You are about to enter an attractive and growing market. If you plan and manage your business well, your education consultancy can start making good money in a matter of a few months. Unlike many other businesses that require years of operations and tons of investment to get decent returns, education agents and consultancies can expect good returns on investment much sooner and with much less effort.
Due to the attractive business model and easy entry, there is fierce competition in the education-consultancy industry. The new entrants into the Study Abroad Consultancy business must be prepared to survive the ferocious competition.
In this blog, we discuss things you need to consider for setting up an education consultancy that is primarily focused on abroad studies. We’ve also shared some insights and information on what you can do to make your education agency stand out from the competition and get a good chunk of the market.
1. Complete all the registrations and licensing
First, you need to get your business registered with all the relevant authorities and get licences. In Nepal, you need to register a firm/company, register at the ward office, get a PAN certificate and obtain a licence from the Department of Education. Please refer to this page to know all the details about the registration and licensing process.
2. Select the best location
Select a location that is convenient to students. Having your office in areas with colleges, and student hostels will make promotion much easier. Your clients are students who are very young, so decorate your office accordingly. Having a cosy and youth-friendly office and reception area helps to instantly connect with the students. Location and decoration can help your education consultancy grow fast.
3. Create a business plan and a marketing plan
A business plan is a 10-15 page document that outlines how you will achieve your business objectives and includes information about your product, marketing strategies, growth strategies, HR strategies and finances. You should create one when you’re starting a new business and keep updating it as your business grows. A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. A well-written business plan provides you with a solid roadmap to structure, run, control and grow your education consultancy business. It’s a way to think through and detail all the key elements of how your consultancy will run and how you will achieve the goals.
4. Create a Network with students and colleges
The education consultancy business relies heavily on relationships with colleges, universities, students, and other educational institutions. Your customers (students) almost certainly know colleagues/friends like themselves who need your service. It is perfectly acceptable to ask them for a referral and request permission to use their name for an introduction. Ask your students if they would be willing to provide a testimonial about the service. You can use this referral and testimonial to build a strong network of students and market your service. Also, organize educational fairs or participate in fairs, and try to connect with many colleges and universities. Create social media pages, and groups, and provide a place where students can interact with you.
5. Make the optimal use of technology
Technology has made it so much easier to run and market a consultancy business. If you can make use of technology, you can really outshine the competition. Make the most out of all social media platforms and search engines. Some platforms and technologies you need to be aware of are SEO, Digital marketing, Social media marketing, Podcasting, TikTok marketing etc.
6. Have a team of good people
From receptionists to support staff; the behaviour and attitude of staff play an important role in the success or failure of education consultancies. So, try to hire people with a positive attitude to make a team. Students will interact with almost all staff during their various stages of taking your services, so try to create a team that is competent and helpful with full of positive energy.
7. Hire qualified and experienced counsellors
Get a good education counsellor who can communicate effectively with the students. Counsellors are the brain of any education consultancy, so be very careful about having a counsellor in the team. A good counsellor should be a good listener, be able to assess, be an excellent communicator, appreciate diversity, be friendly, authoritative, well-rounded and be able to coordinate. So try to look for all these characteristics when having a counsellor on board.
8. Have a modern and well-resourced language class and tutor
Good scores in IELTS, PTE and other language tests play a vital role in the admission and Visa success of students, so you need to be very careful in running the language classes. It is one of the most important aspects of running an education consultancy. Your class needs to be soundproof, bright, ambient, spacious and comfortable. Also, you need to have a good projector, good printed resources, a whiteboard and a microphone at least. Many students decide whether to apply and process from your consultancy by analysing your language class and testimonials. Many consultancies tend to spend a lot on office decoration and give very less attention to the class. Also, a good and experienced tutor is another thing that your consultancy needs to be successful. The tutor should be good in knowledge, and communication and be ready to coach and mentor students. Having a full-time tutor is a good idea as opposed to hourly or part-time tutors.
9. Conduct Constant Research & watch the trend
Be updated about immigration policies, and the education policies of the countries you send students to. Also, be aware of the changing legislation and other compliances related things in your home country. Apart from that, you can keep track of the changing trends in the industry and update your business plan accordingly. For example, In 2022, the Visa success rate for Australia is great and many students are preferring the country to move to currently. You can have more focus on representing Australian colleges and universities.
10. Try to be a One-Stop Education Consultancy
Apart from connecting students to institutions, also try to partner with good accommodation providers, insurance providers and other service providers in abroad countries so that students can get other services with ease in foreign lands. This will not only help students but also build extra trust for your consultancy and students will recommend their friends and families.
11. Hire staffs wisely
In the field of education consultancy, it is common for language instructors to refer their students to other consultancies and earn commission from those consultancies while still working for your consultancy. To ensure that your consultancy operates with honesty and ethics, it is important to hire teachers who uphold these values. This can be done by requesting references from past employers or clients, and establishing a legal agreement that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. Also, ask regular feedbacks with students and keep a track on students’ activities.
12. Every role matter in education consultancy, receptionists should not be overlooked
The receptionist is often the first point of contact for students when they visit an educational institution, making their role crucial in creating a positive and welcoming environment. A skilled and friendly receptionist can help to establish a positive vibe that sets the tone for the rest of the students’ experience with the institution. A good receptionist possesses excellent communication skills, a warm and welcoming demeanor, and a helpful attitude towards students. They should be knowledgeable about the institution and able to provide accurate information to students, as well as be able to handle any queries or concerns that may arise.
In addition to being the first point of contact for students, the receptionist may also be responsible for various administrative tasks, such as answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, and managing emails. Therefore, it is important to hire a receptionist who is organized, efficient, and able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
So, investing in a good receptionist can be a valuable asset for an educational institution, as they can help to create a positive first impression for students and contribute to the overall success and reputation of the institution.