If you’re a small-business owner who has been impacted by COVID-19, we have tips to help you survive and, dare we say, thrive. Driving Schools need to work on Coronavirus-proofing their business in months to come.
Things can feel very overwhelming at the moment and if get stuck in procrastination, we may miss the opportunity. There is no time for overwhelm! Remember, some of the world’s most successful people and businesses have emerged from the hard times. In tough times comes great innovation which we are already seeing with new products and services emerging. Is this your time to find the silver lining and thrive?
During this challenging time, seize the opportunities that may arise. Some suggestions to keep in mind when looking ahead to the next few months!
Don’t wait for the government to rescue you
Now is the time to control your own destiny – act as if there is no government help coming and if it does it will be an unexpected bonus. The future of your business is up to you.
How can you step up and lead?
If you are a larger then “solo” driving school now is the time for strong leadership. Sometimes during hardship, businesses will thrive because they are led by exceptional leaders who never lose faith. If you don’t have a dream team, is now the time to build your driving school by collaborating with other like-minded instructors? Start building your virtual dream team and get ready for when you open up for lessons again. Consider your extended network, in unexpected times sometimes unexpected collaborations emerge including working with a competitor to serve your students. Look for technology that can help you manage a Driving School run in this way, maybe over a few locations!
Change, pivot, execute and adapt to a new reality
The worldwide crisis has forced businesses of all sizes to adapt and evolve. The silver lining could be that businesses are forced to expedite their use of technology to make their team and their customers’ lives easier and better. Not all transformations rely on technologies but it can greatly aid by taking your business fully online. Going digital will be embraced like never before. Implement new systems that don’t necessarily rely on people. Some businesses have already got on the front foot and pivoted. Speed of execution counts and as a small business you have the ability to be more nimble than others. Don’t panic, instead, look for opportunities!
Connect with your customers
Resonate with your students and parents and make sure their needs are met. This period of COVID-induced crisis is an important time because the way in which your driving school handles your customers and also how you support your instructors will have a lasting impact on the brand of your school. Communication is key, work out the best strategies to stay in touch – using email and SMS Campaigns. Because texting is so simple, and messages are short by design, your students love using SMS as a means to engage with your driving school. They don’t have to sit on hold or ring to check if you are open. This way of communicating is a permanent fixture on everyone’s mobile!
Focus on your website and online presence
Your driving school website, marketing materials and ads are going to be an especially competitive advantage right now. With the world fighting for engagement, your website should be your powerhouse to attract your students through content and marketing strategies. Make sure you website is set up to offer value to your students (Gift cards, discount coupon codes) and make sure your online presence is optimised. See more about what options YLOODrive offers in terms of helping you grow your online presence.
Focus on services that save your student’s money
As you start preparing to open for lessons, ensure your services save your students money . Think about how you can get paid upfront. You want the lesson bookings badly but now is the time to tighten up your payment terms, not loosen them. Work on an attractive deal for payment upfront from students or get paid in instalments – sell more lesson packs allowing students to make part-payments but still benefit from the pack discounts.
Treat your database like gold
Service your existing students and parents like there is no tomorrow. Now is the time to throw in a few extras or incentives and make them an advocate of your Driving School – word of mouth is powerful and referrals now are what you need more than ever! Implement a referral programme, asking students to refer you on to 3 friends and reward them with a discount coupon code on their next lesson. Let your students know that you are working on ways to keep things going — keeping them up-to-date and making it easier to get access to important information. Be proactive about communicating what is possible and what isn’t during this time. Help your students and parents to get a realistic idea of what is going on and build trust by being proactively transparent. It is critical to nurture trust, reliability and consistency through any crisis, as trust can fade and panic can spread faster than any virus.
Productise your service-offerings
Products can help you make money while you sleep. Are there complementary products or services you can add to your existing Driving School service offering? In order to scale and grow during these times, you need products as well as services. Keep things simple, just start with one idea – is it an e-book, an online course or something that can be purchased and paid for and perhaps you can offer memberships to students. Can you move any aspect of your driving school business online? Maybe you have already been thinking about this but and now is the time to fast-track it.
A big secret to execution is momentum. Your daily habits of proactive activity, even just a short period of proactive sales and marketing activities each day can build the momentum you have dreamed of. Keep it up!
Quality not quantity
Maybe now is the time to ensure that your Driving School is offering quality, not quantity. It’s hard to stand out from the competition when your business is trying to be everything to everyone. Reassess the services that you are offering and really look at which are cost-effective as there may be some you want to drop from your list of services.
Balance work priorities and personal health requirements
Take measures to avoid exposure. What extra effort has to be made (at least for the time being) to ensure people will stay safe and healthy? When you do open again for lessons, make sure you continue to communicate what precautions you are putting in place.
- Highlight your hygienic disinfecting process in between lessons
- Offer free cancellations for student who with any flu symptoms despite cancellation policies
Importantly – stay health, calm and patient
There is an abundance of information out there – from washing hands to cleaning surfaces and objects. However, knowing these things is one thing, applying them another. Make sure to re-enforce such measures, and communicate them repeatedly with your team. These precautions will be with us for awhile and will possibly become the necessary new norm.
Ways to Look forward
- Continue to communicate with email and SMS campaigns
- Sell gift cards
- Market discount coupon codes for lessons packs purchased online
- Allow students to pay in instalments/deposits
- Continue to allow students to book online with the flexibility to reschedule as more information unfolds
Find ways to keep on selling and doing business. There are more opportunities than you think.
YLOODrive can help you to continue to manage your business from home and online with your instructors having access to their profiles to continue in the same way as well. Start getting your business ready to re-open. We look forward to being a partner in your success!
Talk to our team about discounts on your subscriptions
We are in this together and are here to help your business get through this and come out the other side better than ever, so talk to us about your options. Simply drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.