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How to Prepare for Growth During Covid-19

I was recently reminded of a story about Nelson Mandela. While serving his 27 years in prison someone asked him ‘how are you surviving in these conditions, locked out from the world and no clear end in sight?’ to which Nelson replied, ‘I’m not surviving, I’m preparing.’ It’s a powerful statement.

When practical driving tests are on hold, learner drivers aren’t looking to book driving lessons and the future is uncertain – how can you prepare? It’s a challenging and provocative question given the circumstances but if you had to answer that question what would you do?

As a service provider for driving instructors and interacting with driving instructors on a daily basis, we asked ourselves that question. What could driving instructors do in this down time to catapult their businesses forward when restrictions lift again?

Some of the ideas we came up with were quite obvious and some were a little left-field, but we hope that when you read through you can either run with one of them or they become the seed of some even greater inspiration.
When approaching a new idea, there is a saying which goes ‘ambiguity stifles action.’ If it isn’t clear what to do, then people won’t do it as the mental and emotional energy that will need to be allocated to making the idea come to reality is unknown. That’s off-putting to anyone. I’m certainly not going to spend hours on something only to find I’ve barely scratched the surface and I’m now going to now need to recruit professional help to get the job finished!

With that in mind, I’ve tried to simplify each of the ideas to help grow your driving instructor business, give an indication on difficulty level and provide clear next steps if you’re inspired to pick up the bat and run with it:

1. ‘Test’ Facebook Adverts

We know, we know, people aren’t booking lessons at the moment. So why would we recommend checking out Facebook Ads? Well, via Facebook ads you can target by town, age, gender, interest, education and far, far more. This is incredibly powerful for finding new learners. However, like anything it takes some practice to learn how to find the right audience and choose the best image for your advert.

If you’ve not used this technology before it’s far better to practice with it now and be ready for when the market picks up than to only start kicking the tyres when everyone else has it sussed!

Difficulty level: 7/10

Want to read more: click here

2. Create helpful YouTube videos

Over 1.9 billion people use YouTube on a monthly basis. That’s a lot of people and it includes potential drivers. In fact, when you type ‘learning to drive’ into YouTube the first result is an LDC video showing the basics of a first driving lesson – it has 3.9m views.

We think it would be cool if you were to create similar videos for your learners so they can still practice while at home. Show-me tell-me videos, manoeuvres, test tips – these are all ripe content for driving instructors to provide for their learners.

Difficulty level: 4/10

Want to read more: click here

3. Finally get a website

You don’t need to be told the benefits of having a website as a driving instructor. Easily accessible, can be found via Google, showcase all your learner driver pass pictures and it’s easy for people to refer you by sharing a link to your site. The down side of having a website – not knowing where to start and high potential costs?

The best solution we’ve come across is Wix.com. It’s free to use and incredibly easy to use where you can make your own website by dragging and dropping shapes, pictures and buttons. You can make it as easy or complex as you like.

Difficulty level: 4/10

Want to read more: click here

4. ‘Test’ Google AdWords

Holding our hands up, this one is a little bit more difficult. However, with difficulty often comes reward. With Google Ads you can create an advert which pops up when learner drivers type in a search e.g. driving instructors in Maidstone. Once you get the hang of this, the way you do business will never be the same again. Prepare now or prepare when the market picks up? We say practice now.

Difficulty level: 8/10

Open Google Ads: click here

5. Ask for business and offer a referral fee

Now isn’t a time to be too proud to ask for business. Search through your contacts list and identify all the learner drivers you have taught in the last year and send a well crafted message asking if they know anyone needing driving lessons. It might even be worth adding in a referral fee. OR, send one message to some learners without the referral fee and another message to other learners with the referral fee and monitor the difference in response.

There are going to be a backlog of people needing driving lessons over the coming months and your previous learners are going to know a lot of them.

Difficulty level: 8/10

6. Build your Rated Driving Instructors profile

We connect learner drivers and driving instructors and we get to see all the analytics and insights of which profiles work and which don’t. Instructors who have well populated profiles, including a profile picture, pass pictures and reviews receive significantly more bookings. Reviews are the biggest contributor to instructors receiving more bookings.

This is the time to build and refine your profile. Have friends read over your profile, ask previous learners to give you reviews. The main thing is to be ready, so when the learner drivers come flooding on to the site your profile stands out and your books are back to being filled in no time. We’re of course on hand here if you need some help getting your profile set up and fine tuned.

Difficulty level: 2/10

Create or amend your profile: click here