Joining The Pass Me Faster Team
So you’ve battled your way through all three parts of your qualifications and have become an ADI. As you try and fail to wipe that cheesy grin off your face, things start to sink in. With the power of this new shiney green licence in hand you now have the skills to teach learner drivers for reward. Exciting but you may start asking yourself – ”When will I be joining the Pass Me Faster Team?”
What are your options?
Don’t worry this isn’t just a advertisement to join our school, we’re actually here to give you as much information as we can so you make the right choice. There’s been too many horror stories told at a Pass Me Faster meeting regarding our employees previous franchise shackling encounters to turn anybody’s hair bright grey.
Let’s delve right in and help you navigate your way through the minefield.
Then we’ll big our school up and tell you why it’s so great at the end lol.
What Are Your Options
As the dust settles and the thoughts of franchising or going it alone start sinking in let’s have a look at some of the positives and negatives of franchise Vs Indie. Our comparisons come from not only intensive online research but mainly via experiences from actual driving instructors that already work for us.
For many newly qualified ADI’s a jump away from previous careers escaping management and office politics seems complete bliss. But ask yourself this –
How much preparation and training have you given yourself in running your own business and dealing with the isolation that can come with it.
Here’s a little help from the Pass Me Faster Team
What Does Franchise And Indie Mean – Joining The Pass Me Faster Team
Firstly let’s start with Indie
Indie just means you go at it alone. After passing your part 3 test or maybe after a time being on a franchise you set sail on your own. Your now responsible for sourcing your own clients, making your own lesson plans and rules and designing your own branding.
There’s no denying it Indie can offer an ADI a great freedom if you have the dedication and time to put in the necessary work.
You may want to ask yourself these questions before going it alone –
- Do I have any knowledge of running my own business and if not how can I learn
- Have I got enough time to set aside to focus on this around my other commitments
- How quick do I need to be earning money? You may need to run at a loss for a while until things pick up
- Do I have my own car or do I need to be provided with one
- Am I happy keeping up to date with industry standards and organising my own Continued Professional Development
- Will I miss the support of being part of a team or am I more happy as a lone wolf
If having your own business is something you have always dreamt of then nothing can stop you. I doubt any of the above questions will stand in your way to success. But what if it’s not what you want or maybe what you want has changed? Let’s have a look at some of the other paths you can take.
Franchise Option – Joining The Pass Me Faster Team
With a Driving Instructor Franchise the individual IE you the driving instructor is paying a company for the use of their name. There are also other benefits that we will go into more detail below.
Involving yourself in a franchise will instantly align you with a trustworthy recognisable brand. This can really kickstart your new career in a positive direction.
There are various different options for franchisees to consider and what suits one person may not be right for another. Let’s take a look at them first –
Here’s all the facts to help you make the best choice when moving forwards.
As a driving instructor we are all self employed, blessed with the freedom to experiment and progress in our industry in our own unique styles. However have a think about this –
Until we build up a reputation, is going it alone a wise way to start things off. Many a newly qualified ADI decides to start things off on a franchise. So what are the different types.
National Franchise Option
First in the franchise infantry we bring you the national option. Generally a national franchise is a recognised school operating all around the country.
Pros of Joining a National Franchise
There’s no denying it a national franchise will have stood the test of time and built up strong brand awareness. Not only recognisable by the students it attracts but also the generations that came before them. Remember a lot of your customers will be parents basking in fond memories of their yesteryear test passes.
There really shouldn’t be a problem getting students UNLESS the market has been saturated with instructors. National franchises can be guilty of from time to time.
Another positive on national franchise is the types of franchise deals available. They can really focus in on what’s best for you and may offer –
- Full franchise with car included
- Full time franchise
- Part time franchise
- Pay per student franchises
Another bonus a national franchise has to boast about is all the bells and whistles regarding up to date booking systems. Also corporate systems and branding to really enhance your professional image. With time served comes experience a plenty of what works and what doesn’t.
All great ways to attract a learner driver.
Cons Of Joining A National Franchise
Although the benefits of a national franchise are plain to see is this just too perfect to be true? To a learner driver a national franchise looks tip top professional but underneath that spit and polish. As an ADI how will this affect you?
For the fear of repeating ourselves let’s just quickly gloss over something we mentioned before. Although the clients interest will no doubt be peaked with spit and polish, will that eager paying learner driver end up in your car? Has the market been flooded with instructors from a company with less local focus on workload. Will a smaller more close to home school operating in its own territory have a better angle on things?
This is by no means always the case but has cropped up from time to time.
Read The Contracts Before Signing
Another problem offered with larger schools can come from contracts tieing down their instructors to franchise deals. It looked great at first but now further down the line actually resembles slavery. You’re now nailed down into a 1 or even 2 year contract with a big company. If things do go south they’ll sure have plenty of ways of getting their money if things do escalate to court.
It may be wise to have a solicitor read over anything before you sign any contract!!!
