April 20, 2018, 04:21:28 PM

Author Topic: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area  (Read 1712 times)

Offline adamzero

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Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« on: July 17, 2017, 03:32:51 PM »
As the title states, I live in the greater Cheongju area and have been contemplating a move from public school teaching to starting my own study room.

Does anyone have any experience with this in Cheongju?  (As in, what sort of permits would I need, what are some of the notable rules, etc?).  I've done some research on my own, but haven't been able to find any info specific to this area.

Also, any other words of advice (again, from people who have experience in this area, or with running a gongbu-bang, in general) would be of great help.

Thanks!

Online thunderlips

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 03:45:41 PM »
I looked into but decided against it.

A few things that I recall:

business license/tax certificate- local tax office and gu office, I believe
register with Education office- police check (Korean) and your diploma, you may have to register as a tutor I think?

Now you need a special sign on the door, probably from Education Office.

I think there is/are FB groups for people in  business.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/foreignentrepreneursinkorea/

From what I hear it can be cut-throat, so don't skip on registering/taxes because someone may report you (especially if you are getting their old students).


Good luck!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 03:48:53 PM by thunderlips »
KORean SHARing

Offline raysmith

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 11:50:22 PM »
I knew a lady (Korean American I think) who ran one of these in that province.   All I know is that she had a nice new apartment and the study room was a set aside area of the apartment.  So part of the apartment was for living, part was for teaching. 

Unfortunately I don't know how her business went.

Offline KimDuHan

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 01:29:57 AM »
If you have a F visa it's fairly easy to just rent a space and register with the education board.

My friend ran one for a year I thought about it but ended up not doing it because of liabilities and the possibility of being sued by a rogue student.

Offline Andy73

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 07:56:53 AM »
Do you need a home country police check? Does it have to be apostilled?

Offline adamzero

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2017, 03:22:32 PM »
I looked into but decided against it.

A few things that I recall:

business license/tax certificate- local tax office and gu office, I believe
register with Education office- police check (Korean) and your diploma, you may have to register as a tutor I think?

Now you need a special sign on the door, probably from Education Office.

I think there is/are FB groups for people in  business.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/foreignentrepreneursinkorea/

From what I hear it can be cut-throat, so don't skip on registering/taxes because someone may report you (especially if you are getting their old students).


Good luck!
Thanks!  This is the kind of info I'm looking for.

It's not something I'm set on, just yet.  Re-upped for this year in public schools, but I keep wondering if it would be a better fit for me and my family (especially as public school jobs here keep getting stricter and the pay scale looks to remain stagnant for the foreseeable future).

Online thunderlips

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 03:31:38 PM »
I looked into but decided against it.

A few things that I recall:

business license/tax certificate- local tax office and gu office, I believe
register with Education office- police check (Korean) and your diploma, you may have to register as a tutor I think?

Now you need a special sign on the door, probably from Education Office.

I think there is/are FB groups for people in  business.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/foreignentrepreneursinkorea/

From what I hear it can be cut-throat, so don't skip on registering/taxes because someone may report you (especially if you are getting their old students).


Good luck!
Thanks!  This is the kind of info I'm looking for.

It's not something I'm set on, just yet.  Re-upped for this year in public schools, but I keep wondering if it would be a better fit for me and my family (especially as public school jobs here keep getting stricter and the pay scale looks to remain stagnant for the foreseeable future).

Yeah, BUT in public schools you get alot more added benefits to consider. Pension, severance, insurance, completion bonus, etc. Oh and paid vacation!!!!!
Study rooms can be a cash cow, but I know a few people who used to run a study room and these days they have to pick up side jobs to make ends meet. Many variables to consider, research your area.

But as I said good luck either way!
KORean SHARing

Offline btunks

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 08:24:57 PM »
There seems like a lot of rules and regulations. There is also a lot of paper work that needs to be done to satisfy the education office. But, I set mine up in Dangjin and it was quite painless.

Offline Tony Teacher

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 09:49:24 AM »
Hi, I think it's a great move for you to start your own business in Korea, especially if you can afford to live in an apartment near schools and other apartments. If you don't have that much money saved up to live in an apartment in an area with schools, going the gyosoopso route may be an option.

The absolute best place to get advice is in the Hagwon Startup Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/801166120000257/

There are current and past Gongbubang owners, Gyosoopso Owners, and Hagwon owners who share loads of information.

You can also check out my website, which is my experience running my English Gyosoopso at http://www.hagwonstart.com I share info in blog posts and podcasts.

I suggest you visit your education office and find out exactly what you need. Yeah, it can be a hassle, but running a business in Korea has a lot of challenges. Also, gongbubangs are not as regulated as you may think. The hagwon industry is very "closed doors" and compared to Hagwons, gongbubangs are rarely inspected. My English gyosoopso was inspected exactly 2 times in the 4 years I ran in, and almost all the neighboring hagwons/gyosoopso businesses were doing things they weren't supposed to. You'd be surprised how many things businesses in Korea get away with, especially since so many things are not black and white.

