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#1 31-07-09 15:23:13

jterrier
Member
Registered: 08-06-09
Posts: 5

My plan - advice appreciated!

Hi all,

have been reading my way through many of the posts on this site, and theres loads of useful stuff here. I have just passed my pt.3, so am very pleased. Obviously i want to get underway and earning, so here is what I plan to do; I wonder if anyone who has done similar can point out any potential pitfalls etc - all advice is really appreciated!
> I will be working part time as a 2nd job (max 20-25hrs per week, some weeks much less) so franchising is not viable due to costs; hence I want to set up as independent
> I have an existing, suitable car which I will have fitted with duals, top box and vinyl lettering
> Advertising; local paper, own website, notices in schools and colleges
> initiatives; 2 hour lessons cheaper pro rata, block booking discounts, etc

obviously there is initial outlay here (which i will try and minimise) which will be a hit to take while the business builds very slowly. I have heard a lot of people say that reputation / recommendation are the keys to having plenty of pupils; and the way some people have gained that is to work for a school for a while. I wonder if i would find it hard to gain a foothold as an independent?

another issue; due to my main job the hours i can teach will change slightly each week; i wonder how much this will hinder me due to pupil's typical availability?

i am also interested to get an idea - roughly - of costs per year asscociated with maintenance / tires / damage to car etc and roughly what mileage i would put on the vehicle (i would be teaching primairly within a 10 mile radius). All of these things are finger-in-the-air to me at the moment.

thanks in advance!

jim

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31-07-09 15:23:13

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Re: My plan - advice appreciated!



#2 31-07-09 17:18:35

pedro
Verified Member
Registered: 01-07-06
Posts: 73

Re: My plan - advice appreciated!

Hi Jim. I was in the same boat as you. I qualified a year ago but only started on my own in november. I ,like you, had a suitable car to use and fitted dual controls to it. Decided not to go with a franchise because i was working full time (40 hrs). Started with a website, roofbox, decals, leaflet drops and local newspaper advertising. I then started doing both jobs. It took a wee while to build up some pupils but it did happen then i was doing my full time job 8-5 mon-fri and driving instructor 6-9/10 ish evenings and the weekends. Thats when i decided enough was enough and handed in my notice with my employer of 14 years. It was a hard step to take in the current economic state but i took the plunge in april and went self employed completely. Now its july and i currently have about 35 pupils. Im really enjoying doing it and glad i done it. Anyway thats my story so far. Hope that makes sense and helps you some.
cheers
Peter

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#3 31-07-09 18:18:49

jterrier
Member
Registered: 08-06-09
Posts: 5

Re: My plan - advice appreciated!

thanks pedro - thats heartening to hear. I am the kind of person who ponders and prevaricates until really convinced, and so its nice to hear someone say, yes, i have done it.

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#4 31-07-09 19:00:32

Rockin
Verified Member
From: Thornton Heath
Registered: 06-09-06
Posts: 200

Re: My plan - advice appreciated!

I went Indy right from the start 7 years ago. Like you I had a part time job which helped bring in a bit of money. When you get a pupil and you are good for them they will reccommend you and in my view this is the best way. Don't bother advertising in the paper, that in my view is a waste of money. Carry on with the part time job, build up your client base, this could take up to a year but if lucky like me I gave up my part time job after 6 months. I had a fullish book after about 8 months and have never looked back. You will get quite periods so look after the pennies to cover these periods.
Good Luck  Rockin

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#5 31-07-09 19:34:41

jterrier
Member
Registered: 08-06-09
Posts: 5

Re: My plan - advice appreciated!

thanks again. I should make it clear actually that i will only ever be part time; this will be a second job for me, as i will keep my main job. So in a way it takes some pressure off as I am not worried too much if things take a while to build up.

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#6 17-08-09 10:00:05

Colin Martin
Verified Member
From: Southsea
Registered: 21-01-05
Posts: 2,465
Website

Re: My plan - advice appreciated!

Your main problem will be booking pupils. If they can't get an answer when phoning they will probably go onto the next instructor on their list. The first to answer the call has the opportunity to sell their services and book the lesson. The exception is referrals who will wait for you to get back to them.

So before you spend too much on adverts think about who you will appear with and will they answer the phone before you.


Colin Martin
The Bright Red L http://thebrightredl.com
Instructor Apps http://drivinginstructorapps.co.uk
Apps Video channel https://www.youtube.com/colinbythesea

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#7 24-08-09 09:24:00

VIKING
Member
Registered: 17-02-09
Posts: 20

Re: My plan - advice appreciated!

Hmm! Cheers jterrier! you've just saved me a load of typing as your plan is my plan word for word. Nice to know I'm not alone in my thinking.
I had a friend where I work who became an ADI. He stuck it out for about two years before taking redundancy and clearing off with a nice package.He made no secret of his second job and used all the tricks in the book to find time for his pupils which wasn't going down too well with his employers.
My plan is to keep it low key at work and try not to bite off more than I can chew.Maybe working with another ADI in the area if the workload becomes too much.

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#8 24-08-09 09:40:04

jonsmithuk
Verified Member
Registered: 27-10-07
Posts: 403

Re: My plan - advice appreciated!

Hi Jt

No mention of insurance in your things to do list. That is going to be very expensive as you have no No Claims discount. You will have to pay the same as all other instructors, but will be doing very few hours. Check out the costs before you jump. You don't say how old your car is, but most pupils will expect a newish one. I estimate my cost per lesson at £4 an hour ( fuel,insurance, road fund ,depreciation ,maintenence )

Also bear in mind that there are 50% more instructors than a few years back and that some firms are offering 5 lessons for £60 or less ! It will be hard to establish yourself, but if you make it , then its a great job. Good Luck to you !

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#9 24-08-09 09:55:58

Colin Martin
Verified Member
From: Southsea
Registered: 21-01-05
Posts: 2,465
Website

Re: My plan - advice appreciated!

You don't say how old your car is, but most pupils will expect a newish one.

Maybe - When I started teaching autos I bought a 10 year old Fiesta to see if I could fill a car. Turned out I filled the car in a month so sold my manual and got a much newer car. I swap cars quite a lot but of my original pupils most missed the fiesta. We also have an Instructor in the school who ran a V reg Corsa, he only got rid of it about 18 months ago. He kept it immaculate and his pupils loved it. So who like the new cars more us or the pupils?


Colin Martin
The Bright Red L http://thebrightredl.com
Instructor Apps http://drivinginstructorapps.co.uk
Apps Video channel https://www.youtube.com/colinbythesea

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