Q&A with The Local Bookkeeper

The Local Bookkeeper is experiencing increasing demand for its tailor-made services from a wide range of businesses. Malcolm Porter interviews Recruitment Manager Phil Gaffer about the franchise opportunity.

Malcolm Porter: How would you describe The Local Bookkeeper franchise opportunity?
Phil Gaffer: It's an opportunity to build your own financial management firm with the name of the leading national brand in the industry behind you, with substantial marketing and ongoing support to substantially increase your chances of success.

MP: How long has The Local Bookkeeper been trading?
PG: We've been operating as a franchise for three years, and have over 50 years combined experience in the industry.

MP: Describe your target market and the potential for your business across the UK
PG: Our target is the entire small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) market, which represents around 80 per cent of businesses in the UK - there are 4.7 million SME's in the UK.

MP: Has the current economic uncertainty affected your business?
PG: No, if anything, it's made businesses more aware of their finances and recognise the need for our services. We've encountered record month-on-month growth.

MP: What differentiates The Local Bookkeeper from its competition?
PG: We're the only bookkeeping and financial management firm with national coverage. We deliver a flexible and tailored service to our clients that goes beyond the regular bookkeeping role and brings true value to their business. We offer SMEs a level of service and talent that isn't accessible to them anywhere else and is a real chance for them to unlock their potential.

MP: What support do you provide?
PG: Before launching their business, our franchise owners spend one week immersing themselves in our comprehensive training course, which transforms their raw talent into a polished and professional approach. They continue to receive a huge amount of ongoing support, including superior marketing from CIM-qualified professionals, targeted direct mail campaigns, an in-house telemarketing team that builds awareness and arranges appointments with potential new clients, a professional and fully-optimised website and a local, regional and national PR campaign. Franchise owners also benefit from the strategic relationships with our national partners.

MP: What are the most important characteristics you look for in potential franchise owners?
PG: We look for individuals who have experience in and/or are qualified in bookkeeping or accountancy - they need to possess good communication skills, have excellent business acumen, be open to innovation and keen to propel their business forward.

MP: What are The Local Bookkeeper's goals for the next 12 months?
PG: We'll be growing the network to 127 franchise owners to cement our position as the number one financial management brand in the UK.

MP: How has your franchise proposition changed since you first launched?
PG: It's become a more fully-rounded management accountancy service, focused on delivering value to the client by helping them to better understand their finances and improve the success of their business.