Mrs Susanne Schülein in the DFV interview serie: Self-employment with a strong partner.
Torben L. Brodersen (Manager of the German Franchise Association) in an interview with our franchise partner, teacher trainer and area manager Susanne Schülein.
Indication of source: franchise.blog.de
Torben L. Brodersen: Mrs Schülein, you haven’t only been a successful franchisee of Mortimer English Club for 14 years but also support the headquarters as a teacher trainer, area manager and with the development of teaching material – how did this come about?
Susanne Schülein: After teaching many students of different age groups for years the headquarters asked me if I was interested in working as a teacher trainer which means training new franchisees abroad.
Since I enjoy passing on my experiences and supporting new partners building up their own learning centres – and therefore somehow also helping them to establish a new livelihood – I accepted this new task gladly. Beyond that, I love travelling and have always been interested in foreign countries and cultures.
As an area manager I support the headquarters conducting interviews with potential new franchisees. Due to my practical experience I know very well, what matters when choosing a new partner and which qualities he/she should bring along.
My daily work with students of all age groups and with different social backgrounds, starting with the youngest in kindergartens through to teenagers and seniors, I get a pretty good insight on the educational demands in the respective stages of life. This experience allows me to support the headquarters with the development of new teaching materials and gives me therefore a bearing on my own working materials.
Torben L. Brodersen: What makes Mortimer English Club different?
Susanne Schülein: Mortimer English Club allowed me at that time to start my own business with a “calculable” risk. I am self-employed and can therefore make my own decisions. At the same time I have a strong partner supporting me not only with first-class teaching materials but who also helps me with words and deeds whenever I come up with questions around my self-employment. I simply feel in good hands and looked after.
Torben L. Brodersen: How did you build up your own customer base?
Susanne Schülein: With lots of diligence, discipline and high quality lessons which are fitted to the individual needs of each student and – in case of private tuition – lead to achieving higher grades.
Beyond that, the personal contact to the students as well as parents is extremely important. You should have an open door at all times, meet the students’ as well as parents’ needs and take their thoughts and sorrows seriously – even if they might not always be lesson related.
Torben L. Brodersen: Where do you see the advantages of a self-employment with franchising?
Susanne Schülein: The benefits are very obvious to me: You can be self-employed but have strong partner who has your back at all times at the same time. Besides, every franchise partner makes his/her own experiences and develops ideas of which all partners can profit. Mortimer’s headquarters collects all those ideas and distributes them regularly through an intern newsletter so that all partners can benefit of the well-established network of franchisees.
Torben L. Brodersen: Please give us at last some practical tips for prospective franchisees.
- Choose a profession which you can pursue with lots of passion, fun and love. This is – above all – key when working with people.
- “No sweet without sweat” – be aware that you can only reach your goals with lots of diligence and discipline.
- Don’t let smaller (allegedly) throwbacks bring you down. True to the motto: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Not all goals can be reached with the first try. Sometimes persistence is the key.
- Be creative! Being self-employed means being creative – in respect of your lessons as well as in respect of your marketing campaigns.