Running Your Business: A typical day in the life of my language school

I was recently asked about my job, and I thought that this answer would be sufficient to describe my daily tasks! It’s surprisingly detailed:

Well, it’s challenging in its own way and the range of tasks I do through the month is surprising: from the beginning of the month, payments and billing; middle of the month, admin and publicity; and the end of the month, all the other things we forgot!

We typically start our day at about 2pm with a trip to the bank to deposit the previous days takings, update the school bank account, then we arrive at school, it’s time for cleaning, updating the accounts, sorting out the books, checking the attendance papers, figuring out who needs help, answering customers questions, promoting new activities, updating the website (if necessary)… then we need to prepare lessons for the day. By the time students arrive, we’ve already been busy for 2 hours or more.

When the students arrive at 5pm, we arrange temperature checks, handwashing and maskgiving (if needed due to H1N1), then it’s off to see who didn’t come and call them. Class starts, before we’re done with homework, quizzes and assignments most of the classtime is gone in the first hour… break time… toilets are checked, … students are entertained, encouraged and chastised… we grab time for our water breaks, back to class… this is repeated three more times… till 9o’clock. Between 5pm and 9pm, parents are coming, suppliers are calling and the phone is ringing usually so all of this has to be handled, too.

After students go, we tidy up our books, classrooms, clean the toilets, mop the floors, and make sure things are presentable for the next day. Sometimes, we’ll also discuss some pressing issues that we haven’t had time to finalize yet. Then we then grab some time for dinner…

The most challenging part of our work is that we have to accomplish a whole day’s work including counselling, teaching, saleswork, marketing, etc. in only a part of the time most companies have. We’re only there for about 7 hours a day, and most of the time 4:45~9:15pm is the core hours where we have to do most of the stuff… it’s highly concentrated work.

That’s pretty much how we work at Dickson’s English school… sometimes we love it to death, we really enjoy the work, othertimes… it’s a bit of a pain (like waiting for workmen to show up…cleaning up rainwater after a typhoon, etc.) But that’s what happens when you own your business.