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#1 11-07-08 16:19:24

Janey1
Verified Member
From: Suffolk
Registered: 01-02-06
Posts: 292

I've decided - that's it - it's over!

That's it!  I've had enough!

I've been doing this job now for around two and a half years and still have to work 32.5 hours in my previous job plus bits and pieces that I pick up with my Driving School.

It really is bits and pieces too!  This week, I have had two hours of driving lessons booked (two pupils).  I have four people on my books - one I won't see for a couple of months (some trek with the school and a holiday), one has failed his test again (second time) and has not called to advise me what he is doing, another one is on holiday next week so I have one booked in for next Friday.

The thing is, I don't think I'm a bad driving instructor - my first (and probably my last) check test, I got graded 5 and most of my pupils are passing first or second time (apart from the guy above).

I've had enough because I am missing my family - sometimes I am working seven days a week (including my other job - and I only work four days with them).  Just finished 07/08 accounts and made another loss and over £1,000 more compared to last year!

I have a regular ad in the local paper, an ad in Yell.Com and I patronise all my local events and establishments with my signed car.  I have done everything possible.

I can't carry on - at best I have had seven people on my books!  It's too much and now I want some family time.  I charge the least in my area by far and there are loads and loads of 'dead' time with most pupils living around half an hours drive away.  I worked out the other day, that before tax, I'm actually being paid around £7 or £8 per hour (before tax) which obviously includes the 'dead' time (wasting petrol) in getting to each pupil!  I charge £20 per hour but give discounts if they block book and there is incentive if they recommend a friend.  Most Instructors that work in my area are charging £22 per hour - but obviously being cheaper does not attract the punter.

I've decided to go back full time at my work, but this is destroying me as I hate my job and the Driving Instructor Training was the light at the end of the tunnel.  This is really upsetting me as I keep remembering all annual leave, the heartache and stress I went through when training but also the highs of passing each test.  The promise of a £30k income and working 40 hours a week didn't happen to me and the guarantee was worthless - all it guaranteed was that if they couldn't fill your diary, they would refund your training fee!  Big deal!  £3k back and paying out £300 a week for a contract period of twelve months - great!!

Thanks for all your help - I have dipped and dabbled into this site over the last few years and it's great.  I suppose I still won't let go and unsure of whether I'm doing the right thing or not.

Cheers all






Janey

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11-07-08 16:19:24

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Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!




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#2 11-07-08 18:12:38

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,324
Website

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

First question is, do you have a good website that ranks high on google.

I have been doing the job for 3 months and have 17 pupils all doing at least 2 hrs per week.

Nearly every one has come via the webiste either of the franchise or my own.

Local paper ads and yellow pages are dead, it is the web presence that works.

I have turned away three customers in the last week as I cannot fit them in, one made the comment that they wanted me as 'You had the best website'.

Is your oher job restricting the hours you can do teaching?  If it is, then are are very disadvantaged, when self employed you need to be available when your customers want you or they will go elsewhere.

I took the gamble of throwing my other job in to concentrate on this, at the moment it is working out, though I know there will be tough times ahead. Sometimes you have to take a risk and go for it.

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#3 11-07-08 19:21:29

comedrivewithme
Verified Member
From: Treorchy, Rhondda, South Wales
Registered: 28-11-06
Posts: 674
Website

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

I'm sorry to hear you are packing it in Janey.  I think if I'd not had my lorry driving to fall back on in the first year or two, I'd have packed it in too.   

If you take all of the best advice given here (and there will be plenty of that) there is no certainty that any of it will work.   I hope you can find a way to kep going in some way.  You never know when the phone will start ringing.


Give yourself independenc, learn to drive!
www.Comedrivewithme.com
    Treorchy, Rhondda.

I see friends shaking hands, saying
"how do you do". 
They're really saying
"I love you" (Louie Armstrong)

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#4 11-07-08 19:39:29

evanadi
Guest

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

First question is, do you have a good website that ranks high on google.

I have been doing the job for 3 months and have 17 pupils all doing at least 2 hrs per week.

Nearly every one has come via the webiste either of the franchise or my own.

Local paper ads and yellow pages are dead, it is the web presence that works.

I have turned away three customers in the last week as I cannot fit them in, one made the comment that they wanted me as 'You had the best website'.

Is your oher job restricting the hours you can do teaching?  If it is, then are are very disadvantaged, when self employed you need to be available when your customers want you or they will go elsewhere.

I took the gamble of throwing my other job in to concentrate on this, at the moment it is working out, though I know there will be tough times ahead. Sometimes you have to take a risk and go for it.

Good post Kaf with some good advice.

Couple of things to think about Janey before you hang up your badge:

Could you franchise to another company (ok it means paying out but if you dislike your present job then it could be an option).
One other thing is the fact that it takes a few years to build up your reputation. Its great when pupils pass their test, but sometimes takes a while for the referrals to come through.

The busier you are in this job the busier you will become, a diary with lots of pupils means that you have more people spreading your name around when they pass. It does take time, it can be disheartening, but I remember how hard you worked to pass that part 3, so take a little step back and take a deep breath.

Chin up Ev wink

#5 11-07-08 19:53:45

comedrivewithme
Verified Member
From: Treorchy, Rhondda, South Wales
Registered: 28-11-06
Posts: 674
Website

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

The worst thing about working part time, is that no one is going to see your car in the area.  The more days I work the more phone calls I get. 


