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Welcome Jean to Drive Happy!

Please welcome our new receptionist Jean!

Amber and I spent a lot of time reviewing applications and interviewing potential candidates. We had a great selection of qualified candidates, but Jean stood out from the rest with her positive attitude and great computer skills. Jean has been training with us for the last several weeks.

If you have called in recently you may have spoken to her. She is an quick learner who is picking up the skills and knowledge quickly, but remember that she is still new, and the California licensing process is one of the most complex in the country. Please be patient with her while she learns the process.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact myself or Amber directly via e-mail, or by calling 951-805-8666. You may also contact Jean directly via e-mail with questions, or to schedule.

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Don’t wait for spring break to start, call to schedule now!

We have quite a few students who have beat the rush by scheduling early.  If you are planning to get several lessons in during spring break, the sooner you lock in your date and time, the better. This is one of the busiest times of the year, and the early bird does indeed get the worm.

On another note,  if you have a lesson scheduled, and think you might not be able to make that lesson,  let us know as soon as you can.  There are several people who would like to have your space.

We should taper down to the normal wait time  (1-4 days)  after a couple weeks,  but for now,  advance planning is recommended.
Have a fun and safe spring break!!!   🙂

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Drive Happy Web Stats: February 2012

February was Drive Happy’s 3rd birthday. It’s been a few months since our last update of the Drive Happy web stats. Let’s see how we are doing! 🙂

Unique Visitors: 600

Alright, that looks pretty good! We have seen a really good increase in the number of unique visitors. Let’s use February of 2010 as a comparison point. In February 2010, Drive Happy had 445 unique visitors. That is a 34% increase! Very cool.

Average Time On Site: 4:49

Again, a nice boost over the same period last year, a 20.26% gain to be exact ;). So far this looking really good.

Bounce Rate: 44.96%

This is a tough number. It’s an 8.27% decrease over last year, but still higher than I would like to see. Well, at least we are moving in the right direction.

Traffice Sources: Search Engines – 79.58%

This is a really interesting number. It represents a major shift from the same time period last year. Our search engine traffic has increased almost 70%. That is fantastic, but let’s drill a little deeper. Our direct traffic has actually fallen, on a percentage basis at least. Direct traffic is down 65%, wow. Our referring site traffic is on a similar trajectory, dropping almost 56%. That is really interesting. Looks like we need to try and boost our website promotion outside of search engines.

Pages Per Visit: 3.38

Not bad, this is an increase of 9% over the same time period last year. I’d still like to see more pages per visit though. Our website contains a wealth of useful information. I do think we could do a better job of indexing and categorizing that information in the future.

Goals

Now that we’ve looked at the numbers, it’s time to figure out what we’re going to do about it by setting some goals. Here go:

  • Increase Unique Visitors by 50%
  • This is a tall order but I think we can do it. We’ll need to keep building our search engine rankings, and improve our referring site and direct traffic to make it happen.

  • Increase Time On Site by 25%
  • Another lofty goal, but you have to aim high right? I think we can do this by better showcasing some our of great articles and information a little better. We’ll also try and focus on drawing quality visitors. People who are looking for a driving school, or interested in driver training are bound to spend more time on the site than someone who just stumbles upon us through a web search.

  • Drop Bounce Rate by 10%
  • This really ties into the goal above of drawing quality visitors. People that are looking for what we are offering a much less likely to bounce after a single page view.

  • Increase Referring & Direct Traffic Visits by 25%
  • I think we can do this by getting some more promotional materials out to our customers. We are looking into having some pens produced, and we are going to be getting some new business cards in the near future. We could probably also do more promotion of our website using local sources.

Conclusion

Overall the web stats are looking really good. We’ve got some areas that could be improved, and we’ve got a plan to do it. I’ll post a future update and let your know we are doing. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Drive Happy

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We’re Back!

Good evening everyone!

We are back from the Driving School Association of California Board Meeting & Continuing Education Seminar. Regular phone, office, and driving lesson hours will resume tomorrow morning. Check our contact page for specifics.

We had a very productive, educational, and exhausting weekend. More details to follow when I have the time to decompress my brain write something up about it.

Thank you, goodnight, and. . .

Drive Happy!

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Happy Practicing!! ;)

I was shopping at the local Walmart and noticed this home made Student Driver sign affixed to a car in the parking lot.  I have parents and students tell me all the time that they wish people knew they were a student driver when practicing between lessons.  Here is an example of someone who took it upon them selves to let other motorists know exactly who is doing the driving today 😉  My hats off to parents who stick to the game plan despite the good, bad, and unexpected!

Thanks for making my day!  Don’t forget to Practice Happy!

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Back to School!

Well,  if there is anything that seems to motivate people,  it’s the routine of back to school.   Seems like we have a lot of people getting their permits the last couple of weeks.  If you are a student that is available during the day,  you are more likely to get an appointment sooner.  If you have early release,  or are home study,  mention this right away when calling to schedule.

We have many ways to schedule your driving lessons. You can call, e-mail, text, or chat online. Feel free to call after hours and leave a voice mail, we always take into consideration the order in which the calls were received.  Please check our contact page for our phone hours, and e-mail addresses.

