Driver Hire Franchisee Case Study FeedLast updated: 07-December-2021
New franchisees at Peterborough recruitment business -
Driver Hire Peterborough, a leading local supplier of staff to the road transport and logistics industry, has new owners, husband and wife team, Brian and Lin Kilroe. They’ve bought the business from long-standing franchisee, Ged Sanderson.
Brian and Lin travelled the world before choosing Peterborough as the spot for their new business venture. Born in Zimbabwe, they worked in South Africa before taking an eight-year sabbatical in Thailand.
“Brian ran several Nissan franchise motor dealerships and I worked in motor finance for Mercedes-Benz Finance, where I reached board member level as Head of Sales”, Lin explains. “We had some money to invest in the UK and were looking for a new challenge.”
They were introduced to Driver Hire by friends who run a Driver Hire franchise in Manchester. “We visited several Driver Hire offices across the UK and concluded that it is a fantastic, well structured business with a strong brand within the industry. After doing our research, we both agreed that buying a Driver Hire franchise was the right thing to do.”
In common with many successful Driver Hire franchisees, Brian and Lin have not previously worked in logistics or recruitment, but bring significant business and customer service experience. They spent two weeks on an intensive Driver Hire Foundation course, joining other new franchisees in person for the first week and with the second week delivered virtually. To ensure continuity within the business, they’ve retained a highly experienced member of staff.
“We’ve moved into new offices in Fengate Industrial Park,” Lin continues. “We’re currently busy contacting existing customers to introduce ourselves and, to grow the business, we’re looking forward to meeting potential new clients in the months ahead. Also, key to our strategy for success, is looking after our existing team of drivers and clients – and recruiting new ones.”
The UK’s largest specialist supplier with a nationwide network of franchised offices, Driver Hire provides temporary and permanent drivers and other logistics staff to local and national organisations in both the public and private sector. If they’re short of staff – perhaps because of illness, holidays or seasonal demand – Driver Hire will supply them with a suitable replacement.
Interview with Driver Hire's Andrew Padgett, with over 20 years experience! - 03-August-2017
Name: Andrew Padgett
Location: Ashford and Tonbridge
Franchise: Driver Hire
Date launched the franchise: 1998
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying your Driver Hire franchise business?
“Before deciding to buy a franchise I worked in retail sales for the local electric company,” says Andrew. “I got fed up with the politics of a large organisation and decided that if the right franchise opportunity came along, I would go for it.”
Can you also tell us about Driver Hire?
Running my Driver Hire franchise is financially rewarding, mentally challenging and its flexibility enables me to have a good work life balance.
Andrew’s business is part of the Driver Hire network, the UK’s leading supplier of temporary and permanent staff to the driving and logistics industry. He bought as a start-up to cover Ashford and Canterbury and now supplies an average 50 clients, and finds work for around 100 candidates per week.
Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose the recruitment industry? And why did you choose Driver Hire?
Even though Andrew had never worked in recruitment he’d recognised that his skill set matched that of a Driver Hire franchisee, in working with and managing people, as well as providing a high level of customer service. He goes on to further explain his reasons for choosing Driver Hire, “I had met other people from different franchise brands, but when I met the franchise sales team from Driver Hire they were really down to earth, honest, grounded and realistic. They were brutally frank about what the business entailed and what would be involved to make it work. This gave me the confidence and a level of trust that other franchise brands hadn’t during initial conversations. Also, when I talked to other Driver Hire franchisees they were really positive about the business.”
How did you raise the finance?
I took redundancy – this enabled to provide the whole funds required.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Andrew believes that one benefit of being your own boss means that if you are successful in hiring the right team, you can allocate responsibility which empowers them to make decisions within the parameters you set. This in turn provides him with the “freedom to manage his own week and the opportunity to be flexible and spend more time with the family”.
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
Like any big decision, loads and loads of research and be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if you’re prepared to put the hard work in at the start, get your hands dirty and build the business over time whilst you foster a team who share your values and philosophy. I bought a start-up opportunity, but even resales, (with existing business) are hard work and have their own challenges.
What are your plans for the future?
According to Andrew he has no plans to retire before 2035, though he may look to later reduce his days in the office. I still love what I do, so the plan is to continue. Retiring is not on my horizon at the moment. I’d certainly buy a Driver Hire franchise again knowing what I know now. One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most is building a team of people I can rely on and trust.
Exclusive interview: "I have built a thriving business thanks to Driver Hire" - 06-January-2015
Name: Diane Maxwell
Franchise: Driver Hire Nationwide
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
I was really lucky when it came to becoming a Driver Hire franchisee as I’d already worked within the business for 6 years, having started as a sales consultant working for the previous franchisee. I love what I do and when the opportunity to buy the business and become my boss came along I jumped at the chance. Every day is different and the thanks we get for providing great customer service is so rewarding.
