Grant Wilson – Driver Hire Aberdeen
Over the past 25 years, Grant Wilson, franchisee at Driver Hire Aberdeen has become something of a superstar within the Driver Hire network.
He’s remarkable not just for his longevity – Driver Hire’s longest standing franchise – but he’s also developed a highly successful business.
Starting out as a one-man band, Grant now employs eight people and regularly finds work for around 150 drivers on a weekly basis. He was the first Driver Hire franchisee to break through the £3m annual turnover mark, is a past Driver Hire franchisee of the year and was the 2019 winner of Driver Hire’s Salver. This is an award, not just for outstanding business performance, but more for his valuable contribution to the Driver Hire network.
He’s certainly come a long way. Before buying his Driver Hire franchise, Grant was an accountant working for the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society. On the face of it a rock-solid kind of a job. But it wasn’t enough to protect him during the 1990s’ recession. Redundant and a widower with two young children, Grant decided that being his own boss was the way forward. Running a Driver Hire franchise gave him the flexibility he needed to meet family commitments and make him master of his own destiny. As Grant wryly observes, “It’s impossible to give yourself the sack.”
After doing some research, his accountant’s eyes alighted on the possibilities of franchising – with Driver Hire. Needless to say, Grant was soon sold on the benefits. “It reduces the risk factor immensely,” says Grant. “You’re buying into a proven business model, there are plenty of other franchisees to check things out with before you buy and if you choose to go ahead, full back-up and support from the franchisor.”
“Driver Hire fitted the bill for a number of reasons. It was clearly a dynamic and successful business,” Grant recalls. “I found the recruitment concept interesting and, of course, there were plenty of other successful franchisees in their network. Above all I didn’t just want to buy a job, which is what some other franchises effectively give you. With Driver Hire I was investing in a real business opportunity.”
“It’s fair to say, whilst it didn’t feel like it at the time, losing my job at the Co-op was actually a blessing and forced me to look at potential career alternatives. I’m certainly in a much more rewarding situation as a Driver Hire franchisee than I ever would be as one of their employees,” Grant concludes.