Finding independence with TaxAssist Accountants

With no background in accountancy, Nick Brook is exceeding expectations with his TaxAssist Accountants franchise. Derin Ibrahim interviews

Becoming unexpectedly redundant can be demoralising and career options can seem limited, especially if you have a family to support and a mortgage to pay. When Nick Brook found himself in this situation he soon discovered the answer was franchising with TaxAssist Accountants. 'I was 46 and had been made redundant from my job as a regional manager for a finance company, which was a bit of a shock,' reveals Nick.

'I knew a bit about franchising but had not considered it until I came across a copy of The Franchise Magazine. After reading it from cover to cover I contacted three franchises, choosing TaxAssist Accountants as they were the most professional and have a track record that offered stability. I wanted to feel confident that I was using my money wisely and it wouldn't go to waste.'

Franchising for 11 years and with over 160 franchises, including 48 shop-fronts, it is easy to understand why Nick felt confident in choosing TaxAssist Accountants. The franchise provides accountancy and tax services for small businesses, and although Nick did not have any accountancy experience the training he received fully prepared him for launching his TaxAssist Accountants Huddersfield franchise in October 2006. 'The five weeks of training provided were superb,' says Nick. 'As I'm not an accountant by background I found it very intensive, but it was excellent.

'Even after the training you are not left on your own. You get a lot of support and there is a helpline that is manned by very knowledgeable people. Everyone at head office is willing to help and they are all really nice. Even other franchisees are willing to help, all you have to do is call them.'

Nick is keen to stress that he is not a typical accountant as he prefers to focus on attracting and meeting with clients and is more sales and marketing orientated. This approach seems to be working as he is exceeding expectations in both turnover and client growth. Even with this success behind him Nick is keen to see his business grow.

'Over the next few months I want to continue to focus on client growth,' explains Nick. 'I also want to employ more people in addition to the two part-time employees I have at the moment. Also within the next two years I want to open a second shop.'

Enjoying running his own business and being his own boss, Nick offers the following advice to prospective franchisees: 'If you're my age I would say pick an established business with a sound business model. It is important to research the market to make sure the franchisor does what they say they will do. Also speak to other franchisees - TaxAssist Accountants gave me the contacts of all its franchisees so I could choose which ones to speak to.'