BSM Solo Franchise Case Study: Karyn Cunningham, based in Durham

Written by
Adam Stonehouse
14th of July, 2021

If you are considering becoming an ADI, you maybe left asking some questions. Often the best way to answer questions around career changes like these is to speak with someone who has walked that path before you. We sat down with Karyn Cunnigham. Karyn has been a driving instructor for the BSM driving school for a number of years on the Solo Franchise agreement. We spoke to Karyn about what life is like for her and the day to day life of being a driving instructor on the BSM Solo Franchise.


When did you become an ADI?
I started my journey to become an approved driving instructor a few years ago now having qualified in June 2019 and have been happily teaching ever since.


What first attracted you to train to become a driving instructor?
My sister is also a driving instructor and I saw first-hand what a great work life balance she had, being able to juggle a busy family life alongside a rewarding career. I felt if it could work for her, it could also work for me. It’s great as we’re able to support and help each other as needed.


What type of franchise are you on?
I initially joined BSM on a Trainee Partner franchise whilst I had my pink licence and was still training. However, once I was fully qualified, I switched to the Solo franchise, which is perfect for me.


What made you choose the Solo franchise?
Being new to the industry, the Solo franchise provided me with the reassurance that I needed to get my business up and running. I have one weekly payment which covers my car lease, insurance, breakdown cover and a 48-hour car replacement if needed. I am then able to concentrate on teaching my pupils.


Does the Solo franchise give you the control you need to run your business?
Yes, it does. After being on the Trainee Partner franchise I had started to build up my reputation in my local area and felt confident that I would be able to find my own pupils, so I am in control of marketing my business, yet still have a link to a national driving school.


What do you think are the key benefits to this type of franchise to you?
The Solo franchise gives me the flexibility to run my business my way. I have the benefit of having the support of a team and the BSM brand behind me, but to my pupils it’s my driving school, with my name on the car.


What is it you enjoy most about being a driving instructor?
I enjoy the flexibility that my job provides me, but more than anything I’m passionate about teaching people an important life skill. I am lucky as I get to meet a variety of people every day, each with different challenges and barriers that they’re looking to overcome. So, to see them pass is their driving test is hugely rewarding.


What would you say to anyone considering taking a Solo franchise?
I would certainly recommend it. Knowing that you have a pool of resources that you can lean on if needed is hugely beneficial, yet it’s your business to run your way.

Being part of the BSM franchise has also opened up other development avenues for me, as there are opportunities to become a trainer and help teach the next generation of driving instructors or join the Motability scheme to offer disabled people and carers direct access to driving lessons, helping them to gain independence.


If you are considering training to become a driving instructor we hope that Karyn’s answers have provided you with an insight to what your life may look like when you qualify. BSM can take you from training to running your own driving school business. If you would like further information get in contact with us today.

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