Own a business where the clients come to you

Having built a well-established business, TaxAssist Accountants franchisee Graham Ash received a further boost when he invested in a fully branded 'shop-front' premises. Adam Browning reports

'My business was originally run from an office but in 2006 I decided to invest in TaxAssist Accountants' 'shop-front' concept,' says Essex-based TaxAssist Accountants franchisee Graham Ash (pictured right with his wife Maggie). 'TaxAssist Accountants actively encourage their franchisees to take this route and I've been able to see why. It's a great development as the high-visibility store acts as a fantastic marketing tool in itself.'

TaxAssist Accountants is a white-collar franchise that specialises in the supply of accounting, taxation and associated services to small businesses with a turnover of under £1 million. Having been established for 11 years, the number of TaxAssist Accountants franchisees is now over 160 with 60 of these being 'shop-front' premises.

Following redundancy, Graham began to look into franchising to find a future opportunity. With an employment background in the finance industry, Graham wanted to invest in a business that would let him draw on his existing skills and experience. 'When I found TaxAssist Accountants, my first impression was of their professionalism and supportiveness,' recalls Graham. 'I had an in-depth interview with them, which gave me a clear understanding of the business model. Above all, their approach was open and honest - I was allowed to contact TaxAssist Accountants' franchisees and their feedback was overwhelmingly positive.'

Having decided that TaxAssist Accountants was the opportunity for him, Graham invested in the business in 1998. As with all TaxAssist Accountants franchisees, he received a period of training that encompassed both the running and operational systems of the business as well as focusing on the accountancy work itself. With the Accountancy & Tax Training run by BPP Professional Education, the comprehensive training programme also takes in marketing, IT and administration.

'With this training behind me, I was fully prepared to launch my business,' reveals Graham. 'To get me started I was supported with some initial lead generation, which is just part of TaxAssist Accountants' close support system. This included visits from a franchise liaison manager who was able to help with advice and guidance. As time goes on, I've needed less help but the support is always there if you should need it.

'This is a business based upon numbers, so I think any potential franchisee should be attracted to figures and finance - it really would benefit both you and your business. However, if you are a motivated and proactive person then there's a lot to gain from a TaxAssist Accountants franchise - not only financially, but also through developing a high level of satisfaction in your work. If you have the ambition, a TaxAssist Accountants franchise has the real potential to be developed into a multi-site network.'