A well-known concept in business is to understand how your target audience thinks because it will be your job to appeal to those potential customers. In driving training, customers will generally come to you with broadly speaking, three different attitudes. Some customers will want the cheapest lessons but still want the training to be good. Other customers will want the cheapest option but want their son/daughter to pass their driving test fast. Other customers want their son/daughter to be well trained and it to be done fast – they are not price sensitive.
If you just think about that for a moment, in terms of how your driving school service can fit into these 3 types of customer expectations, normally speaking, one of those three will appeal to you more. You might be happy to provide “pay as you go” driving lessons, relatively cheaply and you will do the job well – but this means the process will take several months. You might like the idea of having a national provider of crash courses randomly contact you, and connect you with a pupil, the hourly rate isn’t great, but you get through pupils in quick fast time and the end result is really not very important. You may be happy to provide an accelerated training programme that does not compromise on quality and the customers will be prepared to pay more for that service as it gets results.
If you do your research properly in your location, it will be quite easy to see what your direct competitors are doing. Most of them will be taking the cheap, good and slow option, because that is what suits them in terms of their capability and their work/life balance. They are all scrambling around attempting to target customers who have this same expectation. The lessons will be about £35/hr, the service offered will be one or two lessons per week, so it takes several months, and the quality of tuition is good: slow and steady. Coming in from the side, will be instructors fairly near to your location, who fleetingly come in to your territory, linked to very cheap crash courses that are of extremely poor quality. And a very rare breed is the driving school that helps customers to become safe, confident drivers, capable of driving in different towns/cities, who turn things around quickly but at a premium price.
Where do you see yourself sitting on this spectrum for your locality?
It is important to be clear on your objective here because if there is one thing customers want it is simplicity – they are going to want to know precisely which service you offer. The last option, good, fast but not cheap is where the BIG TOM Franchise sits. You won’t find many driving schools providing this service because it is not easy to do; but there is an enormous market for precisely this service.
Now, consider the person/organisation you are going to use to help you train to be a driving instructor. They likewise will fall into the same three groups in terms of pricing, quality and speed. Now this is where the BIG TOM Franchise has a different approach with trainee driving instructors than it does with learner drivers. The skills required to provide the service described above take time to develop. Remember, the reason why most driving instructors don’t provide what BIG TOM provides is because technically, it is not easy to do. The skills need time to flourish. We will not be rushing when we help you to qualify as a driving instructor. But the service will be supremely good, and we believe so much in our ability to help you, that if you do not qualify, you get a whole heap of your money back.
The alternative? You will be able to find plenty of driving instructor trainers who will get you qualified, but what skills will you then possess to help those three distinct types of customers? Often, as you have probably guessed, these trainers are merely training you to join the main group of driving instructors already operating in your area giving cheap, slow but good driving lessons. You are just another one to add to that group, and you all go around busily working for the same type of customer who by the way, has a tendency to bunny hop periodically to ANOTHER instructor who offers cheap, slow but good driving lessons – this is why pupil retention is notoriously difficult for the majority of driving instructors.
Time to start thinking properly about how you intend to pitch your driving school business. If you want any assistance to consider these options, give me a call 01928 508 833 – ask to speak to Tom.