Put your Skills into Practice and Work for Yourself
Why now is the time to establish your own small business accountancy practice. But should you go it alone or join a franchise? Setting up in business is a strong and powerful idea because of the sense of achievement and potential for personal and financial rewards, but the journey can be off-putting because of the […]
Why now is the time to establish your own small business accountancy practice. But should you go it alone or join a franchise?
Setting up in business is a strong and powerful idea because of the sense of achievement and potential for personal and financial rewards, but the journey can be off-putting because of the planning and potential risks involved and is never a decision to be undertaken lightly.
Some people have the confidence and experience to establish their own practice and operate independently. Others decide to take advantage of the benefits of joining a franchise, which for the fees that you pay, should provide a well-known brand name and technical and marketing support to enable you to grow a more substantial practice faster and more efficiently than doing it alone.
Surveys and statistics continue to illustrate that there is a major appetite in the UK for self-employment, despite the economic turmoil of the last 10 years, with the level of self-employment in the UK continuing to rise steadily, increasing from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.8 million at the start of 2017.
This growth in business confidence leading to new business start-ups, combined with an ever-evolving accountancy and tax advisory market, including the advent of Making Tax Digital, provides a big opportunity for those ambitious enough to set up their own practice servicing this burgeoning market.
Small businesses cannot warrant the services of an on-site accountant, neither can they justify the cost of a larger firm, hence the need for a quality bespoke service.
In fact, this was the reason why the successful small business accountancy franchise TaxAssist Accountants was formed back in 1995, when the founder realised that small businesses were being overcharged and underserviced and that servicing this market through a franchised network would work well. This mature and established network, based in visible shops across the country, is now ideally placed to service clients seeking assistance with their tax and accountancy needs as regulations become ever more complex.
TaxAssist has grown to become the largest and most successful franchise accountancy network in the UK, with franchisees seeing the potential of establishing a practice servicing small business and the benefits of operating under the TaxAssist brand with the additional support provided all in one place.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to do it alone, or to join forces with a quality franchise:
1. Have you got the right temperament for self-employment?
Like many others, you may dream about working for yourself, but do you have the high levels of business acumen, commercial awareness, energy, motivation and communication skills to be effective in business? You will inevitably have to work hard, and may end up working longer hours than you did in employment. It will not be an easy ride, you will need a lot of resilience, especially during those early years while you get established.
You may have a certain set of skills, but not others. Do you want to employ people/services to plug those gaps or use a franchise to benefit from the established brand, plus the additional benefits of training, marketing, client lead generation, advice and support?
If you are planning on doing it alone, you will need to consider a long list of business start-up requirements, as well as working out – most importantly – how you will stand out from the crowd and attract clients.
2. Do you have enough money while you set up your practice?
One of the main reasons new businesses fail is because they cannot maintain a healthy cash flow. To give your practice the best chance of being a success, you should have enough funding in place from the start and keep on top of your finances with the help of a solid financial business plan.
The main four banks remain supportive of lending to franchisees of quality brands, as the risks associated with establishing a franchise are much less than ‘flying solo’. Your total investment figure will be dependent on location, working capital and level of personal drawings required.
3. Have you got the necessary technical and marketing abilities?
Having completed your studies, obtained your qualifications and progressed your career, you are likely to have very strong technical skills. The likelihood however, is you have never had to consider marketing yourself or your practice to build a business and gain and retain clients.
This is where taking on a franchise can have a big competitive advantage over starting from scratch, as it can fill in any gaps in your skillset and provide business development support and initiatives so you can stay one step ahead of your competition.
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all of the questions above – congratulations – you’ve made a start on your journey to self-employment. Do your research, ask for help and advice and plan carefully and you may well be one of the 3.2 million Brits who are expected to become their own boss by 2018. (according to the ONS).
If you feel you would benefit from the additional assistance of a franchise, you are not alone. TaxAssist Accountants has grown to a successful network of over 200 franchises reaping the benefits of a well-known brand with a proven business model and award-winning training and support.
A franchise gave Martin Thomas the flexibility he desired
In 2012, after a career spanning 25 years looking after finance in the marketing services industry, Martin Thomas decided it was time to fulfil a lifetime ambition to run his own show and he joined TaxAssist Accountants.
Working for big players in the PR and Marketing services industry, including as European CFO for Weber Shandwick and FD of Burson Marsteller, spending two years in Frankfurt, four years in Hong Kong and three years in New York, Martin was looking for an opportunity to channel his creative passion and accountancy knowledge into running his own business.
After extensive research into all the options available, Martin, a qualified chartered accountant, decided to take a fresh approach and entered into a franchise partnership with two London-based TaxAssist Accountants.
“When I made the big decision to step out by myself, the initial and obvious route was to become a sole practitioner,” said Martin. “But starting up a new business in central London can be paved with pitfalls, so I started looking into different options.
“The TaxAssist Accountants brand offered a much stronger and more immediate profile than M. Thomas FCA, in terms of attracting small businesses and individuals needing Accounts and Tax Returns, which is my target market. Also, the help and advice TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre could offer me in terms of tax knowledge and marketing was indispensable.”
“The partnership with two TaxAssist Accountants came out of initial discussions with the national network. They both already have a proven track record of success of running TaxAssist shops in Central London and their extensive experience and strong credentials with the banks for financing and lending to TaxAssist operations was critical in helping raise finance for the shop in Victoria.”
“In my first three years running my TaxAssist Accountants shop in Victoria, I built a fee bank of £430,000 and a client base of 469 local businesses and individuals needing tax advice. As a small business myself I love helping other local businessmen and women to grow their businesses by allowing them to focus on what they’re good at (running their business) and explaining tax and accounting issues in simple, plain language in a friendly and approachable style.”
“The network support is exceptional. There are more than 200 other like-minded franchisees who share best practice and a national support centre, which holds regular regional meetings and innovation focus groups and provides training and helpdesk support across technical issues on accounting, tax, software and human resources and other essential areas such as marketing, PR and social media.”
“The beauty of TaxAssist Accountants for me, is in the flexibility it provides. There’s still a huge growth potential here and I might open another shop in the next few years, or on the other hand do fewer hours and take lots of holiday. Who knows?!”
Visit our website www.taxassistfranchise.co.uk or call us for a confidential chat on 0800 0188297 to find out more.