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  • Tony Teacher
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    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
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Re: Entrepreneur Korea: Dreams, Mindset, Business, Lifestyle
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2017, 09:12:06 am »
For those who are on the fence about starting a business in Korea, check out my recent podcast episode where I share how starting a business has changed my life.

http://entrepreneurkorea.com/005/

If people on here are thinking about starting a business, it's pretty likely to be a hagwan. So it might be more useful/interesting to tell us why yours no longer exists.

Thanks for asking about my past English hagwon business, which no longer exists. Technically, it was a Gyosoopso, which is a smaller version of a hagwon. The main difference is that you are allowed to teach a maximum of 9 students at one time and the business is legally only allowed to have one teacher. It is similar to a Gongbubang, but a Gyosoopso needs to be operated in a commercial building whereas a Gongbubang must be operated in a residential building.

So I ran my Gyosoopso business for almost 4 years. It was the very first business I ran and I learned a lot from the experience. However, in my 2nd year, my school had evolved into something I wasn’t fully happy with teaching at. I was teaching kids to memorize vocabulary words, teaching grammar concepts, punishing kids for not doing homework, pushing kids to learn and remember a lot of words/concepts so they could get into the top English academies in Daechi-dong (One of the premium hagwon areas in Seoul), and pushing our middle school students to get good school test scores. It basically became a school with a teaching method/style that I didn’t really agree with, even though we were getting scores and keeping parents happy. I still enjoyed it over working at another hagwon or school, but it wasn’t what I had envisioned for my school to look like. I believe in getting kids to enjoy the learning process and being challenged, which we were able to do for our elementary school students. But it was a different story for our middle school students.

And while I was growing my Gyosoopso business, I was still actively planning more businesses for the future. My original plan was to have a hagwon business and then build other businesses. But my wife and I came up with the idea of Flower Gift Korea, which is an online flower delivery service for English speaking people who want to send flowers and gifts to their loved ones in Korea, which is currently my main business. We came up with the idea near the end of our 2rd year of running the Gyosoopso business. I still loved running my gyosoopso and the fact that I was able to have some freedom over some things, but I honestly did not enjoy the middle school testing period, where we had no choice but to stress our students to get top scores. The only real reason I was able to stick with the Gyosoopso business because I truly enjoy teaching young people and interacting with them.

So we were operating two businesses at once at one point, fulfilling flower orders in the morning and teaching at our English gysoopso in the evening. By the time we finished our third year, Flower Gift Korea was already launched and making sales. It was getting more sales than we expected. Also, the area where our Gyosoposo was, was having or planning to have almost all of the apartments in the area demolished and built into high end apartments. So we were slowly losing students, since most of our students were living in “Jeonse” payment apartments and were being forced to move, since they were building new expensive apartments like Xii, Raemian, etc. And it can take around 2 years for the buildings to be finished, and that means there aren’t any students living in those apartments for those two years. Also, the building our Gyosoopso was located in was scheduled to be demolished within a year or two to make way for new apartment buildings.

So our area was losing students, apartments were being demolished and rebuilt, and our flower business was doing better than we expected.

We ultimately had 3 choices:

1. Keep the gysoopso business in the space it was for another year and operate the flower business on the side. Then scramble to find space in an area with less and less commercial space.
2. Move to a bigger space and become a “Hagwon” business rather than just a Gyosoopso business and operate the flower business on the side
3. Go all in the flower business and create an actual Flower Shop.

We went with option 3, because rent would have tripled if we went the Hagwon business route and we would have to continue the hagwon model that we already had because that’s what parents liked. It would have been difficult to maintain, though we probably could have made more money. But I believe in enjoying my life more than just making money. And I also believe having more time and freedom is more valuable. And I believe our flower business will make more in the long run.

There are still a bunch of specifics that I haven’t included because then I would probably have to write a book, and don’t want to bore you with the details. But I’m glad you asked because there are so many factors in the business decisions people make, and a lot of the factors are unforeseeable and you just have to do your best to react to what unfolds. And if anyone wants the full story of any of my business experiences in Korea, please let me know and I will definitely take the time to write up a more thorough blog post or something.

