Friday, February 4, 2011

ELT and Entrepreneurship


ELT stands for English Language Teaching. Entrepreneur is a person who has a certain idea and wants to run the risk to get advantage from that idea.  Most Englsih Language Teachers are entrepreneurs. If you want to be a great teacher as an entrepreneur, I’d give you three pieces of advice before you venture into teaching business. You should build 3 Factories in your Life,

1. Ice factory in Brain.
2. Sugar factory in Tongue
3. Love factory in Heart,

Then your Life will be Satis-Factory. These three principles are the basic rules of any business in the world.

Working for yourself

Working for yourself is personally demanding in ways quite different from those of employment – however great the employment pressures. Nor is there any certainty as to how successful you will be or what level of regular net income you will be able to generate. Therefore, you need to be sure before you commit yourself that you have the temperament and outlook on life that suit going it alone which means that you want to be a teacher and work for yourself as an entrepreneur. Those who work for themselves have certain qualities. If you fulfill the qualities below, you can be an entrepreneur in English Language Teaching. Overall, the one character strength that is essential to working for
yourself is

  1. self-belief.
  2. motivation;
  3. persistence (sticking with the job);
  4. resilience (coping with the unexpected);
  5. being competitive;
  6. human relations skills;
  7. being decisive;
  8. sound business judgement;
  9. lifestyle implications;
  10. knowing when to ask for advice or help.
Remember that:

  1. Pessimism, as opposed to realism, can be fatal in business adversity.
  2. The realistic optimist is at an advantage.
  3. You will need to have effective communications skills.
  4. There will always be difficult calls that only you can make.
  5. Dithering never inspires confidence.
  6. Financial insecurity is a necessary consequence of working for yourself.
  7. Long hours are inevitable.
If you commit to these things, you are already on your way to becoming a good ELT Entrepreneur. Many businesses can be started on a part-time basis and teaching English is no exception. The first step that you need to take to do some market research. You should acquire as much information as you can. Go for desk research  and field research to evaluate the opportunity for your services. You must also get required qualifications. In this case, a university degree in ELT or Linguistics will be an advantage.

SWOT Analysis for your Teaching Profession

You may find it useful to develop a one-page analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your business plan, known by its anagram as a ’SWOT’ analysis. Be honest about your weaknesses and the threats you face both in your marketplace and through external factors, spelling out any mitigating circumstances and the defensive action you will take to address them. Be specific also as to how you will capitalize on your strengths to exploit the business opportunities fully. Go back to the business plan and ensure that you incorporate all the proactive and defensive measures. When you are satisfied that you have addressed all the issues raised in your SWOT analysis, you can decide whether or not to include it as a part of the business plan.

A SWOT analysis is a summary of:

  1. strengths;
  2. weaknesses;
  3. opportunities;
  4. threats.
Be sure that your skills and capabilities complement each other. If you work part-time some extra hours while in employment, this will help you test the market. With part-time work, never buy anything unless you have to and have a need for it. Never buy more than you have to; never buy until you need to.


While teaching English as an entrepreneur, you must remember that 80 per cent of all business failures are caused by inadequate record keeping. Carry a notebook around with you and enter any undocumented expenses. Further, you must be tactful and patient if you want more business from your clients. Word-of-mouth recommendations have a strong effect in the freelance world. You must use some kind of technology in your teaching business because ICT (Internet, Computer and Technology) gives credibility to the smallest business. My final advice is that never fall in love with the business you own but be passionate about it as much as you can.

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