Language School For Sale – Is It A Good Idea To Buy An Existing One Instead Of Starting A new?
Are you excited to start your own brand new language school or are you at a point where you want to expand your reach by adding another location to your current language school network?
No matter what your situation is, doing a quick research on the search engines using the term ” language school for sale “ will reveal that there is a lot of movement going on.
Is this constant influx of Language schools up for sale a good sign or rather a troublesome trend that you need to keep an eye on?
Certainly buying an existing language school seems to be the perfect solution to start one the “easy way”.
This article will give you honestly “painful” but helpful insights that are also worth your consideration if you plan to actually sell your language school instead of buying one.
The Evergreen-Question: Why Is The School For Sale?
Of course, this is the evergreen question with any business up for sale. Why is it actually for sale?
You see failing business left and right that try to sell off their “business idea” in order to hope to recuperate at least some of their losses.
On the other hand, there are many successful businesses that are sold, because the owner wants to retire or has a change of career.
The best way to make the most money when selling a business – including language schools – is to have it running as a successful profitable business. It is usually a stupid and see-through attempt if you are trying to sell a failing business that nobody wants in the first place.
As a potential buyer, you should carefully analyze what the real “failure” of a language school is if you suspect that is the reason for the sale of language school.
You might be able to overcome the aspects former owners did fail at lack of marketing, underperforming website, lack of online stuff to network and communicate on social media.
The Offline Value Of An Existing School
The real value of a business is the combination of the user experience and what value they get out of buying something from a business. In the case of a language business, it is clearly the value that your language school student will get.
A certified diploma, the confidence being able to speak a new language and have had a tremendous learning experience at a foreign location with great inspiring teachers and other fellow students.
Now think carefully: does the OFFLINE location of an existing language school provide the MAJORITY of that value needed?
To say it more bluntly: most language school classrooms are nothing worth to remember and even if they are high-tech and modern – the language school service value depends on the quality of your teachers and what interactive relevant content is used to make students understand and motivate to speak a new language.
Unless your language school is in a famous very popular location where students are dying for to travel and to pay premium prices “just to be there” the offline location of a language school is most often very overrated.
Of course: if the language school for sale is in a location where it has been for decades and is well known by word-of-mouth and has a rich history for helping language students, then there is no doubt to buy it or not.
The Online Value Of An Existing School
When evaluating if a language school up for sale is worth it, the online value of an existing school should be one of the highest priority.
Online Reputation Worth Gold
An online representation of your language school is much more than “just having a website” – it is the overall online reputation that a school has. SEO ranking, how a school is dominating the front page of Google and Bing has to do with their current and past popularity.
While in the past it was possible to just “fake” popularity, buying “followers” and adding reviews from non-existent students – those times are luckily over.
Search engine algorithms factor in the quality of your business based on actual user interaction and if it indeed provides real value for someone that searched for a specific “search term” online.
Having a great number of followers on social media is worth gold if those followers are known to spend money and network about their passions. The key is to capture the passion of learning languages. If a language school did succeed in that – those online social media accounts and reviews on sites coming from MyLanguageBreak.com and similar, are worth gold.
This is what makes a language school website stand out: the complete online reputation that was built over the last months and years.
Dangers Of Online Property Owner Changes
There are so many different parts of online property ownership that a big number of language school professionals makes this deadly mistake: “saving cost” when it comes to web hosting.
Google indeed rewards websites that are faster. It is just logical. The difference of just a few seconds that your website will load fast will boost your search engine ratings. Because the user has a better user experience and Google bots and other searches software can access and analyze your website much better and faster.
This can mean two things when buying a business that has online property attached to its deal. If you a website was run on a bad, low-quality server switching it to a new fast service while improving the quality and other SEO factors will greatly enhance and improve its value.
On the other hand, you can ruin a current great online reputation by cutting costs and changing the current web host and other relevant Internet service providers that contribute to your online success.
Worst case scenario you will disappear from the search engines at all as you would no longer exist and recovering from such online marketing mistakes can be costly and take time. And sometimes comes with the risk of old domains nobody wants to talk about…
Not All Old Is More Valuable: The Advantage Of Starting Anew
There is this myth going around that OLD aged domains are better than new ones. That is not only plainly wrong, it simply does not factor in WHY an old aged domain might be ranking high in search engines.
Old domains can be very valuable indeed – but not based on domain age alone. A domain that was NEVER used and is 10 years old is completely worthless.
The value of a domain always comes with past reputation based on EXISTING content and user interaction on those websites.
It also means that any old-aged domains that currently have problems because of their history in violating Google’s rules will need substantial amounts of money and time to employ skilled specialists, that they can attempt to fix the bad reputation and in best case scenario start over “brand-new and cleaned up” and worse case scenario being unable to fix the past at all.
Make no mistake: nobody can completely guarantee you that a bad reputation of a domain can be fixed. Don’t fall for Internet snake oil offers. The only possible thing new business owners can do is notifying that you have taken over a domain name and to ask them to let you start with “a clean slate”. It’s for Google to say yes or no as they see fit.
This means for you to consider that sometimes it is actually much more easy to start with a brand new domain name – based on proper research what your target audience is searching for online, of course.
Restarting All Over As Alternative: Use the Infrastructure To Start With A New Name
Do you already have your own language school brand name that is suitable for opening several locations in different cities or even countries with?
If not, maybe now is the time to consider and start using such a new name and relaunch your whole business branding under this – while using the existing infrastructure, keeping the positive online resources at your new disposal.
For your online business, this requires very delicate and careful planning by not destroying your current successful SEO rankings (if you have them!), not losing your social media following by not educating them about the change of your language school brand.
To maximize your impact when employing “Language School For Sale” business strategies get in touch and use our Language school marketing services to prevent potential SEO and Internet Marketing problems.
You might want to consider reading our related article “Your Language School Name: Magnet or Stumbling Block?” that talks how much the name of language school can contribute to your overall business success. For more ongoing marketing language strategies insights, you are invited to join the Sandy Allain Language School Marketing newsletter.