Last autumn I felt the need to make a change in my life here in Japan and with Smith’s School of English. A new challenge. I narrowed down my decision to three options: sell my previous franchise and open a new one, keep the franchise and open a new one, or relocate the school and hope that my students followed me. In November I decided on a relocation to Sagamihara Station, which is one train stop from my previous school in Hashimoto. To my delight, all but two students followed me, and as it turns out, this new location is actually more convenient for many. Fourteen years ago I was new to the system and really didn’t appreciate what actually goes into opening a new franchise, especially in terms of what Smith’s Head Office does.
Smith’s Head Office in Action
I found the building, snapped a few photographs of it, and sent them to Head Office. Yuka is a real professional, getting the ball rolling quickly- researching, contacting estate agents, negotiating costs, setting up appointments for me, drawing up contracts, Skype meetings with the agent, keeping me informed almost daily- all from Osaka (I’m located In Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo). Miki took care of all my signage needs- contacting local sign companies, setting up appointments for me, negotiating costs of materials, labor, and installation (all from Osaka). What a pro she is! Distance is not a factor with this company- they can do it.
Mika and Miki made some real nice changes to my webpage without my asking. In fact, they made improvements to all franchisee webpages in the past year. These two young women are also a good part of the reason that this new school is growing at a steady pace since opening in January. Their superior communication skills and trust are what every Smith’s franchise receives upon signing every new student. They do their part extremely well.
Here’s to 2019
I am sure I have missed something, but being that this is my second go-around with a Smith’s school, I can thoroughly appreciate the hard work and support we receive from Smith’s School of English Head Office. I am looking forward to what is to come this year, including traveling to Osaka again for our next seminar. Best of luck to all coaches, students, and staff in 2019. Thank you all so much.