March 28, 2018
It takes years of trial and error to find the best driving school software, suppliers and marketing tools, right? Well, usually, but not in this case.
So, what were my considerations when making my extensive list?
They all had to deliver a quality product or service without breaking the bank. They also had to free up valuable time and make an owner’s life easier.
So, here you go – my ultimate A-Z list of the very best driving school vendors and tools.
Amazon and AAA
AAA’s “How to Drive”
AAA offers “How To Drive,” a 40-hour curriculum that’s aligned with the ADTSEA standards and meets most state requirements with little or no modification. It’s offered at 2,735 driving schools.
Amazon is the go-to place for affordable electronics. I recommend purchasing computers, printers, and more from this online giant. We also pay the $79 annual fee for Amazon Prime, which means we enjoy free two-day shipping on everything we purchase.
Gear your blog posts towards parents and offer advice on helping new teen drivers, the dangers of distractions, etc. Post 1-2 times per month and use a formula of one “evergreen” post plus one “newsworthy” one.
Most of your posts should be 500-800 words in length, but at least once per month post an in-depth 2,000-word article. If you don’t like to write, consider using an outside resource like Upwork.com.
Constant Contact & Costco
This is my favorite email marketing service. There are dozens to choose from, but love the simplicity, support and price of Constant Contact. The monthly subscription fee is based on your total number of contacts.
Constant Contact is very easy to use, and their customer service department is very friendly, knowledgeable and super responsive. Once you design your email templates, it’s easy to adapt them for new emails to your current or potential customers.
Costco is the country’s largest membership only warehouse club. It’s also a great resource to save big time on driving school supplies. A Business Membership is $60 annually or $120 for an Executive Business membership. Both levels include one household card. The higher level offers an annual 2% back reward.
The best thing about Costco is its cheap prices, followed closely by its 48-hour business delivery.
DSAA and Dual Brake
One way to save on new driving school vehicles is to join the Driving School Association of the Americas (DSAA). As a member, you can enjoy discounts on insurance, plus save on merchant services and car buying programs.
DSAA member benefits:
- Exclusive Insurance program with significant savings on business and car insurance
- Savings on merchant services through Transnational Bankcard
- Free subscription to a print-copy of The Dual News, DSAA’s official newsletter
- Advocacy through State/Provincial and National Governments
- Relationship building with others in the driving school and traffic safety industries
- Member discounts on all DSAA events
Head to the DSAA website to start saving. It’s definitely worth joining to take advantage of the new car discounts.
Some schools and states don’t require it, but I definitely recommend having a second rear view mirror in all of your driving school vehicles. Extra brake and accelerator pedals are also necessities because safety should always be your top priority and #1 concern.
Check out DualBrake.com to purchase rear view mirrors, plus extra brakes and accelerators. This driver education supply company has always been reliable and offers competitive prices.
Use Excel to set up spreadsheets for ALL of your supplies. Everything you order on a weekly, monthly or annual basis add to the spreadsheet.
Then your office manager can then pull up the spreadsheet and order supplies with just one click. It’s quick, easy, budget friendly and efficient.
About seven years ago, teens used Facebook regularly. Then, something strange happened. Parents took it over, so kids were forced to find other social outlets like Instagram and Snapchat. But, guess what? Parents (especially moms) use Facebook regularly. And, who pays for your driving school services? Check out their marketing services!
Google Ad Words and Got Print
Google Ad Words
There are many different types of PPC ads, but the two most popular on Google are search and display. Driving schools are local, so the search ad option will produce the best results. When a potential customer types in “driving schools” or “driving schools near me,” your paid search ad should display on the first page.
If you choose the right keywords and link to a highly relevant page of your website, you could even pop up as the #1 search result on Google.
When it does, it’s like winning the lottery. The Powerball lottery! To learn even more, read how to rank #1 on Google by checking out this blog post.
I have used local printers in the past for brochures, postcards, signs, and business cards. In fact, I like to support local businesses whenever I can. However, in the case of my printing needs, no business matched the quality and cost of Got Print.
I never worried about quality because Got Print uses state-of-the-art Heidelberg offset presses. Plus, due to the sheer volume of printing, Got Print can offer prices that are almost impossible to beat. Plus, you can place your order, upload your designs, and approve proofs all online.
This online tool connects with over 35 popular social networks, which gives subscribers the ability to manage all of their social accounts from just one place. This means you can be active on your social media platforms, but spend very little time on them.
Hootsuite also lets you reply to new messages with a single click. You can also track your social performance and grow your audience. If you have more than one location, Hootsuite can save you time and grow your audience.
It offers a 30-day free trial for small and medium businesses, making it one of the best driving school software tools available.
Insurance is one of the top five expenses for any driving school, so it’s critically important to choose the coverage and price that meet your needs and budget. Do you have too little coverage? Are you throwing money in the wind?
Look for an insurance company or agent that is responsive to your needs and can handle any issue that may arise. I highly recommend Brian Dolewski (email -bdolewski
Brian is an insurance expert who understands the driving school business to a tee.
He currently insures 50+ driving schools and writes over $750,000 in annual driving school premiums. More importantly, he understands and constantly evaluates the needs of driving schools across the country. Why go to a general contractor when you can choose an expert for a lower cost? Read more about insurance here.
Job posting websites
When you need to hire an instructor, teacher or office person, where do you post your job listing? Check out ZipRecruiter, a job-seeking platform that allows employers to post jobs in just minutes.
With a single click, their powerful technology sends your job to 100+ job sites across the web, identifies the best candidates, and notifies them to apply to your job.
Kissmetrics was founded by marketing guru, Neil Patel. Its monthly subscriber cost is $500 and too expensive for most driving schools. However, its blog is free to read, and the posts are jam-packed with helpful advice for driving school owners.
