Taking on franchisee's

Taking on franchisee's

27th February 2018

Grow your driving school

So, you want to grow your own driving school, expand and bring in other ADI’s on a franchise? Brilliant, but first let’s just talk about the good and bad points about doing this.

I want to be completely honest and transparent with you. Brining in other instructors is not for everyone. You may well have a full diary of pupils and you are turning work away, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be a successful franchisor operating a fleet of cars – Let’s look at this in more detail.

Firstly, you’ve got your existing brand and reputation to protect. You’re obviously good at what you do otherwise you wouldn’t be thinking about expanding your business. Sometimes, letting people into your brand can be a hard thing to do, naturally you’re going to have worries and concerns.

Some of these concerns could be passing pupils over to your franchisee’s, even more so if these new pupils came from recommendations from past pupils or are family friends etc. Is the standard of teaching of your new franchisee going to be the same as yours? Do they teach in a completely different manner and way than you?

Do they have different views and opinions than you? How much of a control freak are you because if your franchisee operates differently than you, would this then freak you out and lead to bad working relations between you both?

I could go on to write a whole host of other concerns you may have but I’m guessing that you get the general idea of what I’m trying to say to you here. I suppose in some cases that’s why instructors prefer to bring in PDI’s that they’ve trained themselves as this way, they’ve had the opportunity to mould and shape that PDI into their way of thinking and demonstrated to them their working and business ethics.

Just to summarise, if you are looking at bringing in an existing qualified ADI, then here’s just a few things to take into consideration:

  • Their previous experience – How long, where, who with etc
  • Their personality – People buy from people
  • Their hygiene and workspace hygiene – Presentable appearance, clean car, clean in-car area
  • How good of an instructor are they – Research them and look for reviews and testimonials
  • Pupil and self-management skills – Diary, teachings aids, working hours, town covered etc
  • What’s their drive and motivation like?

What are their needs?
The above heading is exactly what it says on the tin? You’ve got to be realistic with this question and work out just exactly what it is YOU want and exactly what THEY want. Once you’ve worked this out, you then have to decide whether your offerings and business model can fit in with your franchisee’s needs and wants.

It’s no good taking on a franchisee if they want everything under the sun and you can’t deliver these such as a car, 30 pupils, 28 days paid holiday each year plus Bank Holidays, equipment provided such as mobile phone, teaching aids and apps. Are you expecting them to wear a branded uniform and what’s their resistance to this if any? How much money do they want to earn? Are you providing on-going training etc.

In a nutshell, you’ve got to have a good idea and be clear of what you want, what type of person you want working for you and what your business model wants to look like. From my experience, you’re probably not going to get the perfect person and there’ll probably have to be compromises, but it’s a case of how much do you compromise and what are the risks.

What if they want to quit my franchise?
Unfortunately, due to the nature of our business, not every franchisee will stay with you. I’m sorry to tell you that, but it’s the truth. You will get ADI’s leaving you. The reasons could be that they themselves want to start up on their own or they want to join another franchise.

Whatever their reasons, it’s a good idea to mention in their terms of business how much cancellation period you require? Some schools want 3 weeks while others want 8 weeks. I know of schools who want even more than this. But in my experience, if someone wants to go then it’s probably much better to let them go sooner rather than later. After all, do you really want someone working with you who is itching to leave as this could have a detrimental effect on your business.

Where do I find instructors?
Ok, this this is assuming you haven’t trained up your own PDI’s and turned them into ADI’s.

One of the simplest ways to source ADI’s is to start networking with trainers in your area and other surrounding areas to you. If you can build up a good relationship with trainers, then this could act as a feeder-funnel for you. I would offer the trainer an incentive such as £100 per trained PDI they push your way. Just because a trainer is training PDI’s it doesn’t necessarily mean that they offer them a position with their own driving school once they’ve qualified.

Put the word out on the street. Speak with other local instructors and let them know that you’re looking to take on franchisee’s. Especially speak with other instructors who are already in a franchise with another driving school, it could well be that they’re looking to join a different franchise, especially if yours is a better package than theirs. Give them your business card so they have a contact to call should they change their mind in a few weeks or months’ time.

Be pro-active and push yourself out there. Do Facebook marketing campaigns and Google Ad-Word campaigns too if it suits. Perhaps advertise a special promotion or offer. Then follow this up with re-targeting campaigns. It goes without saying that you will need a good website and a page which can showcase why ADI’s should join you.

If you decide to hire our services, then this is something that’s included in our Option 3 business mentoring services.

Everything I’ve wrote in this Blog are just small bits of information to help you make your mind up as to whether or not taking on franchisee’s is for you. As you can imagine, this is not everything, there are other things to take into consideration too when expanding your business. Taking on franchisee’s can be hard work but it can also be rewarding too. Without stating the obvious, do you have the time to take on franchisee’s and deal with the telephone enquiries, answer emails, return messages from Facebook messenger etc.

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought and if you want to know more about growing your driving school, then just simply swing on by and have a look at our Option 3 support package.

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