. Schools should constantly keep in mind that it is very difficult to have a clear picture of the placement and value of the school in the minds of the learners without research. So, even while it can be expensive to outsource research, some types can be done internally for a lower cost. For instance, multiple choice surveys at the beginning and end of the semester might be used to gather data on learners’ perceptions and experiences.
Communications and Advertising
A school can position its entire offering to the target consumers and build brand and product recognition through advertising. Parents who want to enrol their children in school are often the target markets rather than students themselves. To attract new students and keep the loyalty of current ones, schools must advertise their accomplishments and successes.
Determine your target audience so you can communicate with them in a way that they will not only comprehend but also find appealing. Although it might seem easy, I assure you that it is not. The best choice for all schools that can afford it is often to outsource their advertising. Smaller schools typically rely on straightforward flyers and word of mouth, which should never be undervalued. The Marketing, Advertising, and Communications operations must work in harmony and conformity with all other marketing initiatives, whether they are outsourced or not.
Sales and Advertising
It is advised that school teachers refrain from engaging in this activity, as it frequently occurs. This is because it can be quite confusing for a learner to discuss money matters with a teacher. However, it is advised that teachers support the section of the sale where academic topics are covered. All available items (courses) must be thoroughly known to and understood by the sales staff.
The school may use internal attendance certificates and external exam preparation programmes like Oxford and Cambridge ESOL, IELTS, TOEFL, and others as marketing tools. The Internet is a fantastic tool for sales and advertising since websites allow potential students to look closely at the school’s offerings and get a feel for its setting without physically visiting it. In order to ensure that the school website is understandable, contains accurate information, is current, and maintains track of all interested visitors, the Sales and Promotions team must constantly collaborate closely with the ICT department.
Public relations initiatives aim to spread goodwill and foster a favourable perception of the institution and its programmes. The PR department’s responsibility is to inform the school’s neighbourhood about events, accomplishments, and upcoming changes. A common PR plan involves staying in touch with former students and highlighting their accomplishments.
Generally speaking, the marketing initiatives are designed to build a solid brand awareness that communicates to the target audience the worth and advantages of the school’s services. To optimise their impact on student enrollment, the marketing manager must make sure that all marketing initiatives are integrated.
An English language school must make sure that it has the financial resources to meet both its tactical objectives and its overarching strategic objectives. Additionally, it must guarantee that the school maintains a favourable liquidity ratio—that is, no negative financial flows. The finance department is then in charge of keeping an eye on and safeguarding cash inflows and outflows, credit extended, and debts incurred.
The Finance department must make sure that fees are paid on time and that bad debt is kept to a minimal in terms of credit. Although it might not always succeed, “cash up front” policies are frequently used by schools. Always check credit histories before extending credit to anyone.
The department of finance is also in charge of calculating and projecting costs for each term. The development of pricing structures for each course is based on these costs. The Finance Department must establish reasonable enrollment goals that are in line with the facilities available and the ideal teaching class sizes for determining fees.
Pressures on performance are not as great for privately held schools with a small number of partners as they are for schools with many shareholders. The Finance Department should prioritise efficiency in addition to cost-cutting measures to enhance performance. Never compromise on quality when it comes to education.
An English language school should make an effort to establish financial policies and standards to give a systematic approach to managing financial resources and assessing performance and accountability.
• Upholding and routinely monitoring the subsequent financial regulations:
- Accounting Guidelines – Accounting Manuals
- Budgeting Guidelines and Procedures
– Corporate Guide
Ensure that the appropriate staff members are informed of the details of all financial policies by conducting yearly analyses of the audited financial statements.
Accounting services are frequently outsourced at small institutions where decision-making is centralised. The CEO would make the financial decisions under such circumstances.
Technology for Information and Communication:
This department’s relevance is occasionally downplayed, yet doing so could seriously harm the company’s ability to succeed. An English language school must recognise how critical it is to stay current with technological advancements both within and outside the classroom.
By putting in place a continuous method for determining the school’s technology requirements, the ICT department can make sure the institution has the necessary technological infrastructure. This division is also in charge of creating a budget that receives approved financing from tuition.
This division is in charge of putting security programmes in place for all
Access to databases, document recovery, document backup, and websites
An English language school should work to create a platform that can interface with all current and future computer-based systems by:
• Upholding uniform hardware, software, networking, and communication specifications; • Adopting uniform operating practises across the entire institution.
As was already mentioned, the school must depend on the ICT department to continuously assist the other departments and their requirements. All employees must possess a specific level of technology and ICT abilities in order to accomplish that. It is necessary to offer in-house or outside training in order to continuously raise the overall standard of ICT proficiency within the institution.
ICT is a field that is always evolving, so outsourcing ICT services is sometimes important to keep up with progress. To assure its success, the school must assess the ICT usage levels of other schools both domestically and abroad.
Through efficient human resource management, creative hiring initiatives, and appropriate selection procedures, an English language school should make an effort to attract and choose a desirable, highly skilled, and competent workforce.
• Determining the demand for annual workforce recruitment:
-discovering sources for hiring; -hiring personnel who meet the necessary qualifications; -examining compensation packages to make sure they are comparable with those offered by other employers.
The school should be able to retain a large portion of its employees through effective line management, a system of recognition, awards, and incentives, along with career and advancement prospects.
The HR division is in charge of:
• Ensuring that everyone on staff is aware that teaching and learning are the school’s main priorities.
• Promoting more personnel stability.
• Providing all staff with opportunities for career progression that are congruent with their own professional needs and those of the school.
