Hey folks, I have been here in Taiwan for almost three years and every job I have had or got out of has made me more and more cynical about doing business here. It seems to me that if I stay any longer I had better make my oun school rather than have some amoral company face take the lion’s share of my hard work!! Makes sense doesn’t it? But how? I am looking for advice on how to get started. My girlfriend and I have thought about moving down south where the rent is cheaper but I am open to any info or related opinions!! Thanks!!
Is opening a bushiban a good idea?
Sure. First, however, you need to get a good power drill. I think you can pick one up at a reasonable price at B&Q. Put a 1/4-inch bit in the drill – anything smaller and things and get a bit messy. Next, pick a place on your cranium that you think might cover the part of your brain that is thinking about teaching English. Got it? Right, now hit the power switch and drill a hole in your head – but not too deep. Don’t want to damage that memory of what you did last summer.
Once the hole is ready, pour some liquid Draino onto your exposed brain. If you can’t find Draino, animal feces will do – dog shit works fairly well, according to scientific studies.
Are you feeling better now?
Originally posted by wolf_reinhold: Is opening a bushiban a good idea? Sure. First, however, you need to get a good power drill. I think you can pick one up at a reasonable price at B&Q. Put a 1/4-inch bit in the drill – anything smaller and things and get a bit messy. Next, pick a place on your cranium that you think might cover the part of your brain that is thinking about teaching English. Got it? Right, now hit the power switch and drill a hole in your head – but not too deep. Don't want to damage that memory of what you did last summer. Once the hole is ready, pour some liquid Draino onto your exposed brain. If you can't find Draino, animal feces will do – dog shit works fairly well, according to scientific studies. Are you feeling better now?
Whooooooa. Dude. A little bit down on the teaching English scene are ya?? I kinda agree. Got a real job now. Thank the lord.
Bushibans involve many non-operating costs – regulatory fees and (if you choose to go the expeditious route) some under the table fees. This is why many start out freelancing (corporate) or as managers of a larger organization.
Like all businesses, it starts with your customers (target market ought to be sewed up first), and not with your talent (your own skills, plus you can hire teachers/staff as you grow).
After you choose your market (where in Southern Taiwan? Specific segment: elementary, college, TOELF, Corporate – they have different needs) post your questions on one of the forums I cited earlier.
Teaching as a ‘profession’ is a wonderful job which I am sure is a most rewarding experience for those considering such a path. Those, however, who choose it to make a quick buck… well…
So, point is, lets not confuse the two very different groups of people here.
As to the bushiban? Well, there are a lot of people who have done it and made good mone, but this is Taiwan people, so get ready for those ‘non-operating’ costs Gus mentioned.
I disagree. I taught for 12 years (Chinese and English both in Taiwan and the U.S) giving up the profession all together. No respect from the public, low pay, disrespectful and lazy students and parents who don’t realize they have to work to acheive anything. This is the 21st century! No one gives a shit anymore.
All the things I REALLY wanted to learn I taught myself. What are teachers needed for anyways?
In private business you get rewarded for exactly what you put in - the way life usually works.
BTW public education both in the U.S. and Taiwan is dead.
BTW II Opening a BUSHIBAN in Taiwan is very tough
If you wanna open your own school, don’t let these business poops make you feel like a dummy…It’s really hard because of the regulations here, so I hope someone who actually has their own school actually writes something helpful for you here, instead of these big poops pooping on you. I can’t comment because I don’t know how, but I do have 2 friends who successfully opened their own schools.
As for Wolf Poop, since he’s admitted to working for one of those dingleberry English papers, I wouldn’t touch his drill with a ten foot pole. Besides, the guy/girl obviously already teaches English and wants to open a bushiban.
I’m so tired of these large poops putting down telling people that what they do isn’t worth doing like their “real” jobs…please, I’ve met some of the dummies that work at the newspapers here, I wouldn’t be caught hanging out with them, trust me, there’s some freaky dummies doing working at Taipei’s fine toilet, uh I mean, newspapers.
Whatever, I just don’t get it. Everytime anyone says anything about teaching English the same group of big poops comes out to say something dumb. It’s extremely boring. Dummies.
Thanks for all the info everyone. ( even the drill bit was humorous to me , I have had a lot of embittering expereinces to understand that point of view but I haven’t gone over to the dark side)
I have been thinking about going to Tainan as I thnk it is one of the nicest places to live on the island ( speaking for myself ). My target market would be children ages 3 to 8. I have also considered some places in Taripei county to be closer to the City. I would like it if someone could be less ambiguous about these other costs. I was only thinking of renting a two story joint and opening the first floor for a classroom, maybe advertising by word of mouth and some flyers. Those of you with experienced friends … what were the kinds of problems they ran into getting off the ground?
