Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Enough Work for Driving Instructors?

I really don't know if there's enough work for all of us ADIs at the moment. The fact is - no-one else does either!

Oh the joy of it!

There are lots of posts on the forums at the moment:,32850.0.html

...and we can never get any agreement.

The fact is, if you expect to just be a driving instructor in this business, you're gonna come a cropper.

Being a franchisee is the nearest to having a job that you can get, but it's the kind of job where your boss can send you home with no pay whenever he likes! Have a look at the last link to see what happens when an instructor trusts to BSM or AA to find them work - it simply doesn't happen unless you do it yourself!

Going independent is not easy, but the fact is that you will be in control of your career. You will live or die (metaphorically I hope) by your business skills.

You will need to:

  • Advertise effectively (websites usually work the best, shelling out £500 to Yell is possibly the worst)
  • Answer the calls that come from the adverts effectively (you can't do this if you're out on a lesson, but a good answerphone message can help to get leads)
  • Convert enquiries into sales (if you're not a natural sales person, employ someone who is, or find out how to do it without feeling like a nasty slimy creep)
  • Ensure your customers are so impressed with you that they tell their friends (reminding them to sometimes helps, or offering incentives for them to can help!)

Once you've done all of these if you can't make it then you need to get out.

There are enough customers for all the ADIs and PDIs out there - unfortunately 95% of instructors are fighting for 35% of the customers.

Think about how you find people.

Find cheap ways to get noticed.

Make sure your service is second to none.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Corporate Manslaughter and Driving at Work

This could be a biggie.

Or it could just disappear like much of this legislation as no judge wants to be the first to hand down a sentence.

The fact is that there's loads of legislation to safeguard drivers at work, but until recently the fact that your driver had a license and was insured, and the vehicle was safe and legal was all that employers looked at.

With recent focus shifting to training and Health and Safety, the ambulance chasing "no win, no fee" solicitors have started getting in on the act, leading to more prosecutions of companies who haven't risk assessed or trained their drivers.

If a company employs a 17 year old who has just passed their test in a Corsa to drive a 3.5 tonne long wheel base van, would you expect them to take some time to risk assess and train this driver?

So would I.

In many small companies this is done by the company owner - all informally and to be honest this often works reasonably well. All that is needed for this kind of company is for the "risk assessment" to be formalised and recorded and for the training to be agreed and successful in proving that the driver is now safe in the vehicle.

In larger companies this process is taken in hand by the fleet or HR management, who will usually employ one of the big fleet training providers to complete this process.

The problem occurs in the medium sized companies - the ones who have grown beyond the ability for the boss to sit in for a day or so, but haven't yet put the procedures in place to ensure that the assessment and training process takes place.

These are often the same companies who have yet to formalise procedures for drivers or even start recording license details on a regular basis.

These are the companies who may be most at risk from driver legislation.

Save yourself a problem - get your fleet assessed and trained.

More info:
Corporate Manslaughter - Guidance from the Ministry of Justice

Corporate Manslaughter - Help from the HSE

Corporate Manslaughter - Guide for Fleet Managers from BusinessCar

Corporate Manslaughter & Driving - Info from a fleet driver trainer

Will it lead to more work for Fleet ADIs?

Well it probably will, but as always the majority of companies who take the time to comply with H&S legislation are usually the ones who don't really need to.

Until there is a big prosecution most companies will do the minimum necessary amount of training. The short term view will always be prevalent across industry.

Luckily there are some companies who take the lead and run with it - these guys are reaping the rewards, both financially and in terms of business efficiency.

Good luck to them.