What did you do before taking up a Driver Hire franchise?
Before joining Driver Hire I worked in a customer service role for a company called STL who are one of Ireland’s premier logistics companies. I’ve found that the people skills I picked up there have really transferred well into running and managing my Driver Hire franchise.
How did you raise the finance?
I was lucky enough to be able to buy my franchise on a gradual basis. When the previous franchisee moved on from Driver Hire the franchisor took over and I became the office manager.
Impressed with my skills I was then offered the opportunity to buy 49% of the business with a loan from Driver Hire. Naturally I wanted to eventually buy the franchise outright and was able to do this with the combination of a new loan from Driver Hire and a member of my family who was able to help.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
The support I received from Driver Hire in the early days was fantastic. Although I knew the business well, there were certain aspects of it that were unfamiliar. The new franchisee and staff two week Foundation Training course really helped to complete my understanding.
My Area Development Manager was also pivotal in helping me to look at ways of increasing our revenue with existing and lapsed customers.
There was also lots of hands-on support to help me target our sales activity effectively using the various campaigns created by the Marketing team, and help with aspects of Driver Hire’s internal client management system that I hadn’t used as an employee.
Driver Hire has helped me immensely and I’ve learnt a lot doing the job. Sometimes I’ve had to learn the hard way. But I’ve loved every minute of it and, of course, the financial rewards are very welcome.
What challenges have you faced?
In some ways, every day is a challenge! Our business is fast moving and operates 24/7, 365 days a year. That means either myself or a member of staff - working on a rota basis - are always on call to pick up the phone. Even if that’s at 3am to answer a call from a customer who desperately need a driver for their vehicle. I also think that with any business owner the challenges you face are a personal thing and are dependent on your own knowledge base and skill set.
For me I found the finance side challenging at times. Being part of a franchised network is a great way to keep learning and plug those gaps. And as I’ve said before the rewards are a massive compensation and help to keep me and the team motivated.
Has becoming a Driver Hire franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Looking back I couldn’t possibly have envisaged where I am today. I was very much an employee and had never seen myself as a leader. Whilst running my own franchise I’ve learnt a lot about business but also a lot about my own skills and drive to succeed.
What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
Driver Hire has a fantastic marketing and design team that are continually creating quality campaigns, literature and promotional items. We also have our own mini website which is part of Driver Hire’s main site and a HTML email tool, so we’re able to target our customers and candidates on a regular basis both offline and online.
What differentiates your franchise from the competition?
In recruitment providing a high level of customer service is key and working under the Driver Hire brand, which is known within the industry as a leading provider of logistics staff, is certainly a great starting point.
Here at Belfast we also strive to continually look at ways at taking best practice one step further, and my team ensures that we always take a full customer brief so we can fully inform our candidates of what’s expected. To help with this we’ve created a ‘Get closer to our customers’ and a ‘Candidate communications’ policy.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Simply hard work, determination and commitment.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Investigate the market thoroughly. Is there a need for the product and is the franchise brand an established and secure investment? Also check out the support and training you are going to get from the franchisor - ask other franchisees whether it was delivered as promised.
What are your plans for the future?
My aim for the future is to grow and develop the business. To help with this we’ve recently launched a non-driving recruitment service so we can target businesses in our area that we wouldn’t usually approach.
Would you do it again?
Yes, definitely. It was an excellent opportunity for me and I’ve thrived under the challenge. It has been a long journey, but it’s certainly paid off and I’m looking forward to growing the business even further.
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Leading transport and logistics recruiter, Driver Hire, has new franchisee - 19-December-2012
Gary Riches has purchased the Colchester franchise of leading transport and logistics recruiter, Driver Hire.
Gary brings over 20 years’ of industry experience to his new business venture. Before joining the world of commerce, Gary was a serviceman in the Royal Corps of Transport. He subsequently worked in sales for TNT, UK Mail and DPD. He’s had extensive transport management experience with two local companies; Taskforce and Industrial Water Jetting. Gary, who for many years was a retained fire-fighter, has also worked for Driver Hire’s office in Bury.
“I’ve always wanted to run my own business,” says Gary. ”I decided to go down the franchising route because it’s a less risky way into self employment. I looked at a number of other franchises but, because of my background in transport, Driver Hire was the obvious choice. There are plenty of opportunities to take the business to a new level.”
Driver Hire provides temporary and permanent drivers and logistics staff to local and national organisations in both the public and private sector. It’s the UK’s largest specialist supplier, with a network of over 90 franchised offices. If a client is short of staff – perhaps because of illness, holidays or seasonal demand – the Colchester team will quickly find a suitable replacement.
