As we start a new year, it’s a good idea to launch a business and earn profits. And when it comes to this, take the plunge into the automotive industry. However, you don’t have to manufacture and sell cars or provide auto maintenance and repair services. Instead, consider starting a driving school to help aspiring drivers earn their licenses and contribute to fostering road safety.
But as with any industry, opening a business comes with birth pains and challenges. There are several things to consider, from licensing to financial resources to marketing. You must also factor in various business aspects to ensure that your driving school drives its way in the right direction. Ultimately, starting your business right can be instrumental to its overall success.
That said, here’s how to start a driving school:
1. Study the market in your locality
Before taking the plunge, it’s best to check the automotive industry and study the market in your locality. It takes research and due diligence to see if locals are looking to earn a driver’s license and hit the road. Also, you need to check the competition in your area and gauge if the market is already saturated. Once done researching, you can decide whether to pursue your business plan.
2. Check your state and local laws and regulations
Once you’ve decided to start a driving school, be well-acquainted with your state laws and regulations. You want to ensure your legal compliance for launching a driving business. On top of this is your business licensing. Along with this are your driving instructor license, location requirements, vehicle registration, and even insurance. Contact your local authorities to see what the legal requirements are. Ultimately, make sure to comply.
3. Decide on your business structure
Another vital consideration is your business entity. Aside from coming up with a business name, decide on its business structure. For the most part, you’ll open a sole proprietorship business or pursue a partnership with other business owners. But to protect your personal finances, consider a limited liability corporation as the business structure for your driving school. From there, you can register your business name and obtain your business license.
4. Come up with a business plan
Once you have ensured the legitimacy of your business, you can now come up with a business plan. In this case, you have to be as specific as possible. Cover things such as your physical office, vehicles, and other resources. Also, consider your driving orientation modules, learning materials, online resources, and even driving simulations. Lastly, provide options for getting their permits. For instance, get a driving educator or recommend them to take online courses for a driver’s permit with partner businesses.
5. Prepare your finances and set your budget
As with any business, finance is the most crucial aspect. Know that you cannot launch a business without your financial resources. For one, you must set your budget for the capital outlay. It must cover your business registration fees, the property construction or rental cost, utility bills, vehicle expenses, website costs, and the initial wages of your instructors. In fact, the average starting cost for a driving school ranges from $10,000 to $50,000.
6. Have a team of driving instructors
For your driving business, either become the sole instructor or hire employees. However, you must secure a driving instructor license. This legal requirement allows you to train aspiring drivers or hire employees to perform the training itself. The licensing requires you to pass driving exams and background checks. However, get in touch with your local authorities to know the legal requirements.
7. Start marketing your business
It appears that everything is all set and ready for your driving school. However, there’s one thing you must not forget. That is to start promoting your business. When it comes to this, digital marketing is the key. Start by having a business site for your driving school for your website marketing. From there, implement search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to boost your online visibility and website traffic. Plus, don’t forget to employ social media, email, and content marketing.
At this point, you now know what it takes to start a driving school business. Consider the business tips discussed above, from studying the market in your locality to marketing your driving school. Be sure to factor in all your business aspects to kick it off on the right footing. By doing so, you’ll be able to launch your driving school successfully. Ultimately, you’ll earn good profits in time while supporting drivers and promoting road safety.