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Working Vs Private English Lessons Vs Starting a Small Business in Poland


Kazikowski 17 | 101
22 Sep 2011 #1
Hiya! Just another similar topic...

Next year I'll be in Torun Poland, so I'm considering my income options. I'm proficient in Polish & English, though my Polish is only at a communicative level and NOT a professional level.

My "Plan A" is to find some work, though it's difficult with the current job market. Plus I would like the freedom to take vacation breaks when I want.

My "Plan B" involves getting a CELTA. I realise that teaching english is viable, though I'm not confident in my abilities (yet). Teaching privately should provide me with a decent income, plus the time freedom. I.e. When the holiday season comes around, I go with it, and put tutoring on hold. The problem with this option is initially building a customer base.

My "Plan C" is starting a small business. It will give me a decent income. Only downside is the time needed to nurture a new small venture. However, I'll be able to take a break together with the holiday season, if I want. Also, another downside is the current economic climate, and I hear businesses are dropping all over poland.

So whats Better?
teflcat 5 | 1,032
22 Sep 2011 #2
So whats Better?

More thorough planning and realistic expectations.

I would like the freedom to take vacation breaks when I want.

Wouldn't we all?

Teaching privately should provide me with a decent income, plus the time freedom. I.e. When the holiday season comes around, I go with it, and put tutoring on hold.

You make it sound so easy. Good luck.

The problem with this option is initially building a customer base.

Right. Took me years.

starting a small business. It will give me a decent income. Only downside is the time needed to nurture a new small venture. However, I'll be able to take a break together with the holiday season, if I want.

Your optimism is enviable. Hey, good luck to you, but I think you need to do a lot more research.
OP Kazikowski 17 | 101
22 Sep 2011 #3
lol ok fine. I understand. But its good to be optimistic. Plus.....I should make this critical point here....I am going over to Poland for somewhat of a working holiday of undefined time. Thats my situation. I'm not planning for the next 10 years, or even 5 years. Just hoping to to secure myself there for some time, if that makes sense.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Sep 2011 #4
My "Plan A" is to find some work, though it's difficult with the current job market. Plus I would like the freedom to take vacation breaks when I want.

In Poland, you take breaks when the business says you can, not when you feel like it. It's also worth pointing out that there's really not much in Torun for non-fluent speakers of Polish.

My "Plan B" involves getting a CELTA. I realise that teaching english is viable, though I'm not confident in my abilities (yet). Teaching privately should provide me with a decent income, plus the time freedom. I.e. When the holiday season comes around, I go with it, and put tutoring on hold. The problem with this option is initially building a customer base.

The other problem is that there's plenty of other people who have discovered Torun too, and there's not that much of a market. Torun's not a particularly wealthy place, and there's already plenty of natives there enjoying its charms.

My "Plan C" is starting a small business. It will give me a decent income. Only downside is the time needed to nurture a new small venture. However, I'll be able to take a break together with the holiday season, if I want. Also, another downside is the current economic climate, and I hear businesses are dropping all over poland.

And without Polish, what do you expect to do?

More thorough planning and realistic expectations.

Let me be the first to predict a thread next year : "IN TORUN WITH NO MONEY HELP".

Wouldn't we all?

Indeed. I'd quite like to bugger off to Lithuania with my friend soon. I can't :(

You make it sound so easy. Good luck.

Given that he's never lived here, I wonder when he'll learn the first nasty lesson.

Right. Took me years.

And in Torun, a place rather popular with Americans and some Brits, he's going to have a hell of a hard time. There's only 200,000 people there - and not that much cash compared to other cities. Yet it's popular with foreigners. Not the smartest place to try and make a living, I suppose.

Your optimism is enviable. Hey, good luck to you, but I think you need to do a lot more research.

He'll just be another one that Poland eats up and spits out.

I am going over to Poland for somewhat of a working holiday of undefined time.

