After posting the blog ‘Fifteen Years of DrivenByQ’ my business partner ‘Steve’ asked, what about me? I planned to add him in the story but as the blog started flowing, it went in a different direction. Anyway, to make it up to him, this blog is all about ‘Steve’ – my business partner. There was a section in the Fifteen Years of DrivenByQ blog about founding members but Steve wasn’t one of the original four.
Before DrivenByQ existed, I worked in a taxi office. It wasn’t great but it did provide introductions to drivers in the private hire industry. Steve however, didn’t take that route. He came to the industry from a different angle. After suffering redundancy from his long-term employer in the manufacturing industry, Steve bought a chauffeur company originally based in Oldham.
Get The HABIT
He bought it with a friend called Graham who planned to grow it with him. Their company was ‘HABIT’. It stood for Hospitality and Business Independent Travel. Their strap line was ‘Get the Habit’. The chauffeur vehicles included in the purchase were two executive people carriers. They were the original, first generation Mercedes V Class (W638), originally introduced in 1996.
Things started well and they picked up some corporate work. There was enough business to keep Steve busy but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for Graham as well. Eventually Graham decided to take a different career path and Steve was looking for a new partner. Luckily, we had a common contact who put us in touch. We started sharing jobs and pooling our work. It brought efficiencies.
Driven by Q Ltd
By the time 2007 came along there was sufficient work to sustain us both on a full-time basis. There was even enough work to share with other drivers. It encouraged us to form a better structure and in October 2007, Driven by Q Limited was formed with four shareholders. Steve was now officially my business partner with us both registered with Companies House.
Working together made sense. We could share a booking system, an operator licence and even a working pattern. One person covering early mornings and the other doing the late nights if need be. It also facilitated one person working IN the business while the other worked ON the business. This helped our sales, booking technology and the growth in new business.
Something you come to learn when looking for new leads is that it helps to know people. Steve’s years of growing up in his Dad’s pubs certainly helped with this. He seems to more or less know everybody in the Wrexham area – and he is popular. The only downside is that his ability to consume the occasional beer can prove expensive at the Christmas party!
It takes a lot of trust to share your business with someone. With Steve, that trust has only grown over time. He has proved himself to be punctual, reliable and dependable. Today, he shares responsibility as Duty Manager – dealing with the daily running of DrivenByQ. This way, we can take time off, safe in the knowledge our business partner is looking after everything.