Shock redundancy becomes franchise success story

Five months after being made redundant from his well-paid finance job, Nick Brook had launched his own TaxAssist Accountants business

When I was told that I was going to be made redundant from my job as a Finance Manager it came as a big shock,' reveals Nick Brook (pictured). 'I knew my redundancy package would not last for very long so I was keen to be earning money again. Within three months of losing my job I was running my own TaxAssist Accountants business.'

Upon being informed of his impending redundancy, Nick's immediate reaction was to look for another job similar to the role he had previously. He explains: 'I found out I was going to be made redundant the week before the Spring Bank Holiday in 2006 and I spent that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday ringing finance companies to see if there were any jobs available. There was nothing at my level. On the Wednesday I bought a copy of The Franchise Magazine and read it from cover to cover, while making a list of all the white-collar franchises available. TaxAssist Accountants was one of three franchises that appealed to me and I phoned each one, requesting information. The next day I received an information pack from TaxAssist Accountants through the post.

'I was impressed with the company's track-record and professionalism so that Friday I booked to go on one of their discovery days. I am a very decisive person, so while I had time to think on a one-week holiday in May, I decided to go for it and buy a TaxAssist Accountants franchise. By July I was on the five week training course provided by TaxAssist Accountants and at the beginning of August I was ready to launch my franchise. TaxAssist Accountants was very supportive throughout the process. As well as paying for the franchise through my redundancy package I also borrowed some money from the bank.'

Two months after Nick launched his franchise he moved into a shop front and since then he has seen his business grow and thrive: 'At my year end in August I am expecting to reach a turnover of £150,000. Despite the recession my business is going from strength to strength and I have currently got three part time staff working for me. Within three years I want to grow to a turnover of £300,000 and I may look into opening a second shop front. I am so impressed with the way my business is growing that I have recently extended my franchise agreement to 2016.'

TaxAssist Accountants was founded in 1995 and provides a tax and accountancy service to small businesses. The company started franchising in 1996 and has now built up a network of 160 franchisees, 79 of which operate from a shop front. For Nick one of the main benefits of running a TaxAssist Accountants franchise is the knowledge that the brand has been operating successfully for over 12 years.

'When I launched my business it was great to know that it was based on a tried and tested model which, if followed correctly, would not fail,' he reflects. 'It was also good to know that in the years since TaxAssist Accountants was established it had achieved consistent growth. Furthermore, the support that I have continuously received from the TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre, in addition to the leads that have been generated for me, have underlined the fact that my franchise fee is money well spent and is being re-invested to assist in the success of my business.

'As I do not come from an accountancy background I have found the technical helpline, which is manned by very skilled people, invaluable in assisting me in the running of my business. I also receive ongoing visits from members of the Support Centre to help my business progress and the annual conference also provides good support.'

Nick's previous career as a Finance Manager provided him with a comfortable standard of living financially, however he has found that his overall lifestyle has improved since he launched his TaxAssist Accountants franchise. He comments: 'Although I'm not earning the same amount that I was in my previous job, my home life has improved greatly. I'm now not as stressed as I was before and I'm working far less hours as well - my daughter has told me that I'm a much nicer person now!'

Interview by Derin Ibrahim