Lesson number 1 in Poland - Poland doesn't work for people who aren't able to make concrete plans. Indecision is usually punished here.
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
23 Sep 2011 #5
My "Plan C" is starting a small business. It will give me a decent income. Only downside is the time needed to nurture a new small venture. However, I'll be able to take a break together with the holiday season, if I want. Also, another downside is the current economic climate, and I hear businesses are dropping all over poland.

To be successful starting you own business takes only one thing...commitment. That's it.
OP Kazikowski 17 | 101
23 Sep 2011 #6
He'll just be another one that Poland eats up and spits out.

I'm standing right here...

And in Torun, a place rather popular with Americans and some Brits

If there is a high english speaking population, then surely it means that people whom are not as fluent in polish CAN live here.

To be successful starting you own business takes only one thing...commitment. That's it.

Optimism. I like it.

More thorough planning and realistic expectations

How else would I start off this thread? Should I have given these 3 options:

Plan A - Rent a flat while looking for work. Won't find any work because there is none to be had.
Plan B - Don't bother getting a CELTA because the private tutoring market in Torun is oversaturated allready.
Plan C - Start-up a small business which will probably fail, and even if it doesn't, will require myself to work 80 hour weeks.

Honestly, I have to keep up a positive outlook, otherwise I might as well just lay down and die. All I want to do is to have some sort of break, a "working holiday", go to Poland, find a partner, and just live a bit. But I have to become self-sustainable whilst over there. Here lies the dilemma: Work VS Teach VS Business.
pip 10 | 1,659
23 Sep 2011 #7
I have started my own business in Warsaw and I am not completely bilingual- I speak Polish but not fully bilingual. People don't seem to mind so far. I have set my own hours. I have been open for almost three weeks and have already paid October and Novembers rent. The hardest part so far is the advertising of my business. We have 10,000 flyers to be distributed, I sell in store and also on Allegro and I am hitting up the English community and of course the Polish.

This place has taken 4 months of prep time. Getting the stock ready, getting the store ready- it is a huge commitment. I would suggest that if you can't commit to something whole heartedly then don't do it. It isn't worth the hassle. As for the language- that will come, it is possible to work if you are not totally bilingual.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Sep 2011 #8
If there is a high english speaking population, then surely it means that people whom are not as fluent in polish CAN live here.

It also means that you've got a lot of competition for the only thing you can offer - your status as a native speaker of English. As I said - it's not a wealthy city compared to others, yet it has a

This place has taken 4 months of prep time. Getting the stock ready, getting the store ready- it is a huge commitment. I would suggest that if you can't commit to something whole heartedly then don't do it. It isn't worth the hassle.

And you've been here for a long time, haven't you?

I get the impression that the original poster thinks that he can step off the plane and do whatever he likes..but -

But I have to become self-sustainable whilst over there.

Good luck with that. It'll be much harder than you think.
PWEI 3 | 612
23 Sep 2011 #9
Kazikowski
If there is a high english speaking population, then surely it means that people whom are not as fluent in polish CAN live here.

You can live in a town where the only people who speak English are your students. However, I would not recommend trying it.

Kazikowski
Plan B - Don't bother getting a CELTA because the private tutoring market in Torun is oversaturated allready.

You've got that wrong: you will need a CELTA precisely because there is so much competition.
pip 10 | 1,659
23 Sep 2011 #10
And you've been here for a long time, haven't you?

9 years...I guess that is long
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
23 Sep 2011 #11
Harry and Delph are starting to remind of the two old guys in the balcony in the Muppet Show. If you especially Delph, put as much effort into your own enterprises as you do frantically trawling this forum, desperately searching for people with ideas that you would like to pour icy water on, the I suggest you would be a more successful and happier person. You are obviously not happy or successful, as you enjoy negativity so much. If somebody wants to come to Poland, let them find out for themselves, it's not like you actually care what happens to them is it?

you are one big negative vibe. Your attitude smells of pettiness and jealousy.
PWEI 3 | 612
23 Sep 2011 #12
rozumiemnic
If somebody wants to come to Poland, let them find out for themselves, it's not like you actually care what happens to them is it?

