Moving to a shop front office is the best decision I have made!

The increased exposure generated by his shop front office is driving Nigel Lomax's TaxAssist Accountants franchise on rapidly

Franchisee Nigel Lomax's decision to move his TaxAssist Accountants franchise from an office to a shop front location (pictured right) has paid off. One year on, he has increased his business by 25 per cent and has grown to an annual turnover of £180,000 with 320 clients on his books.

'Moving my franchise from an office to a shop front was the best decision I have made,' confirms Nigel (pictured left). 'The increased exposure is rapidly bringing me closer to my long term goal of building a business with an annual turnover of over £250,000.

'Before I became a TaxAssist Accountants franchisee I worked at Director Level for a number of large companies. I reached a point in my life where I did not want to work for somebody else - I wanted to work for myself and regain control of my future and career prospects. Investing in a franchise was the best option for me because I did not have any previous experience of running a business and liked the thought of trading under an established brand name with a tried and tested business model.'

Nigel, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, visited a franchise exhibition to get an idea of the brands and industry sectors available and was drawn to the TaxAssist Accountants stand. He continues: 'When I spoke to the team on the stand they made me feel at ease and were very professional. I was impressed with the business model and could see myself operating under the TaxAssist Accountants brand name.'

Established in 1995, TaxAssist Accountants offers a range of tax and accountancy solutions to small businesses. Services including tax returns, payroll and bookkeeping, plus tax planning and tax advice. To date TaxAssist Accountants has over 160 franchisees operating in its network nationwide and 79 shop front premises.

After the exhibition, TaxAssist invited Nigel to a discovery day at its support centre in Norwich, which he attended and enjoyed. 'I got to meet the TaxAssist Accountants Directors and was given a list of existing franchisees I could contact, which was very useful,' says Nigel. 'The existing franchisees gave positive reviews. These, coupled with the transparency of the brand, filled me with confidence and in October 2003 I launched my Shropshire-based franchise.

'Initially I was put on a four week comprehensive training course (now five weeks), which taught me all of the different operational areas of the franchise. While the support has been excellent, TaxAssist Accountants provides its franchisees with a technical helpline if we have any queries or alternatively franchisees can contact the support centre in Norwich, the online support site or another franchisee within the network for guidance.

'This line of work is very rewarding - not only when clients thank you personally for helping them sort out their taxes or cut down their business expenses but when your peers recognise your accomplishments. Last year it was a great honour to be presented with a Special Recognition award at the TaxAssist Accountants annual conference for my rapid business growth and involvement within the franchisee network.'

Reported by Jess Sturman