An English language school should make an effort to give staff members the chance to take part in pertinent training and development programmes in order to continuously improve employee expertise. This can be accomplished by giving academic and non-academic employees the proper training and by encouraging teachers to advance their education. Maintaining and enhancing the Professional Review and Development Programme is one approach to achieve this.
The HR division is also in charge of fostering a positive and effective work environment that encourages collaboration and maximises the advantages for both the employee and the company. A harmonious workplace can be achieved by planning activities that improve relationships among employees. Another crucial duty of this department is to provide a physical atmosphere that encourages staff to work efficiently.
The Director of Studies should make an effort to hire teachers who have the highest calibre academic and professional credentials and who exhibit the characteristics of a perfect teacher by:
• Ensuring that the professional backgrounds and experiences of individual teachers are pertinent.
• Offering a compensation and benefit package that draws educators of the greatest calibre.
• Ensuring the highest professional standards are followed in the recruitment and induction programme.
The department is divided into 3 areas under the direction of the Director of Studies (that will depend largely on the courses offered by the school). There is a coordinator assigned to each area, such as a coordinator for business English, a coordinator for young learners, and a coordinator for adult learners. Each coordinator is in charge of managing and setting up the specified arenas.
Because the Academic department’s employees are in charge of developing and providing the service (English language instruction) to the customers, it is one of the most crucial departments. A school teaching English as a second language should make sure that instructors give and continually review the following:
• A comprehensive and well-balanced curriculum that is continually reviewed and improved.
• Advice and information on how to pursue education, professional prospects, and personal growth.
• Promoting a love of learning and helping pupils grow into respectable citizens.
• Understanding that achieving one’s potential depends on acquiring academic, personal, social, emotional, and health-related skills and information.
• Ensuring that academic rules are frequently examined and revised in light of students’ requirements.
• Keeping track of, analysing, and using evaluation results to establish goals that will improve teaching and learning.
• Endorsing links for parents.
• Determining and attending to each student’s unique academic, social, and personal needs.
• Offering difficult and flexible activities that encourage autonomous and critical thought.
• Assisting each individual’s effort and success in growing their self-esteem and confidence.
An English language school is required to furnish and maintain its campus amenities and facilities, making sure they are practical, appealing, and offer welcoming and secure settings for staff and students.
Prioritizing the development of physical infrastructure and planning for the upkeep and improvement of physical resources need the establishment of a capital expenditure budget.
It is essential that the school provides enough specialised and classroom space suited to the students’ ages in order to fulfil curriculum requirements. The facilities ought to be appealing enough to draw potential students’ attention and applications to the institution. Effective maintenance must be practised from a commercial standpoint in order to maintain the capital value of the location, structures, and machinery.
An English language school should make an effort to consistently compare its standards and quality to accepted industry benchmarks and best practises. The effectiveness and utility of physical resources can be increased by continuous review and adoption of new technology. It is crucial that the school conduct its operations in a socially responsible manner. Therefore, it should make an effort to advance effective energy management and uphold a clean and healthy environment by
• Providing employees and students with enough, excellent, and hygienic restroom facilities.
• Offering hygienic catering services that are economical and promote healthy eating.
• Encouraging the least amount of energy waste possible.
• Creating a beautiful and orderly learning environment.
An English language school must adhere to all legal and regulatory requirements, including those pertaining to health and safety, the environment, and other standards specific to the sector. Auditing is a reliable control strategy. For the best use of physical resources and to ensure cost-effectiveness in their care and maintenance, the school should regularly try to audit space needs and utilisation by:
• Conducting a condition audit of the physical infrastructure.
• Establishing the rationale for conducting an annual audit of how all school facilities are used.
Business Practices Overview:
A school teaching English as a second language should make an effort to ensure that the management system is thorough and produces adequate data in a timely way for decision-making by:
• Regularly assessing the kinds of data needed for effective decision-making and confirming that the management information system can deliver such data.
• Keeping up an information system that makes it simple to save and retrieve all necessary data.
• Creating ties with other relevant organisations to gather data about possible clients.
• Forming direct connections with other educational facilities to stay current on new management technology.
An English language school should make an ongoing effort to modernise and streamline procedures in order to increase productivity and efficiency.
• Establishing consistent quality processes and standardised frameworks throughout the system; • Creating a systematic method for excellent practise and management of change by fully utilising ICT resources.
• Ensuring that all systems put into place promote teaching and learning.
An English language school should make an effort to guarantee that the procedures and systems in place give all clients the highest level of service, as measured against the top English language education companies by:
• Setting up a quality system that concentrates on community and student needs.
• Making sure the system is a useful tool for monitoring and controlling in order to take effective corrective action.
• Setting up an internal feedback system at the school for efficient corrective action.
• Comparing yourself to other English language schools and organisations that oversee the teaching of the language.
An English language school should make an effort to set up internal and external communication mechanisms that can take information quickly, respond to it, and spread it by:
• Recognizing weak points and strategies to enhance the current communication system.
• Setting up new communication technology infrastructure.
• Planning activities that foster communication between the various divisions.
To better manage risks and boost productivity, an English language school should try to improve internal controls and audit mechanisms by:
• enhancing and streamlining the mechanism for internal audits.
• Developing measurement and accountability methodologies based on actual data for wise decision-making.
An English language school should make sure that the procedures and systems have sufficient security measures to safeguard proprietary information and preserve system integrity by
• Adherence to international and national laws governing intellectual property rights.
Here it is mentioned that no profit-maximizing tactics should be used if the end result lowers the calibre of the courses. The character of each and every institution will determine where to draw the line between cost-cutting and compromising service quality.