Ok, so now you are a Driving Instructor, a self-employed business person. Now it is time to let everyone know you have arrived. Start by telling friends and family but do not fall foul of offering them too much discount. You want them to come to you because they trust YOU and not because you are cheap!! This is a mistake many novice instructors make feeling they owe the family or friends and it helps with start up. Now If you are going to offer cheap lessons, how can you turn this around? Maybe they have to bring you 2 friends who learn then they get the discount. Maybe they put posters up or after each lesson they spend 1 hour putting leaflets out with you. (I would go with them to ensure it is done and it is a good opportunity for you to do this too.)
Friends and family can be a great source of introductions to help kick start your business as everybody likes to recommend someone they know. Pass out business cards to everyone you know and always keep a supply on you. Keep cards in your pocket, in the car and handy at home. Whenever you go out, put a fresh supply of business cards in your pocket too. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a dirty old card that’s been in your pocket for some time. Look for every opportunity to tell people. Consider getting a name badge made up with your name and school. These are great for letting people know what you do. Many instructors who use them are often being asked for their number when in supermarkets and public places and remember to have those clean business cards handy. A very common mistake is to be shy about not telling people. Do you have teenage children in the family? A great way is to let them have free lessons in return for recommendations. If you have a part time job then what opportunities can this bring for spreading the word?
I used to put business cards under my windscreen wipers with a sign saying ‘one of these has a free offer’. Pupils would look for the free one and chose that one. Later when they told me I would show them the supply of free ones in my pocket and explain ‘they were meant to pick that one!!
Challenge: Try to give out 5 business cards a day.