Do you: Wish to work on a full-time or part-time basis? Work for a national or regional driving school where you are almost certainly on a franchise scheme? Work for an existing, local driving school on a franchise or commission basis? Run your own business?
In the early days the ideal situation would be for you to keep your present job and carry out driving instruction part time. If this is not possible, you might consider taking on a part-time job to help you over the first few months. This would allow you gradually to build up a client list without any external, financial pressures bearing down on you. If you do not have this choice and you are going to start full time straightaway, then it will probably be better to work for another driving school until you become established. Find out when the new, local Yellow Pages, Thomson and BT phone books come out. It is advisable to consider the date when you intend to go solo so that an advert can be placed in advance of your predicted start date.
Driving schools have various ways of making money through their ADIs. If you choose to work for a driving school you will probably either be contracted under a franchise system or a commission-based system.
There are many permutations under a franchise scheme, so please consider the points below. An ADI working under a franchise contract may pay a set amount each week to the company/owner – irrespective of the amount of work received and the total number of hours’ tuition given to the clients. The company office may keep records of work provided, even your diary details, and may therefore make driving lesson bookings for you. You may need to account for all driving lessons taken and cancelled by submitting a weekly return. There may be an introductory offer for a set period where the commission is lower. You may or may not be able to take on private work using the car provided. Cleaning, fuel and oil top-up may be at the instructor’s expense, whereas often insurance, servicing, road tax, a replacement car, etc. are at the company’s/owner’s expense. Our advice is to be careful. Once you take on a franchise you may not be guaranteed regular work to the amount you require. Consider how you are going to meet your personal and home financial outlays and pay the franchise. What, if any, are the ‘get-out’ clauses? What is the minimum time you can take the franchise for? Will you be able save enough to buy your own car to work as an independent ADI if this is your aim?
An ADI working under a commission-based contract may be required to pay a set fee for each driving lesson taken. This may differ for the length of driving lessons. Again, you may be required to submit a weekly return. You may also be required to submit a weekly fee on a sliding scale regarding the number of hours’ tuition taken. It is likely that, under this scheme, you will have to provide your own car. Will you earn sufficient to pay off this car and all other expenses and still have enough money remaining to maintain a reasonable standard of living? To allow this to happen, you should ask for written assurances from the owner not to take on any other instructors until your diary becomes full. You should also have first refusal on subsequent new clients seeking driving lessons. There may be other permutations and perhaps these may be open for negotiation. Ask how the owner seeks clients (via local or national advertising) and what the usual rate of new clients is in your area each week.
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Note: This article was sent to us by: Beau Sinclair at 01172010
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