I plan on starting up a hagwon again one day when I have enough money and once Flower Gift Korea becomes a business that can run without my involvement. But for now, I’m enjoying the process of building my flower business and documenting my process on my blog/podcast. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. I really enjoy sharing about my business experiences in Korea.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 11:02:59 am by Tony Teacher »
Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com


  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
    more
Re: Entrepreneur Korea: Dreams, Mindset, Business, Lifestyle
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2017, 04:38:24 pm »
I chat with Kimchi Socks owner Jason V. Holmes about life as an entrepreneur in Korea. He shares his journey from exploring Dongdaemun for product ideas to building up his business to having a team of 8 people, how he came up with the name, “Kimchi Socks”, what an entrepreneur is, and a bunch of other valuable things. Check out the link for more info

http://entrepreneurkorea.com/006/
Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com


  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
    more
Re: Entrepreneur Korea: Dreams, Mindset, Business, Lifestyle
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2017, 06:56:37 pm »
I chat with Mattue Gale who is a Personal Coach and Entrepreneur in Korea. He shares a lot about his coaching method and how it helps his clients. Check out the episode to hear about his entrepreneurial journey in Korea and to learn more about his coaching method.

http://entrepreneurkorea.com/007/
Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com


  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
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Re: Entrepreneur Korea: Dreams, Mindset, Business, Lifestyle
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2018, 10:36:36 am »
Ever since I sold my business, Flower Gift Korea, I have been focusing on creating content that could help others in Korea become an entrepreneur or start their very own small business in Korea one day. I recently created a crash course for anyone interested in starting a business in Korea. It is free to view and you can read the post or view the youtube video by visiting http://entrepreneurkorea.com/starting-a-business-in-korea-crash-course/

Also, the home page has links to each section of the crash course.

Here are links to the 6 sections:

1) Types of businesses you can start http://entrepreneurkorea.com/crash-course-types-of-businesses-you-can-start/

2) Registering Your Business http://entrepreneurkorea.com/crash-course-registering-your-business/

3) Renting Business Space http://entrepreneurkorea.com/crash-course-renting-business-space/

4) Accepting Payments http://entrepreneurkorea.com/crash-course-accepting-payments/

5) Tracking Your Sales and Expenses http://entrepreneurkorea.com/crash-course-tracking-your-sales-and-expenses/

6) Reporting Your Taxes http://entrepreneurkorea.com/crash-course-reporting-your-taxes/

If you have any questions about starting a business in Korea or living like an entrepreneur in Korea, please let me know and I will do my best to create some type of helpful content.
Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com


Re: Entrepreneur Korea: Dreams, Mindset, Business, Lifestyle
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2018, 03:31:24 pm »
Sorry to hear you sold the business! I follow you and your wife on Instagram and your posts have helped on your other blog (we are thinking about starting a study room). Good luck in your next venture!


  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
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Re: Entrepreneur Korea: Dreams, Mindset, Business, Lifestyle
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2018, 02:46:18 pm »
There's no need to be sorry as I am currently enjoying a trip around South Korea with my wife and I was able to sell the business for the asking range I specified in my blog post about the sale. So I'm very thankful for everything and am looking forward to heading back to Canada when the time is right. I'm glad my other website is providing you with some helpful information. I really think a study room (or a gyosoopso) is a really good first business for anyone looking to live in Korea long term. I wish you all the best and if you have any questions about starting a study room in Korea, feel free to let me know and I'll make some helpful content that answers your questions. Though I started and built an English Gyosoopso, a gyosoopso is pretty much the same thing as a study room, so the info should be relevant. All the best!
Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com


  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
    more
Re: Entrepreneur Korea: Dreams, Mindset, Business, Lifestyle
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2018, 01:35:10 pm »
Are you a Wantrepreneur in Korea?

I wrote the following blog post to encourage those who may not consider themselves entrepreneurs, but want to become one, so you would be a wantrepreneur. I was a wantrepreneur and continue to be a wantpreneur at times. I believe that anyone can become an entrepreneur, as long as the desire is there. Others may disagree wit me, but I was a wantrepreneur and I was able to become an entrepreneur. If I was able to do it, so could you.

http://entrepreneurkorea.com/are-you-a-wantrepreneur-living-in-south-korea/
Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com


  • Tony Teacher
  • Veteran

    • 170

    • April 26, 2012, 10:10:52 am
    • Seoul
    more
Re: Entrepreneur Korea: Dreams, Mindset, Business, Lifestyle
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2018, 12:58:33 pm »
For anyone who is interested, I wrote about the locations I lived in Seoul South Korea from 2010-2018 and how much I paid for rent, broker fee, Jeonse, and to buy a villa unit. Since I was curious as to what others were paying, I thought that it may be useful information for those who may want to live in Korea for the long run and would like to get an idea of the costs.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer them.

http://entrepreneurkorea.com/where-i-lived-in-korea-and-how-much-the-places-cost-me/
Business Consultant and Coach at www.entrepreneurkorea.com and www.hagwonstart.com