Online Business V Driving Instructor?

online business v driving instructor - image of L plates on car Online business v driving instructor ? To explain: My partner is a driving instructor while I run an online business.  I wanted to just share what that was like for her as a home based business startup and how it compares to starting an online business (which she is now looking to do)

You may have seen adverts on TV talking about how training to be a driving instructor is easy, that you can set your own hours and that the earning potential is fantastic. For this reason many people who have been made redundant or want to start a home based business for a host of other reasons have gone for this option. It used to be that starting an online business was looked on as a dodgy option, not so any more. Here’s an up to date look at the online business vs driving instructor franchise

To become a driving instructor you need to pass (at a very high level) 3 different tests. You have 3 attempts at each and if you fail all three as many do – the standard is high – you have to wait either 1 or 2 years before you can try again.

If you are working with an instructor college or school (no names but think of a colour…) the costs are deceptively high and you also have to pay for the tests, possibly take additional lessons and “buddy up” with other trainees. In short it takes a lot of time and a fair bit of money. If you get through all that you can either start your own business or join an existing business as a franchisee. To start your own business you will obviously need a decent car. you then need to fit it with dual controls, get a headboard and some sort of lettering/branding done. You then start the long and sometimes costly process of advertising for pupils.

The Options For An Online business v driving Instructor Business

For the Franchise option: You can either use your own car or hire one from the franchiser. You will pay a franchise fee and usually additional costs if you want them to provide the leads or pupils for you. In effect then once things get rolling your first 15-20 hours work each week will pay your expenses (minus petrol) This has become such a competitive business that many instructors struggle to ever get more that 24-30 hours per week of work. With travel in between lessons this is actually more like 40 hours anyway.

My partner was extremely lucky in that she has a friend who runs a driving school but doesn’t charge a franchise or any other fees. They help each other out with costs for advertising admin etc so once petrol costs are covered she does quite well. Her circumstances are the exception rather than the rule. Her business took her several years to build to where it is now. We remortgaged to buy her a car that wasn’t draining her profits every month, I get her pupils through digital marketing and she is very good at it so gets a lot of referrals now too. But it’s been a long and costly business.

Cost Comparison

Starting an online business – lets say an affiliate marketing business with SFM to start with –  is a far easier proposition these days.

For kick offs the costs are a fraction of those for the driving instructor business: If you have a computer and a broadband connection, are willing to learn and put some hours in, you pretty much have all you need to start an online home based business. Having a dedicated workspace – a spare room say – is preferable but not essential in the early days.

With SFM – the online business version of a driving instructor college (although if Carlsberg ran instructor colleges….) You have a small monthly fee for your training and if you want to also become a business partner there are one off fees for the ‘franchise”. These depend on what level you position at. But that’s it. You can be in business the day after you start. No exams to pass, no travel or commuting costs, no expensive equipment (car,dual controls,headboard,branding) to buy and no penalties for failing tests. So as far as start up costs go in the online home business vs driving instructor contest, the online biz comes up trumps.

How Much Work can You Do ?

starting an online businessYes it’s going to take a little time – that kind of depends on you though. Yes you may need to keep the full time or part time job for a while till the money starts rolling in but in comparison to our experience with starting and building the instructor business (my partner still worked part time as a carer for more than 3 years before she was earning well enough to quit) It’s a no brainer.

Finally – Scalability. A driving instructor is a high stress occupation – My partner has been rear ended twice in the last month, once by a taxi driver during a test.  It’s also limited in terms of how high you can build it. You can only do so many hours if you want to stay alert and fully functioning (and have a life) so there is a ceiling.

You are dealing direct with people – usually young people who don’t think twice about cancelling or rearranging lessons at short notice – often by text – throwing the diary into disarray.

My partner is a slave to her phone and diary and often has to spend hours in evenings or days off re- arranging her entire schedule around cancelled or changed lessons.

An online business can be scaled to the nth degree with little extra work. Of course there still needs to be contact with people but this is usually by means of Facebook, Google hangouts, Skype calls and webinars – from home – or wherever you happen to be.

I hope this look at online business v driving instructor franchises puts things in to perspective at least. I’ll end with this. My partner’s business is now very good but it really takes a toll on her. She is very creative and would like to concentrate more on making curtains, cushions and refurbishing furniture.

I am looking at starting a website for her so that we can both be working on online businesses. SFM has enabled me to do this and we can now see the very really possibility of working at things we love from anywhere in the world. Starting an online business is possible in our present age for anyone who acquires the skills and resources to do it. I’m with Stuart Ross when he says that having an online presence and knowing what to do with it will be the essential skill set for the future – in fact the future is here. Find out what we’re on about on the link below.

online business v driving instructor - clickable image for Six Figure Mentors = training, marketing and lead generation