How much does it cost to get started?
The initial sign-up fee is JPY 715,000 plus tax. You will then need to pay key-money for premises and for equipment. These figures will vary. Based on experience up to now, you should budget approximately JPY 700,000 before agents’ fees.
How much are ongoing costs?
A monthly rent of around JPY 80-120,000 for a classroom would not be unusual. The admin monthly fee is JPY 60,500 plus tax. Commission is 10% of gross income exceeding JPY300,000 per month. The monthly marketing contribution is JPY11,000. You should also budget for local advertising, telephone and utility costs. Please contact us for details.
Can you provide finance?
Yes we can. There are various options to allow you to pay a deposit then pay the sign-up fee in installments.
How long does it take to get up and running?
We are as keen to get started as you. Once a commitment has been made, it takes about 90 days to open the premises for business. There are seasonal variations and some times of the year are better to open than others. We will discuss with you your best options, and work out a plan from there.
Where do I teach?
Lessons must be taught in a dedicated classroom either in the teacher’s residence or a separate building.
How much can I expect to make?
It depends on what you want to do and how much advertising you do. A teacher-owner-franchisee, employing no staff, operating three kids and three adults group classes daily, five days a week, has a potential monthly income of JPY 1,4520,000. At 75% capacity, this would be a gross JPY 1,089,000 per month. This would be a total of 113 students and 30 50-minute classes per week — that’s 1,500 classroom minutes per week — equivalent to a full-time job at a high-street chain. Wouldn’t you rather do it for yourself?
How much tax will I have to pay?
Tax rates in Japan are comparatively low. As a sole-trader, you get many benefits and tax breaks unknown elsewhere. A single person with no dependents on a net income of JPY 500,000 a month would pay around 12% in deductions for health insurance, local and income tax. This would give a total of around JPY 720,000 per year — or JPY 60,000 a month. Your net income figure can be reduced by claiming expenses such as airfares abroad (research), meals and evenings out (entertainment), transport etc. Sales tax of 10% is paid by businesses grossing JPY 10,000,000 a year and over.
How about insurance?
Depending on the size of the premises, value of contents insured and type of cover, insurance will cost approximately JPY 10-15,000 plus tax per annum.
What is the cost of living in Japan?
It is an often-heard misconception that Japan is an expensive place to live. It isn’t. It can be if you live in a plush downtown apartment and live on imported Western food. If you adjust to a more Japanese lifestyle, however, you will be pleasantly surprised how reasonable it can be — far more reasonable than London, Paris or New York.
A couple should be able to get by on JPY 60,000 per month, excluding rent, transport and entertainment. A rent of JPY 70,000 per month for an apartment would not be unusual.
The Japanese service industry is second to none, and a huge variety of high-quality, reasonably-priced goods and services await.
Modern English’s head office is in Osaka. Can I set up outside of the Kansai region?
Absolutely. The beauty of our system is that it works nationwide. So, whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of big cities, the greenery, clean air and snow in the mountains in Nagano or Hokkaido, or the beaches and swimming in Okinawa, we can get you in business.
Is it possible to set-up multiple franchises? If so, can you offer discounts?
Yes it is. Yes we do. Contact us to discuss discounts on multiple franchises. We can work out a simple payment plan to ease the financial burden.
If multiple franchises are purchased, but only one opens, do I pay monthly fees on them all?
No. Non-operational, i.e. sleeping franchises, do not attract monthly fees. The monthly fees of JPY 60,500 plus tax are only applicable once the franchise is ‘switched on.’
How will I get students?
We advertise centrally via the Internet. At present we do not advertise nationally in print, TV or other media. We also advertise on various industry websites.
Locally, franchisees advertise in free papers distributed to residences and offices, pass out flyers at the local station and deliver them in letterboxes. Our biggest sources of new students are flyers, web searches, signs and word of mouth.
Can I do advertising elsewhere?
Yes. We very much encourage franchisees to get active in their local communities and to show initiative. All we ask is that you check with us for approval before starting any new marketing.
What about holidays?
All Modern English schools are closed for two weeks at Christmas and New Year, Golden Week (spring) and O-Bon (summer), plus all national holidays. Days open during term time differ by location.
What about curriculum, classes and student fees?
We have nine levels in our adult curriculum. We provide bespoke lessons to take the students through this curriculum and an easy, quick-glance way of recording this.
Our kids’ curriculum uses our best-selling Happy Valley series and Smart English for elementary.
Can I add my own material?
Teachers are free to supplement and extend these curricula, we ask only that the students’ first contact with the target language comes from our lessons.
All classes are 50 minutes long. Adult classes have a maximum of four students per class, and kids classes have six. Adult group basic fees are JPY 11,000 per month; kids are JPY 8,800. Some students supplement these basic plans with extra lessons and more flexible plans at higher fees.
Couldn’t I just do it all myself?
You could — I did. Though even if your Japanese is fluent and your sales and admin techniques outstanding, it is impossible to answer the phone when teaching. Most new and existing student enquiries come in the evening — the busiest time for lessons. You can’t do two things at once.
Can you schedule, take calls and close sales in Japanese, plan lessons and teach all at the same time? I couldn’t, which is why I employed staff. Those staff can now work for you at a fraction of the cost if you hired them yourself.
Having been self-employed in the industry since 1998 and considering the time and capital I have invested in my business, were I to start again tomorrow knowing what I do now, I would realise just what a good deal this is.
How about the future?
In the future, if you so choose, the franchise can be sold, and this represents a potential re-sale value of several times the school’s monthly income plus the sign-up fee. Alternatively, a teacher could be employed in place of the franchisee, who would then benefit from a passive income. We work with you every step of the way to achieve the best outcome.
Are there any materials available in Japanese?
Yes. Contact us and we can send the Japanese franchise pack by email or post.
Would it be possible to see a franchise and meet a franchisee?
Of course. After seeing our head school and offices, we can take you to see a franchise and meet a franchisee. You will then be given time alone to talk to the franchisee. We are confident they will be positive — they are, after all, successful in owning their own schools.
Can we get together and talk it over?
Sure. Give us a call or send us an email and we can set up a meeting. While you reflect on the above, may we ask you one question?
What are you waiting for?
Simon Moran, CEO Modern English