Give yourself independenc, learn to drive!
www.Comedrivewithme.com
    Treorchy, Rhondda.

I see friends shaking hands, saying
"how do you do". 
They're really saying
"I love you" (Louie Armstrong)

Offline


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#6 11-07-08 19:58:15

evanadi
Guest

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

The worst thing about working part time, is that no one is going to see your car in the area.  The more days I work the more phone calls I get.

This is very true comedrivewithme. How are you my Rhondda mate. Ev

#7 11-07-08 20:11:32

comedrivewithme
Verified Member
From: Treorchy, Rhondda, South Wales
Registered: 28-11-06
Posts: 674
Website

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

Thouroughly enjoying the job.  Out and about all day chatting to someone different every couple of hours.. Seeing people bouncing with excitment after having just passed their driving test. (a long drive hme when they've failed). 

On the whole I'm loving being an adi.


Give yourself independenc, learn to drive!
www.Comedrivewithme.com
    Treorchy, Rhondda.

I see friends shaking hands, saying
"how do you do". 
They're really saying
"I love you" (Louie Armstrong)

Offline


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#8 11-07-08 20:25:01

Target
Verified Member
From: Winchmore Hill North London
Registered: 17-01-05
Posts: 5,695
Website

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

Im not going to beat around the bush.

Most people are struggling, and yes Im busy but I do not know how long thats going to last. Last year I could not do anything wrong, this year ive done more than last year and suddenly its all changed.......Where have all the learners gone suddenly.

This jobs a ??????........Do a good job and your penalised.....Off they go never to be seen again. Ive had over 20 passess now this year, the last 2 recomms i received have started to mess me around. Not sure but I think they have been playing on my softer side.

Theres a good point made....Some schools run a pay per pupil option. Was talking to a guy recently pays £5 per pupil he gets from the school upto I think 27 hours. Its worth it if you can get the rates.

If I was you id go auto and charge a higher rate for lessons,use the female selling point.

If you lived around here I could set you up in auto work overnight at a very small fee, possibly about 3 hours per week. You provide the car and i send you the pupils.

Think wisely thou because I do this full-time and dont feel im paid enough for the work we do. I do it because it still pays more than I was on before and I earn more than the wife, so thats a good sign, plus I have the flexibilty which I feel is important for one member of the family espeically if we have children later on.


Approved Driving Instructor ADI(car)
Cardington Grade (A) Diamond Special DIA MSA IAM ROSPA (Silver)
QEF Mobility Qualified
Taxi Driver Training DATT
BTEC Qualified Assessor
www.targettuition.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/TargetTuition

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#9 11-07-08 21:33:27

evanadi
Guest

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

If you have the hours do as many a week as you can, if that means doing 50 hours a week, so be it. Put the extra cash aside and leave it in case it goes quiet.

We are in an economic situation at the moment where there is lots of instability with people's jobs, this can reflect in cancelled lessons and shortage of pupils in some areas. Sorry if this seems to be a bit off on a bit of a tangent, but what Target says above is absolutely true. If you are a bread winner and the work goes slack then it can be very worrying. I have been very busy for the last 12 months working lots of hours, however as is pointed out in Targets post there never are guarantees. That said there are no real guarantees in the job marketplace either so its a case of making hay when the sunshines.
Ev

#10 04-08-08 13:34:24

Janey1
Verified Member
From: Suffolk
Registered: 01-02-06
Posts: 292

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

Hi all

Thanks for your replies.  Just back from sunny Greece this week and more determined than ever to get rid of my driving school.  It's such a relief to have made that decision - knowing that all my weekends and evenings will be mine.  I am planning to do my English Degree which I missed out on when I was younger.  I am currently doing a PA Diploma course which I am enjoying too.

Handed in the last of my accounts to the accountant a couple of weeks ago and getting the graphics removed from my car at the end of this week.  Does anyone know if this will leave my faint details still on the car?  The graphics have been on my car for about two and a half years.

Unfortunately, I was asked at the beginning of July if I wanted to put an ad in the local Trail Guide that comes out every three years, at the time I said yes, but went to cancel it about three weeks ago and they said that the ad was set and couldn't change it.  The Guide is out this week and I have received the bill for just over £76!  What a waste and I will be in there for another three years!

Incidentally, if anyone out there is called 'Jane' and they would like my logo, send me an email and I will send my logo.  I had this put on the side and rear of my car together with my mobile phone number.  I also have a hood should anyone need it (I paid around £180 including the graphics but willing to sell for around £50) - again it has my logo on it and separate mobile phone details which can be removed easily (or so I'm told) with a hairdryer.

Cheers






Janey

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#11 07-08-08 22:14:26

comedrivewithme
Verified Member
From: Treorchy, Rhondda, South Wales
Registered: 28-11-06
Posts: 674
Website

Re: I've decided - that's it - it's over!

When removing the decals. A bottle of methylated spirits will save you hours.


Give yourself independenc, learn to drive!
www.Comedrivewithme.com
    Treorchy, Rhondda.

I see friends shaking hands, saying
"how do you do". 
They're really saying
"I love you" (Louie Armstrong)

Offline

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