Australia’s education system has a good international reputation, scoring well above average in international education league tables hence it is a country where an education agency business is bound to thrive. So, if you have a robust background in education matters, and you intend starting your business in Australia, then you should consider an education agency business.

There are many would-be international students aspiring to go to colleges/universities in Australia who are trapped simply because they don’t know how to go about it, that is why it is important to set up your own education agency business in Australia.

Starting an education agency business in Australia is not too expensive except for the money required to rent and furnish an office space, acquire the relevant license and permits et al. Running this type of business requires that you should be trained as an educationist. This is indeed a very lucrative business in Australia because of the inflow of students from different parts of the world.

If you are truly convinced that starting an education agency is the right business for you, then you need to write your business plan. The essence of writing a business plan before starting any business is for you to have a roadmap of how you want to set up, manage and expand your business. So, ensure that you consider all the factors involved when preparing your business plan.

Below is a sample education agents (agency) business plan template in Australia that will help you successfully write yours with little or no difficulty.

A Sample Education Agency Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

Education agents help clients handle their educational concerns, help them gain admission to colleges or universities of their choice, help them process admission and help them package their applications and documents amongst other services. They also help their clients (international students) obtain work permits in their new country of residence.

Statistics show that education agents helped to secure 75 percent of enrollments in Australian schools in 2018, according to a government report on the use of agents in the country’s education system. The report is based on data from Australia’s Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).

This percentage rises when it comes to the ELICOS sector where agents enabled 86 percent of enrolments, similar to trends from the previous four years. Universities have increased their use of agents since 2014, with agents playing a role in 73 percent of enrolments in 2018 versus 65 percent in 2014.

The education agency industry is indeed a thriving industry in Australia and the government reports that the country’s 693,750 international students were worth AUS$35.2 billion to the Australian economy and supported 240,000 jobs in 2018. International enrollments grew by 11.4 percent from 2017 to 2018 across all sectors, and the higher education sector experienced the most growth (14.4 percent).

One thing is certain about starting an education agency, if you are able to conduct your market research and feasibility studies, you are not going to struggle to secure clients because there are always individuals and even educational institutions / schools that would want to hire your services from time to time.

2. Executive Summary

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency is a registered and licensed education agency that will be based in Parkville – Melbourne, Australia. We have been able to secure a standard office facility in the heart of the city.

We will handle all aspects of education agency related services; such as securing and processing admission for students, securing scholarship for students, providing college selection services, providing educational consulting services, providing educational guidance counseling services, providing educational support services, providing educational testing services, attending school buses and facilitating student exchange programs.

We are aware that to run a standard education agency in Australia can be demanding which is why we are well trained, certified and equipped. Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency is a client – focused and result driven education agency that provides broad – based services at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pockets of our clients.

We will offer standard and professional education support services to all to our clients at the national and international level. We will ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass our clients’ expectations whenever they hire our services.

At Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency, our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professionals who are well experienced in the testing and educational support industry.

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Our plan is to position the business to become the leading brand in the education agencies line of business in the whole of Parkville – Melbourne, Australia, and also to be amongst the top 20 education agencies in Australia within the first 10 years of operation.

This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely be realized because we have done our research and feasibility studies and we are enthusiastic and confident that Parkville – Melbourne, Australia is the right place to launch our education agency business.

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency is founded by Charlotte Aussie. The organization will be managed by Charlotte Aussie since she has the educational qualifications and adequate work experience to manage such business. Charlotte Aussie graduated from the University of Melbourne with a degree in Sociology. She has over 5 years’ experience working in various capacities within the education agency services industry in Australia.

3. Our Services Offerings

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency is going to offer varieties of services within the scope of the testing and educational support industry in Australia. Our intention of starting our education agency business is to favorably compete with leading players in the industry both in Australia and in the world at large.

We are well prepared to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in Australia to achieve our business goals, aim and ambition. Our business offerings are listed below;

  • Assist students in securing and processing admission
  • Assist students in securing scholarships
  • Assist schools in marketing local and international students
  • Providing college selection services
  • Providing educational consulting services
  • Providing educational guidance counseling services
  • Providing educational support services
  • Providing educational testing services
  • Facilitating student exchange programs

4. Our Mission & Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to build an education agency brand that will become the number one choice for both international and national students seeking to study in Australia or outside Australia.
  • Our mission is to ensure we remain a leading education agency services provider whilst maintaining our core values, integrity and customer-centric proposition.

Our Business Structure

Ordinarily we would have settled for a hand full of full – time staff members, but as part of our plans to build a standard education agency business in Parkville – Melbourne, Australia, we have perfected plans to get it right from the beginning which is why we are going the extra mile to ensure that we hire competent, honest and hardworking employees.

The kind of education agency business we intend building and the business goals we want to achieve is what informed the amount we are ready to pay for the best hands available in and around Parkville – Melbourne, Australia.

We will ensure that we only hire people that are qualified, honest, hardworking, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more depending how fast we meet our set target.

