Australia is currently overhauling its education industry, recognizing it is losing its global competitiveness due to poor achievements in mathematics and other fields, the current Government is proposing new legislations to improve the overall standard of Australian students.
In addition, by adopting a national standard across different states will also make it easier for education institutions to compare results with each another.
While we are not sure if this will really make an impact on Australia’s position in global competitiveness, one thing we are sure is these changes are bringing new opportunities for tutoring and education industry.
As a smart business innovator, what can you do to capitalize from these opportunities?
As a starting point, we should look into the overall industry and identify what key segments are:
1) Pre-School which refers to children before primary school age
2) Primary School (Year 1 to Year 6)
3) Junior High School (Year 7 to Year 10)
4) Senior High School (Year 11 to Year 12)
Each stage has different market segment, at present, most of tutoring centers are targeting at students at senior high school, prepare them for university admission examinations.
However, we can see trends changing especially in the primary school sectors, this is caused by a number of factors:
· Introduction of National Assessment which ranks schools against other schools nationally, poor results can also result in less funding, which is a concern to many schools
· Increasing number of students enrolling in private schools, in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, there are now almost 40% of students enrolling in private schools
· Selective school system which selects students based on their academic performance
· Increasing number of students from ethnic backgrounds
· Increasing emphasis on second language
· Increasing awareness and emphasis on extracurricular activities for children in the primary school years
Opportunities in the Australian Tutoring / Education Industry
If you look at a number of new franchises established in Australia as an example, you can see significant number of new franchise systems relating to education industries.
Franchising is not the only opportunity in Australia’s booming tutoring industry, many operators have also commenced their own, sometime niche business opportunities.
Opportunity 1: Coaching / Tutoring Franchise
You can buy into a coaching / tutoring franchise in Australia and operate your coaching center under franchise. Some of the popular brands include Kumon, Kip McGrath, Numberworks
Generally speaking, mathematics remains as the most popular tutoring franchise so far, but there has been a significant increasing interest in English tutoring as well, not just for the growing ethnic communities market, but also for Australian families which are increasingly become aware of the importance in good writing skills. Australian students have been commented as the “worst grammar” students in English speaking societies, and this has alarmed many parents.
Opportunity 2: Language Learning Franchises
There are many new language franchises opening up in Australia, some are local franchises, others have been brought into Australia from US, Canada and UK. At present, the most sought-after languages are Chinese, French and Spanish. French remains very popular because many private schools are offering French as a subject, but recent survey has shown that Chinese is the fastest growing trend.
The advantage in adopting Language Learning Franchises is you can start teaching students based on existing curriculum, as well as visual-aids such as computer training programs and other study aids.
This has been a popular career path for many parents, especially Mums, many have been teachers in Asia or Europe and this is a perfect opportunity for them to start their own business.
Opportunity 3: Extracurricular Activities Franchises
Again, this is another “franchising trend” in Australia, popular activities include dancing, chess, arts and music. In the way, this is an easier way to start your business as you do not need to be qualified teacher to offer extra-curricular courses, this means you can set up a franchise yourself or hire teachers to assist you.
Opportunity 4: One on One Tutoring
I was in Chatswood Shopping Center last weekend, there are 3 tutors in food-court already, this is a full-time job for some of them, they can take up to 8 students each day on 45 minutes sessions. The average rate for tutors in Sydney is between $30 to $45 per hour, based on 8 hours, that equates to around $250 to $300 a day, which is quite an attractive income, even higher than most of full-time jobs.
One on One tutoring is a booming business especially in Sydney, where selective school system has driven the demand significantly. Currently, we are seeing Chinese, Jewish, Indian and Korean students are the biggest tutoring markets in NSW, and this trend is anticipated to continue as Sydney becomes even more multicultural.
Many families choose 1:1 tutoring because they tend to deliver better results than group tutoring.
From business’ perspective, you do not need to be a qualified teacher to be an 1:1 tutor, a lot of tutors are in fact, university students or ex-teachers seeking for a career change and more flexibility.
Opportunity 5: Master Tutoring Center
If you want to run a tutoring-enterprise, you should consider 2 options:
First is to set up a master franchise system yourself, this is already a common strategy adopted by many coaching centres in Asia. This involves designing your own curriculum and training systems, once done, you can sell the program as a package through franchising. A number of education franchises have been established by Asian entrepreneurs in Australia already, and have been expanding rapidly.
Tutoring Call-Centre ‘” this is a relatively new concept but has been around in Asia and US for a while already. The service is essentially similar to Babysitters / Nanny Service business model. As a business owner, you will have a database of tutors for different subjects where you can call them and assign them to students according to age, subject and locality.
It has been a successful model overseas, as a business, you basically provide a centralised cal-centre and marketing services, fees are paid to you and you then pass the agreed hourly rates to contracted tutors.
This is a fast way to grow your business without being a tutor yourself.
Opportunity 6: Pre-School Ages
In China and Taiwan, this is often referred as “induction or initiation program:, the same concept has been expanding in Australia as well. Again, franchises have played a significant role in this trend, a large number of franchises are being bought by families with children.
These programs essentially teach children under 6 years different techniques and programs can be quite stimulative, as well as teach them how to appreciate music and arts.
New programs for pre-school language learning have been set up as well, and they are good businesses to consider if you are interested to step into children education industry.
The above are just some ideas that we have observed in Australia for those interested in capitalizing into booming education & children-education industry. The demand for these services is expected to grow consistently, especially after 3 years of “Baby Boom” which started in 2005 and ended in 2008. These new born babies would turn between 3 and 5 in the coming years, which would prompt more demand for pre-school education activities.
In addition, statistically speaking, economic recessions will always bring extra demand for university admissions; this is also expected to bring additional demand for tutoring services over next few years.
In 1991, for instance, when unemployment rate reached over 8%, university admissions in NSW had jumped significantly, from 50,000 students to 65,000 students, similar trends are likely to occur next 3 years.
So if you are looking for a new career or a new business investment opportunity, this is certainly an industry that is worth considering.