Thursday, 28 December 2017

Superdrive Academy

In this Blog I just want to show you the diversity there is amongst driving instructors. I recently met the owner of Superdrive Academy which is one of the driving schools in Andover, Hampshire.

Sam asked me to revamp her website for her so my initial thing to do is to contact the customer and arrange a meeting. This is a necessary step as I find it best to try and meet up with the owner of the driving school so I can hopefully get a vibe for their business and what their about. Before I travelled to meet Sam, I first researched to see how many driving instructors in Andover there was. I was surprised to see so many.

So I travelled to Andover to meet up with them and we met up for a coffee in the town centre. I asked them to tell me a few things about themselves and why they had chosen to be a driving instructor. During our conversation, it was clear to see that they where very enthusiastic and driven by two things, one was road safety and the other was running a business. After listening to them for a short while, it became clear that they where a business first and foremost and wanted to succeed in this area of business.

I also discovered that they had now taken on a new ADI and in the short amount of time they'd been in business, they had already expanded. This now means that they can offer twice as many driving lesson in Andover and receive a good healthy profit from just having one instructor extra out on the roads working for them.

What was very impressive was that they are diversifying into different markets and that is their clients generally come from different ethnic origins too. This means that they can cater for Urdu, Punjabi and Gujrati speaking clients as they now have a driving instructor in Andover on their franchisee who can also speak these languages. I asked them if this was a niche in their market and they sort of agreed that it is in their local area as there aren't any driving instructors that can cater for these languages.

I explained to them that this is great providing that there is enough demand in their community and there are lots of clients who prefer using their own language - as an after thought, I thought that this was a stupid sweeping statement by me.

Superdrive Academy wanted to be known as one of the best  instructors in Andover and they where only currently offering driving lessons to females. I asked them why this was and pointed out to them that they where limiting themselves and that if they wanted to expand then they would have to market themselves for both male and female pupils.

We chewed over the fat on this and in the end I managed to persuade them to change their offering to also cater for both male and female. By doing this meant that they wasn't restricting their growth rate. So, if they wanted to expand their staff even further by taking on extra driving instructors then they could do this sooner rather than later.

Superdrive Academy already have a website so we got down to talking business and discussing what their requirements where and what their end goal was. We discussed lot of things such as their design, brand, look and feel, exposure on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

We had to reevaluate their pricing structure, not just for normal driving lessons but also for offering discounts for any block bookings they wanted and any student discounts and those sort of things. Superdrive Academy didn't want to be one of those driving instructors in Andover who offer cheap driving lessons near me gang. Instead, they wanted to be very competitive and also be the leader in price in a few years to come.

After a few hours I had all the information I needed and it was time now to get back to the office and start making a strategy for Superdrive Academy in Andover so we both went through deadlines and made a plan going forward. I told them that I would touch base with them in one week's time to finalise the strategy and go through the design principles, if this could be signed off we could then move onto step 2 which will be to get the layout of her brand updated, create artwork and the layout for her website.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Driving Instructors In Bangor - Evolved

Earlier this year I travelled to Rhyl in North Wales and met up with a friend called Alan. Now Alan had just set himself up in business in his local town as a driving instructor. He didn't go down the mainstream root of offering manual driving lessons, he decided to teach in automatics. I touched base with Alan last week and he's now asked me to help him expand as he wants to be amongst the driving schools and driving instructors in Bangor as he feels that from a business point of view that there is also a market that he could enter.

Unless you've read my previous Blog on Alan and Evolved Driving School, you probably won't know that Evolved Automatic Driving School is only approximately 8 months old. What's impressive about this is that on an average, it takes approximately 3 to 4 years before a driving school starts to expand, there are various reasons for this for which I'm going to mention a few.

If you're like Alan, with lots of enthusiasm and taking his business model where now he's going to be competing amongst the other driving schools in Bangor then this does take a lot of commitment and sometimes even a little bit of luck. First of all, if you don't know the area that you're going to branch out to, then a little bit of research first needs to be done about that area.

Such as, how many driving schools are in that area, what prices are people paying for driving lessons in Bangor, what's the cheapest driving lessons in Bangor, what's the most expensive? These are just the basic questions any driving instructor should contemplate even before making any commitment into expanding.

Where's the nearest test centre, what's the population in Bangor? I could go on and on but I'm going to write a separate Blog on how to expand into different towns and cities in a separate Blog in the New Year.

One thing why I think Alan and Evolved Automatic Driving School will be successful, not just as a driving school in Llandudno or offering driving lessons in Llandudno, but by him expanding out to a different town already, he sort of has a niche market and a choice of specific customers to choose from. As far as both Alan and myself are aware, there is no one offering automatic driving lessons in Bangor yet?