In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Education Agents/Consultants
  • Admin and HR Manager
  • Marketing and Sales Executive
  • Accountant
  • Customer Care Executive / Front Desk Officer

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Office:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Education Consultants/Agents

  • Assist students in securing and processing admission
  • Assist students in securing scholarships
  • Assist schools in marketing local and international students
  • Responsible for providing college selection services
  • Responsible for providing educational consulting services
  • Responsible for providing educational guidance counseling services
  • Responsible for providing educational support services
  • Responsible for providing educational testing services
  • Responsible for facilitating student exchange programs

Admin and HR Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily office activities.

Marketing and Sales Executive

  • Identify, prioritize, and reach out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Writing winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with company policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Document all customer contact and information
  • Represent the organization in strategic meetings
  • Help increase sales and growth for the organization

Accountant

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Create reports from the information concerning the financial transactions recorded by the bookkeeper
  • Prepare the income statement and balance sheet using the trial balance and ledgers prepared by the bookkeeper.
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization

Client Service Executive/Front Desk Officer

  • Welcomes students and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organization’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
  • Receives parcels/documents for the organization
  • Distribute mails in the organization

6. SWOT Analysis

With respect to our vision, our mission and the kind of business we want to setup, we don’t have any other option than to follow due process. Following due process involves hiring a business consultant to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our business.

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency hired the services of a seasoned business consultant with bias in startups in Australia to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to guide us in formulating other business strategies that will help us grow our business and favorable compete in the education agency services industry in Australia.

Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency.

  • Strength:

Our core strength lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team of highly qualified education consultants/agents and support staff members that can give our clients value for their money; a team that are trained, qualified and equipped to pay attention to details and to deliver excellent education consulting cum agency services.

We are well positioned because Melbourne retains second place in the Best Student Cities ranking this year, beaten only by Paris and we know we will attract loads of clients from the first day we open our doors for business.

  • Weakness:

As a new education agency, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from international students in the already saturated education agency industry in Australia; that is perhaps our major weakness. So also, we may not have the required cash to give our business the kind of publicity we would have loved to.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities in the education agency industry in Australia is massive considering the number of local and international students who can’t do without the key services provided by only education agencies. As matter of fact, three-quarters of international students who enrolled in Australia’s education institutions in 2018 worked with education agents. As a standard and well – positioned education agency, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.

  • Threat:

There are some threats we are going to face if we choose to start our education agency business in Australia and basically it is going to come from the present Covid-19 pandemic that is ravaging the world. As a matter of fact, international student enrollments have declined due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Division profit margins have been revised downwards for 2020, due to the decline in international student enrollments. Some other threats that we are likely going to face are unfavorable government policies that restricts international students from coming into Australia.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

If you a close observer of the trends in the education agency industry in Australia, you will agree that revenue growth for the Education and Training Division has been adjusted from 5.2 percent to 1.3 percent in 2020 primarily as a result of the decline in international student numbers.

No doubt, people are still patronizing education agency in Australia and statistics shows that there has been a 27 percent increase in the number of education agencies working with Australian educators since 2014, and a 35 percent growth in that same timeframe in international enrollments.

While there are thousands of agencies playing a role in recruitment, the vast majority (70 percent) of Australian enrolments are driven by large agencies with at least 500 employees. These larger agencies also tend to encounter lower visa rejection rates for their students, which reinforces the trend of Australian educators often choosing to work with them.

Although it is cheaper to start an education agency business in Australia, but the fact remains that it is a bit challenging for new entrants to come into this industry, the primary barrier being stiff registration requirements. As a matter of fact, education agencies must comply with local licensing criteria set out by registration boards and professional associations. This usually requires applicants to hold an accredited tertiary qualification before they can undertake written tests of skills, knowledge and abilities.

Lastly, the geographic distribution of education agencies the industry is based on population levels and universities locations. Education agencies tend to be located in areas with high population of students and concentration of universities.

8. Our Target Market

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the services of education agencies cut across students and schools at all levels i.e., local and international students. Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency will initially serve students within our immediate community, but that does not in any way stop us from growing to be able to compete with the leading education agencies and education consulting firms in and outside of Australia.

Our target market cuts across students at different level of studies, both local and international students. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with individuals, and schools in and around Australia.

Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically designed our products and services for;

  • International Students
  • Local students
  • Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
  • Tutorial colleges

Our Competitive Advantage

The level of competition in the education agency industry in Australia depends largely on the location of the business and of course the business model. If you can successfully create a unique brand identity or carve out a unique market, you are likely going to experience less competition.

For instance, if you are one of the few educational agencies in your location that has the most qualified and experienced educational consultants under your payroll, you are likely going to have an advantage over your competitors.

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency might be a new entrant into the education agency services industry in Australia, but the owners of the business are considered gurus. They are licensed and highly qualified education consultants and agents in Australia. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

We are mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions amongst education agencies in Australia, hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing. Our sales and marketing team will be recruited base on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization.

We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speak for us in the market place; we want to build a standard and world – class education agency that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients.

