I’m doing a little bit of research for an article I’m working on.
I’m interested in identifying the various types of adult Bushiban business models that have proliferated across Taiwan over the years.
It seems like there have been many different types.
I’m hoping some folks might be able to add to the list and shed some light on how these adult Bushibans operate (or used to operate) and whether or not the organization is still in business and if it is, how it has changed and progressed over the years.
I’m interested in learning as many details as possible including information from the instructor’s perspective.
I’ll get the ball rolling:
Exclusive / Unlimited drop-in.
I have been told that this adult bushiban business typology was imported from Japan, probably in the late -1980’s. It tends to cater to a high-end clientele of business owners, executives as well as wealthy house-wives and recently graduated university students with wealthy parents.
These people are interested in improving their conversational English ability for business or personal reasons.
Classes are kept at a ratio of 1 instructor to 5 or 6 students. The overall environment tends to be hyper-posh with an enforced semi-formal dress code for the instructors. Clients are charged an annual fee with the promise that they can 'drop-in ’ and attend classes whenever they wish. In this sense, the business model of this type of bushiban is much a like that of a gym.
Here, they are selling the ‘opportunity’ of improving ones conversational English not the actual individual classes themselves. And much like a gym, the business makes money when customers don’t actually attend.
Such a business model would never be able to function if all of the clients decided to attend on the same day. Much in the same way as a gym could never accommodate all of its members at the same time.
Instructors (or Consultants) may be paid by the hour or may be on salary. Most of these businesses start out with a predominantly American, British and Canadian Instructor faculty but many have eventually gone on to hire non-native-English speaking instructors from South Africa (Afrikaners) and Eastern European countries who command lower salaries as margins thin and attempts are made by the business to reduce overhead costs.
Adults Bushibans in Taichung that fit this description:
Columbia Consulting Company (on-going)
The New York New York Language School (Dissolved)
If anyone can add to or comment on this post and suggest other similar adult bushiban types here in Taiwan it would be very helpful.
Thanks in advance.