Given the choice, I'd really prefer that they didn't find out the hard way.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
23 Sep 2011 #13
You've got that wrong: you will need a CELTA precisely because there is so much competition.

he was being ironic in order to highlight yours and Delph's negativity.
Good luck to anyone who has ideas. If they don't work out....so what? Please don't pretend you care about strangers on a public forum, PWEI.
PWEI 3 | 612
23 Sep 2011 #14
rozumiemnic
he was being ironic in order to highlight yours and Delph's negativity.

Could you be so kind as to quote just a single word of negativity which I have posted with regard to his plans. Thank you in advance.

rozumiemnic
Please don't pretend you care about strangers on a public forum, PWEI.

While you might be entirely selfish, not everybody is. If I didn't care about complete strangers, I wouldn't have ever come to Poland.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
23 Sep 2011 #16
If somebody wants to come to Poland, let them find out for themselves

The guy did ask for advice. He obviously needs to hear the hard truth and he asked for it. Optimism is great but it often goes with naivety. I don't think anyone was pouring cold water on his plans; just warning him of the very real obstacles that await him.

Good kuck, Kazikowski. The better prepared you are, the more fun you'll have.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
23 Sep 2011 #17
I don't think anyone was pouring cold water on his plans; just warning him of the very real obstacles

fair enough cat, but you know what I am saying too, especially about certain people, for whom negativity and obstacle building seem to be hobbies.

"He'll just be another one that Poland eats up and spits out". - useful advice or negative and nasty? You tell me.
Richfilth 6 | 415
23 Sep 2011 #18
To the OP:

Congratulations on your optimism; you will certainly need it to cope with the crushing bureaucracy, no matter what path you take.

While I don't mean to sound as negative as the others, you really need to address why you specifically want to live in Torun. While beautifully rustic, the entire region is economically deprived, and unless you can offer something absolutely new to the area, you will not earn enough money to live on, let alone to live comfortably. The hourly rates of language teachers are among the lowest in the country, and being a student town means that your prospective client base is both poor and unreliable.

If you don't know what to do, you can be a teacher with no qualifications; there are plenty of those already, filling up the McSchools and bars of the big towns. But without a large network of contacts, or some serious cash in your pocket already, or both, any new business you wish to create in Poland will fail just as it would wherever you come from. You will need to be in Poland for quite a while to understand what starting a business here really means.

Good luck whatever you do.
PWEI 3 | 612
23 Sep 2011 #19
rozumiemnic
Harry...get a life

So you mean that you can't actually quote even a single negative word I said about the OP's plan, because you were lying when you claimed that I had been negative about them.

With the way that you repeatedly whine about things that do not even exist, I can see why your boyfriend was driven to drink.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
23 Sep 2011 #20
harry you sad f.uck stay on topic
PWEI 3 | 612
23 Sep 2011 #21
rozumiemnic
harry you sad f.uck stay on topic

Don't lie about me and I most certainly will.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
23 Sep 2011 #22
I would not recommend trying it.

You've got that wrong:

OK this is the tone of your "help" - negative and patronising, like you, although I will admit you're not as bad as your sidekick DD

BTW I am not "whining", nor am I a "liar" (Harry do grow up, your playground language cracks me up every time) - I am merely stating a PF truth which is obviously spot on, or you wouldn't be so upset about it.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Sep 2011 #23
If you especially Delph, put as much effort into your own enterprises as you do frantically trawling this forum, desperately searching for people with ideas that you would like to pour icy water on, the I suggest you would be a more successful and happier person. You are obviously not happy or successful, as you enjoy negativity so much.

I'm actually both, but thanks anyway :) In fact, I'm sitting right now, taking a nice break while I figure out a particularly tricky problem with a student. Not a bad life when you can take breaks as you please, is it?

