Independent Operator Versus an Established Brand
We get asked all the time ‘ Should i become an Independent Operator Versus an Established Brand’.
When you qualify and become a Qualified Instructor you will then be faced with the scary task of finding regular and sustained pupils.As newly qualified you will get a few family and friends initially but not enough to sustain a living and cover the typical overheads of ,
- Dual controlled car
- Signage and livery
With Over 27 years experience on this subject we now will offer genuine unbiased opinion on the pros and cons of deciding which route you should take.Lets start with why Brands work.
Why Brands work.
You’re probably looking at this on a mobile Samsung device or Apple device or some kind of brand name that you chose because you knew before buying it that it was going to give you what you need from a device.Right?
If you ordered a domino pizza and a local chip shop arrived at the door with a pizza would you take it? No, because you ordered Dominios in the first place because you knew what you wanted and what you will get before ordering.Starting to get the point?
McDonald’s, the biggest brand in the world made mistakes In the beginning where partners were not sticking to the brand guidelines and started selling their own hot-dogs and wings.
When the restaurant wasn’t doing well they questioned the overall brand.By not abiding by the brand guidelines the restaurant suffered and the McDonald’s brand was devalued .
Now you get somewhat the importance of partnering with a Quality and recognized brand in the driving school industry.
Partnering up with an established brand makes it ideal for those Instructors who just want to teach.Arrive for the lesson,teach,get paid,go home.Simple.Brand works.
Now let’s examine the Independent option.
Along with your Dual controlled car you need to factor in the following,
- Signage,livery,stationery,Phone,training materials.
- All Instructors become an instructor to teach, not to do marketing.
- You will need to deal with the marketing,branding and sales yourself as the pupils won’t magically appear.
To make it worth your while you will need to achieve 30_35 hours per week or it’s a waste of time because your expenses will remain the same whether you do 15 hours or 35 hours.Pupils can only afford around 2 hours per week and whether they pass or fail it creates gaps in your diary.
Other people/ Instructors will be blabbing about why you don’t need an established brand and independent is best etc.But,Their circumstances may be totally different to yours.
What you have to ask is, how long have you been an instructor? How much do you spend on marketing?
What’s your idea of busy, 2-3 hours per day ? because they are retired from a different career with a pension,mortgage paid,no bill’s,great life..
Its highly likely that these Instructors who say go independent are around along time.Way before Google and social media existed but seem to know better when back in the day people found the very same Instructors in the golden pages,or in a shop window or from a neighbour.
Truth be known they just slightly resent that established and branded business who are at the top of their game are able to do it much more effectively than they can therefore promoting that independent is fantastic etc.
Independent Operator Versus an Established Brand.
How do you get pupils as an independent instructor.
The days of flyers and golden pages are gone as that was years ago.
Put yourself in a 17-20 year olds shoes,where do they look for companies like ours?
The answer is Google and Social media platforms.
So let’s go through some Social media and Marketing Costs.
Part 1. Difficult.
If you can find a web developer who will do you up a quick and cheap website that looks the business then good luck to you.
Would you offer cheap to your pupils ? You get what you pay for.
If you want a site that costs €250 then it will do what a €250 site does.Nothing.
A decent and well built site costs minimum €1,500 upwards for a well built site that’s constructed properly in the backend and built to Google build requirements.
Google looks at the engine of the website development, not what it looks like .If it’s not built right it will not rank.Fact.
Part 2. More Difficult
If you do create a Website,what are you going to do with it? Who can you trust that will know what they are doing?
A good and trustworthy SEO company will charge anywhere from €250 upwards but don’t expect miracles.
It takes at least 12 months to see any kind of improvements IF the SEO specialist knows his/her stuff. Trying this yourself is not an option.
Part 3. Easier
Social media is important as you know as most 17 year olds use some form on Social media platforms.
These are good tools to increase your awareness however it’s another game selling yourself to your audience .
Branding is crucial and the quality of pictures your uploading.If you have poor branding and pictures then social media will have little impact on sales.
The whole idea of social media is to attract the audience onto the website in order to see the quality of what you do.You can pay companies if you feel that this is not your area of expertise.
Part 4. Time consuming
Your website will need constant monitoring to keep up to date with everything same as getting your car serviced.
Being mobile responsive and user friendly is a ranking factor for Google.
Outdated content,bugs,updates,viruses have to be constantly watched .
