Setting up a ski school
If your dream is to set up a ski school, just like Emily, then there are a few things to bear in mind before making the leap:
Qualifications are crucial to this industry, and you need to make sure you have the right ones specific to the region where you want to set up in business. Gaining the right qualifications – especially those recognised by French officials – can take years, so make sure you do your research. Sites such as snowskool.com can help.
“Get to know the locals,” says Emily. “You will be trying to integrate into an environment where people have lived for a long time, so you have to speak to people and communicate your ideas.”
Emily also advises: “Be nice to people. You need to respect the village you’re going to live in and everyone around you. Some industries are very cut-throat, but I prefer ‘old school’ ways. I’m very lucky in Méribel. I do a lot of work with the town throughout the year and in return they let a British athlete use their playground. If the locals didn’t have the infrastructure and organise the resort the way they do, I wouldn’t be able to even think about being there.”
Make sure there is enough to do out of season. Emily opens her ski school during the holidays at Christmas and New Year, February half-term and Easter holidays, as well as other periods, and has diversified into sports massage. While the idea of setting up a school in a less popular area may appeal, it’s worth making sure there’s a way of bringing in money during the quiet off-season periods.