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Rod is converted by sound business model

running his own business, was diligent in his research for his next venture and in 2011 bought Driver Hire Plymouth. “I had been in the music business for


20 years, owned a backpackers’hostel in Cornwall, run a specialist furniture shop and made a mark in the online financial services industry - I wanted a proven business I could grow,” he recalls. “I wanted to stay in the Plymouth area

and started looking at all the opportunities in and around the vicinity. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but wanted something that followed a sound business model and would be a secure investment.” During his search he looked at over

600 businesses for sale before deciding on Driver Hire. A recruitment business, it is a B2B management franchise with 100 offices nationwide. The business has been running successfully for 30 years, and franchising since 1987. The largest specialist in its field, it

provides temporary and permanent drivers and other logistics staff to local and national organisations in both the public and private sectors. Franchisees running a Driver Hire franchise provide a 24/7 recruitment service. It helps clients keep their business moving when, for example, a driver is off sick or on holiday. It also saves clients’money by helping them to strategically plan their staffing levels - providing a flexible workforce to meet customer demands. This is especially valuable in the current economic climate.

Benefits of a franchise “When I discovered Driver Hire I

initially had no idea it was a franchised business. I had actually thought franchising was a bad idea - I worried that working with a franchisor would mean I would not have enough control over my business, but having now been a franchisee for over two years, my original point of view has been totally turned on its head.” He was surprised in talks with his

aving decided it was time for a change, Rod Halling, no stranger to

● Rod Halling

bank for funding how much it bought into the franchise model and the brand. “I made enquiries through the banks

about the business,” he explains. “One thing that stuck out was finding a bank saying, ‘Yes, Driver Hire, it’s in our top three franchise opportunities - jump at it’. Obviously that helped to strengthen my own thoughts - I then knew I was looking at a secure investment with serious potential.” Franchising is viewed as a safer way

to run your own business - the support and expertise of the franchisor and the franchise network is a vital lifeline, par- ticularly when things become challenging or specialist advice is needed. Becoming a franchisee hasn’t really changed Halling’s life as he is accustomed to being his own boss.

One thing he has come to highly value

is the benefits of belonging to a network. “I religiously attend Driver Hire’s territory meetings,” he says. “It’s great because I get to meet people who are in the business and understand it, but who I’m not competing against.”

Support package His lack of direct experience in

recruitment and logistics has been no barrier to success. The Driver Hire support package includes a two-week intensive training programme; administrative functions

such as invoicing and payroll; bespoke IT system that takes care of bookings, candidate and customer records, and helps to ensure legislative compliance; national accounts team that delivers centrally-won business opportunities; marketing team that provides a steady stream of professional marketing resources and a dedicated area development manager. Having started franchising in 1987

and having won BFA Franchisor of the Year awards in 2006 and 2012, Driver Hire provides an outstanding route for anyone looking to run their own business in the recruitment sector. Two years down the line, Halling

doesn’t regret picking Driver Hire out of the 600 options he found and he would definitely do it again. He is looking to further build his business and has invested in a team with the right attitude that he says “will help the business fly.” “One of the best things about being a

Driver Hire franchisee is interacting with drivers, clients and staff - it’s the people aspect that I really enjoy,” he says. “Of course the profits at the end are a positive bonus.”

The minimum investment level for a Driver Hire franchise is £35,000.

● To find out more about Driver Hire, visit, email or call Kasia Baldwin on 01274 361 073.

April/May 2013 9

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