At Drive Happy we believe it’s all about communication.  Have your student program our number into their phones, so they can let us know if they are running late for a lesson, or if something comes up.  We are comfortable talking with students 😉  We know you have a life, and we are happy to move your lesson if something comes up.  We do not have a penalty for canceling or changing an appointment, but please let us know as soon as possible, because there are some people who would like to go sooner, and would love to have your spot.  The sooner we know you won’t be going, the more time we have to fill the appointment.

On a more personal note…. I have had an awesome summer, and have enjoyed watching countless students become licensed drivers.  It is an exciting process, and I truly enjoy every part of it.  It is so nice to know that our community is filled with such inspiring and kind people.  It has been my pleasure to get to know you all!  The best part is, I know I still have many new people to meet, until then!

Drive Happy!!

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New Policy at the DMV RE: Proof of Enrollment

Hello everyone!

There has been a change in policy at the DMV. You are no longer required to show proof of enrollment in Behind-the-Wheel Training when you applying for your permit. You are still required to complete six hours of training, and your permit is still not valid until you have taken your first behind the wheel lesson. They have simply eliminated a certificate.

What you need to bring to the DMV:

  1. Application (DL44) *these are available at the DMV, or at our office
  2. Proof of completion of Drivers Ed certificate
  3. Birth certificate, passport, military ID, CA ID, or other legal presence document

You may walk in anytime before 4:00pm. The DMV website still says 4:30, but at the DMV it says 4:00 on the wall 😉

For more information about what a teen should expect at the DMV, click here!

They will continue to accept existing Enrollment Certificates until September 1st 2010, but are no longer a requirement.

So, what are you waiting for? Get that permit, and give us a call so we can get you on the road!! Josh and I are looking forward to driving with you, good luck on the test!!

Amber

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Drive Test Perfect Score!

Congratulations to one of Murrieta’s newest licensed drivers! 🙂

This teen student completed 6 hours training with Amber. This morning she took our Drive Test lesson with Amber, and passed with a perfect 100%! 😀

A picture is supposed to go here, but I am having issues with my Blackberry this morning. 🙁

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We Will Be Closed Feb 26 – 28

Good afternoon everyone!

We will be closed on February 26 – 28, 2010 to attend the Driving School Association of California Continuing Education Seminar in Los Angeles. We attend these events to share our industry knowledge and experience with other driving schools, as well as to gain from their knowledge and experience.

Amber and I are both very involved in the Driving School Association of California. I am currently serving on the Executive Board of Directors of the Association as Secretary, and Amber is the Seminar Chair. She is responsible for organizing and executing the 3 annual seminars. In addition to being the Secretary of the Association I am also the Editor or the DSAC newsletter, and the DSAC website.
It is a tremendous commitment for both of us to donate our time and expertise to this Association, but it is also something that we both believe is important for the advancement of the industry.

I will post additional reminder updates as we get closer to the end of the month. I will also try and get some more information about the seminar and the Association itself posted before then.

Stay tuned, and remember to. . .

Drive Happy!

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Looking For A New Office

Drive Happy is looking for a new office. We really, really, hate moving, but unfortunately we need to. These are the requirements for our new office:

100 – 200 SQ Feet

Wow, that seems small right? Remember that we are a family business with just myself and my wife Amber. We are not looking for a mammoth space, just room for our desk and a few chairs.

A Window
This is the main reason we are moving. Our landlord moved us into a space with NO windows, and it is depressing. Our office plants are dying, and whenever one of us spends the day in this box we end up grumpy by the end of the day. Our next office needs a window. It does not have to be a spectacular picture window with glorious views, just a window. Something that allows natural light in to prevent claustrophobia induced insanity. 😉

Space For A Sign

We are legally required to post a sign. It does not have to be a 100 foot tall flashing neon sign, but it would be cool if we could use our snazzy smiling sun logo. Also, our customers appreciate being able to actually find our office. I know, crazy right? 😉

Mail Service

We need to be able to receive mail. Our current office has no mail service, which sucks. Unfortunately no one told me about it until after I had signed the lease. We don’t receive a lot of mail, but we do receive documents from the DMV so mail service is essential.

Friendly Neighbors

We have no problem sharing space with a business that compliments ours. We are young and friendly people. We teach people to drive. We are also great tenants. We pay the rent on time and we run a quiet office.

Old Town Murrieta

We like Old Town. It is a nice area, and centrally located in our service area making it convenient for our customers. We would like to stay in Old Town if possible.

Now that you know what we are looking for maybe you can help us out. If you or someone you know has a small office that meets the above requirements give us a call at 951-805-8666 or send an e-mail to josh@drivehappysocal.com. We are looking to move by the end of February 2010.

Why are you moving, again?

Unfortunately we have not had good luck with office space. Our size requirements are small and that makes it difficult to find space. It seems that everyone wants to lease enormous spaces, and frankly we do not need that. I would feel ridiculous sitting in an a huge empty office.

In the past we have tried sharing office space with complimentary businesses. We had space inside 2 insurance agencies, but thanks to the wonderful economic disaster of the past 2 years, both of them went out of business. Believe me when I tell you that coming into the office on Monday morning to find an empty building because your “business partner” has fled in the middle of the night is not cool.

We are currently in a joint office with a counseling center. This was not by choice. They took over the lease when the last insurance company went under. It is not working out very well. They are nice people, but our businesses clash with each other. Also, as I mentioned above, we have NO windows. Not cool!

So, that is the story. We are shopping for space. If you have space, or know someone that has space, get it touch with us. And thank you.

Drive Happy!