On target for £1/4 million

Winning TaxAssist Accountants' 'Most Successful Start Up' award for 2007 has not dimmed Gary and Cheryll Jacks's ambitions - with their second office almost ready to launch they are already looking ahead to office numbers three and four

In just over two years since launching their TaxAssist Accountants franchise Gary Jacks and his wife Cheryll have exceeded their initial business plan by 100 per cent. On target to reach an annual turnover of £250,000, the couple are now in the process of opening their second shop-front office.

Prior to joining TaxAssist Accountants Gary worked as an accountant for various sized companies and it was during this time that he came across the franchise opportunity. 'I've always been interested in franchising and was on the look out for something I could start as my own business,' he explains. 'I came across a TaxAssist Accountants form from a client who was a self-employed driving instructor and had used the company. It had the TaxAssist Accountants website address at the top so, intrigued, I decided to take a look.

'I started making enquiries into the company, and although I wasn't looking in earnest I was invited to one of the company's open days in Norwich. At this stage I had no plans of taking it further, but went with an open mind. The team answered all my questions and I recognised that I would be able to put my accountancy experience to use. The business model seemed perfect and by the end of the day I was so impressed I decided to join the franchisee network!'

Gary underwent five weeks of training before launching his TaxAssist Accountants franchise in April 2006. 'I spent a few weeks in London at the BPP training centre, which with my background as an accountant was like a refresher course in accountancy,' reveals Gary. 'I also had a few weeks at the support centre covering the management and marketing of the business. I found the training to be extremely beneficial and when I'd finished I felt confident in starting up my business.'

Since opening their first TaxAssist Accountants shop-front office in Cheshire Gary and Cheryll have received constant support from the TaxAssist Accountants support centre. 'We've had all the support we've needed,' says Gary. 'TaxAssist Accountants has fulfilled every promise they made before we signed up. In fact, the support has been a major benefit as we've derived a lot of confidence in running our business from knowing that we've got a support structure behind us.'

TaxAssist Accountants recognised Gary and Cheryll's success last year, when they were presented with its 'Most Successful Start-Up' award for 2007 by Barry Cryer at the network Annual Conference and Gala Awards evening. 'We are keen to build on this success,' Gary comments. 'We are currently fitting out our second shop-front branch, and we hope to open two more branches in the next two to three years.'

Text: Derin Ibrahim