Recent Kissmetrics blog posts are titled “10 Accounting Basics You Need to Run a Successful E-commerce Business,” “The Benefits and Importance of Customer Satisfaction,” “4 Old School Marketing Tactics Making a Comeback in 2018,” and “Guide to Keyword Research.”
LastPass password management
If you’re like me, you have literally dozens and dozens of passwords. They may even be written down and filed away in a folder. When I discovered the free LastPass business app, I wanted to shout “YES!” from a mountaintop.
With LastPass, you have to remember only ONE master password. It includes unlimited storage for all of your passwords and notes. The best news of all is that it’s a FREE app, making it one of the best diving school software options available.
The goal of any driving school website should be to attract new customers and drive online sales. Therefore, you want it to be recognized and indexed by Google. This means that your web pages should include relevant keywords.
MozBar helps you target the right keywords and takes the mystery out of SEO. You’ll discover how people find your website. Once you know what’s working and not, you can optimize your website, track your keywords and even those used by your competitors.
Some MozBar tools are free including Keyword Explorer, Open Site Explorer and On-page Metrics. As your driving school grows, you can always upgrade to the MozBar Pro subscription.
Easy website navigation translates to higher online sales. It all comes down to a fully functional website that is easy to navigate and takes the least number of clicks to make a purchase. However, it must also provide just the right amount of information needed to motivate a customer to purchase.
When designing a client’s website, Drive Scout puts a strong emphasis on reducing the number of clicks to make a purchase. In a perfect world, it should take three (or less) clicks to checkout. Customers do not want to hunt and click all around to find what they need. One, two, three and done!
To learn more about Drive Scout’s website services, head to the Drive Scout website.
Do you want to start sending out newsletters to your customers, but you have no clue where to begin? Would you like to start blogging about teen driver safety, but you don’t have a writer on staff?
Then, you need a freelancing website to help grow your driving school without spending a fortune. Upwork is a great resource to hire affordable and talented freelance designers and writers.
Upwork freelance categories include designers and creatives, sales and marketing experts, accountants and consultants, writers, and even mobile developers.
To get started, you post a job and the specific skills it needs. Then, Upwork analyzes your needs and sends you a shortlist of likely candidates. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Project management software
I highly endorse the pure magic of Trello! This amazing task management software product keeps track of all my details – from the big picture to the smallest of details – and everything in between.
It may sound corny, but Trello changed my life for the better.
It all starts with a Trello Board, which is a list of lists filled with cards for individual projects. Simply open a card to add comments, upload file attachments, create checklists, plus add priority labels and deadlines.
My Trello board is the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I review at the end of a day.
Quickbooks Online Plus
When we switched from ADP ($6,000 per year) to Quickbooks Online Plus ($2,000 per year), we saved $4,000 instantly. Now, imagine spending that $4,000 savings on marketing to see your sales rise!
This extremely helpful tool combines bookkeeping and payroll programs into one.
In addition to saving money, it allowed me to free up hours that I used to spend on accounting.
Quickbooks Online Plus is super easy to use and tracks income and expenses so you can see exactly how much money your driving school is making. It saves valuable time by automatically organizing bank and credit card transactions.
Receipt management software
Have you felt the pain of doing expense reports on antiquated, less-than-intuitive platforms? Have no fear, Expensify is here.
Whether you’re a road warrior with pockets full of receipts or a busy accountant buried in paperwork, Expensify automates the entire receipt and expense management process.
To learn more about Expensify, head to their website .
Amex Spend Manager
If you use American Express for your driving school expenditures, then you’ll love Amex Spend Manager. This mobile app lets you take photos of receipts and organize transactions, manage employee spending and so much more.
Plus, you can use Spend Manager on your smartphone, on your desktop and via email. To learn more about Amex Spend Manager, click here.
Drive Scout manages payments, scheduling, customer staff data, your website, and so much more. It’s everything you need all in one place.
Whether you have 1 or 100 employees, Drive Scout has the features you need to save time and drive profits.
TransNational Payments (TNP)
TNP has been a great resource, saving our clients money on their credit card processing fees. Plus, Matt Gandolfo has been a platinum sponsor of the DSAA for years. He can provide you a free quote to show you how to save! Phone: (847) 655-1355. Email: MGandolfo@gotnp.com.
Udemy is an excellent online resource for training videos. Subscribers can access business-relevant content instantly, including 2,500 high-quality courses on key topics.
Udemy annual plans start as low as $240 and a free 14-day trial is always available.
I could be the poster owner for Toyota. Both the Toyota Prius and Corolla have incredibly low maintanance costs, the gas mileage is incredible, and they last!
WEX (Wright Express for fuel)
Do you reimburse instructors for gas at the end of every month? If so, consider switching to WEX, a fuel card that makes it dramatically easier to track and control fuel expenses.
Each instructor has a PIN number and each vehicle has its own WEX card. If you’re not using a gas card system, I highly recommend that you look into WEX.
Yext is a technology company that helps businesses manage the public facts about their brands that they want consumers to see online. It also lets you take control of your online brand across 100+ digital services.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of Yext.
I’m all about using automation to save valuable time and money. Zapier is a web-based service that allows end users to integrate the web applications they use. It moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work – driving sales and increasing profitability.
Zapier connects with apps like Facebook Lead Ads, Quickbooks, Google Sheets and Docs, MailChimp, Constant Contact and 1,000 more. It’s easy to build workflows with a few simple clicks.
Summary for best driving school software, suppliers and marketing tools
So, there you have it. I hope my detailed A-Z list of the best driving school software, suppliers and marketing tools helps your school! Take advantage of the best and avoid the rest.