How does Driving Miss Daisy® ‘compete’ with volunteer services?
We do not consider any other provider of community transport services a competitor to us. Volunteer drivers, community transport, Red Cross, Guild Care, ‘Dial-a-Ride’, taxi services, local buses all have a valid place in offering clients/passengers a service. We have identified a significant need in the UK for all manner of people who may need extra support that may or may not be provided by one of the above services. Our unique selling points are offering a tailor-made, pre-booked, personal service which is beyond door to door and where additional elements can be built into the transportation – such as escorting a client to a hospital department, waiting and return. Clients value the one-to-one service as opposed to community transport which may pick up several passengers on route and go to a single destination such as the supermarket. Many clients need our services at particular times to fit around specific appointments and volunteer services are not always able to be as flexible. If however we are unable to provide transport for whatever reason, we will always refer to one of the above as a potential alternative.
How selective is Driving Miss Daisy® at choosing franchisees?
The process is very much two-way, we have to ensure we are working with community spirited individuals who will be able to embed the values and ethos of Driving Miss Daisy®. We will turn prospects down if there is a lack of synergy between us. We have a robust interviewing process and equally you will expect to understand as much about the business opportunities, set-up and support as possible. To this end, we work in a transparent and professional manner with a clear process from enquiry to launch. We are very keen to work with franchisees who are ‘people’ orientated above those who are purely thinking about how much money can be made. Whilst businesses need to thrive and grow, our brand, reputation and image is extremely important, as is the safe, caring and dignified way in which we work with clients.
May I speak with any existing franchisees to get their perspective?
Yes, we encourage you to speak to others in the Daisy ‘family’ as they will be able to offer you an insight into their own experiences.
Choosing a Driving Miss Daisy® franchise; six franchisees answer questions on why they chose Driving Miss Daisy® as their business; their journey as a franchisee so far, and what advice they give other people considering a franchise.
Have any franchisees failed in the UK?
Pleasingly, no franchisees have failed to date. One or two have been valued with a view to sale and one has sold for family reasons. Many of the UK franchisees are young and establishing so the vast majority are increasing their growth.
Advertising, marketing and other costs – what are they?
You receive a ‘start up’ set of marketing materials to help you begin to advertise your franchise, this will include:
- Business cards
- Service user leaflets
- A4/A5 poster
- Daisy folders
- Lanyard & case
- Name badge
- Job sheet pad
- A4 display paper
- A5 display paper
- Rubber stamps
- Yellow balloons
- Daisy pens
- Daisy key ring
- Daisy mug
- Gift vouchers
- Greetings cards
- Daisy pin
- Polo shirt x 1
We require, or can assist with establishing, a marketing plan to attract new clients as soon as possible and therefore franchisees may explore how best they can do this in a cost effective way – often depending upon any contacts they already have in their local communities and whether they prefer to undertake presentations to care home providers, for example, or leaflet drops. There is evidence to show that investing time to circulate leaflets attracts a good level of interest.
Public Liability Insurance (PLI) – is this required?
PLI is a requirement. If you employ drivers, you must also take out Employers Liability Insurance. We have negotiated good rates for both these insurances through our insurance partners that will appear in the cash flow forecast provided.
What private hire arrangements will I need to make?
Licensing arrangements are based on current UK legislation but do vary from council to council. We will make the initial approach on your behalf, determine what is needed and support you through the process. All have these basic requirements:
- Operator’s Licence
- Private Hire Licence which includes DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, Medical and Driving Assessment (the nature of this varies) and in some instances a local knowledge test
- Vehicle mechanical test and vehicle private hire licence
What types of cars do you use?
Currently the Citroen Berlingo is the vehicle of preference – these are either a specially prepared standard vehicle or are an adapted Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) version. We can assist in arranging finance through our various financial partners.
What fees can I charge clients?
Each engagement is unique to the client and is priced accordingly and pre-quoted. In essence there are three elements, driving, companionship and shared journeys (outings etc). It is simple and is covered during your Franchisee Training.