When I used to work in a big international multi-billion dollar bank. They always tried to be where the growth and wealth are.Markets that are growing have a lot of opportunities and is cheaper to be in.
But we are in international education, we are a small education agency. Does it really matter? Hell yes!
The math is simple: how much effort (and money) takes to get a new customer minus how much we get as revenue. If you spent less than you got as commission, you have a self sustaining agency.
Analyse if the countries you are focusing on are growing
Most agencies focus in one or more nationalities, but not all of them. To make your life easier, you can check which markets (countries) the students are coming from and set your marketing efforts around that.
Example: Your agency works with Nepal and Thailand.
In this case, we have Nepal which had an increase of 50% in the number of students coming in, against Thailand that had increase of 9%. If you work with both countries, the one with highest growth will have more leads and more word of mouth (from onshore and offshore students).
Below we've included a table of the top 10 countries by number of students going to Australia.
Look around for opportunities to sell to other nationalities
Colombia grew 34%. This means the number of students going to Australia is almost 1/3 more than it was in the previous year.
These students will need help an support to find the best course and apply for their visa (in case you have migration services).
More than ever is easier to reach these leads/students via Facebook, hiring a Colombian counsellor, and start getting a little bit of this huge influx of new students.
Keep an eye on the trends, here's the top 10
The more an agency wants to grow, the more they have to keep an eye in the trends of the industry. We can help with that, but applying to your business... only you can do it.
- China keeps it's pole position with A$10B in value and 24% increase.
- India. Far behind China, but still in the billions: A$3.4B and 19% growth.
- Malaysia. With growth in double digits too, Malaysia had 12% in increase of students.
- Nepal: 50% increase! Topping A$1.3B.
- Vietnam: with 7% increase and total of A$1.3B it's a sizeable market with a lot of students coming in.
- Korea: Growth of 6% and total of A$966M it's a market that keeps growing.
- Indonesia: Total of A$833M and 9% growth.
- Thailand: The same growth as Indonesia but with a slight smaller total market of A$819M.
- Hong Kong: A$785M and growth of 10%.
- Finally, Brazil: after a small decline in 2016, Brazilian students came 28%, with total of A$777M.
Takeaways for managers
Focus in the market that you operates that it's growing and study the possibility to understand and expand to other markets if you have a medium size agency. If you have a small agency. Focus in the market you have most experience. In case you can handle different markets (for example, if you speak Spanish), focus in the ones that are growing the faster.
Takeaways for counsellors
Understand the market you operate in and if it's growing or not. The capability of handling multiple nationalities will help a lot. The fact a market is growing, means more possibility for referrals, easier to find leads and easier sales process.