Lorraine Thompson has owned and run Driver Hire’s franchise in Oxford for over 16 years. In that time, she has become a leading example of how to combine personal drive and dedication with a proven franchise system to achieve business success.
This success was recognised by the British Franchise Association (BFA) in September 2011 when Lorraine was named Franchisee of the Year for the South West and Wales region.
Pictured, Lorraine receives her award accompanied by Chris Chidley, Driver Hire, chief executive.
Driver Hire Oxford is part of a nationwide network of almost 100 offices, specialising in providing recruitment services to the logistics sector. Driver Hire supplies some 3,000 personnel each day, mainly drivers and other logistics staff, to organisations in the public and private sectors.
Recruitment and training services
Lorraine’s office now employs five staff and finds work for over 300 local people every week. On top of that, Lorraine has taken full advantage of Driver Hire’s recently launched Driver CPC training service. Indeed, she has really led the rest of the network, having delivered training to over 1,000 drivers in two years.
This has provided Driver Hire Oxford with a valuable extra revenue stream, but Lorraine has also found that she is winning new customers for her core recruitment business by offering a wider range of services.
Commenting on her award, Lorraine said: “I was both shocked and delighted to win this award. It’s a great recognition for the whole team of how far we have come over the past years.”
Lorraine wasn’t alone in being recognised for excellence in franchising in 2011. Two more franchisees (Manjit Singh at Enfield and Sarah Matthews at Lincoln) reached the BFA awards shortlist and Driver Hire itself was a finalist for the fifth year running in the BFA Franchisor of the Year awards, which it won outright in 2006.
Support and partnership
In fact, Driver Hire is one of the UK’s longest-established and most respected franchise operations. A large part of the success of its business comes from the genuine partnership between franchisor and franchisee. Driver Hire is dedicated to providing exceptional support to its franchisees – there is a head office team of 50 serving its almost 100-strong office network.
Driver Hire is a business-to-business management franchise, operating in a highly legislative and compliance-led industry. Over the years there has been an enormous investment on the part of the franchisor in ensuring that all of its franchisees have a detailed understanding of the relevant rules and regulations, but also in developing systems, processes and training that make day-to-day operations as uncomplicated as possible. This in turn enables the network to deliver market-leading quality standards.
The extensive package of support includes administrative functions such as invoicing and payroll; a bespoke IT system which takes care of bookings, candidate and customer records, and helps to ensure legislative compliance; a national accounts team, which delivers centrally-won business opportunities; a marketing team providing a steady stream of professional marketing resources; and a dedicated area development manager.
Franchisees who follow the system and operate their business effectively can take home 10-12 per cent of turnover and of course, build up significant capital value as their business grows.
If you’re considering a move into franchising, what might this mean for you? Well, the average annual turnover of a Driver Hire office in 2010-11 was £735,000 – more than twice the £353,000 average turnover for a franchise in the UK, as revealed by the latest BFA/ NatWest industry survey.
As Lorraine says: “I love being a Driver Hire franchisee and get a buzz out of doing well. I’ve got a massive amount out of franchising – and continue to do so.”
To find out more about Driver Hire’s franchise opportunity, click here.