PART 3 of 4: THE PATH FORWARD
HOW TO TAKE YOUR DRIVING SCHOOL TO THE NEXT LEVEL, MAKE MORE MONEY, AND BE THE
ENVY OF YOUR COMPETITION.
Published on March 21st, 2019. Last Updated: April 1st, 2019
by Jason Friedman
Oh my god…I’ve got a big problem I’ve never experienced before!
-Len (Driving School Owner)
I had just finished my quarterly review meeting with Len. We’d been working together for about six months on growing his driving school.
When we first met, he was the “lowest priced” school that I was working with. He had every single reason why this was important. His closest competitor was at that price and he had to match him. His customers didn’t have the money to pay much more. He was fine with what he was making – for now – and would look at changing the prices in a few months.
And that’s when he said it:
Oh my god, Jason. You don’t understand. It’s working! I’ve got a big problem I’ve never experienced before. I have a steady stream of customers coming in all the time! We don’t have time to come up for air anymore. We used to have super busy months, and then it would slow down…but now, every month is over-booked! Why would I change the price if it’s working so well?
This is where many business owners get stuck.
They don’t focus on differentiation.
On creating VALUE for their customers.
So…I went into “coach-mode”.
I asked Len how important good quality driver training was…and if he thought that his company provided the absolute “best-in-class” in the area.
He got a little frustrated and told me, “YES! We don’t cut the same corners as the other guys. We have more patience with our students. We don’t rush them – we make them feel safe.”
He went on, “AND…our training process allows us to meet the students where they are. Our instructors have the absolute BEST training anywhere. I invest in the safest vehicles and I ACTUALLY MAINTAIN THEM!”
So, I asked him, “Does your competitor (the guy with the low price) do all of this?”
He said, “Absolutely not. He’s out there to make a quick buck. Heck, he doesn’t even do a full 6-hours with each kid!”
So, I asked, “Then wouldn’t that be a good reason for you to be more expensive? Could you alter your sales conversation with your clients to really show them how “invested” in their child’s success you are? How the economics of the proven method that you’ve developed is more thorough, how you have the best maintained fleet of vehicles, how you have trained your team?”
You see, I’m a parent. And if I was going to put my son in the hands of a driving school, I’d want to be sure that he’s getting the best training possible, with the best teacher and in the safest manner possible. I’m not going to cut corners on his safety and his future.
He agreed completely.
And that’s when he entered Phase II.
I showed him how to teach his customers what questions to start asking, to make a better decision about how to even think about choosing a driving school…and they stopped talking to anyone else.
Len started applying our techniques to get more customers to his business and it was working. But before this conversation, he was scared to change his pricing. He was scared to begin to build the team that he needed to build. But now, I was cutting through the “itty bitty shitty committee” inside his head…that voice that kept telling him not to raise his prices…that voice that kept him stuck as a commodity.
Now, you may be wondering how we got him to essentially DOUBLE the number of prospects he was getting, and we have several ways we teach to do this, but honestly, that’s the easy part.
I’ll give you one example now.
And this speaks to “Business Killer #7: Unwillingness to Delegate”.
They simply did NOT have a good way to tell their students about our business – unless they handed them a brochure during their last lesson!
I’m going to give you a quick secret right now that can almost guarantee at least 10% more profit each month. Hire someone to ANSWER YOUR PHONE!
That’s right! It’s that simple. When a prospect has to leave a message, what do you think they do right after they hang up the phone?
They call the next school to see if they can hire them. S/he who answers more calls / returns calls faster – wins. (And in conjunction with the dozens of other strategies I teach in my program, you can double the size of your business in the next 12-18 months and truly make your competition disappear!)
As I said, some of these strategies are simply common sense, but after all, common sense is not that common.
I want to give you another example of a big mistake that I see driving schools making all the time. This one is a pretty in-effective, costly mistake.
This one speaks to “Business Killer #5: Failure to [properly and effectively] Advertise and Market”
Each of the schools that I worked with was doing a couple no-no’s in this area. None of these owners were able to tell me if they worked.
For example, Paul, who I talked about previously, had been running an ad in a local community circular. He had been doing this for about 10 years. He spent about $850 each school year on that. I asked him two questions.
