Teaching Business Privates

I recently got offered a business private…

He worked at a big company and was high up. He told me price was a bit of an issue but I’m sure I way underpriced myself by saying 700 nt / hour. Any ideas on how to backtrack? “Weekend rates?”

Also, I’ve never taught an individual solo before. What kind of stuff do they want? He said that he wanted me to provoke him to talk to me… what should I do, just bring in a bunch of conversation pieces? I don’t know where to find solo activites - also it seems that the typical grammar lesson s would annoy / not always be too helpful.

Thanks for your replies

If you have no idea what to do, it seems to me that you should not be charging more than $700NT/hr. :loco:

[quote=“JBaroh”]I recently got offered a business private…

He worked at a big company and was high up. He told me price was a bit of an issue but I’m sure I way underpriced myself by saying 700 nt / hour. Any ideas on how to backtrack? “Weekend rates?”

Also, I’ve never taught an individual solo before. What kind of stuff do they want? He said that he wanted me to provoke him to talk to me… what should I do, just bring in a bunch of conversation pieces? I don’t know where to find solo activites - also it seems that the typical grammar lesson s would annoy / not always be too helpful.

Thanks for your replies[/quote]

“provoke him to talk to me”?..take a stick with you and prod him from time to time…

i always found wanky bosses to be the absolute worst students. you can’t correct their english becuase as a boss they’re always right

[quote]but I’m sure I way underpriced myself by saying 700 nt / hour. Any ideas on how to backtrack? “Weekend rates?”

Also, I’ve never taught an individual solo before. What kind of stuff do they want? He said that he wanted me to provoke him to talk to me… what should I do, just bring in a bunch of conversation pieces? I don’t know where to find solo activites [/quote]
One thing to remember – these guys tend not to like having the wool pulled over their eyes. Rather than backtracking to raise your fee, you’d probably be better backtracking to lower it.

Yeah I know, but I bet that he was expecting more, and therefore I probably choked by saying 700 nt / hour - especially since he doesn’t want a totally cut rate teacher, he wants someone who is employed teaching Business English (where they certainly pay more than 1400 for my 2 hour sessions).

I definitely won’t backtrack to lower the price but I know it’s a good idea not to raise it either.

Any advice on getting him to talk? Lesson ideas? So on…

first decide if you want to help this person, or if you are filling your schedule to make more $$$. i don’t say this condescendingly, as it will matter later …

if you wanna help him, get a book on ESP (English for Specific Purposes). even better would be something on English for Business Purposes (ESB). there are master’s degrees offered in these topics, so don’t expect any kind of cakewalk.

the reason people get paid really well to do these types of classes is because they know exactly what to teach and how to teach it. others get the can after the first lesson …

Price is never an issue. The issue is are you worth it?

He works at a big company, he’s pretty high up. Do you think price is an issue?

You’ve never taught before so 700NT is quite reasonable.
The thing is, for 700, you could also teach at a adult bu xi ban, and they would give you more consecutive hours. If you have to travel to this guy’s location, then you also have to factor that time in. If it’s far from where you live/work, then it’s not that worthwhile for you. For that kind of money, I would rather work at a bu xi ban. You don’t have the hassle of dealing with money issues and the student’s can’t cancel on you last minute - you still have the class to teach.

Which brings up another point, private do cancel on you, especially if he a busy, pretty high up executive in a big company.

I always took money up front - at least 10 lessons worth, or a month’s worth - whatever was higher. If the student isn’;t willing to commit to a schedule, why should you? I also gave them a grace period in which they could make up cancelled classes, but that grace period was clearly defined and rarely adjusted. I found a lot of my privates were willing to “write-off” a certain number of classes if it didn’t fit into their schedule. I also tried to be as accomodating as possible to reschedule missed classes within the grace period at their convenience. I managed to maintain a pretty regular schedule. I also found that if I was making 100k on paper, it was usually closer to 80/85 once cancellations were accounted for.

A couple of tips: Show up on time, come prepared with good material, sorted, stapled, professionally presented, etc. and be prepared to ditch that material if your student isn’t “in the mood” for class. You don’t want to make class a chore for them, and sometimes they have rough days at the office and just don’t want to work hard. You have to be careful, though. If there are too many classes that devolve into “free talk”, they will feel that they aren’t making any progress, and will discontinue their classes.

Also, always dress appropriately. If they are regional head of sales for their company, don’t show up at their office in jeans or running shoes. Dress smart. (You’ll also get more free lunches this way, i.e. they won’t be embarrassed to be seen with you in public)

yeah - that is all really good advice. thanks guys. I just had no idea what sort of salary to expect so I just gave the highest I’d been earning at buxibans. definitely it’s alot more hassle to do privates and travel to people’s houses, but I may have boxed myself into a corner by not having enough time to think about my starting price.

i don’t mind sitting and talking for a few hours. and i’m not inexperienced as a teacher, just as a private tutor.

anyway forumosa has really been helpful, i’m surprised :slight_smile:

Hi,

I haven’t arrived in Taiwan yet, so I can’t say much about the situation.
However, as far as teaching adults here in the States goes…

In my experience, they usually don’t know what they really want or need, so you have to figure that out first. I start by giving them a battery of tests for grammar, free speech, reading aloud (pronunciation), silent reading comprehension, listening comprehension, proofreading/editing, and essay. For the people that aren’t so good, the test takes about 1.5 hours–I stop it short if they look like they’re going to take longer than that–and about 40 minutes for those that have a good idea of what they’re doing. I grade each page as they finished, so that when they’re done I can give them a short analysis of their strengths and weaknesses and a preview of what we will be working on. Then I go home and look for more materials.

Depending on what they need, I may teach them pronunciation using a poetry or improve their vocab by having them rewrite newspaper articles, substituting certain words for the vocab we’ve studied together. Or we may read a short book together and work on organizing their thoughts. For serious business students, I use the How to Write for Work book. It has exercises for writing memos and emails.

I always assign homework, although adults rarely do even half of it.

I’ll write more later…

Hope this helps.