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Privates, HS or Adult Teaching Jobs
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 332
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
Privates can be a useful fill in or supplement. But the market is weak and then there are the legal issues. People have been fined and deported for doing this.
This comment appropriately circles back to my initial observation about the relative safety of keeping it restricted to fellow apartment residents. Having an in-house classroom as local teachers do with a bunch of motorbikes or bicycles out front every evening will surely invite the interest of the cảnh sát. Then the only recourse could end up being free lessons to the local head cop's kids.

Jmbf: Private lessons must be legal in China. I guess they could be in Vietnam too, but you would have to set up a legal company and then employ yourself, and pay taxes. By the time you got done with all that it certainly wouldn't be worthwhile even at $30.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 549

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH wrote:
Private lessons must be legal in China.


They are in Hong Kong, although certain conditions have to be met first.

TRH wrote:
I guess they could be in Vietnam too, but you would have to set up a legal company and then employ yourself, and pay taxes. By the time you got done with all that it certainly wouldn't be worthwhile even at $30.


Well let's run some numbers. Assuming you do it properly, design some decent learning programs, choose the right location, do your targeted marketing aimed at attracting a diverse student base (from kindergarten up to adults), establish your reputation and then it should be possible to do:

6 hours a day at USD 30 / hr, 6 days a week (Mon - Sat)

That's USD 51,840 / year. Sure, you would have to deduct taxes, operating expenses, loss of income from holidays / downtime etc etc BUT I'd be willing to bet that you would still be left with a very decent income for Vietnam right? And there'd be room to grow beyond that, add more hours in, increase fees, hire additional teachers and so forth.

And yes, you'd need time to build up your student base so you wouldn't be seeing those figures from day 1 but the potential is there as from many accounts the ESL market is booming in Vietnam.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 332
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jmbf wrote:
Well let's run some numbers. Assuming you do it properly, design some decent learning programs, choose the right location, do your targeted marketing aimed at attracting a diverse student base (from kindergarten up to adults), establish your reputation and then it should be possible to do:.......
If you operate fully in the open as you suggest, you invite the wrath of the locally owned centers, which as all in Vietnam know are not really educational institutions but serious profit centers for their owners. The police would be down on you faster than Jack Robinson. Those centers haven't been paying their bribes for nothing all these years. They would simply call in their chits. Hong Kong may still have a semblance of free market capitalism but Vietnam is still a one party state ruled by corrupt officials. I don't think you could do what you suggest without taking on a Vietnamese partner, who of course would seriously dip into your income. Also to have 36 hours a week of "face time" you would need to be working at least a 50 hour week after preparation and administration. At some point, you would have to ask, is it all worth it.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1214

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
then there are the legal issues. People have been fined and deported for doing this.


I suppose this could happen in VN, but other than the occasional mention on this board, have never heard or read of it.

Quote:
Well let's run some numbers. Assuming you do it properly, design some decent learning programs, choose the right location, do your targeted marketing aimed at attracting a diverse student base (from kindergarten up to adults), establish your reputation and then it should be possible to do



Yes, it's possible. I have heard of people doing it out of their living room in smaller cities (with widely varying degrees of success) but they're married to a local and have maybe gone through some of what TRH describes (greasing palms or shelling out for some sort of legal permission).

I still say if you're in HCMC, you'd be better off targeting kids of expat families, mostly Koreans, and going to them. Anyway, give it a shot and let us know how it goes.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 549

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH wrote:
If you operate fully in the open as you suggest, you invite the wrath of the locally owned centers, which as all in Vietnam know are not really educational institutions but serious profit centers for their owners. The police would be down on you faster than Jack Robinson. Those centers haven't been paying their bribes for nothing all these years. They would simply call in their chits.


There maybe some truth to this. Obviously there will be difficulties and challenges and it won't be easy. No business is without risk. However if it was as serious as you say then no foreigners would be able to setup any businesses in Vietnam whatsoever. As was mentioned you might have to go in with a Vietnamese partner who is savvy with the local way of doing business. If other businesses can pay bribes, grease palms etc etc then so can you.

TRH wrote:
Also to have 36 hours a week of "face time" you would need to be working at least a 50 hour week after preparation and administration. At some point, you would have to ask, is it all worth it.


This is a very valid point. There would have to be a more detailed analysis of the situation before you decide to commit. It might be worth it or it might not. Business owners usually work much harder than 'normal' employees. However, if you can make it work then the payoff and benefits could be very worthwhile.

Alternatively, a hybrid approach could be used. Work as a 'normal' tutor teaching privately and gradually build up your student base. Keep it low profile but gradually increase your rates and reputation. Once you have achieved a 'critical mass' of students then you could launch a centre and use your existing student base as the initial student batch.

OR you could continue to run an unofficial learning centre out of your home as some seem to do. If you can command decent rates and are in a good location you wouldn't need a ton of students to make it worthwhile.

At the end of the day, no risk no reward. These are only a few options, there are many others and there is no one single path to success. If you continue long-term in the EFL field and don't do anything to get out of the entry-level playing field then I can pretty much guarantee you will struggle financially for a long long time (potentially for the rest of your life).
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 332
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I notice is that I don't see anyone, who teaches in Vietnam now, jumping up and saying "What a great idea, why didn't I think of that before." There are contributors here who are part of management at schools and possibly some who have an ownership stake. If anyone has has the experience and know how to set up such a model it would be them. Despite the nature of the government, Vietnamese are obviously a people who value entrepreneurial skills and attitude. They tolerate the major corporations (Who would want to not have Coca-cola? Shocked ) but they don't seem to take to kindly to foreigners taking avenues that conflict directly at their own level of success. They seem to think that the benefits should be reserved to themselves and not foreigners. Of course centuries of fighting colonialism Evil or Very Mad must have a lot to do with this point of view.

Here's my final suggestion to you. Put your $80/hour business on ice, jump on a plane (it's not far) and see about setting up such an enterprise in either HCMC or Hanoi. Get back to us in a year and tell us how the model is working.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 549

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH wrote:
One thing I notice is that I don't see anyone, who teaches in Vietnam now, jumping up and saying "What a great idea, why didn't I think of that before." There are contributors here who are part of management at schools and possibly some who have an ownership stake. If anyone has has the experience and know how to set up such a model it would be them.


That ignores posts on this very thread (from sigmoid) and others on this forum (see the 'opening your own school' thread a bit further down on the Vietnam forum) that state that people are doing just this. It might not be easy, people might have varying degrees of success with it (as per most businesses), but it is possible.

Additionally, we are unlikely to receive definitive confirmation of this idea on this forum as:

1. This forum is not very popular / busy TBH. A few dozen posts per month is just a drop in the ocean compared with the thousands of ESL teachers working in Vietnam.
2. Successful people rarely post about the methods they used to get where they are today.
3. For those operating such businesses illegally, naturally they are going to keep a low profile and not post about their activities in an open forum.
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