. . . and why niche services can stand out from the competition
Britain’s leading franchisors, coaches and mentors gathered together for The HSBC Elite Franchise Top 10 Virtual Roadshow, giving tips, advice and guidance on what it takes to build a successful franchise.
Graham Duckworth, Franchise Sales Director for Driver Hire, led the fifth keynote speech, speaking about logistics recruitment and the rising demand for reliable and skilled drivers. Having a reliable logistics recruitment team is important, as, in any case of emergency, companies can operate efficiently and effectively even when they are short-staffed. “Drivers are always in demand. Companies that operate fleets of vehicles use temporary drivers as part of their business strategy. They can use them for long term cover for seasonal peaks and holidays, or even for short-term emergency hire. And that’s where Driver Hire comes in, we can supply the drivers and keep the company’s businesses running.”
Established in 1983, Driver Hire supplies temporary drivers to companies who operate vehicles and has expanded to provide a wide range of recruitment services, including temporary and permanent positions, driving work and logistics jobs. Driver Hire operates franchises throughout the UK, with franchisees reporting average turnovers of between 10% to 15%. “The average turnover for the Driver Hire office over the last four years is over a million pounds,” Graham said. “At the top end we have franchisees turning over £3 million and this is with a small team, it helps generate net profits of typically between 10% and 15% turnover.”
Driver Hire provides support to its franchisees, with a team of over 70 staff members to guide them in their business journey, helping to oversee their customers and develop their growth strategy. “At Driver Hire’s head office, we have over 70 staff who can support franchisees. We have an area manager that goes out to offices to take franchisees and their staff out to see customers, help them develop strategies to grow the business, and they’re very hands-on. We have the national accounts team that have national accounts contracts for our network, we have a marketing team, we have IT support, we have HR, invoicing and more. We provide lots of great support to our franchisees.”
An independent survey carried out by Driver Hire found that 94% of their customers rate their service as “excellent” or “good”. Driver Hire was also a finalist in the bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year for 13 years, showing how the company has been rewarded for its ability to provide outstanding service. “This is a good demonstration of the reputation we have amongst our clients in the transport sector,” Graham said. “This was an independent survey carried out last year, of course, this could only be done by good people in the network that I think is combined with good systems and good training to help deliver that good service.”
Logistics Recruitment is a thriving industry – so how do you deal with the competition from other firms? Graham said competition is an indication of the rising demand for services. Driver Hire is a specialist recruitment company in the transport sector providing a niche service, making the firm stand out from its competition.
“There is a lot of competition, and I would view that as a very positive thing as that is an indication that the sector can support a lot of recruitment companies in the transport sector, from anything like high-street well-known recruitment agencies to small independent ones,” Graham said. “Driver Hire holds a unique position in that we are the largest specialist supplier of temporary driving staff in the UK, so either our competition is against generalist agencies that supply a much wider range of staff and aren’t quite specialised or independent ones that simply don’t have the support that we can provide. They don’t have 70 staff members supporting them, they don’t have fellow franchisees offices that they can turn to for help They are by themselves, so those are two ways we can very successfully beat our competition. We’ve been around for 30 years and we are a very well-recognised brand.”
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