Thanks for the input !!
Hye, I wanna hear how you go finding out about the buxiban scene. Don’t let these ‘what a stupid idea’ guys get you down. It might be risky but there’s big money in it if you do it right and it’s bound to be rewarding if you can make it work. I also hpe to move south and maybe start a school sometime. Only advice i have is start with a small elementary school buxiban and you need some guanxi like someone fromt he area that you’re going to be in and who you can really trust to be your partner.
Good luck and please tell me, what you find out
Its a good idea to open a bushiban if you’re a skilled teacher. But remember its location, location, location.
Two of my friends opened their house up (rent NT$20,000) and were making a good living at it. They didn’t have any other bushibans around, but they did know their territory (e.g. a Chinese politician controlled the bushiban scene in the district next to them. as long as they didn’t get within her area, they were ok)
Be prepared to work hard after it opens because you won’t have a chance to have a vacation afterwards. Also, if you need want to go professional, then I have a friend who owns 3 bushibans and franchises out (and he lives in southern Taiwan).
So, we’ve seen a lot of commentary on your original post (most of it not very useful). This is a topic I’m really interested in now and I think quite a few people are vaguely interested in for use “somewhere down the line”. Is there anyone out there who can give concrete advice (steps, costs, necessary hoops to jump through, etc.) or relate personal experiences (i.e. “I did it and I’m so glad I did” or “I did it and it was the biggest mistake of my life”)? Or are all the bushiban owners so busy making money that they don’t have enough time to surf this site and respond? Anyone?
Originally posted by Fresca: So, we've seen a lot of commentary on your original post (most of it not very useful). This is a topic I'm really interested in now and I think quite a few people are vaguely interested in for use "somewhere down the line". Is there anyone out there who can give concrete advice (steps, costs, necessary hoops to jump through, etc.) or relate personal experiences (i.e. "I did it and I'm so glad I did" or "I did it and it was the biggest mistake of my life")? Or are all the bushiban owners so busy making money that they don't have enough time to surf this site and respond? Anyone?
I did it. Made some money at it too.
The first step is registering. If you do not register consider yourself illegal and open to being raided and or shut down not to mention not being able to hire others legally and or apply for insurance.
This requires applying with the local authorities and the paper work can be arduous. Then there are the bribes to make sure all the paper work and inspections, yes fire code inspections, “pass”.
Second step: What are you offering?
If you cant offer something different i.e. price, teaching style, materials, etc., how can you expect to draw students? Taiwanese these days shop and compare. I found the single most motivating factor to be price. The cheapest school always drew the lion’s share of children.
Then there is the incessant test questions that the parents are always concerned about. Does your school prepare students to perfom well on tests? Most parents expect this. Are you an expert at test preparation? Are you prepared to teach this way?
I would estimate startup costs for a modest school to be between half a million and one million NT$. How many of you got that much cash on hand? Good.
Also where are your teaching materials going to come from? Computer/Books/Video/What? What happens when your teaching materials are not suitable or run out or the students dont like them?
How will you advertise? How will you keep the students coming in?
How will you structure classes? Who goes into what class? Will you teach kids? Adults?
Where will your students and parents park when then come to your school? Does this space exist?
If you operate illegally what will you do about jealous neighbors who are looking for an opportunity to shut you down?
Wow! I am really glad we have oriented and open forum …look at all the feedback and interested parties involved. I didn’t expect to get such a big response. I take it all in.
Mr. Poop, thank you very much for sharing form your vast amount of knowlede and experience!
Bu En Lai ( Bri ) I have been just building up my Guanxi right now and everyone I know seems to know someone who they want to let in on it so the number of potential customers is multiplying. I am thinking of just operating out of my house as I don’t have a cool mil on hand. I want to keep it small, no more than ten stus as my living room won’t hold more. One of the students is donating a white board, can you believe that? I need to see how things grow from hear before I start thinking about going down south, I only though about that because I think rent would be cheaper and there would be less compitition possibly. I think my network is here in Taipei so for now I think I will stay here and see how it goes.
Fresca ,I am going more the route Lurking outlined mostly out of neccessity, I have to have a customer base and build up some capital before I can get into this fully. I hope you are getting somewhere with your goals , best of luck. From what I gather Mr. Poop seems to have given the best advice in his last submission ( dare I say “Emission”, forgive me).
Yaes! Sum vari guud ahdvise ffrom pepols whoes riting is relee goud so theys relli no about lenguagehs. Bhut wot lenguagehs yoos wanna tiech? This heres a fien won! Eni puseshuns avelubul?