Local Franchise Option – Joining The Pass Me Faster Team
A local franchise is a more family orientated close to home driving school. Its most likely operating in it’s hometown or nearby to it. It’s generally run by experienced Instructors that still conduct lessons themselves. They may have reduced their on road hours and started employing instructors. These instructors can now take shelter under the local name or branded umbrella.
Pass Me Faster is a local Driving School operating in around Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Northallerton and Whitby areas.
Cons To Joining A Local Franchise
Although this is a Pass Me Faster Blog we’re not afraid to be honest and give you all angles to really help you make your decision.
A local franchise with its more approachable smaller family friendly slant on things may not come with as many of the gimmicks a national school can boast about. If operating along pre set rules and systems floats your boat then a local franchise may have you hitting a big fat iceberg if your now having to think for yourself.
However for the more creative yearning to develop their own style and lesson structure the freedom of a local franchise may be enough to put fresh wind in your sails.
A Local franchise may seem less professional however there are plenty of local franchises quite capable of getting in the ring with the big boys and thrashing it out.
Depending on the age of a local school it may not have as much pull on the older generations recommendations that may be more frequent with an older more established national school.
Although this might be true to some degree with local franchise options National Franchise advertising campaigns often offer cheap deals to attract work can also leave the ADI out of pocket.
Pros Of Joining A Local Franchise
As we’ve touched on a little before a local franchise will usually seem more approachable to an ADI. We’ve found any concerns an employee may have can be dealt with a lighter more personal touch. Will larger schools with hundreds of employees really have time to get to know each and every instructor individually or will you just be another number to crunch on an excel spreadsheet?
A local school for local instructors is more likely to capture the essence of the area it operates in and will grow more organically. If it’s standards are high rolling along with its local reputation may be enough to spark interest without having to resort to more jazzy advertising campaigns and cheap deals.
Free Coffee Meets and Continual Professional Development
A lot of local franchises will meet up weekly for free coffee mornings and chats and provide continued professional development. Apart from maybe once a week meeting up with other ADI’s at the test centre it can get lonely out there with little interaction with other colleagues. A chat and a coffee may just be enough to perk things up for you.
The directors and company owners of many local franchise companies will often still be out on the road with you teaching. Yes there may be some administrational staff working in an office keeping bookings ticking over. Instead of sipping Pims and watching the battle from a hilltop the owners are usually in there with you. Thrashing it out!
We’ve also found local franchises are happier to help out an ADI with advice if they’re wanting to try venture out on their own as an Indie. If an ADI is happy with the support a local franchise gave them at the beginning of their career they’ll probably be some great recommendations coming back to the school later along the line.
All this alongside less tying contracts tend to make a local franchise a safer option to start off with.
Why Choose Pass Me Faster As Your Franchisee
Here at Pass Me Faster we pride ourselves on exceptionally high standards. Joining the Pass Me Faster Team aligns you with one of the top Driving Schools in the North East. We offer an approachable family orientated touch to all our franchisees. With no long term contracts to shackle you into. We’re confident that workload common courtesy and lots of help is enough to keep you happy.
You may have trained with us already and already feel like part of the team. For those who trained elsewhere you still have the option of climbing aboard. Although we do prefer to train our own instructors we do offer free workshops and training sessions. This is not just to help develop your skills but Also helps Continue to develop Ours!!
In other words whatever your situation, if you have a green licence and a passion for the industry there’s a place for you here with us.
The Importance Of CPD
Over the years we soon started to realise that nothing stays the same and that things are always moving forwards. This is also true of the driving instructors industry. Our workshops are a way to keep us in tip top shape and ahead of the game.
The resulting factors of keeping standards high is a healthy thriving driving school and a diary flushed with happy eager students.
Pass Me Faster are now branching not only in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool areas but also further afield to Northallerton and Whitby. There’s now plenty of locations to suit your residency.
Making Your Decision – Joining The Pass Me Faster Team
The main thing we would recommend is that you do your research. There’s plenty of options available to a qualified ADI starting out in the business.
Maybe a National School with all the bells and whistles is your bag or alternatively you may favour the more close to home friendly Local School.
Have a good chat and look for recommendations. You could also ask to speak to staff already working for a company that’s peaked your interest. Get a testimonial from the horse’s mouth.
Contracts – READ
Be careful of contracts and always take them home to read before signing. Trust me this comes from experience. I signed a 2 year contract and was forced to pay £150 pounds a week for 2 years. When I tried to leave after a year I was threatened with court. I eventually had to pay £3050 to leave. The guy that took it off me used it to lay a new drive at his house. Cheers mate nice one!!
If you can afford it or have a friend or family member in the legal profession PLEASE get them to read through things.
Whatever your choice I’m sure things will change from time to time as you develop not only your skills as an ADI but also the business sense. Only you know if your happy with things and if it doesn’t feel right you can always investigate other avenues.
If you have any stories good or bad or any advice on previous franchises we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.