Jason: “How many students do you think you get directly from that ad each year?”
Paul: “I’m not sure, maybe 2 or 3.”
Jason: “OK, how many students do you have to teach to make enough profit to even break-even on that ad?
Paul: “I have no idea.”
So, we did some math. Let’s assume that the profit from each student was $100. He would need to have signed up at least 8 students just to break-even on that ad. And we already know that he thought it was 2 or 3 so he essentially LOST $500 – $600 dollars – not to mention teaching a few students for essentially ZERO!
If you recall, today’s customer is different – and our marketing has to be too. We have to use more effective methods to get our clients and grow our businesses.
Let me give you one last example.
This example speaks to “Business Killer #8: Unprofitable Business Model”
As I mentioned before, this one really frustrates me…because for every single driving school I work with, not a single one has been able to correctly tell me what the most profitable service they sell is. In fact, it’s usually the same for every driving school. Not only is it the most profitable, it’s the easiest to sell, it’s the easiest to deliver and it’s the only one that no one focuses on.
If you think that selling your student on 6-hours of behind-the-wheel training is the answer…YOU ARE WRONG!
Six hours of driver training is usually what people are asking for when they call a driving school. That’s what they know about, because that’s typically the state minimum. But we all know that’s not enough.
In fact, that’s nowhere near enough. But that’s not the important part…if you look at the math, the number of hours for the instructor, the paperwork, the vehicle costs, fuel, insurance, etc. – it’s likely NOT the most profitable thing you do.
But, there is a service that you offer, that does not take as many hours, does NOT have the same wear and tear on the vehicles, does not take as much fuel, and if you “package” it right, you can make between 20-50% more profit here than anywhere else.
Do you know what I’m talking about yet?
It’s the Road Test Service. Taking your students to get their license.
Now, for many schools, they see this as the most competitive product, but packaged and positioned correctly, it can be the absolute MOST PROFITABLE service you sell, AND it can be sold from the very beginning – not a few weeks before their birthday, like most driving schools do.
In fact, creating packages for your students in one of the best kept secrets that most businesses never do.
Take a page out of the manual from McDonald’s and other fast food joints. The whole reason they’re so successful is the “VALUE MEALS”.
When was the last time you ordered everything a la carte? It’s rare. By packaging things together, it creates more value for your customer, and more PROFIT for you.
Of course, there’s an art to doing this.
We go into this in great depth in our Driving School Marketing Academy.
When you begin to package your products and services differently, and add some additional products that you’ve probably NEVER THOUGHT OF OFFERING you’ll see revenue (and profit) per customer INCREASE by at least 20%-50%! That’s right.
You see, getting a customer is the hard part – but once you get them, you need to be able to offer them as much value (ETHICALLY) as possible. The fact is, your customers WANT MORE from you – they just don’t know what to ask for.
In my program, the Driving School Marketing Academy, we go into tremendous depth on how to increase the Customer Lifetime Value for each customer – making their business 10%-20% more profits without doing almost any extra work!
Ok…enough examples…let’s get back to the matter at hand…
- If you’re ready to stop being an “Accidental Entrepreneur” and start being an “Intentional Entrepreneur”…
- If you’re ready to start learning how create your vision, and put a clear strategy in place…
- If you’re ready to develop the capabilities to take your business to the next level and learn all of the tactics required…
…click the “CONTINUE” button below to turn the page and start the next chapter of your entrepreneurial journey.
- You need to OWN your differentiation and teach your customers WHY that matters and creates value for them.
- Don’t let that “itty bitty shitty committee” (the voice inside your head) distract you from doing what will help you take your business to the next level.
- There are SIMPLE things you can start doing in your business TODAY that will yield a tremendous result with minimal effort.
- Many of the ways in which you are currently “marketing and advertising” your business are ineffective, expensive and wasting your resources. STOP DOING THEM.
- Your existing Products and Services need to be PACKAGED and optimized to make it easier for your customers to make buying decisions and make YOU MORE MONEY!
- You need to strategically add other products and services to your lineup to increase the Customer Lifetime Value of each customer.
- It’s time to retire from being an “Accidental Entrepreneur” and become an Intentional Entrepreneur once and for all.