Since 2015, the warm and delightfully honest, Lisa Hughes, has been Driver Hire’s Birmingham central franchisee. She fills us in on the benefits of being part of the franchise, her personal experience and why the on-call phone is ALWAYS on
Lisa Hughes is one of the friendliest people you could meet – a huge benefit in her line of work, but she is not one to mince her words. When she speaks you get the whole truth. It is this combination that has seen her enter her seventh year of franchising at Driver Hire – supplying drivers, warehouse and logistics personnel to both the private and public sectors.
It was by chance that Lisa got involved with Driver Hire. Her experience is in account management and sales, but after providing umbrella services for the franchise she remembers: “I had visited most of the offices. I had also seen many franchisees making a good living and to be perfectly honest, I thought I could do better.”
With Driver Hire being voted the bfa’s Franchisor of the Year in 2019, it’s clear it must be an attractive prospect for franchisees.
So what does Lisa see are the benefits of being part of Driver Hire? As well as her two-week training in Bradford, she cites the network of “other franchisee’s always happy to help and national accounts, which give you essentially free business, along with continued marketing campaigns”. When asked to describe the Driver Hire brand, she sums it up: “Longevity and great service.”
For Lisa though “you can’t beat being your own boss” and this is something the franchise model has allowed her to achieve. “It’s a recognised brand and infrastructure, a proven business model, with a more flexible work-life balance, but certainly not in the early days, it’s hard work!” she says.
Hard work is unsurprisingly something Lisa does not shy away from. Describing the ideal franchisee, she lists someone who is not frightened of hard work, a good people person, strong-willed as some drivers really try and push buttons, someone who is able to react quickly, and be prepared to have a lot of disturbed nights with the on-call phone.
Lisa and the on-call phone clearly know each other well but it is a big part of the customer service she prides herself on. She says: “Our service is very reliant on excellent customer service, our on-call phone is ALWAYS answered, unlike many rival offices.”
Lisa has also gone the extra mile for her clients by diversifying the services on offer. “We supply forklift, warehouse, office staff and labourers as well,” she explains.
This excellent service is a big part of her business model and future plans. “We want to keep a steady customer base; we have found if we continue in this manner the business grows organically as we do not lose customers,” adds Lisa.
Offering one key final piece of advice to potential franchisees, Lisa said: “The best asset to the business is yourself, so don’t hide behind doing the wages.”