5 things you should know about instructor training and franchise
Are you thinking of becoming a driving instructor? Have you just qualified as a driving instructor? Are you shopping around?
We urge you to read the content below. We don’t in any way want to slander other companies but at the same time we do need to explain the differences between our training and franchise compared to many others.
Here are 5 key points you should consider before commencing driving instructor training or taking your first franchise out with a local or national company, written by the owner of driveJohnson’s, Anthony Johnson.
Sales people are on commission
Every business needs sales to keep their business running. The only issue when it comes to driving instructor training is that you don’t really want to talk to a sales person. Why? Because it’s your future livelihood – it’s not the same as buying a car. Do you think the salesman over the phone really cares if you qualify? Do you think he really cares if there is work in your area when you qualify?
Do they care that you might not be able to afford the driving school franchise? No.
Do they care about receiving their commission when you sign up? Yes.
As long as you have a pulse, meet the minimum requirements and have enough money, any sales person will sign you up with their interests first and, unfortunately, not yours.
That’s why we don’t use sales people at driveJohnson’s. We have tried it briefly in the past and the above happened. So now when you enquire about becoming an instructor, you will speak to the owner, Anthony Johnson (Grade A – 51/51 instructor ORDIT registered). We have around 400 instructors across the UK at the moment.
Vetting your circumstances properly
We will vet your circumstances fully and see if we can do the following:
- Offer you the training with one of our approved driving instructor trainers, local to your area.
- If we can’t offer you the training locally, we will tell you where your nearest place to train would need to be BEFORE taking your money. Many companies will do the opposite.
- We will look at your potential teaching areas and tell you if we can honestly provide you with enough work that you are looking for after you qualify.
If you have a pulse and the money, most companies will sign you up
Why don’t we just sign everyone up with a pulse and enough money to pay for the training?
- We don’t make any money on your training. To remain competitive with the other companies we have to charge a similar price, and every penny we charge you we pay to our instructor trainer.
- Where we will make money is if you decide to join our franchise (which is cheaper than other national driving schools).
- Where we won’t make money is if you train with us, qualify and leave us. That’s a risk we take, that works well when you serve people well.
- We also won’t make money if you train with us, join us briefly and then leave us because we are not good for the work. Again, this is a risk we take, because we are good for the work.
When you qualify with driveJohnson’s, you will inevitably join us, though we can’t smoke a cigar because your notice to leave us is just 4 weeks. That’s nothing compared to 12 months.
You won’t end up in horrific financial debt seeing out 4 weeks notice with us. You may end up in horrific financial debt seeing out 12 months notice and not getting enough work to pay for your car, franchise etc.
Money back on training schemes
It’s sounds great but it may cost you significantly more in the long run.
We’ve had many instructors join us on a dual franchise because the company they joined first and signed their life away to can’t provide them with work. They pay their first company £235-per-week franchise, then they pay us roughly 75% less per week and we provide them pupils. Crazy isn’t it? But it happens all the time. Just give us a call and we can provide you a list of instructors names and numbers who will tell you first-hand what they went through. We let them do the talking for us.
As a fellow ADI, you don’t want to see others go through the same pain and suffering if they can help it. We say nothing, you make your own educated decision!
The money back schemes usually work on this basis: receive half of your training costs after the first year and the second half of your training after 18 months or 2 years (depending on the company). However, if you miss any franchise payments, you may forfeit your money back guarantee. If you leave after 12 months which is the minimum agreement, you will usually lose your training costs.
The cost to get your money back
Let’s say you don’t miss a week’s franchise, here’s what you may end up paying over 18 months based on £235 a week franchise (a national driving school franchise with a mini cooper based on 25th January 2018).
£235 a week X 104 weeks (2 years) = £24,440
To refund your training in 2 separate instalments still leaves the company with a tidy profit.
Don’t sign your life away to save money at the start
12 month contract/24 month contracts compared to our 4 weeks notice
At driveJohnson’s, we believe that a franchise is a scratch each other’s back relationship.
If we don’t provide our instructors with the work, we fully expect them to leave us. driveJohnson’s could crumble in just 4 weeks if every instructor decided to leave us at the same time. It’s a lot of pressure, so that’s why we have to be good for the work. If we take on too many ADIs in one area, we could crumble in 4 weeks if we are not good for the work.
Why do we offer just 4 weeks notice when the national companies want 12 months?
Because we are good for the work. Simple. We have to do something different to the competition and this is it. We can’t put our money where our mouth is anymore than that!
Headline lesson prices to make you think you will earn more – there’s a bit more to consider!
At driveJohnson’s, we are all about working hard and keeping overheads low. Whatever area we have instructors in, you will find we charge just above the local average rate and in the worst scenario the local rate. We are never the cheapest. We are rarely the most expensive either.
We have over 300 instructors of which 200+ have joined us from other national companies charging a higher headline lesson price.
Here is a typical conversation that happens between Anthony Johnson and a potential instructor looking to join us:
|Instructor||The company I’m with are charging £30 an hour, i’m not sure if i’m willing to go down to £27 an hour.|
|Anthony||There’s a reason why you are calling me though isn’t there, what’s the reason? You’re not getting enough work right? How many hours are you doing a week?|
|Instructor||(Laughing) Yes, i’m only doing around 20 hours a week.|
|Anthony||What areas do you cover?|
|Instructor||I do Leicester, Coventry, Hinckley, Rugby and a few other areas.|
|Anthony||Wow, and you live in Coventry?|
|Anthony||I’m guessing you leave sometimes 45-60 minute gaps between your lessons to get to each student? That’s a lot of miles and time. Time is money and so is the car when it’s moving with no pupil in the car.|
|Instructor||Yes, usually 45 minute gaps, sometimes an hour but i’ll only travel an hour for a 2 hour lesson.|
|Anthony||(Chuckles) Well, I can have you doing lessons just in Coventry with only 20 minute gaps. So you can fit more pupils in your day, less travelling time, less empty diary time. Would you like me to do the maths for you?|
|Instructor||I get your message. Can you definitely keep me in Coventry, though?|
|Anthony||Trial us for 2 weeks and see for yourself. If you don’t like it – walk away and you haven’t lost anything. In fact, you would have gained a load of pupils too.|
The Rough Maths
Overheads for national company £235 a week
Fuel (based on this scenario the instructor is a gallivanter) Estimate £80 a week
Overheads with driveJohnson’s approx 40-50% less than national company so approx £140 (based on 40%)
Fuel based on pupils all living close together in the same town/city £100
To date, driveJohnson’s has never lost an instructor to a national franchise, but we have had over 200 instructors join us from national franchises for a reason.