A crash course in starting a business
3 MIN READ
Adrian Murphy has had a love of Irish since he was five years old when he began learning a few words from the locals on Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands while on summer holidays with his family.
“I just picked it up and twenty years later I’ve never looked back.”
A crash course in starting a business
He currently works as a teacher of Irish and English in a secondary school in County Limerick and set up his own business, Crash Course Education, in April 2016, to teach Irish to primary and secondary schoolchildren and to do one-to-one tutoring for adults who want their Leaving cert Irish at Higher Level so they can go into Primary school teaching.
“My aim is to open my own study centre,” says Adrian, “and offer supervised study in the evenings and at weekends – not just in Irish but in a range of subjects.”
“Six months left to learn Irish”
At the moment, Adrian’s renting an office in Mallow Street in Limerick which works well as it is central and on a flexible ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis. The busiest time for business, he says, is the New Year:
“When students studying Junior and Leaving cert Irish suddenly realise that if they are to pass their exams in the summer they’ve only got six months left to get learning!”
“Some kids can find it overwhelming”
When children don’t speak Irish all the time, Adrian explains, they have varying levels of ability so, when they move from primary to secondary school, some kids can find it overwhelming. Some of them are playing catch-up all the way.
“You have an idea by their enthusiasm and the homework who’s coping and who isn’t. When there’s an activity in the class the ones that stay silent are finding it harder in my experience.”
“I show them my interest in Irish”
The first lesson Adrian teaches students is his passion for the language. He teaches in Gaeltacht areas during the summer and has friends who are solicitors or working on radio and television and they all use Irish. As he says, this is a side of the language – it’s relevance for a career in professional services and creative industries – that kids probably have never associated with it.
Learning the language not the notes
Adrian’s unique selling point is that he restricts his classes to seven students and classes run for two and a half to three hours not just one hour. That means he can spend more time individually with students answering their specific queries – not just handing out notes – so they understand how the language actually works not just what to write down.
Irish in an instant
Students can get in touch with Adrian if they have a problem or want him to check their school work by using their phones. Adrian asks them to take a photo of their writing then text or email it to him, and asking him to review it.
“I get back quickly to them with any corrections always letting them know why they are needed.”
Word of mouth
It can be expensive to buy the books needed for classes and then to pay for advertising. Adrian advertises on Facebook and in local newspapers and has printed flyers to go up in local businesses – but the most effective advertising, he says, is word of mouth from satisfied customers.
“When I started up, I didn’t want to borrow money so every cent invested came from my own pocket.”
“The Business Startup Package was brilliant”
Adrian’s accountant sorted it out by getting in touch with Bank of Ireland in O’Connell Street, Limerick. FCR Media created a website for Crash Course Education.
“Their attention to detail was superb and the design came out exactly as I wanted. Any changes I wanted to make were done within a 12-hour turnaround.”
Facebook is great for attracting people, says Adrian, especially young people, but everyone likes to visit the website and check out the business that way. In the future, Adrian plans to roll out comprehensive one-day courses in Cork and Dublin, which cover through the entire Irish leaving Cert course.
Find out more
Find out more about the Bank of Ireland Business Start-up Package here.