Good kuck, Kazikowski. The better prepared you are, the more fun you'll have.

Can't talk for other countries, but I'd say in Poland, planning always works. Poles tend to be impressed by elaborate plans - and they like it even more when people stick to them.

You will need to be in Poland for quite a while to understand what starting a business here really means.

I've run a business for two years and I still don't have a clue about the mentality of some people. I know two or three foreigners who, despite having wonderful business plans, came up short in Poland because they simply didn't expect some of the (inevitable) problems. A great example - someone told me "they won't pay, what do I do?".

you really need to address why you specifically want to live in Torun.

As strange as it sounds - if he went just up the road to Bydgoszcz, he could earn a decent living as an English teacher there. Not much competition, and plenty of people.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
23 Sep 2011 #24
I'm actually both,

your posts demonstrate the opposite, sorry..:)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Sep 2011 #25
What can I say, I'm from a place that people always talk bluntly ;)

To be honest, I don't want to see someone coming here and suffering. It's not a bad place if you've got your wits about you, but Poland really does swallow up and spit out quite a few people.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
23 Sep 2011 #26
You are not being honest at all, to be honest. What do you care? Just read back through your posts, and between the lines is a bitter, worried person.
Lyzko
23 Sep 2011 #27
My experience in Germany has proven the same, being a non-native born "Auslaender", despite bilingual native German language and cross-cultural skills! Poland surely has no monopoly on "swallowing" people up and "spitting" them out, as you put it-, I mean let's face it!-:)
Wedle
23 Sep 2011 #28
My "Plan A" is to find some work, though it's difficult with the current job market. Plus I would like the freedom to take vacation breaks when I want.

Should read, " Plan A" I would like to find a company who will pay me while I learn the ropes in Poland, then maybe become a competitor and steal their business idea.The company should also realize that I am so good, one of my conditions will be I can take free time whenever I want.

My idea - You need to become the MD

My "Plan B" involves getting a CELTA. I realise that teaching english is viable, though I'm not confident in my abilities (yet). Teaching privately should provide me with a decent income, plus the time freedom. I.e. When the holiday season comes around, I go with it, and put tutoring on hold. The problem with this option is initially building a customer base.

Should read, " Plan B " I have heard teaching English is a walk in the park, also I get to meet girls and get paid, plus all that free time.

My idea - you are in a time warp it is 2011 not 2001.

My "Plan C" is starting a small business. It will give me a decent income. Only downside is the time needed to nurture a new small venture. However, I'll be able to take a break together with the holiday season, if I want. Also, another downside is the current economic climate, and I hear businesses are dropping all over poland.

Should read " Plan C" I am so fu(kin smart I will arrive in Poland in a booming economy and start up a biz and be a millionaire inside 5 mins.

My idea - give me your money and I will donate it to a worthy charity, as you will be knee deep in debt inside 6 months.

Here is a " Plan D" for you. Turn up with enough money for 2 months, do not severe your ties back home, use the period to look for a job or do R& D. If all fails you will return home a wiser man.
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
23 Sep 2011 #29
And without Polish, what do you expect to do?

A very important point.

I have spoken Polish all my life, as well as being able to read and write it (I've even got a GCSE lol). I also have family in Poland who could help me, and having spent a fair bit of time there, I also have an idea about how things "work" over there. Yet I still think it would be extremely difficult to make a business work over there, and I wouldn't really like to try. Optimism and commitment is to be admired, but Poland is still a long way from being an easy place to make money. Those who can, must either be extremely lucky, extremely dedicated, or just extremely well-connected.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
23 Sep 2011 #30
Those who can, must either be extremely lucky, extremely dedicated, or just extremely well-connected.

The second one for most of us. The academic term is just starting over here and, along with my state uni job, I'll be teaching in a company and also at a private language school. A well as that I never turn down a proofreading job. The result is that I usually work seven days a week but earn a decent living. It's possible to earn money in Poland, but it's hard work.


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