Skip to content

Lusa Language School

https://www.lusaschool.com
André Teixeira | Lisbon, Portugal
“I loved this business and I didn’t want it to close. I felt this immense weight upon my shoulders because it was on me to ensure that didn’t happen. I also realized that it was in my reach to do something about it.”
André Teixeira, Lusa Language School

Andre Teixeira, the owner of a Lisbon-based language school, utilized a range of tools from Google to create new digital offerings, find new students to sign up for his language classes, and help teachers interact with them inside the virtual classroom.

André Teixeira has no hesitation when asked to describe his business’ greatest asset. “Lisbon,” he says. “We are located in a city bursting with life, beautiful beaches, bustling nightlife, and endless secret spots to be explored.” No wonder then that, when André first founded Lusa Language School, it was a physical business in almost every respect. Teachers largely taught in a physical classroom. Students, many of whom came from locations around the globe, were offered assistance not only in terms of finding accommodations but also in finding their way around a city André cares about passionately.

But what happens when that city goes into lockdown? No nightlife. No beaches. Perhaps, as André feared, no students either. “I loved this business and I didn’t want it to close,” André recalls, “I felt this immense weight upon my shoulders because it was on me to ensure that didn’t happen. I also realized that it was in my reach to do something about it.” He moved fast. The first order of business was to create new digital products such as online group classes; that meant restructuring his website. He developed the new designs and content and got it up and running in less than two weeks. Then he needed to let everyone know about the new offerings, which meant reorienting his marketing; André turned that around even quicker. “I had to rethink everything. It reminded me of when I first started the school actually,” he recalls. “The difference this time was that I had to rely on digital tools to get it done. I’m glad I did. I can’t imagine what I would have done without them.”

Once classes shifted online, Andre’s teachers and students moved to video conferencing. Instead of teachers handing out assignments in class, they uploaded them to Google Drive. André himself turned increasingly to other aspects of the Google Workspace, which he said played a “very, very important role in the day-to-day operations of the school—and at a much lower cost than similar software used by larger companies.” Google Sheets served as a great way for Lusa’s staff to share information with potential new students. Google Ads formed the cornerstone of the company’s prospecting strategy itself, becoming its primary marketing tool. Google Ads formed the cornerstone of the company’s prospecting strategy itself, becoming its primary marketing tool. Search and YouTube campaigns led the school to not only maintain its operations but even increase its overall turnover, by bringing +40% the amount of signups of pre-Covid times. André’s team also continued to utilize social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to connect with its community online, although often in new ways. For instance, while Lusa’s social posts previously offered windows into the school’s day-to-day goings-on, they served the added and critical purpose during the pandemic of keeping the Lusa community updated during a time of rapid change.

All of this led to a shift in André’s business model: from physical-first to a dual-track hybrid of offering courses both online and (when COVID-19 restrictions began to lift in summer 2020) in-person. André intended to continue this way indefinitely—until a second and mostly unexpected lockdown came to Portugal in 2021. But this time André was ready. “It was a completely different experience from the first lockdown,” he explains. “The digital capabilities we implemented in 2020 allowed us to shift much faster and cope much easier in 2021. We are much stronger now than before.” Indeed Lusa has actually added staff over the past year and André himself is still quite optimistic about the future. He knows it’s going to be a more digitally focused future for Lusa too, and he’s already started thinking of new ways to integrate digital tools into the learning experience.

See their Stories

Cake Cowboy
“There’s no way we would have been able to properly communicate who we are or what we stood for without digital tools, and there’s clearly no way we would have survived the pandemic without them either,”
Easyfood
“While other companies laid off salespeople during COVID-19, we learned how to work in an entirely new way and thus grew our workforce by about 30% instead.”
Haltian
“While Haltian has always been digitally driven, what the pandemic really taught us was how to make the most out of the tools we already had and add new ones on the fly,”
La Maison des Soeurs Macarons
“Improving digital visibility is what allowed us to save this centuries-old family company. It was simply a matter of survival at first. It is now a vital cornerstone of our business.”
Hooray Heroes
“We are fully digital and we are nimble, so we are well positioned to persevere in difficult situations.”
Little Box of Books
“The reality of having a business today is that you can’t not have a robust digital presence, which meant I had to become digitally literate quickly when I decided to open Little Box of Books.”
Moon Dot
“This one tiny tweak allowed us to dramatically increase our visibility with those who look for products using Google Image search.”
Progetto Quid
“For our young social enterprise, the most important challenge was being able to not just survive COVID-19 but actually emerge stronger,”
Gym+Coffee
“We had zero experience in retail and zero technical skills, what we did have was a range of low-cost digital tools that were easy to use, even for us. We just figured it out.”
Honingwinkel.nl
“This was a group effort and digital tools made it all so much easier and more affordable than any of us were expecting,”
Botín
“We may be the world’s oldest restaurant, but we see the value of these next-generation tools. I have no doubt that we will continue to use more of them heading into the future.”
Emmantina Houses
“Without the use of the online tools, we would be permanently closed right now without a doubt,”
Pott Au Chocolat
“It was such a relief that we made the decision to lean into digital when we did. It provided a solid base to build from in a confusing time. Honestly, I don’t know how we would have managed without it.”

Want more insights on the Digital Safety Net?

Sign up to be the first to receive our reports and findings.