Should You Start Your Own Business Association?
Being associated with the right people will certainly give you a lot of advantages you need to grow your language business. While we explored in our article The Power & Risks Of Associations some important implications of associations, this article will speak about the benefits of starting your own business association instead.
Your own business association? You might think that it is next to impossible to create something influential that can compete with the big players out there.
Starting your own business association, however, is not as difficult or challenging as it looks like.
The most important aspect of starting your own influential network of business people around you is to consider creating something that is not solely based on your language business but on something that is unique to your business location instead.
It is obvious that you will not create something that will be able to compete or replace an association that has been around for decades and has ten thousands of members all around the world.
Creating an association that is influential and beneficial can be done with a limited number of members and can be limited locally or for a specific niche market.
They key to success is to create something where your language business blends in naturally without being an obvious blunt marketing platform for your services and your school alone.
You do not have to create a legal entity and incorporated association at all. Start with a series of events and think like a “club” to get started.
Websites like meetup.com, for example, are excellent to get the word out that you have a monthly event going that might be beneficial to a specific audience of business owners or target language school customers.
Do some research what kind of customers you want to network with for your language services. Consider some of the following options to get your own local club or association started.
#1 Customer Focus Or Business Focus?
Depending on the reach of your potential language students it might be more interesting to start an association that is focussed on your customers versus a business association.
For example, you might want to create a local group for expats to find their way around in your town and area, part of you offering classes to learn a local language comes in naturally but should blend in all with all other helpful information being available. “Japanese Expats in Paris” for example.
If you don’t want to focus on local areas you might consider a niche market like offering language courses for real estate agents and to create a related association like “Japanese Speaking Real Estate Agents” or anything that might help and benefit the real estate agency industry. This will open doors to offering related services online and at your school locally alike.
On the other hand, if you want to create a business focus association you might want to consider something like “Multi-Lingual Business Owners Association Rome” or “Eco-friendly Business Association Berlin” – the key is to find something that is of great benefit for groups of people that might be interested in connecting with your business services in the long run naturally.
#2 Technology Focus
An example could be that you create a business association to promote the use of technology to help people in daily life. Like an association of all local business owners who actually have their own app on the market. You could hold classes together teaching apps, raising awareness for technology. Which could lead to people discovering how important it is to learn new languages.
#3 Health Focus
People are aware of how important their health is. One important aspect of learning languages has to do with memory training and anything related to brain health, so there is an option to have a “Memory Training Association Oslo” or if you like to offer cooking classes at your language school what about joining a “Glutenfree Living Association Amsterdam” and offering a class that combines learning a new language and learning something about gluten-free cooking at the same time?
#4 Entertainment Focussed
If you are local area is famous for guided tours like murder mysteries or famous movies shot on your location you might want to consider to create language versions of an existing tour. Since “escape rooms” are quite popular in some regions you could have a “Multi-Lingual Escape Room Owners Association” or “Restaurant Quiz Association” or something like a “Sherlock Holmes Enthusiasts Association”.
#5 Travel Focus
The most obvious choice would be to be connected to anything that has to do with your location that wants people to make to travel to your location. The challenge lies in combining local business owners under a theme that is unique and gives business additional options to attract attention and gain new customers. “Haunted Places New York Association”, “German-Speaking Sushi Lover Association Tokyo”, “Highest Tower In The World Club”, “Volcano Travelers Association”, “Multilingual Roller Coaster Association”. You will certainly find something that will be related to your local business.
#6 Age Group Focus
If you like to get more kids into your language school consider children activities like “Smart Kids Association Norway” or use any desired age group like retired people who have time and resources to learn a new language as in “Smart Multilingual Over 70 In Birmingham”, “Retired But Multilingual Association Toronto”. This is one of the more easier themed groups to create.
#7 Culture Focus
Museum Tours, Movie Nights, anything that is offered locally that has to do with promoting local culture can be of interest. This actually makes it easy to include a variety of businesses into such an association – “Multilingual Museum Enthusiast Association Of Prague”, “Multilingual Archeology Association Malta” or “Flamenco Dance Association Stockholm”.
You can see the options to create an association are almost limitless if you start to think outside of the box and get somewhat creative.
As discussed in our article The Power & Risks Of Associations make sure to access the commitments in energy, time and money when starting one, it will be a highly satisfying strategy to become an influential valuable force to be recognized with your language business for years to come.