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Mark Brown, South Leicestershire

The diversity of the job keeps me focused

With accountancy experience and a burning ambition to be my own boss and operate a business that fitted in with my lifestyle, the decision to invest in accountancy and taxation franchise Certax Accountants was relatively easy. The Certax opportunity caught my eye in The Franchise Magazine because it offered a sales programme that would help me with introductions and my selling technique. After further online research, I visited head office and was impressed with the company's professionalism and took it from there.

As part of the franchise package Certax put me through a five-week training programme, which I have found very useful because it acted as a refresher course on limited companies and filled the gaps in my tax and accounts knowledge for partnership and sole trader businesses. Ongoing training is also available at the bi-annual seminars. At these events topics discussed include the new tax legislation. In terms of support the company has helped me target clients by doing telephone introductions on my behalf and the head office team are always on the other end of the phone if help is required.

I launched my franchise from home in October 2003. Since then my wife, a trained bookkeeper, has joined the business and takes care of the administration. I have also hired two part-time members of staff. In this time my wife and I have managed to build up the business to a turnover of £120,000.

I love working with a range of clients from different industries. The diversity of my job keeps me focused. By having control over the hours we work, my wife and I have the time to go away more frequently - we now like to go away on long weekend breaks in the UK six times a year.