Before becoming part of the TaxAssist Accountants network, Andrew Twynam had been finance director for a big city firm looking for a better quality of life. He opened the doors to his first shop in Chesham in March 2012 and his second in Hemel Hempstead soon after.
"It's a familiar story. I had four-year-old twin boys and was leaving home before they were up and getting home when they were in bed. I was really only seeing them at weekends, which puts a lot of strain on the family," explained Andrew, a qualified Chartered Accountant with more than a decade's experience.
"I was in a taxi on my way to a charity function in London and I passed a recently opened TaxAssist Accountants shop. It looked incredible and, already aware that TaxAssist Accountants is a franchise, I started some research the next day. I was looking for business opportunities and although at the beginning I was very sceptical, I spoke to lots of franchisees who confirmed what I'd been told and this seemed like the right opportunity for me.
"My plan was to find a shop from the outset but the perfect property didn't come along immediately and it was important that I didn't rush and risk taking the wrong shop.
"I operated from a serviced office for six months until the right property came along. I jumped at the opportunity and was in this shop within another three months.
"Leaving a well paid job was a big risk but it has absolutely paid off. I haven't looked back. We now have 170 clients and with my first two shops up and running and growing fast, I can even start to think about a third shop on my territory some time in the future.
"While I still work late, I can always finish outstanding work at home in the evening as I'm my own boss. Most importantly, by cutting out the two-hour daily commute I can now be home in time for dinner and to put my boys to bed."