A complete guide to running and promoting your driving school

Want to learn how to operate and promote your own driving school? This comprehensive guide outlines all the strategies you need to know.

Driving is a life skill that everyone should have. It offers you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. It’s no surprise then that you’ll find a driving school in almost every community nationwide. Currently, the driving school industry is worth almost a billion dollars, so it appears it’s definitely worth running one. 

However, running and promoting a driving school is no easy task. Because the competition is so high, it’s likely that you’ll get lost in the mix if you don’t have some good strategies up your sleeve. 

Luckily, this guide is here to help. We’ve compiled some foolproof strategies to get your driving school up and running. We also have strategies for you to market your school. Read on to find out what they are. 

How to operate your driving school

1. Get a license 

You’re going to need a special license from your state to run a driving school business. There are a number of specifications that you’ll have to follow to become licensed. 

However, the exact details of it will likely vary from state to state. For instance, Connecticut has its own checklist for driving school licenses, which is very different from that of New York

Here are some things you’ll have to consider though:

  • Will there be a separate exam that you will need to take to become a licensed instructor?
  • Will the vehicle(s) you use need to be inspected?
  • Will you have to declare a place of business?

2. Research the competition thoroughly

Market research is one of the most important aspects of starting any business. Because competition is fierce in the driving school industry, you will have to be very thorough with your research.

Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • Exactly what services are other schools offering?
  • What are their prices? 
  • Are local charities, churches, schools, or other organizations offering free services

3. Have a curriculum

Offering a clear curriculum is crucial to get people interested in your driving lessons. Once you’ve done your competitor research, figure out what you want to teach. 

You can buy ready-made curriculums online, however, it would be much more cost-effective to create one yourself. Do your research. Go to your state’s DMV website and see what they look for in driving tests. 

Here are some must-haves for your curriculum:

  • Essential driver training (EDT) guidelines
  • Signs on the road
  • Driver reactions based on sudden scenario changes
  • How to take the driver’s test
  • Health and safety considerations

4. Create a services and pricing list 

Once you have a detailed curriculum, you will have to make some decisions about how to package your content.

Decide if you want to offer in-class training, on-the-road training, or a combination of both. We would recommend going with both, however, this will depend on the resources, time, and personnel you have. 

You should also consider offering different packages to students based on price. For instance, you can have a teaching package that only focuses on practical, on-the-road training. Another package can offer theoretical knowledge in the classroom, while a third package can offer a comprehensive blend of both.

Differentiate between packages based on levels – beginner, novice, and advanced. This way, people who are at different stages of driving knowledge and ability can pick what they’re comfortable with. 

To make it easier for your customers to choose the package they need, you have to present your packages and prices in a neat and streamlined manner. Browse through PosterMyWall’s price list template options to make a professional looking pricing list for your driving school. 

How to promote your driving school

After you’ve set up your school and prepared everything, you need to come up with a marketing plan to ensure people actually come to you. Below are some strategies you should consider. 

1. Create a website

Make it as easy as possible for people to find you and sign up for classes. If you’re offering multiple packages, a website is the most convenient place to lay out all the options available to students. 

These are some web pages you’ll need to include:

  • About us
  • Services 
  • Reviews and testimonials
  • Sign up 
  • Contact us 

Consider adding a web page for a blog, in which you talk about all things driving. This will optimize your site for SEO, and make it more visible in Google’s search results. 

If you’re unsure about how to get started, take a look at US One Driving School’s website. They’ve added all the essentials as web pages. They have also highlighted the fact that they’re licensed. This is important because it helps establish your credibility. 

2. Get the word out in your community

It’s very important that you market to people who live in the area you’re operating from. A good strategy is to hand out flyers around your neighborhood. This will build brand awareness and give people the information they need to contact you.

Flyers are also a great way to build your own team. At some point, you may need to look for staff, especially if you’re considering growing your business. A driver needed flyer would go a long way in getting you new staff and instructors. At the same time, you’ll be able to let people know about your business.

PosterMyWall also has plenty of transportation flyer templates that you should check out in order to advertise your school. 

Here are some flyer templates to get you started:

Customize template here

If you’re looking for a more aggressive marketing strategy, try going door to door to deliver your flyers. According to one study, door drops have a 78% efficacy, which is a lot higher than that of distribution in public spaces. 

If going door to door is too much of a hassle, SMS and WhatsApp marketing are still valid strategies used by marketers all over to spread the word about their services.

3. Get business listings 

Increase your school’s visibility by having a significant presence online. If someone were to google “driving school near me”, your school should at least be one of the top three options.

So, how can you make this happen? Well, you start by creating listings on all the big sites, especially Google’s My Business and Yelp. Consider putting your school in local driving school directories as well, where you’ll get a lot of traction.

Make sure your address and contact number is mentioned on Google. Include pictures of your school for greater visibility. Finally, add directions to your school that people can follow through Google Maps.

Remember, the goal is to be as accessible to people as possible. 

4. Get clients to refer your school to friends

Referrals go a long way in getting you business, especially if you’re looking to attract a more local audience. Get existing clients to recommend your school to friends and family. Also ask your staff to get the word out within their network.

Everyone knows someone who needs driving lessons. This is why referral-based marketing is such a great option for driving schools. 

In fact, follow the example of 2020 Driving School and offer referral bonuses and discounts to staff and clients if they successfully get a friend to sign up. 

5. Use social media to connect with potential students

Most people who are looking to get their driver’s license are young. Because of this, it’s extremely important to promote your school on social media, where young people have the greatest presence. Currently, over 3.6 billion people use social media daily, which is another indicator that this strategy is one you cannot miss out on. 

Use social media to not only run ads, but to also engage with potential students. According to one study, young people trust user generated content 50% more than ads run by businesses. So get your current students to share reviews and testimonials online, and encourage friends to sign up. 

Incentivise your students to do this in some of the following ways:

  • A free class
  • Discount on a package
  • Free merchandise

Also use social media to reach out and partner with schools and universities so that they send their students to you for driving lessons. 

Apart from this, post actively on Facebook and Instagram. Announce any new deals and promotions that could attract potential students. Use PosterMyWall to choose a dynamic driving school flyer template to customize and post on your stories and timeline. 

Remember, social media is all about engagement, so make sure that remains your first priority.

Final thoughts

You can run an amazing driving school if you implement these strategies effectively. Remember, competition is high so you need to bring your A-game to succeed. 

Here’s what you need to do: Focus on building a school that people can actually benefit from, using that to get good reviews and testimonials, and then using that to find new clients and build your brand. 

Start with getting a license, and doing your competitor research. Then build your school with the right curriculum and pricing. Finally, promote your school through your website, flyers, referrals, and social media.

Remember, marketing your driving school is key so start designing your promotional content today with PosterMyWall.