The bad news when it comes to making a valid business plan for English language schools (or any language schools for that matter) is that 97% of them are failures and never work out. The good news is that if you want to create a successful business plan for your English language school you can easily learn from those failures and take lead and be ahead of all other language businesses very soon.

You could even benefit what the Stanford University uses called user-driven development and we will share it with you here in our article today.

The elements that kill a business plan for English language schools are lack of market research that leads to impossible goals and ambitions, lack of productivity and motivation, unrealistic budgeting and lack of successful online communication and marketing elements.

The number one problem is the analysis of your potential language students and to understand what they really need and how they communicate and research in order to have their needs and wants to be met in 2018 and beyond.

Students that want to learn English know their options in getting books, audio courses and educating themselves on their own using smart apps and the need to join a language school usually comes out of the desire to be connected with other people and travel and experience languages in a culturally rich environment – because that is what makes language students succeed compared to old outdated traditional teaching models.

Your business plan needs to be built on solid market research data and not pure “looking forward” data based on ideas that sound good but are impossible to execute in the real world. If you have no clear picture of your ideal student it is impossible to structure your offers that make your English language school stand out in the crowd.

The University of Stanford along with the new breed of modern businesses that rise to that top show that the best way is to use what they call user-driven development (UDD) where the potential target customers will be asked and contribute to creating the final product and services instead of wasting lots of time and resource creating something that nobody wants in the end. This certainly applies to a business plan for English language schools for sure.

Productivity and motivation are important to get your business off a good start and to grow it: everyone in your team needs to understand that the enthusiasm that is there right at the start might fade away really fast and that endurance is necessary for a long time until desired results show up. With your employees that means – they need to have compensation that supports long-term growth. If an employee is paid annual and monthly bonuses they will only do what is good for the company in the short run. A Forbes article released in 2015 confirms that.

They are a lot of great software programs that help you to create your perfect business plan for your English school, but before we even start using any of those you have the basic elements in place.

Any valid business plan for English language schools needs to have:
a clear definition of your student’s customer profile and how you plan to reach them a clear budget that is available and set with priorities how to spend it in order to create the necessary revenue to grow and expand your marketing activities once you have proof of concept a fully functional website with all elements in place to make your English language school a success (we are happy to help you with that at

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