Blog
 

blog

blog
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 

Posted: Thu 13th Mar 2014

Mark Bailey attending our StartUp Saturday class in February and we've caught up with Mark to find out about MB Languages and to discover why he's decided to .....

The aim of MB Languages is to provide high quality English lessons in the convenience and privacy of the workplace or home. Each learner is provided with their own trainer and receives a tailor made course designed for their specific needs. All our course content uses authentic materials and is based on research carried out exclusively for us by our academic director through University College London and the Institute of Education.

To give some background to why I started MB Languages; I originally studied economics and finance and later worked in sales and futures trading in the City before realising I'm much more interested in people and travel. The Lamb of Liverpool Street? This led to me packing my bags and heading to Asia, South America and eventually Japan - for six years!. It was there that I first started teaching English, almost by accident, just to fund my travels. To my surprise I realised that I'd found a way to travel the world in a classroom and meet people I would never normally meet: I've taught a Japanese WWII pilot, an Oscar-winning actor, the president of Barcelona FC, as well as escort girls and Eastern European cleaners.

After learning my trade and gaining every qualification available I was offered the chance to work at UCL. At the same time, through my connections with the Japanese community in London - I forgot to say I brought back a Japanese wife from my travels too - I started teaching private lessons to Japanese businessmen, primarily working in finance. I quickly realised that the language needed in financial markets is very specific. Consider these sentences - can you fill in the gaps (answers at the end)? 'Emerging markets 1)_______ off today on the announcement that the Fed is going to 2)________ QE. The 3)__________ on the 10 year Treasury 4)__________ to 3%, while the US dollar 5)____________.' Not easy, right? But pretty important if it's your job! I suddenly had 2 niche markets: Japanese people and finance professionals.

I decided the first step was to research the competition....so I worked for them as a freelance teacher. That was great because I realised they weren't doing anything special at all, but charged an inflated price. I then convinced UCL to let me carry out a research project on how financial businesses in London provide language tuition for their foreign staff. This allowed me to learn about my target market and attempt to build up contacts with potential future clients. I just didn't know how to start a business!!

That's where Start Up Saturday came in. I found out about it on the Friday, saw there was an event on the Saturday, saw that it was full, went anyway, and was lucky enough to squeeze in through a cancellation. One (wo)man's loss was definitely my gain; Start Up Saturday was one of the best £30s I've spent in a long time! I know this is the Enterprise Nation blog, but for me it really was everything I needed to hear at exactly the right time; it was genuinely one of the most inspiring things I've done in a long time The only problem is that it made me want to do everything at once! In less than a week I joined Enterprise Nation, registered my business name, set up a bank account, arranged a meeting with Virgin Start Up, signed up for every bit of social media I could find (@mb_languages), started arranging some promotional events, and now I've almost completed the website (keep your eyes peeled for www.MBLanguages.com in April). Oh, and I've convinced two of my friends to sign up for the Liverpool Start Up Saturday in June. The next step is to expand my client base and build my network of teachers so I can reach my goal of providing 100 hours of lessons per week by Christmas Day 2014. Enterprise Nation asked me to explain how I intend to achieve this, but I doubt they want my multi-page business plan pasted into their blog, so find me on Twitter if you'd really like to know.

So far the whole experience of just working towards starting my own company has been truly life changing. Really. Instead of mostly being surrounded by employees trying to get paid as much as they can for doing as little as they can, I'm increasingly meeting people that are making their own goals and deciding their own steps for getting there. It sounds small, but the difference is huge. Being surrounded by ambitious people with a positive mind-set changes questions like, 'Yeah, that's a good idea, but what if...?' into 'Great, what do I need to do to make this successful?' The difference in results has been astounding. Get yourself involved, it'll be the best decision you ever make.

Answers: 1) sold 2) taper 3) yield 4) rose 5) strengthened

 
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.
 

You might also like…

Start your business journey today

Take the first step to successfully starting and growing your business.