Richard Bradshaw – Driver Hire Guildford
Richard Bradshaw joined the Driver Hire network as a franchisee when he bought our already established Guildford branch in October 2014.
He’d previously worked in the hospitality industry in Florida. Richard relocated back to the UK following the global financial crisis and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. These two events had a severe impact on bookings at the hotels he owned, as well as a wider negative impact on property valuations.
Why Driver Hire?
“When I was looking to buy a franchise, Driver Hire appealed to me because of its long track record of success. Plus, Driver Hire is a management franchise and isn’t a capital-intensive business, which means I don’t have to tie up large amounts of working capital in stock. This helps to generate higher levels of profitability,” comments Richard.
Driver Hire is a five times bfa HSBC ‘Franchisor of the Year’ award-winning brand that has been franchising since 1987. Franchisees run a recruitment business within their own postcode defined territory and help local businesses that operate their own fleet of vehicles to find temporary and permanent drivers and logistics staff.
Richard adds: “At any one time I have a pool of over 125 drivers, supplying around 30 different clients each week, ranging from local businesses through to major national brands. With an established customer base to start with I got off to a flying start. Thanks to a mix of hard work plus ongoing support from Driver Hire’s head office team, I’ve maintained my success. Not bad for a franchisee who had no previous experience of either recruitment or road transport.”
What’s unique about my Driver Hire business?
Richard believes that being a franchise makes his business unique: “None of my local competitors are franchised and I firmly believe that it gives me an edge over them. They are mostly managed offices, or one man bands. My clients benefit from dealing with a local owner-operated business, supported by a nationwide network. My personal investment, in terms of both time and money, ensures that they get a service that other agencies find hard to match. It’s about personal care of both my clients and my drivers. My aim is to develop long-term relationships with both.”
In his first full year’s trading (2015/16), Richard increased turnover by 48%, passing the £1m revenue milestone. His initial success continued into his second year when, thanks to a mix of targeted effort and outstanding customer service, turnover climbed further.
“When I was considering a franchise back in 2013, another reason behind my decision to buy Driver Hire Guildford was that, even as an established business, I still felt there was huge untapped potential in the area. I think I was right – we’re currently on course for our third record year.”
Of course, turnover is only one part of a business success story. Alongside the challenge of being your own boss, the key attraction for entrepreneurs is the potential to make money.
Richard’s franchise was in profit in the first year. Profits have continually increased and grew over 125% over the next 2 years. This meant he was able to expand his team and keep on winning new customers.
Richard believes that the consistent revenue growth he has achieved so far has demonstrated that his business is on very solid ground. If we continue to deliver the same level of service to our clients – and attract new ones – I firmly believe we will continue to grow.
This is backed up by Driver Hire’s own network figures. 2017/18 delivered a fifth consecutive record year for the business overall. Average full-year turnover for a Driver Hire franchise (single unit) rose to more than £1.1m, over three times the national franchise average of £378,400.