“If you’re looking to recruit full-time staff, using temps from Driver Hire has another advantage,” says Gary. “It means you can try before you buy. If your temp fits in well with your team, you can then offer them a full-time position. It means you don’t have to go through CVs or interviews and saves a huge amount of time and money. That was certainly my experience as a Transport manager.”
Franchisee a strong believer in Driver Hire - 26-November-2012
Franchisee: Jim Richards
Franchise: Driver Hire
Jim Richards has been a Driver Hire franchisee in Birmingham for over ten years. A strong believer in job satisfaction - the fact that every day at Driver Hire is different coupled with the flexibility that comes from being your own boss - means he’d definitely do it all again!
Driver Hire, a management franchise with nearly 100 offices, is the UK’s largest specialist in its field, providing temporary and permanent drivers and other logistics staff to local and national organisations in both the public and private sector.
Before he bought his Driver Hire franchise Jim already knew the brand and had the benefit of already understanding the logistics industry. By looking at other Driver Hire franchises and seeing the earning potential his decision to buy was sealed.
Leading the way
Over the last ten years Driver Hire has evolved with the development of new tools, new products and more recently the opening of an office in Australia. Under the leadership of Jim, his franchise has also grown and in 2011/12 Driver Hire Birmingham was one of 16 offices with a turnover of over £1 million. The 2011/12 average Driver Hire franchise turnover is £691k more than double the UK franchise sector average.
“It’s incredible how the franchisor has continually kept things moving so that the network and me as a franchisee can stay one step ahead of the competition.” Jim adds; “One of the developments which really helped us progress as a business is the Driver Hire Training brand which we use to deliver a Driver CPC training service. It’s been an excellent move forward, increasing our turnover and visibility in the marketplace.”
Whilst the core business of Driver Hire is to supply temporary drivers to the logistics industry, the introduction of Driver Hire Training has been a successful additional revenue stream for franchises. In just over two years Driver Hire Birmingham has trained nearly 1,000 drivers. What’s more Jim has found that he is now winning new customers for his core recruitment business by offering a wider range of services.
Training and support
To be able to deliver a nationally accredited training scheme, Jim had to attend a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme organised and facilitated by the Driver Hire head office training and development team.
“I’ve always thought the training and support from my franchisor is second to none. The two week foundation training when I first started and the additional ongoing support and training opportunities have been of a high quality and always relevant. Not just for me but for my staff as well.” Jim goes on to say; “I also love the fact that there’s someone on the end of the phone when I need help whether I need to speak to the CEO, the central invoicing team, national accounts or my Area Development Manager.”
Driver Hire is a business-to-business management franchise operating in a highly legislative and compliance-led industry. With this in mind significant investments have been made over the years by the franchisor in ensuring all of its franchisees have a detailed understanding of the relevant rules and regulations. Driver Hire has also developed systems and processes that make day-to-day operations as uncomplicated as possible. This in turn enables the network to deliver market leading quality standards.
For Jim, the support and systems that a franchisor provides is one of the reasons he chose to buy a franchise rather than set up on his own. When asked what advice he would give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise Jim’s response was;
“Ask what the franchisor can do for you, what support is available and then make sure you use it. It’s important to also keep within the system – that’s why you buy into a franchise, to make use of a proven system that works.”
A change for the better
For Jim, becoming his own boss was the right move. “Since buying my own business I’m more in control of my own destiny and have the quality of life I want; more money and more opportunities to spend some quality time with my family. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Jim Richards (right) receives the 2010/11 Driver Hire Training Award from Driver Hire CEO Chris Chidley (left)
Managers buy in to the Driver Hire franchise success story - 22-May-2012
Managers at Driver Hire offices in Belfast and Cambridge like the businesses they’ve been running so much, they decided to buy them. Collectively they have just short of 25 years’ experience of Driver Hire so they clearly know their offices inside out – and its business potential.
Diane Maxwell has been part of the Driver Hire Belfast team for four years. She became manager a year ago and steered it successfully to a 10% increase in sales in the financial year ended April 2012. Diane and her two colleagues have got the office away to a flying start in 2012/13 in far from ideal trading conditions.
“I believe in Driver Hire and its brand strengths,” says Diane. “When the opportunity came along to buy I was very excited by it. My experience has shown me that this is a very lucrative and profitable business.”
It was a similar story in Cambridge for John Rigg and Mike O’Dell. They’d been running the office for the previous owner for the best part of ten years. “Driver Hire is one of the UK’s leading franchise businesses with a successful track record going back nearly 30 years,” says John. “When the opportunity to purchase the franchise came up, it just felt like the right thing to do.”
