“What a fantastic opportunity!” was the thought that ran through Kavan Tankard’s mind, when his former employer first spoke to him about buying his successful TaxAssist Accountants franchise from him, as he planned to retire. It was 2010 and Kavan was 28 at the time. He had been working in the Halifax based TaxAssist shop for 3 years, learning the ropes as he went and developing his knowledge of franchising and how TaxAssist supported their franchisees.
“I have always worked in accountancy practices” continued Kavan. “I obtained my AAT qualification, and worked my way up from office junior, to junior and senior accounts clerk, management accountant to senior accounts manager and finally senior practice manager at TaxAssist. My boss could see that I was ambitious, and together, we realised that despite me only being 28, I was more than capable of running the business myself. I absolutely love the mix of meeting with new and existing clients, carrying out and checking work and managing my team of staff. It feels like a natural progression for me, gradually having built up my experience and knowledge base in an arena which I am suited to and fit into very well.”
TaxAssist Accountants is the UK’s largest network of accountants specialising in servicing the needs of small businesses. Franchisees operate from modern, welcoming and non-intimidating shops, designed specifically to appeal to the small business client. By concentrating on just small businesses, work is kept relatively simple and there is much more security in operating with 4-500 small business clients, each with a modest average annual fee, in that if some of the clients leave, the risk to the overall business is negligible.
Kavan again, “although I was relatively young when I bought the franchise, I knew I had the confidence and belief in myself to make a go of it. The business I bought was already successful, I liked the business model, and I knew that with the excellent technical and marketing support offered by TaxAssist for myself and my staff, I could continue to expand. In 2010 when I took the business on, there were 200 clients. I’ve now taken on an additional 300 clients. With time on my side, I’d like to think I can double this.”
So who do TaxAssist take on as franchisees? They are looking for accountants or senior finance professionals with the drive and ambition to work for themselves. Franchisees can employ staff to carry out their clients’ work, leaving them free to network, market, meet with clients and manage the practice. Many mature practices operate so efficiently that franchisees can have a relatively light touch in the business.
“I would encourage anyone to consider a franchise. I am fortunate that I’ve found the perfect fit for me. Look around, do your research, there are so many different franchises to appeal to all sorts of people. Consider your experience, and what interests you. The banks were happy to lend to me based on my business plan and now at 39, I am my own boss with a business I can take a good income from and which is also a great financial asset for my future.”