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16th December 2022
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31st December 2022

Five tips for driving school success

Whether you are an existing driving instructor or perhaps considering a new career as a driving instructor, it is very common to have some degree of doubt about how successful your driving school is capable of being. In fact, many owners of driving schools pretty much run their business on a “survival instinct”. According to one source* 20% of new businesses fail each year. state** that as of 2021, of all businesses that were founded in 2020 in the UK, the ‘one year survival rate’ was 92.9% and of those founded in 2016, only 38.5% were still operating 5 years later in 2021. It is therefore good news to know that BIG TOM has been running since 2009. 

It is stated^ that the number of businesses in the UK with no employees (self-employed) represents 74.68% of all businesses, and that start-ups fail due to no market need (35%) and a flawed business model (19%). Even more reason to be reassured by a driving school that will soon be in its 14th year. 

This blog will take a look at 5 essential tips to help you formulate your thoughts on the subject. A skilled and professional driving instructor does not necessarily make for a successful business owner, so knowing one’s weaknesses may help you make correct decisions in the future. It is fair to say that successful businesses do not just evolve by chance, where a business owner hopes that as time marches on, something is going to make their business turn out for the better. 

Strap yourself in, and let us look at just 5 tips that will help your new business not just survive but thrive: 




Many new business owners fall into the trap of “wishful thinking” where they have convinced themselves that there is a need for their new business. It is extremely easy for emotions to overpower hard evidence, and this is where your initial consultations with BIG TOM can be so helpful. We will help you to gather the necessary information to ensure that you will be making decisions based on facts rather than dreams. When your business is marketed correctly (and the BIG TOM Franchise does this on your behalf), then you will have a constant flow of customers seeking your services. Yes, you heard correctly, with this driving school franchise, the marketing activity for your business is done for you – all part of the franchise. 



The most important asset of any business is the quality of the personnel and that includes their skill levels. In your induction training with our franchise, we will ensure your teaching skills are up to the level that keeps training safe and creates successful outcomes. We are not referring to driving instructor grades here, we will provide you with training that goes much further than the DVSA assessment criteria. We know we need to do this because experience tells us that short-term gains do not make for long-term business success and our shared goal is for your business to exceed your expectations in earning capacity and satisfaction levels. 



Businesses do not grow when there is waste surrounding the operation. Rest assured that the business model adopted by BIG TOM has been tried, tested, refined and customer-evaluated over many years. We are not inviting you to gamble on a new venture here where the success of it is based on what we think is an innovative idea. We have systems and techniques that are lean and create maximal benefit to both driving instructor and pupil.  


Mental Health 

Business owners are sometimes pulled in many directions and the mental stress of attempting to switch between these roles is immense and for some overwhelming. The Big Tom Franchise Wellbeing Charter addresses the needs of pupils and driving instructors for a calm, productive and stress-free working environment. It is the small but important actions that we take on an hourly basis that contributes to wellbeing. It is unfortunate that many new business owners are not aware of how challenging the range of activities drains their inner strength. This Franchise creates a safe space for pupils and instructors to operate by helping them communicate effectively and reap the benefit of having Big Tom Admin share the load. As a franchisee, you are seen as who you are, not just simply another ‘number’ within a huge organisation.  



It is at times hard for a prospective business owner to differentiate between a good reputation of work ethic as opposed to a good reputation for delighting customers. Many start-ups have folded not for the want of work ethic; new business owners seldom lack the will to work hard for their business. But unfortunately, sheer hard work is not enough in today’s marketplace. Successful businesses thrive because they are creating a product or service that surpasses customer expectations. Helping customers to pass the driving test is not enough, that is a given, all customers will expect that, but where our Franchise succeeds is by going that bit further. Our customer reviews show that customers are not just happy, they are truly delighted. [See what we mean by reading here] 



If you like what you have read here, and can now see how much more is needed to run a successful driving school, then why not sign up for your free pdf to discover “How To Set Your Driving Lesson Prices” Simply email Big Tom Admin at with the word “Prices” in the subject and let us do the rest. We will deliver you a comprehensive guide that takes into account many factors that affect your pricing strategy. Remember, everything that we do here is designed for successful business outcomes in the long-term, because sustained growth requires correct policy from the start.  



** D.Clark 05/12/2022