Pages too slow to load,emails not coming through,domain expiry, all a product of cheap design and cost initially.
Stay friends with the developer as you will need them and have to pay them to fix errors.Be very careful as we can’t see what fixes are made or even if more harm is created.In house is the only way to trust this issue.
Part 5. Phone calls.
So you’ve got to the stage of doing things as best you can and set up to get pupils but,when the phone rings,you are on a lesson and can’t answer.Crazy.
In our experience the inquiry will call the next available driving school who can answer.
Answering calls on a lesson is extremely unprofessional and pupils are paying for your service not to grow your business.
Can you afford a receptionist?
Can you afford to run a second phone so your partner can answer the business one?
Does anyone know better than you what to say on a phone call? No.
Combined therefore you as the Instructor needs to be a Web Developer,and SEO specialist,Receptionist,Social Media Guru,Marketing Specialist and designing your google ads campaign,flyers, and after all that you have to now do your days work,try and return late calls and emails you may have received during the day,upload your pupils lessons onto the EDT poral.
If you can do all this then good luck.If you cant,then thats where we come in.
While you are training you will have gotten a fair idea of how professional or money grabbing the company is that trained you.
Training to become an ADI however doesn’t mean that the company has a lot of immediate work ready for your immediate start.
It’s wise to shop around and be wary of signing tie in contracts.
Again do an online reputation search.Type in the name of the company and then reviews.Like ‘ladybird driving school reviews’.
Why choose an Established Brand?
We have worked extremely hard over 27 years and built an unmatched and highly recognized brand in the driving school industry.Ladybird driving school is known for it’s high reputation of Quality of training and the Elite level of our Instructors.
For that reason we are highly sought after and a very popular brand nationwide .Our Google analytics tell us these facts we don’t make them up.
Investing money in the wrong places is detrimental and then after all that missing the pupils call is crazy.
An established brand may suit you down to the ground and as long as you are receiving the level of work you should be getting with no tie in contracts it’s a no brainer.
We would ask you to look at Ladybird Driving Schools partner agreement as we believe like so many of our existing instructors have done, they saw first hand what we offer and recognized there’s nothing quite like our system.
With a 2 week Free trial and a no contract thereafter and a guarantee of 30 hours plus per week, we know our system is extremely appealing and the best in the business.
If we don’t do our part you just walk away.We have never had any Instructor walk away but we have had alot come to us from other schools.
What does that tell you?
Most companies will tie you in for 6 months or longer and after 1 month the pupils dry up and you are left paying the fees.We have no contract whatsoever.
We are your receptionist,we do extensive in house marketing and sales,we organise all social media posting,we set you up to have a full calendar within 2-4 weeks all you have to do is follow our lead as we know exactly how to put 35 hours of work into your calendar weekly.Just ask any of our existing panel of Instructors and they will gladly tell you.
Working hard at building the Ladybird Brand
Over the years we had to think of smarter ways to crack the market as we didn’t have the budgets of the National driving schools from a marketing point of view.
We have our own in house marketing and web SEO team and specialists who got us to where we are today and continues to amaze us everyday with their knowledge and brilliance .We love Mark and the team!
We believe,in fact we know we have got it right and all of our Instructors work with us on everything we do.They are #1 for us and we are like a big family here.
When you put your trust in our Brand and Quality you are gaining a lifetime of knowledge from our founders and our policy is simple if you don’t like us,just walk away no issues.
When you partner with Ladybird you will see the true potential of earnings without the headaches mentioned above.Its not easy choosing whether to become an Independent Operator Versus and Established Brand so our advice is to do your homework.
Our goals have and will always remain the same,
- Continue to remain ahead of our competitors with an edge in the marketing,technology and backend systems we use.
- Maintain our top positions nationwide on Google
- Always have sufficient pupils for instructors .If you know our system then you know this is a fact.
- Continuously grow our brand nationwide
- Offering post qualification training and development for our team of Instructors
Finally it’s your decision.
Independent Instructor Versus an Established Brand
You will find a list of ADI Trainers at https://www.rsa.ie/
If after our 2 week trial you see it’s working then stay with us.If you think it’s not then don’t start after the free trial.There’s no contracts just sheer determination and will has got the trust we deserve by being honest and transparent in everything we do.Don’t worry if you do chose the independent route and it doesn’t work we’re still here to get you moving fast.