Driver Hire provides temporary driver labour but is also moving into the permanent labour space. Its turnover is tracking at £77m and it currently has 87 franchisees and 109 offices. The company was founded 25 years ago but Chidley took over the business in October 2004 through a management buy in backed by Aberdeen Asset Management.
Chidley says franchising provides a unique combination of benefits. “Customers benefit because they’re dealing with highly motivated, passionate individuals,” he says. “The franchisee can effectively become an entrepreneur without any of the risks of starting an entrepreneurial business from scratch and they can develop and grow their business much more quickly.
"The franchisor is able to roll out a national presence more quickly and effectively than they could with a managed business.”
Driver Hire’s management model was revamped when Chidley joined. As part of the changes, the company introduced a range of franchises that are managed offices where the managers have a shareholding in the business. “It allows us to bring high quality managers into the business,” he explains.
Chidley intends to develop the managed franchise system during the next few years.