TaxAssist Accountants: Join the Professionals
Soon to cash in on the success of her franchise, TaxAssist Accountants franchisee Annette King speaks to Stuart Anderson about her five years with the network
A new life in Australia is set to be the reward for Annette King, who after five years of building her TaxAssist Accountants franchise in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire is looking to realise the value of her business by making it available for re-sale. 'I've built the business up to an annual turnover of £100,000, and it has around 220 customers on its books,' she reports. 'However, it has been ticking over while I've been on maternity leave, and there is still potential in the territory for further growth.'
With a background in bookkeeping, Annette initially looked to develop her own business after being made redundant in 2000. 'I was working in the business part-time for six months, but felt I needed to make it work properly or give up,' she recalls. 'I was finding bigger clients reluctant to engage a one-man-band, and felt isolated. When I came across the TaxAssist Accountants franchise, I recognised that it would give me more structure, professionalism and potential new clients. I clicked with the head office team straight away and joined the network in November 2000.'
Initially working from home, Annette moved into an office at the end of her first 12 months. 'The business had outgrown me, so I took on an employee and started managing my expansion,' she explains. 'In August 2003 I moved again, into a shop-front branded office.'
This retail-style premises concept has provided franchisees with a highly visible presence in their territories, resulting in greater prestige and walk-in business. 'I have seen over time that it has made a difference to my business,' says Annette. 'Combined with local advertising it creates your presence - the office advertises itself.'
Since moving into the new office Annette has taken two six month periods off for maternity leave, but the business has continued to operate in her absence, and she is now back at the tiller. 'I've had the staff here to be able to cope while I was off,' she reflects. 'With TaxAssist Accountants keeping us up-to-date with training, we're not completely on our own, which is a good feeling. I still use the helpline occasionally when out-of-the-ordinary instances occur.'
Having been in the TaxAssist Accountants network for over five years, Annette has witnessed the development of the company, which now has almost 200 franchisees in operation across the UK.
'The business has become more professional, the training has been improved, the emphasis on marketing the brand has grown, and the type of franchisees coming on board has become more professional too,' she observes. 'The recent name change to TaxAssist Accountants is brilliant - I always advise my clients: 'You must choose a name that tells people what you do'.'
With Australia beckoning, Annette is looking for the payoff for five years' work. 'I'm looking forward to a new life in Australia,' she comments.
'However, I'll almost definitely go into business again!'