The TaxAssist brand: Now a powerful tool in business growth

In the six months since his last interview, David Dixon has seen his TaxAssist Accountants business go from strength to strength.

Back In the December edition of The Franchise Magazine, David Dixon revealed his ambitions to open his second TaxAssist Accountants 'shop-front' premises - an ambition that is now being realised. 'The growth of my business over the last six months has been faster than ever before,' reveals David. 'It's far exceeded our projections.'

David explains that although a number of factors have contributed to this success, the biggest impact has been the increase of brand awareness achieved through the TaxAssist Accountants branded shop-front. 'I've found that we can now keep marketing to a minimum as the shop-front produces pretty much all of the volume of new business that we can handle, putting the business in its best position yet. I always had a desire to invest into another territory and I'm happy to say this has now been achieved.'

With over 160 franchisees and 48 shop-front offices, the TaxAssist Accountants network is steadily growing. 'As the numbers of shop-fronts grow, so too does the brand,' says Karl Sandall, Chief Executive of TaxAssist Accountants. 'The Support Centre in Norwich sees evidence of this in the increasing number of inbound telephone calls that now mention seeing a shop-front. We developed this client-friendly shop-front concept as a reflection of the professional yet accessible approach to allowing the small business owner easy access to competitively priced accountancy services, which is benefiting clients across the UK.'

In response to the increase of business David now employs two part-time accountants and an administrator at his Bishop Stortford store. 'I was initially wary of taking on people unless absolutely necessary but I found that it's clearly the way to go if you want to grow your business,' explains David. 'The last thing I want is to have to turn business away so to cope with demand and to maintain good client service the team is absolutely essential.'

With his investment in a second territory, David will soon be building upon this team even further. Covering the Colchester area, David is confident that the new store will be a success. 'Colchester is somewhere I've worked in previously so I'm very comfortable in developing the second shop here - it's a great opportunity for me.

'With two stores it's important to put some thought into how to manage both at the same time. In my case I'll spend most of my time in the Bishop Stortford store and Colchester will run as a satellite office. It will run on a leaner basis, with one person dealing with clients' accounts day-to-day, letting me come in one or two days a week. I expect the second store to grow steadily and when the time's right I expect I'll take on a couple more employees in relation to the amount of business. The rate of development with TaxAssist Accountants is very fast - there's a great deal of potential there for franchisees.'

Throughout this expansion, David reports that TaxAssist Accountants has continued to provide an excellent level of support and his initial training continues to aid him.

'TaxAssist Accountants provided me with an incredibly comprehensive training package that included a five-week course that focused on all aspects of running a business. The training taught me new approaches to accounting while reinforcing what I already knew. It gave me the confidence that I would be able to bring success to the business - refocusing my existing skills to ensure I had a full understanding of the TaxAssist Accountants model.

'I was initially attracted to TaxAssist Accountants because of the significant support - the whole package is incredibly solid and I found it very reassuring. In fact, since I launched the business in 2003, in many ways the support has kept on getting better. TaxAssist Accountants are dedicated to their franchisees and their advice and guidance is very clear, to the point and incredibly helpful.'

Always looking to the future, David is setting his sights on opening yet another store within the next 18 months - a target that David considers very much attainable. In order to do this, David will be taking on even more employees to compliment his existing team, which he hopes will free up more of his own time.

'They will be trained to be able to deal with all aspects of client enquiries - thankfully TaxAssist Accountants operate a full training course specifically for this, another example of how TaxAssist Accountants go the extra length to help their franchisees.'