Sold on the benefits of franchising with Driver Hire
Accountancy is generally regarded as being a rock solid kind of a job. But it wasn’t enough to protect Grant Wilson when he was made redundant by the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society during the 1990s’ recession. A single parent, Grant decided that being his own boss was the way forward. And it gave him the flexibility he needed to meet family commitments.
As he wryly observes: “It’s impossible to give yourself the sack.”
After doing some research his accountant’s eyes alighted on the possibilities of franchising – with Driver Hire. Needless to say Grant was soon sold on the benefits. “It reduces the risk factor immensely,” says Grant. “You’re buying into a proven business model, there are plenty of other franchisees to check things out with before you buy and, if you choose to go ahead, full back-up and support from the franchisor.”
“Driver Hire fitted the bill for a number of reasons. It was clearly a dynamic and successful business,” Grant recalls. “I found the concept interesting and, of course, there were plenty of other successful franchisees in their network. That gives you a ‘if they can do it, so can I,’ feeling. Above all I didn’t just want to buy a job, which is what some other franchises effectively give you. With Driver Hire I was investing in a real business opportunity.”
It’s proved to be a business opportunity that Grant has made the most of – and one that is hugely successful. He now employs 15 people, has around 400 customers and weekly sales of £50,000 plus. In the 2008/09 trading year Driver Hire Aberdeen topped Driver Hire’s annual sales league table of over 100 offices and in the current year they are still top of the tree. Grant and his team were voted Driver Hire’s ‘Franchise of the Year’ in both 2007 and 2008, the first Driver Hire office to do the double. They’ve also had external recognition too, winning the 2008 Scottish Recruitment Award for Best Practice.
“Success really is quite simple,” says Grant. “We focus and target activity, following the campaigns provided by Driver Hire. Of course we also have to adapt to find new markets. We’ve added an employment division offering skilled technicians to a wide range of local businesses including technical, mechanical and the oil industry.”
“It’s fair to say, whilst it didn’t feel like it at the time, losing my job at the Co-op was actually a blessing and forced me to look at potential career alternatives. I’m certainly in a much more rewarding situation as a Driver Hire franchisee than I ever would as one of their employees,” Grant concludes.