My wife, Maki, and I together own MY English School (http://myeigo.com/), with our headquarters in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. We took over a single-location school in 2008 with about 100 students and several corporate contracts. We have now grown to seven schools (6 in Yamagata and one in Kansai) with an English/Japanese bilingual kindergarten. A total of almost 850 students attend our schools and we teach a total of over 2,500 students when our outside contracts to corporations, BOEs, kindergartens, and other locations are included. We now have 15 fulltime teachers with 5 fulltime and 2 part-time support staff, whom we call advisors.
As a school we have grown much more quickly than I imagined when we first began eight years ago and we continue to move forward. This growth has brought forth many challenges. I have a background as a professional educator, and sometimes it’s been difficult to balance the educational side of the business with the need to make a profit as a business. Other challenges have been hiring, maintaining our school culture as we grow, creating systems to allow for growth while still remaining close to what happens, maintaining relations with parents and students, marketing, running a business in rural Japan as a foreigner, and other areas. I will write about these over time and would love to see this to become the basis for a continuing dialogue with others. Your comments below will help make things even better! 🙂