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how to get new students

flyer promotion

The best way of finding new students will vary depending on the location of your school. However, flyers are usually very effective. Flyers can be either handed out, or put into mailboxes/letterboxes in areas near your school. If you can, do both. Success at flyers requires discipline and persistence. Flyers must be done regularly and in large numbers.You must keep doing flyers even when your school is doing well. There is often a delay of a few months between the time a potential student receives a flyer from you and calls Smith's to book a trial lesson with you. People sometimes need time to think about it and may need to receive a flyer from you a few times before finally deciding to call Smith's. That's why you have to keep at the flyers and be seen out there. From my own experience, it is worth the wait!

Flyers distributed by hand work very well in busy areas, such as outside train stations in the city. The best time to hand out flyers at train stations is during the rush hours. The best times to hand out flyers might vary a little depending on the location of your school. At my own station, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. is usually best in the morning. At night, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. is also busy. However, I prefer the morning rush hour as the people are usually workers on their way to work, usually salarymen and young/middle-aged women. These are the people I want to target. Plus it gets dark at night, making it hard for the people to see you well. I always wear either a Smith's T-shirt or a Smith's sweatshirt, which has my school name written in large characters on the front (in Japanese), and on the back (in English). Even if the people don't take a flyer, they see the school name as they are passing me, which is important.

When handing out flyers, you are representing your school. Your goal is to get the person to come in to your school for a free trial lesson. You therefore want to create a good impression in the few seconds you are in contact with that person. There are several things you should do to achieve this. One is looking like you're enjoying being there. That means SMILING. You want to try to get eye contact with the person and say something in English to them, such as "good morning" or "hello." You want to hand out the flyer using an open arm gesture and aiming the flyer at the center of their body, increasing the chance that they'll take it. You want to look neat and clean. You want to be wearing a Smith's T-shirt or sweatshirt. These are all points that will increase your chances of creating a good impression and handing out a lot of flyers, and ultimately, having students call and book a trial lesson.

Depositing flyers into letterboxes/mailboxes in also effective. First, you should get yourself a map of your school's area. You then break up the whole area around your school into individual areas, each of which should take about an hour to cover on foot. These areas should have given names. The best response occurs when an area is covered 7 times in 6 months. So any house or apartment in any chosen area should receive a flyer 7 times in a 6-month period. Rather than covering all the areas near your school at once, concentrate on one or a few at a time. How many areas you can cover 7 times in 6 months will depend on how much time you're willing to spend each week doing letterboxes/mailboxes. Once an area has been covered 7 times in 6 months, it should still be covered once in a while. Start new areas, but don't forget the old areas!


local promotion

Getting to know the people in your community, including the business owners, is highly recommended. Making an effort to meet people and having your face seen is a great way of promoting your school and getting new students. Anytime you meet someone, hand them a business card which has your name as well as your school's name, address, and telephone number. Such cards can be ordered through the Smith's head office and are inexpensive. You can find new students anytime, anywhere. It could be at a coffee shop, a restaurant, a store, or a bar. You just never know. You might meet people who don't want to study English themselves but who know someone else who does. Sometimes, they want you to teach their children. Like flyers, you just have to keep at it. Eventually, through word of mouth, your efforts should pay off.


mass advertising

If you have the budget, mass advertising is an option. The Smith's head office already does some mass advertising for all franchises, such as in a popular magazine here (I have gotten a few students that way). However, such advertising is more expensive than doing flyers and local promotion. It really depends on your budget. If you're on a low budget, I recommend concentrating on doing flyers and local promotion. These have proven be be very effective. I have never done any mass advertising myself because I never needed to.