So, for this reason Alan has started to capitalise on this point. There is no doubt that Alan will be successful with expanding his driving school as with the current climate, the demand is too large for the supply. There just aren't enough driving instructors out there yet. Unlike back in the 80s and 90's, there where far too many driving instructors and not enough work. It seems that the economy has shifted over the last 10 years or so and driving instructors just can't keep up with the demand.

Watch out for my next Blog in the New Year where I'll be discussing how to grow your driving school.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Shaun's Driving School

Welcome to Shaun's Driving School's Blog Spot.

Shaun's Driving School is one of the local independent driving instructors in Andover and has been established as one of the best driving schools in Andover for many years. Recently, Shaun's has been re-branded and has expanded. He is now known as Superdrive Academy

When you're looking for a driving instructor Shaun advises you to ask some of these basic questions:
  • What are your prices?
  • What is your pass rate?
  • Where can I take my driving test?
  • Where can I read some testimonials about you?
By asking any driving school these questions will give you a good idea whether or not you think that particular driving school is for you. Obviously you may have your own questions too but these are good questions to get you started.

Learning to drive can be quite a daunting experience for some, especially when you first start so sometimes it can be a good idea to choose a driving instructor that has been recommended to you by a friend or a member of the family. Most of Shaun's business comes from referrals and recommendations and very rarely feels the need to advertise.

As time has gone on, the driving test has been changed various times. This is to keep up to date with the ever increasing traffic and road systems. It's not just the theory test that has changed over the years but the practical driving test has also had to change too.

It has only been recently that their has been new changes introduced to the practical driving test. These changes include the removal of the turn in the road exercise and also the reversing round a corner exercise. These have been replaced with a pulling up on the right hand side of the road and reversing back for two car lengths. The DVSA have introduced this particular exercise as a study revealed that this was now a common thing to do, especially where parking has limited space on the left and their are spaces on the right.

The other changes to the driving test is the introduction to the forward bay park. Again the DVSA have recognised that this is common practice to drive forwards into a parking space and then reverse out. I suppose you've only got to have a look in some of the supermarket car parks to see examples of this.

I've seen this practiced many times before when pupils have been taking their driving lessons in Andover, I suppose we can look at the logical side of things and assume that just because it wasn't on the driving test back then there's no reason why we can't teach it - After all, it's common practice to do this type of manoeuvre when you go shopping.

In regards to learning to drive - the most common question we get asked as driving instructors is "how long will it take me to pass my driving test"? Of course, we are not mind readers and every pupil is different. If we was to go by the published figures by the DVSA, the average person will take approximately 45 hours coupled with 10 hours or so having private practice with friends or family.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Driving Lessons in Worksop

Worksop Driving School

So today was the launch of a new driving schools in Worksop called, wait for it.... Worksop Driving School. Andrew Buckler is the proud owner of his very own business and can now offer driving lessons in Worksop which is his home town.

Andrew contacted Get Your Own Driving School informing us that he wanted to leave his current franchise which was with LDC. So, we contacted Andrew and spent just over an hour on the phone with him discussing his needs.

At the end of the phone call we had managed to get a good idea and the scope of what Andrew wanted to achieve and when. It cam as no surprise that one of the reasons he wanted to leave was down to the franchise fee he was currently paying with his current franchisor.

We also got the impression that Andrew wanted to be in more control of his own destiny and drum up his own business. His concern with LDC was that he was getting enough supply of pupils through to him. I must say, 8 out of 10 people that contact us who want to go independent generally tell us that these are the main problems with their situation and going independent seems an attractive choice for them as they can work less hours but earn more money.

We had done some research and looked to see how many driving instructors in Worksop there where and we we're surprised to see that there was quite a few. So, we knew from a marketing point of view that we had our work cut out for us if we where to get Andrew's new business listed high within Google

We first set about designing Andrew his branding for his driving school, this included creating a logo for him, a colour scheme, the correct font and a basic style guide coupled with good imagery. When we showed Andrew our storyboard of his new business he was jumping with joy and so excited.

We then started creating some relationships for him with online directories, this is so we could gain him some Google juice and make a start on getting his website published. We also helped him set up his Facebook business page too and used the same sort of branding that we had used for his website.

Andrew gave us a tough deadline. He was in such a hurry to end his franchise with LDC that he asked us if we could help him to launch his business 4 weeks from the date he originally contacted us. This didn't give us much scope for error and it meant a lot or early mornings and late evenings but this is what we do to please our customers. We always go that extra mile and without any questions asked.

Anyway, we are now very happy to say that Andrew has now got himself his very own driving school
and already has a waiting list - business is very buoyant at the moment for driving instructors it seems.

If you're thinking of setting up your own driving school and want business support then please don't hesitate to contact us at