Shop-front success for TaxAssist Accountants

Joining TaxAssist Accountants has enabled franchisee Peter Norfolk to combine a great income with a saleable asset

After moving to a shop-front premises last year Peter Norfolk's TaxAssist Accountants franchise has seen new business grow phenomenally. In April this year he managed to beat his previous monthly new client sign up record by 250 per cent! 'I wish I had made the transition from office to shop-front sooner,' says Peter. 'The prominent position and window-front mean more of Herne Bay's local community are aware of the services my business offers. Networking has become easier and after gaining the respect and trust of local traders I have been invited to join Rotary.

'I have been a TaxAssist Accountants franchisee for seven years and my territory spans Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay in Kent. I joined the network with a good working knowledge of the finance industry and have always been good with facts and figures. While the thought of running my own business and being my own boss has always appealed to me, at the time I had a young family to support and needed to hit the ground running, so an accountancy franchise seemed the ideal solution.'

Peter attended the franchise exhibition at Wembley to research the different franchising opportunities available and it was here he came across TaxAssist Accountants. Its professional image and knowledgeable staff appealed to Peter who decided to pursue his interest with a visit to TaxAssist Accountants' Support Centre in Norwich before signing the franchise agreement.

TaxAssist Accountants was established in 1996 and serves the tax and accountancy needs of small businesses. Its franchise package includes comprehensive initial training that covers everything required to run a franchise effectively.
Franchisees also benefit from ongoing professional development courses, online training, BPP tax update days, marketing advice, products and newsletter and a lead generation service among other things. Personal one-to-one advice can be obtained by calling the Support Centre helpline or another franchisee, while advice can also be sought from an online forum, regional franchisee meetings and at the annual conference.

'When I opened the shop front my aim was to double turnover and new business and I am already well on my way to achieving my goals,' says Peter. 'In five years' time I would like to have built the business up enough so that a second office in either Canterbury or Whitstable could be a consideration.

'I really enjoy running my own business, working hard, problem solving and serving the clients. I get to decide the hours the business is open and I am happy to not work bank holidays or weekends anymore! The support of the franchise has been first class, helping me through some difficult times and it has enabled me to be here today, enjoying the benefits that a shop-front brings. It's hard work, but the rewards are there to be had. In fact I will shortly be rewarding my wife and I with a holiday to California to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.'

Interview by Jess Sturman