With over 90 franchised offices, Driver Hire is the UK’s largest specialist in its field, providing temporary and permanent drivers and other logistics staff to local and national organisations in both the public and private sector. If they’re short of staff – perhaps because of illness, holidays or seasonal demand – Driver Hire will supply them with a suitable replacement.
Commenting on Diane, John and Mike’s decision to buy, Graham Duckworth, Driver Hire’s Franchise Sales Director, said: “It’s always great to welcome new franchisees to our network – and help existing ones realise their investment and move on to new business opportunities. It’s particularly pleasing when our managers decide to buy into the business and make it their own. It’s a great advert for the value and potential offered by a Driver Hire franchise.”
Driver Hire franchisees show that research pays off - 23-April-2012
Name: David and Gina Quinn
Franchise: Driver Hire
David Quinn is no stranger to working in sales or in the transport sector - having previously worked as a General Manager for a commercial vehicle dealership - but that’s not necessarily why he chose to buy his Driver Hire recruitment franchise back in January 2006.
David and his wife Gina were primarily looking for a business they could run together and from which they could reap the rewards of their hard work. David recalls when looking for a franchise, “We wanted our own business – one where we could directly benefit from the effort we were putting in. We knew we would have to do some thorough research on all the franchise options available, but we wanted to make sure our final decision ticked all our boxes.”
“It’s important to look at yourself when choosing a franchise,” adds David. “Only you can make your business thrive, but with the help of a proven brand name, franchisor knowhow and a formula for success, your chances increase tenfold.”
Driver Hire did well to tick the boxes on David and Gina’s wish list. They were looking for a financially rewarding management franchise with scope for development, a proven and established brand, a thorough training scheme and comprehensive head office support.
Nationwide award winner
David and Gina decided to buy the Driver Hire franchise for Chelmsford and became part of a successful network which now consists of almost 100 offices nationwide. Providing recruitment services to the logistics sector, Driver Hire first started franchising back in 1987 and has been a finalist in the bfa’s ‘Franchisor of the Year’ Awards for the last seven years, winning outright in 2006.
The Driver Hire support package includes a two week intensive training programme; administrative functions such as invoicing and payroll; a bespoke IT system that takes care of bookings, candidate and customer records, and helps to ensure legislative compliance; a national accounts team that delivers centrally won business opportunities; a marketing team providing a steady stream of professional marketing resources; and a dedicated area development manager.
“I really valued the initial two week training course that Driver Hire provided before we were let loose,” comments David. “The dedication and willingness to help from my Area Development Manager and the head office team was second to none and still is, six years down the line. For me the research paid off and for anyone considering Driver Hire, they are very open and will give you every opportunity to do that research.”
With six full years’ trading under their belt, David and Gina’s only regret is that they didn’t make their move to Driver Hire sooner. “Although trading conditions are tougher than when we started there are still plenty of opportunities to make money with Driver Hire,” comments Gina. “Persistence pays and in our case, we believe our customers like the fact that we are a strong husband and wife team and that they get to deal with the business owners on a daily basis. We’ve worked hard and always make use of the professional sales and marketing resources that head office create. They’re vital in keeping a dialogue with our customers and the quality is second to none.”
Driver Hire Chelmsford has now achieved sales of over £1m for the second year in a row. Their dedication to their customers and candidates embodies the Driver Hire spirit and in January 2012 David and Gina’s efforts were recognised and rewarded when they were presented with the ‘David Walter Salver’ award at the Driver Hire annual winter conference in Edinburgh.
David adds: “The biggest challenge in any business is growing it, but with Driver Hire we’ve achieved our aims of owning our own business and being in control of our own destiny. We’re not stopping yet. Being part of the Driver Hire network means we can access the tools and resources we need to keep growing, whilst the opportunity to compare against and mix with other franchisees keeps us both keen and motivated.”
Driver Hire's Franchisee of the Year tells his story - 15-September-2010
Acquiring a winning team with Driver Hire -
Sold on the benefits of franchising with Driver Hire -
My turn to be the boss with Driver Hire franchise -
From strength to strength with Driver Hire franchise - 24-September-2009
A Driver Hire franchise fitted the bill perfectly - 11-September-2009
Proving that women can be successful in a Driver Hire franchise - 11-September-2009
Sue does have some past history with Driver Hire having worked in the Peterborough franchise for 10 years. When the previous franchisee decided to move on, Sue and a colleague split the territory between them and the rest is history. “Being part of a network is another plus point,” says Sue. “I have a great relationship with all the other franchisees around me; we all help each other out. Deciding to buy the franchise was a big decision -- but I’ve certainly no regrets.”