A good idea for you is to join the Facebook group I shared above and ask some questions. If you want to keep your identity secret, just make a fake Facebook account and ask away. There are always people in that Facebook group that enjoy sharing their experiences and giving their input.

Honestly, knowing what kinds of legal documents, etc. you need is one visit to the education office away. I suggest you visit the education office and ask. If you can't speak Korean, ask a friend to go with you and buy them a coffee afterwards (or maybe before). You will have to do a lot of things out of your comfort zone if you are going to start and create a successful an English Gongbubang business in your area, and I think visiting the education office in your area is your first step.

Good luck!
Tony Choi AKA Tony Teacher - Customer Service at www.flowergiftkorea.com Blogger at www.entrepreneurkorea.com Admin at www.hagwonstart.com

Offline Summer

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Re: Advice for Starting a Gongbu-bang in the Cheongju Area
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 01:19:20 PM »
Does anyone have any first or second hand experience opening up your own study room or hagwon?

I have an F6 visa. My husband is very interested in opening up a study room or hagwon. He used to be a tutor (English and Math and later on did a science camp) and he used to rack in quite a bit of money. His is EXCELLENT at studying at taking tests and is good at teaching. Since I'm a good teacher too, he's always had it at the back of his mind to do it.

I'm much less of a risk taker so I've always been unsure. Also, I am a much better teacher in a classroom environment vs. smaller groups or one-on-one.

I started thinking about this because I started working at a hagwon part time (I've only worked at public schools before) and the owner (native Korean, in her 40's) told me that she ran a study room in her apartment for years and it got so big that she opened up this hagwon and it's been around for around 6 years. She says it's the most well known hagwon in the area (I don't know what she means by 'area' but there are 3 other hagwons in the building, one of which is right next door and appears to have shut down). We have 4 native Korean teachers, one fillipina, and me, the only native English speaker. Last week was our (all of us!) first day of work (that's definitely a sign of something if people keep quitting).

I honestly can't see how her hagwon is successful? Her English is not great (but good for someone in their 40's), and the kids DO NOT RESPECT HER AT ALL! Most of them speak to her in banmal and crawl all over her while she's trying to work, on her phone, or having a meeting with another teacher. She would get frustrated and sharply tell them to go away but they tell her NO in different ways really rudely and don't go away until they get pissed off at her. I sat in on a class and the kids were constantly interrupting her, making jokes at her expense, and getting off topic and trying to talk about other stuff to her while she's trying to teach (treating her like a peer, basically).
Whereas, I am physically the least intimidating person in the worldand I managed to get them to respect me as a teacher immediately while still having a friendly relationship with them.

The system she has MAKES NO SENSE. It is SO insanely disorganized. I wrote it all down but it ended up being insanely long because it's so insanely nonsensical. One thing I'd like to point out is that the teachers do not know what classes they are teaching until the minute they arrive on the day of work. And for some reason she keeps changing which room we would teach so in between classes, all the teachers are just running from room to room to check where their class is. And since we are NOT consistently teaching the same classes (and also, the students get switched around), we do not recognize our students and have to actually ask them, "are you John, Sally, and Caleb? Are you using English Textbook Level 5?" and it's just annoying and somewhat embarrassing since it appears that we are not organized when it's actually purely the owner.
She also managed to attract a student who studied in America for 4 years and she said that will attract many more students to come. Also, the students' mothers found out I started working there and got really excited so the hagwon owner wanted me to stay longer (for the record, I'm ethnically Asian and have been having issues finding a decent job since I "look too Asian" but the mothers were happy that I'm from a native English speaking country).

Also, I interviewed at a childcare hagwon and it was owned by a woman in her late 20's. She only had it for a year and already expanded (took the office next door and extended the hagwon) and she was hiring 3 native English speakers (previously it was only native Koreans). I haven't been able to see how they operate but she DEFINITELY seems more organized by far. The only not so good thing is that their focus is on the students just memorizing English songs and things. They do not care too much about the students actually understanding what they're memorizing. The owner said it's because they are too young (kindergarten or even younger) and it's just for the students to get used to English. But with the hiring of native English speakers it looks like she eventually wants to attract older students or retain her aging kindergarten students and she wants them to actually start understanding English.

I interviewed at another hagwon and the owner is Korean-American and boasted about how well his hagwon is doing despite the fact that he doesn't have as many students as before (because the birth rate has gone down and is still going down). I talked to the teacher who was leaving and he ended up telling me that the owner is a tough disciplinarian who screams in the students' faces until they cry and forces them to do old school Korean punishments like push ups and stuff. But the students stay and keep coming because the students manage to get to decent schools overseas through this hagwon.

And of course, I've always noticed certain hagwons who have huge turnover rates and are constantly hiring so I assume that they don't have the best system in place but their business is still going strong.

What I'm trying to ask is how difficult is it really to run a fairly successful study room or hagwon?

Feel free to slap me in the face with some reality.
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