Smith’s English School Azamino is for sale. This school is a franchised member of the Smith’s School of English Franchise. Commencing in 1996, Smith’s School of English franchise was the first organization to offer language school ownership possibilities to foreigners in Japan. Today Smith’s offers the most advanced English school operating franchise system in Japan. Whether it be from the viewpoint of an independent school owner or the viewpoint of a student Smith’s is certainly a great place to be. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the Smith’s franchisee owners group
The English website is here https://sse-franchise.com. It contains an English Blog written by owners that provides a glimpse of the kind of people who own Smith’s franchises https://sse-franchise.com/blog/ There is also an FAQ section which supports those interested in joining the system https://sse-franchise.com/faq/
Many of the blog articles written by Smith’s owners have been translated into Japanese free of charge by the Smith’s office team and may be found on the Japanese site should you prefer to read the blogs in Japanese. https://smithweb.co.jp/blog/
About This English School
The Azamino branch is one of the earliest franchises opened within the Smith’s English school franchise group. It opened its doors in 2004 and has over many years developed a solid reputation within the Azamino environs. Located ideally, with just a 5 min walk to the Azamino Station there may be no better location for an English school. Azamino is an important transfer station that connects to central Tokyo, (23 mins to Shibuya on the Denentoshi Line) and Yokohama (30 mins via the Yokohama local Blue line). Many people commute to either Tokyo or Yokohama from Azamino or transfer trains here. A lot of students either live or work nearby- or, transfer at this station on their way home from work.
The school is located on the fourth floor of a SOHO building that houses both businesses and private apartments. The Smith’s Azamino school apartment carries permission to conduct business from the owner. It has a living room, two bedrooms rooms, a kitchen, bath, and toilet. You can either use one of the rooms as your private room, as I have or use it as a second classroom. The classroom is fully furnished and comes with many books that you can use as resources to improve your TEFL skills, use as content for lessons, or lend to students.
Ownership of a Smith’s school requires no special skills however it does require both a focus on language coaching and a high level of care for your students. There is an official Smith’s curriculum but most importantly Smith’s actively supports owners developing their own coaching materials. I create one or two lesson plans a week that I use for everyone and adjust the level to fit each class. It’s very minimal lesson planning. I do just about 30 minutes of lesson planning for the whole week.
I like to form a relationship with each of my students. We talk outside of class, and I don’t mind helping them check their presentations or emails in English. Something I continued from the previous owner Rob was holding monthly or bi-monthly events that students have the option to attend. Rob often invited his students to the nearby Izakayas or to Karaoke. I tend to do more day time events- picnics by Futako Tamagawa, hot pot party at the school, an annual Thanksgiving dinner in November, and an annual dumpling party around Chinese New Years.
In terms of advertising, there are a few things that are recommended.
-The first highly recommended method is flyering at the station.
-Next method is letterbox flyering.
– Blogging on the Smith’s website is extremely important to bolster online presence.
-Posting to announcement boards around each station. Every 10 days, you can put up a new ad on the boards.
– Social media. Smith’s has a solid presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
My English School Schedule
I work about 30 hours a week. I am told I work more than I need to as I have allowed several group students to drift into One on One lessons. A new owner may well tighten the schedule and significantly reduce the face to face teaching time.
The school is open these hours (you can change as you see fit)
The Student Body
Students fall into one of four categories 1. Business/working people 2. Housewives 3. Retirees 4. Students.
I have about 40 students that are actively attending classes.
Since 2004, there have been a total of 468 students.
It is possible to open kid’s classes at this location. Previous teachers did so successfully.
The Income/Expenses of this Azamino English School Franchise
A detailed monthly income report dating back to 2004 is available upon request to those wanting to confirm sales.
Expenses: each month vary a little, so this is just a rough estimate.
Smith fee 60,000 + royalties
All the money you spend on the school, business expenses, can be written off as a tax deduction.
Average net income 265,000
Some Brief Overall thoughts of the Outgoing Owner
-Freedom! You have full control of things like your schedule and the content you teach.
-Income. Lots of earning potential. I don’t have a family to support and so did not find a need to aggressively advertise. IN fact I did very little relying mostly on the Smith’s internet presence to bring me students.
-Close relationship with students
-Office support. The office is open Mon- Sat from 13:00 to 22:00. You do not need to speak Japanese to own a Smith’s School. The main office does all scheduling and booking. Smith’s recently developed a very supportive online scheduling system which teachers and students may use to schedule their own lessons.
Office will also help with day to day problems. Japanese translation. Taxes. Etc.
Smith’s are able to sponsor the work visa.
Vendor Finance is available.
I bought this school from the previous owner for $40,000 (USD). I have allowed the income to drop and therefore would be willing to sell for $30,000. I was offered vendor finance to get going and wish to pay this forward.
Included: all furniture including; two large tables and 7 chairs, two large whiteboards (good for 2 classrooms), phone/fax machine, fridge, all kitchen items, curriculum, training materials, 2 Mac desktop, 2 TV monitors, printer, a large collection of book and teaching materials. Thousands of flyers for advertising. Teacher training also available.
For more info send an email to Mark at: [email protected] Please provide actual personal email for Mark to contact you.