Recently I received some news that intially was not welcomed and was a cause of great concern to my English school in Mikunigaoka, Osaka. The owner of my 3LDK apartment where I reside and teach from, informed head office and I that they would not be renewing our lease after 2 years. I was shocked, angry and very uncomfortable about the idea of relocating my school and living situation. The thought of searching for new apartments , paying key money (rental bond), negotiating with body corporate on signage and basically re-establishing the school`s location identity all over again was quite overwhelming …at first.
After a couple of days and a few discussions with Smith`s Head Office about our options, I was beginning to envisage the direction I wanted to take my school. To give you a quick background on Mikunigaoka School`s history, we opened 2 years ago and have gradually built our student body and our reputation in the Sakai area. Now eventhough we haven`t set the student sales world record it is reflective of the travelling lifestyle I have chosen over the past few years.
So with that being said we decided that the course of action we were going to take was to look for a commercial property, increase our intensity and propel our school to the next level in terms of student numbers and reputation. After researching many possible locations we believe we found a great location in SAKAI HIGASHI, only five minutes from our current school but with plenty more potential. Anybody who is familiar with the East of Sakai City would know this potential as it is a large station and a very busy community.
Earlier I mentioned that I had a few discussions with Head Office about our options and the course of action we might take. It was advised to me that we would have a strong case to just sit still and stay where we are. Later I was advised that if I should want to move would also have a strong case to get back full key money plus a bit extra for moving and disruption. We went ahead and used the franchise system’s attorney to seek the correct jargon to talk things through with the owner. This process certainly didn`t involve court action so there was only a small fee involved that came with no promises. We proceeded and were successful in our requests which has obviously made the transition process a lot less financially stressful. The advice and assistance on this action from Head Office was swift and transparent which is what was needed in this difficult situation. I was really impressed.
I have definitely not tried to write this just to blow sunshine up head office but these were genuinely my experiences in dealing with an apartment owner deciding not to renew my school and living lease which has given my school a great opportunity.
Look out for Sakai Higashi (the artist formerly known as Mikunigaoka) Smith`s School of English, opening in October 2007!!!!!