Fifteen years ago, DrivenByQ was officially founded. With just one regular customer giving us work, it was enough to open a bank account and begin trading. Transporting patients undergoing cosmetic surgery was a great way to learn about smooth driving. Believe it or not, I am still complimented on my ability to avoid pot holes. Shortly after our first account customer came on-board, we landed the first corporate customer and found a new direction.
Driven By Who?
Initially, there were four of us planning to work together. As soon as we identified the corporate route however, one of the four wished us the best of luck and said it wasn’t for him. That left three of us and before opening a dedicated bank account we needed a trading name. After lots of discussion we kept arriving at the letter ‘Q’. From previous research, I knew ‘Driven By’ was useful for search engines. Combining them seemed logical.
So why the letter Q? Did it stand for quality or quintessential? Was it just meant to add mystery? Among other reasons, it linked to two fictional characters we adored. We liked gadgets, technology and cars so Q paid homage to the Quartermaster from a certain spy movie. It also gave a nod to a master race in a television series set in space. They have an ability to travel through time and space without effort – something we still aspire to!
The Secret Sauce
With a name decided, we started growing but our branding was weak. Our email address and web domain had no bearing on what we did, or what we were called! Looking back, it actually gave us a blank canvas for defining our niche. The logo and other branding came years later. I suppose what really helped us grow was setting a new standard in customer service. Our cars were executive models, our drivers were focused and we replied quickly to emails.
Over the last fifteen years, we have strived to be the best we can. Many drivers have come and gone over that time. Even one of the founding members is no longer part of the team. We have improved at every stage of the journey. As volume grew it attracted new people to our team. It has taken time to get the right blend of personalities but I think we are finally there. With the right individuals in place, the sum of the whole is definitely greater than the elements combined.
Since the start of this year I have been looking back at different stages of our growth and represented them through the DrivenByQ Chauffeur Blog. They include early things like my first executive car, marketing my executive car and how to attract business passengers. We also recently added a new executive car gallery to our website. It shows some of the executive cars and people carriers used over our fifteen years of history. There is even a cheesy video from 2007.
The Next Fifteen Years of DrivenByQ
I suppose growing DrivenByQ has been a mixed bag of emotion. From dealing with a puncture on the side of a motorway to digging the car out of the snow at 3am in the morning. There have been challenges. On the flip side, there are moments of jubilation. Like signing up a big new account customer, or being inspired by the world specialist travelling beside you. Every stage brings its own set of unique developments.
Overcoming challenges with new ideas or fantastic solutions is what makes running a chauffeur company so addictive. From the early days as a sole-trader (with collaborators) to where we are now (as a VAT registered), Limited Company with a great team, it has been fun, engaging and stressful all at the same time. I wouldn’t change it though. In fact we are already investing and planning for the next fifteen years and it is going to be bigger and better than ever.