Andrew’s expertise in the Driver-Training Industry ‘naturally’ evolved from his successful background in Motorsports. In an ironic twist of fate, after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1981, he changed a negative into a positive by turning his passion for driving on the racetrack into a 30 year career focused on being a mentor and teacher of good driving skills to others. The latest chapter in that career is CODE ZERO.
Following co-ownership of ‘ProFormance Advanced Driving School’ in the eighties and nineties and sole ownership of ‘The Driving Force’ later on, Andrew recognized an opportunity to create CODE ZERO while sharing a driving facility with the Justice Institute of BC. He surmised that portions of the JIBC Police Recruit driver-training program were ideally suited for the public and in 2007, along with Chief Instructor Grant Kinney, he launched CODE ZERO which has been delivered by the JIBC ever since.
Two years later, CODE ZERO Licensing International Inc. was formed in order to take the highly-successful program across Canada and beyond.
BeTheBoss - What’s the story behind CODE ZERO?
Andrew Field - While sharing the same driving
facility with the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC), I recognized the
opportunity for creating CODE ZERO... a unique and attractive
Advanced Driver-Training program for the public based on Police
Having spent over 40 years in the motor racing and driver-training industries has taught me that there are three basic but most essential keys to skilful and safe driving... proper vision, steering and braking technique. Not surprisingly, it was these same elements that formed the core of the driver-training courses taught to First-Responders by the JIBC. So, with the ingredients in place, plus an effective and respected model as a benchmark, together with JIBC Chief Instructor Gran Kinney, I set about designing an advanced driving program that could expose thousands of drivers to the world of better, safer driving habits, teach them advanced driving skills and in turn, save hundreds of lives.Subsequently, in March 2007, we proudly launched CODE ZERO!
BTB - What made you decide to
AF - The decision to franchise CODE ZERO was
made after discussing the concept with Norm Friend. A recognized
‘guru’ in the world of franchising and a personal friend of mine
for some 20 years, I depended on Norm’s advice as to the viability
of such an endeavour. His initial response (in 2007 shortly after
CODE ZERO was created) was positive relative to the program itself
but he suggested that I develop the program further. He said that
it was a perfect candidate for franchising in the future and that I
should revisit the idea in a year or so. I did revisit the
possibility of franchising CODE ZERO two years later, in summer
2009. The result... CODE ZERO Licensing International Inc. was
formed in October 2009 with a leadership/partnership team
consisting of myself as President, Athena Paling as Vice President
of Operations, Grant Kinney as Chief Instructor and... Norm Friend,
as our resident franchise ‘guru’! Without question we are now ready
to “Lead the Quest for ZERO Crashes and Collisions”.
BTB - Tell us a little bit about your
AF - Although there are driving schools that
teach people the minimal skills required to obtain a licence to
drive (pre-licensing) and some businesses catering to those already
licensed to drive (i.e. institutional programs such as
First-Responder, Taxi drivers etc.,) or recreational-based programs
for Auto Racing, Off-Road Driving etc., there are very few
companies that offer opportunities for drivers wishing to
enhance/improve their existing driving skills. From that standpoint
alone, there is obviously a huge market void for CODE ZERO ® to
BTB - What have some of the challenges been in
growing your franchise?
AF - The main challenge to growing our
franchise is similar to most other franchise companies i.e. getting
our opportunity in front of qualified prospects; however, unlike
other franchisors we are able to identify our primary prospects as
those people who have been, or who are still involved in Public
Safety (especially First-Responders). The difference is that being
in a non-traditional-type franchising business segment, we need to
first make them aware of the unique opportunity so that we can then
communicate the advantages and benefits of our business to
Another challenge that I have personally faced is converting
what has been a relatively simple and profitable single business
into a well-designed and easily executed business for others.
Having said that, I realize that in order to ensure CODE ZERO’s
success in the future, it is essential that we have a well-planned
and exhaustive business strategy for our franchisees... one that
will work in any and all locations that we identify as
BTB - Who has been your greatest
AF - My motorsport background has yielded me my
greatest inspiration. His name is Jackie Stewart, a Scotsman and
three-time Formula One World Champion race car driver (1969, 1971 &
1973). In addition to being one of the greatest race car driver of
all time, he was, and still is, a champion of Driver Safety. In
fact, he is responsible for many safety measures still in use on
racetracks today. At the age of 71 he remains a highly sought after
advocate and spokesperson for Driver Safety... but these days for
Road Safety even more than Racetrack Safety. I have attended
several Traffic/Driver Safety Conferences where Jackie Stewart has
been a keynote speaker and he left me inspired and truly motivated
‘to make a difference’ on each occasion.
BTB - What are some of the advantages of being
a CODE ZERO franchisee?
AF - A CODE ZERO franchisee is has the benefit
of being a truly valuable member of any community in several ways.
First of all, the service that he &/or she is providing makes
their community a much safer place to live in. Secondly, as a
business, it provides an opportunity for a franchisee to generate
significant revenue and the ability to set their own schedule (i.e.
the number of public and corporate programs offered) with a low
initial investment and minimal overhead. Plus, strategic
partnerships with National companies such as Yokohama Canada and
Raybestos have been established (with further announcements to
come) ensuring franchisees that the CODE ZERO brand is already
well-respected and highly-desirable.
BTB - What ‘Gadgets’ can’t you live
AF - As a baby-boomer, I’m not a ‘natural’ user
of ‘Gadgets’. However, over time, I have become quite dependent on
my iPhone. Wherever I am, the iPhone allows me access to e-mails
which have been a necessary component of my business life for
several years now. Also, I find that certain ‘apps’ are quite
useful. Social Media is destined to become a huge part of our
Marketing Strategy in the future and the iPhone allows me to
utilize these conversational type of media anywhere,
BTB - What do you do in your spare
AF - For one thing, there never seems to be
much ‘spare’ time since CODE ZERO began to occupy so much of my
life. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing because I am
truly passionate about the opportunity that CODE ZERO has given me
to ‘make a difference’ and save lives.
Whenever there is some spare time, other than embracing every
opportunity possible to spend time with my family (especially my
grandchildren), I usually fall back to motor racing as my default
activity. Over the years, I developed many friendships within the
sport and the occasional auto-racing-based get together never fails
to bring me pleasure.
BTB - What advice do you have for someone
looking to acquire a franchise?
AF - Do your homework. Make sure that you are
suited for the opportunity and fully understand what is required to
make the business successful. Overall, it is important that you
will be doing something you enjoy.
BTB - In your opinion, why do you think that
CODE ZERO would be a great opportunity for someone?
AF - Although this is an exceptional opportunity for First-Responders, the CODE ZERO 4-day Professional Initial Training Program opens the opportunity to people with a passion for driving and a desire to join us in ‘Leading the Quest for ZERO Crashes and Collisions’.