Four months on: Making it happen – new franchisees at Driver Hire Bristol
In March, Terry and Sophie Hughes took over at Driver Hire Bristol. Every new business venture is unique, but it’s fair to say that Terry and Sophie have experienced a rather ‘different’ start to most new Driver Hire franchisees.
2020 has been a challenge for everyone, of course. But when Terry and Sophie took over the long-established Driver Hire Bristol business – exactly one week before the unprecedented national lockdown – the husband and wife duo found themselves in totally unexpected circumstances.
They had made the decision to join Driver Hire in late 2019. Terry had spent the last ten years working as an international sales manager in the logistics supply chain for the diplomatic sector and Sophie was working for a well-known Financial company in compliance and pensions.
“We were both at a point in our careers when we wanted to work for ourselves. We had a good mix of skills to enable us to make a success of a Driver Hire franchise. Logistics was an element of what I was already doing so this was a natural next step for us,” commented Terry.
Terry and Sophie attended a two-week Foundation course with Driver Hire in mid-February, prior to taking over from the previous franchisee. Training complete and deal done, they were ready to go. Determined to build a successful business, the early signs of a possible pandemic did not put them off.
It quickly became clear that they would be starting their new career together in truly unique circumstances. However Terry and Sophie have embraced every challenge that came their way, remaining upbeat and positive throughout.
They used the early weeks, when lockdown was at its peak, to get to know the operational side of the Driver Hire business. They remained open for business 24/7, and impressively, have exceeded customer and candidate expectations by delivering a very high standard of service throughout.
“Like everybody else, we had no idea what to expect with Covid-19, the lockdown nor the sheer scale of it,” says Sophie. “But we’ve used the time well and we’re now in a great position to expand our business and extend our service to a wider range of people in the Bristol area. As well as being part of a nationwide network, we’re a family-run business, and we are so pleased to have been able to support local businesses during a difficult period.”
Commenting on Terry and Sophie’s first few months in office, Jeremy Neale, Driver Hire’s UK Managing Director, said: “We knew when we first met Terry and Sophie, that they had what it would take to be really successful. They’ve faced an extraordinary situation in their first few months, but they’ve really taken everything in their stride. We’re proud to have them in the Driver Hire network and look forward to celebrating future success with them.”