Our goal is to grow our business to become one of the top 20 education agencies in Australia which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the Parkville – Melbourne, Australia, but also in other cities in Australia and internationally.

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our education agency business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to migrant communities, schools, households and key stake holders in Parkville – Melbourne, Australia.
  • Advertise our business in relevant education magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
  • List our education agency business on yellow pages’ ads (local directories)
  • Attend relevant international and local business expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Create different packages for different category of clients (local students and international students et al) in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality services to them
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our education consulting firm
  • Engage in direct marketing approach
  • Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
  • Join relevant networks of educational support services providers with the aim of networking and marketing our services.

10. Sources of Income

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the education agency industry in Australia and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency will generate income by offering the following education support services;

  • Assist students in securing and processing admission
  • Assist students in securing scholarships
  • Assist schools in marketing local and international students
  • Providing college selection services
  • Providing educational consulting services
  • Providing educational guidance counseling services
  • Providing educational support services
  • Providing educational testing services
  • Facilitating student exchange programs

11. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain, there would always be local students, international students, schools and tutorial colleges et al who would need the services of education agents.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in Parkville – Melbourne, Australia, and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income / profits from the first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base beyond Parkville to other cities in Melbourne, Australia.

We have been able to examine the education agency services market space in Australia, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projections for Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency, it is based on the location of our business and the wide range of education support services that we will be offering to our clients;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $150,000 (AUS$)
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $250,000 (AUS$)
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $350,000 (AUS$)

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and natural disasters within the period stated above. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Our Pricing Strategy

Fixed prices and commissions for services rendered is a long – time tradition in the industry. However, for some types of education support services, flat fees make more sense because they allow clients to better predict service charge.

As a result of this, Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency will charge our clients (students) a flat fee for basic services such as securing and processing admission, securing scholarship, providing college selection services, providing educational consulting services, providing educational guidance counseling and support services, providing educational testing services, and facilitating student exchange programs et al.

At Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency we will keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to local and international students.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of Australia.

Here are the payment options that Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for our education agency services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

12. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Any business that wants to grow beyond the corner of the street or the city they are operating from must be ready to advertise and promote the business. We intend growing our education agency business which is why we have perfected plans to build our brand via every available means.

Below are the platforms we will leverage on to boost our brand and promote and advertise our business;

  • Place adverts on community based and international educational and related newspapers, radio and TV stations.
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from our loyal customers
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+ and other platforms to promote our business.
  • Ensure that we position our banners and billboards in strategic positions all around Parkville – Melbourne, Australia and other university towns
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas in and around university towns
  • Contact migrant communities, schools, and households et al by calling them up and informing them of Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency and the educational support services we offer
  • Advertise our business in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site
  • Brand all our official cars and school buses and ensure that all our staff wear our branded shirt or cap at regular intervals.

13. Financial Projections and Costing

When it comes to calculating the cost of starting an education agency, there are some key factors that should serve as a guide. The location and type of office space you are looking at, the licensing and permits involved and of course the number of staff members needed to kick start the business.

Having said that, below are some of the basic areas we will spend our startup capital in setting up our education agency business in Australia;

  • The total fee for incorporating the Business in Australia – $417 – $506 (AUS$)
  • The total cost for payment of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $9,400(AUS$)
  • The amount needed to acquire a suitable Office facility in a business district 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $40,000 (AUS$)
  • The total cost for hiring Business Consultant (including writing business plan) – $2,500 (AUS$)
  • The cost for equipping the office (computers, software applications, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $ 5,000 (AUS$)
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580 (AUS$).
  • The cost for purchase of the required software applications (testing results tracking Software, Payroll Software, CRM software, and Accounting Software et al) – $10,500 (AUS$)
  • The cost of launching our official Website – $600 (AUS$)
  • Budget for paying at least three employees for 3 months plus utility bills – $25,000 (AUS$)
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500 (AUS$)
  • Miscellaneous: $1,000 (AUS$)

Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need over one hundred and fifty thousand ($150,000) (AUS$) to successfully setup a small scale but standard education agency business in Australia. Please note that the salaries of all our staff for the first month is included in the expenditure.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency will be owned and managed by Charlotte Aussie. She is the sole financier of the firm, but may likely welcome partners later which is why she has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from my Bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 (AUS$) (Personal savings $40,000 (AUS$) and soft loan from family members $10,000 (AUS$)) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 (AUS$) from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our education support services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on a lower profit margin for a while.

Charlotte Aussie® Education Agency will make sure that the right foundation, structures, and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re-training of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.

We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to helping us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Securing a standard office facility (renovation of the facility inclusive): Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating part of the startup capital from the founder: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from our Banks: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of software applications, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances, and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationships with vendors and key players in the education services industry: In Progress.

Written by Ajaero Tony Martins

Ajaero Tony Martins is an Entrepreneur, Real Estate Developer and Investor; with a passion for sharing his knowledge with budding entrepreneurs.

He is the Founder of Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd, an Executive Producer @JanellaTV and also doubles as the CEO, POJAS Properties Ltd.

Writing a Education Agency Business Plan [Sample Template]