Excessive digital interactivity
13th June 2022
Providing value to customers
25th September 2022

Summer 2022 review

As we move into the Autumn, the owner of our franchise, Tom Ingram gives an update of the latest driving training industry news.

“Welcome to everyone reading the blog here.  What an incredible summer it has been.  There seems to be a genuine movement in the industry trying to help customers to overcome some of the obstacles on their way to getting their full driving licence.  The very good news has been that as can be seen by the BIG TOM Admin Twitter feed, cancellation driving test slots are in plentiful supply.  The catchment area for the franchise continues to spread out further, where we are receiving enquiries for driving training far outside our current capability.  We really need to continue to help more customers by attracting more driving instructors to the franchise.

It is a fantastic time to be changing careers as a driving instructor.  I really can’t recall quite an opportune time to be joining up with us here and starting to take a lot more control of your work/life balance.

How are things going with our regulator, the DVSA?  Well, they continue to work hard on impressing on pupils the importance of going to test at the right time.  It is unfortunate that despite their actions to date, the pass rates for both driving school cars and private cars have declined.  It does beg the question, why would this be?  I dare say, there will be many people within the DVSA attempting to discover the answer to that question.  Does it affect us here?  No not in the slightest.  This has always been a driving school that has high standards.  My pass rate for the previous 12 months currently rests at 80%, and there is a chance that may nudge up to over 80% before this month ends, which is when my 12-month period restarts again.  So as you can see, the regulator pass rate of 55%+ for driving instructors is not something that we find difficult here.

Not that I am ever complacent about these things.  There is always room for improvement.  The adiunion that I set up in the summer is big on this theme of continual improvement.  Rather than getting bogged down on grades for driving instructors, there is a very good argument for quite simply, doing one’s best to keep improving.  Small, regular steps of improvement really will make a difference over the long term, and that is something that this driving school intends to feature.  If you haven’t already, I would thoroughly recommend signing up to the forum.  For the sake of the price of one coffee per week, you will have access to high-quality information.

But for some already established driving instructors, it can be a real wrench to join a franchise.  There is quite understandably a degree of fear, and not knowing what to expect.  But really you know, there is absolutely no reason to feel concerned about any hidden traps.  Unlike some of the national franchises, we don’t have a fixed franchise charge even when there is a national lockdown!  All fees are in proportion to the earnings that you make, a point that I was very keen to ensure was set up, because people’s circumstances do change from time to time, and I didn’t want franchisees to be out of pocket through a change in their private lives that simply could not have been foreseen.

One of the ways that instructors are supported when they join the BIG TOM franchise is in helping them to develop skills that customers will love.  We are not in the business here of providing boring, stimulating, seemingly never-ending driving lessons that almost make pupils go to sleep.  We attract customers who recognise that we are doing something very different here, while not compromising on the quality of training.  And these customers will be prepared to pay a premium for such a service.  For those instructors who want to run at least one BIG TOM intensive course per week (20 hours of driving training), you can reasonably expect to turnover in excess of £35,000 per year.  I am very happy to go over the forecasts that we have prepared for enquirers, it is very smart because it allows us to enter the number of hours that you will reasonably expect to work per week and you can see how the numbers work out.  Transparency and integrity are essential with the BIG TOM franchise – we have done everything we can to demonstrate the business model so that you can see for yourself how it works (subject to signed NDA).

The future continues to look extremely attractive for this franchise, and I hope you can come on board soon.”