2023-08-08 • updated 2023-08-15 2
Driving School Software2022-12-27
Unlock your driving school's full potential with Bolt CDL's innovative driving school software. Streamline scheduling, payments, and compliance tracking. Features include online booking, SMS reminders, real-time reporting. Upgrade your driving school today with Bolt CDL.
How Do I Manage My Driving School Business?
Many start driving school businesses, but only a few really think about how it will operate. In real-life, every new business, even the ones started through a franchise, are more like a puzzle, many different puzzle pieces that are rarely tied together. This is the reason why so many new businesses fall. To be successful in your endeavor, you as the owner must first have a plan for everything, and think about all the nuances, risks, and peculiarities. It is an owner’s task to create interactions between separate parts of the business, don’t expect this from your employees as no one will care more about your business than you. Delegation is good, however, only for businesses where everything is already set up, people will not guess what you expect to get as a result, and more likely they will just pretend to work.
In a driving school business, the owner will have to set up the relationships between the following parts:
- Applicants (your future students)
- Driving school managers (office staff)
- Instructors (training/field staff)
- State (FMCSA and local licensing agencies)
In other words, you must set up an “Administrative Accounting” system for your business. All four areas should be naturally integrated (built-in) into your Administrative Accounting System. Why? Because everything you’ll do further, will be based on the information and results of your Administrative Accounting System. You are either enrolling new students, graduating them, evaluating them, or deciding whom to expel. You must have information to proceed with all these actions. How do you gather such data, where would you securely store it, and how can you keep it safe from malicious individuals? Which team members need to have access to this data and what type of access should it be? You can just go with the flow, as much do, however, we can offer a better solution.
Let's delve a little deeper into the subject and explore options for the solution. Bolt School Management Software works with numerous driving schools all over the US, from our experience, there are four typical options:
1. Self-written Accounting System
You can create your Administrative Accounting System with spreadsheets, and this will work up to a certain point. This option is the cheapest way to manage your driving school. You can subscribe to Microsoft Office starting at about $200 per year or use the online Microsoft Office version. How safe is this option? Will you be able to scale your system? But most importantly, how will you set up the data exchange process between different parts of your self-written Accounting System? You probably know, that as a driving school, you are required to keep all your students’ data for the next 7 years after graduation. Let’s calculate these numbers. What quantity of students per month do you need to cover your basic operating expenses of rent, salaries, taxes, vehicle fuel, and repair? Is it 20, 50, or 100? Nevertheless, just multiply that quantity by a minimum of 15 (3 enrollment forms, up to 10 evaluations, and total training time sheets). Is this a lot? Wait, this is per month, but how many will it be after 7 years? We are talking about just gathering the data, but you’ll have to work with this data. You’ll need reports to figure out how the operation process is going. For instance, just imagine what needs to be done to figure out with a self-written Accounting System the balances owed to your school (Accounts Receivables). A day, or are you willing to rely on your office staff? With BoltCDL driving school software, this can be done with just one click, and within 5 seconds you are able to regenerate an Accounts Receivables report at any time.
2. Semi-automatic Administrative Accounting System
Another option would be to use a semi-automatic Administrative Accounting System. Some of your processes will be fully automated, for instance, enrollment, and some will be managed in spreadsheets. Will this work? Sure, if you are willing to have a small, local, or family business, but to grow your business, your Administrative Accounting System must be scalable as well. Scalability means, that it doesn’t matter how many student enrollments your school has– whether 10 or 1K, or maybe you have 10 campuses averaging 10K students each. Your Administrative Accounting System must be reliable, fast, productive and the reports should be predictable and accessible. Is a semi-automatic Administrative Accounting System a good place to start? Frankly speaking, no they are not good to start with. This is due to new businesses having high staff turnover rates, so you’ll spend a lot of time training your new employees how your system works. Imagine the volume of mistakes that will be done while they learn and amount of risk for losing data you’ll face during this process. Moreover, you’ll spend money on software for transferring the data among the automated areas, and all your Administrative Accounting System productivity will depend on and be limited by such transferring procedures. For instance, you have a fully automated the enrollment process, so how will you inform your managers that a new student finished the enrollment process? Or, you have automated the ELDT, how will you update your students’ progress? It is a really bad decision to pay some of your employees to monitor the progress and update it manually in your spreadsheets? The salary you’ll pay to an employee to do this manually could be the cost of your Administrative Accounting System. We can go down the list – what about electronic signatures, how will you calculate the total training time of your students, what about scheduling skills tests, etc.? Considering the price of such a setup – up to 1K per month, we would not recommend this option.
3. Outsource Administrative Accounting System
You could hire several accountants or outsource the Administrative Accounting System processes. However, your accounting and student data is the most valuable asset in your school. Think about it, neither your staff, place, nor vehicles are as valuable as your school data. Staff, vehicles, or any other assets can be replaced, but the operating details and business processes cannot be replaced, otherwise, the whole business could be at risk. The operation functions are the most valuable resources in your business. So, would you outsource the operations of your school, the most valuable resource, in your business? You’ll face the same dilemma when working with a franchise.
4. Lastly, let’s discuss a complete software solution for driving schools
What is a Driving School Management System?
A driving school management system is a type of software designed to help driving schools manage their business and administrative tasks. It typically includes a range of features and tools to help driving schools schedule and manage driving hours and exams, process payments and track billing, manage their students and instructors, and track and maintain their vehicles and equipment.
Some specific features included in a driving school management system may include:
1. Enrollment management. It provides the applicants with online enrollment forms, also it verifies the completed information, validates it where necessary, and submits it to managers for review. This speeds up the enrollment process and allows for follow up on each applicant’s enrollment process.
2. Scheduling and appointment management: Allows driving schools to schedule driving lessons and exams for their students, and manage their availability.
3. Billing and payment processing: Helps driving schools process payments for program tuition fees, state tests, and tracks billing and invoicing.
4. Student and instructor management: Allows driving schools to keep track of their students and instructors, including their contact information, schedules, and progress. Driving schools often use evaluations/tests to assess a student's ability to safely operate a vehicle. These tests may include various maneuvers such as starting and stopping the vehicle, backing up, turning, and parallel parking. The tests may include behind-the-wheel driving portion where the student must demonstrate the ability to follow traffic laws and signals, merge onto a highway, and respond to various traffic situations. BoltCDL will gather students’ test data for you to see the whole picture of their progress. Sometimes, state agencies can request this information to be provided.
5. Reporting and analytics: Provide driving schools with insights on their business performance, including revenue, customer satisfaction, and other key metrics.
Driving school management systems may be delivered as a cloud-based service or as an on-premises solution and may be available as a stand-alone product or as part of a larger suite of business management tools.
So let's recap. Your driving school does not necessarily have to use a specific driving school software, but only if you create your business for local purposes and do not plan to expand. In all other cases, of course, it is necessary to think through the logic of your own Administrative Accounting System in advance. Your system should be secure, web-based, with clear pricing, should include a driving school booking system, and a management system for enrollment, ELDT, tests, and exams. Make sure an option you preferred is a general driving school software solution. It is important to start using driving school software from the very beginning because all the business processes of your driving school will be built on top of your Administrative Accounting System, otherwise, you will have to change the business logic in the future. This will lead to additional costs. Build your business correctly with https://boltcdl.com from the very beginning. If your business is already running, then don't waste time, because an additional delay will increase your future costs.