Drive Your Way Out of Recession

With a 25 year record of success, Driver Hire is the UK's leading supplier of drivers and logistics staff to the private and public sectors. The company’s success is based largely upon a franchise formula that works, and works well. The market for temporary drivers alone is estimated to be worth over £2bn and in 2012/13 Driver Hire’s average franchisee turnover was £704,000.

In the first of a two part interview with Kasia Baldwin, Franchise Marketing Manager for Driver Hire, we looked at the advantages of starting a franchise business in a tough economic environment.

What are the advantages of starting a franchise over a completely stand-alone business, particularly in a recession?

“Starting a business for the first time can be a daunting experience,” said Baldwin. “There is so much to consider from legalities to premises, business processes to advertising. By choosing the franchise route into business you are not only buying into a proven business model, but you are also buying into the experience, relevant training and support needed to help you make your business a success. When you open a franchise you become your own boss but at the same time you’re part of a bigger team and brand. This helps to reduce the risks associated with starting business on your own.”

“Also according to the British Franchise Association (bfa), in the two decades up to 2012 the franchising industry in the UK has more than doubled from around £5 billion to £13.4 billion per year. This level of growth should be a prime indicator that there is success (even during a recession) to be had in the different franchise opportunities available.”

How specifically does Driver Hire support its new franchisees?

“At Driver Hire, a recruitment franchise, support comes in the guise of a two week Foundation Training course, an Area Development Manager, regular regional meetings with other franchisees and two full network conferences a year. The 50-strong head office team are also on hand to help with IT systems and support, marketing, national accounts sales, invoicing, industry compliance and much more – all the ingredients you need to run a successful B2B management franchise.”

Is it particularly helpful to have a branded business behind a new business during the recession?

“In addition to the priceless support provided through a franchised network, in the case of bigger companies, franchisees have access to an instantly recognisable brand. Your marketing activity remains vital but consistent presentation of a known brand means that people will already view your business as a reliable supplier.”

“This leaves you able to spend more time on other activities, like business planning, hiring and training your new workforce. Selling under a well-established brand name means you can potentially make more money over a shorter period of time, than if you were setting up on your own. One of the reasons for Driver Hire’s successful launch of operations in Australia, is because the brand was already recognised for its quality of service by people who knew the UK market.”

We will be publishing the second part of our exclusive interview with Kasia Baldwin of Driver Hire next week, in which we will look at the key ingredients needed for success in franchising. In the meantime, for further information on Driver Hire click here.