Yes, it’s true. The days of running your language school with Microsoft Word, Excel and a planning on your school wall are over. If you don’t have a specific software to help you, then you are losing valuable time and of course money. It is ESSENTIAL that if you have over 50 students a year that you invest in a specific platform to help manage your classes. Here is an article on what you should be looking for.
By teaching somebody a language you are providing a service, and if you want to do things properly you need to propose a contact for signature with terms and conditions clearly stated. The training legislation for many countries enforces this. Liability is also important. By receiving people into your establishment, you are responsible for their well being, including security and hygiene. A good language school software must be able to churn out contracts automatically after inputting all the data. Some platforms use the contract as the hub itself (other use the student).
The biggest time waster in a language school bar none? Double, triple and even quadruple data entry. If you don’t have a database to help you, consider how many time you might be entering a student or client name: contract, sign-in sheet, satisfaction questionnaire, programme, end of course report, invoice, … the list of documents is huge. With a good software to help you, you should be entering Joe Bloggs ONE TIME ONLY.
Hour entry and tracking
This is very specific to language schools. As learning a language is an extensive activity, the tracking of hours by you and your teachers is incredibly important. Many schools now invoice hours taught rather than beforehand, especially if you work with the corporate sector. As the sign-in sheet is still usually the legal way of proving hours done, there can be a delay and errors when it comes to invoicing properly. The BEST way to track hours is to have online access to your language school software for your teachers so that they fill in the hours for you. Then all you have to do is match the hours to the sign-in sheet. One day, teachers will all be walking around with UPS / Fedex handheld signature scanners but we’re not quite there yet.
Book ordering and inventory
It is more than likely that you order and distribute a lot of books. The bigger the school you have, the bigger the stock of books. Some will go missing, some will be stolen, some will get left behind, some will disappear mysteriously. Have a software that will help you keep track of your books and order more is a time and money saver.
Exporting for your accountant
If your accountant is entering in your invoices himself into his own software then he is charging you for the privilege and this needs to stop. A good language school management software will automatically create a text or CSV file or create a gateway that will enable an automatic import for him.
Pedagogical and quality documents
Ok, this is a big one. You probably have all these documents yourself, and you’ve probably spent years designing them. But I can guarantee you that there are software that do it automatically and some of the templates are pretty brilliant. You should be looking to get the following integrated:
- Language test
- Needs analysis
- Programme maker
- Satisfaction questionnaire (with statistics)
- End of course report
Teacher and room planning
Do you centralize all the teacher and room planning by hand? Or do you let your trainers do it themselves? Do you sometimes get conflicts or empty rooms. Do you sometimes send a trainer to the wrong place? Then you REALLY need a bit of planning software to help you.
But does such a software exist? Yes, it does. The best I’ve seen is ManageAll. Developed and run by Axis Strategy since 1999, it does all of the above, and it has a thoughtful and caring team of developers that only work with language schools and understand the ins and outs of your business.
To find out more: www.axis-strategy.com. You can ask for a free demonstration any time you want.