Lynn Adams Ahern joined TaxAssist Accountants in March 2015, after over 30 years in the accountancy world, and operates her practice from a shop front in Gosport, Hampshire.
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose TaxAssist?
I had started my own accountancy practice from my dining room table, and know how hard it is to keep up with the technical aspects, but also that it's good to have someone to share and bounce ideas off. I came across TaxAssist about 12 years ago at a Franchise event and they impressed me.
I decided to go back to employment whilst my daughters were young, but still kept an eye on TaxAssist, as thought I would like to go into partnership with a franchisee sometime in the future. Over the years I was impressed to see that as a firm, TAA has achieved sustainable and continual growth through the various recessions and moved from strength to strength. I wanted to be a part of this and at 50 decided to take the plunge.
What did you do before taking up the franchise?
I attended the Discovery Day and following on from this, carried out research into my chosen geographical area. This involved not only looking for premises, shop vs office, but also conducting statistical analysis of my target group of clients, to see where they lived and operated. I also called over 25 franchisees to see what their views were on TaxAssist.
How have you found the training and support?
Training has been excellent and was one of my key drivers for choosing to become a franchisee. The other key driver was the level of support provided by the Support Centre which is also excellent. It is reassuring to know that they are on the other end of the phone when needed and whilst being physically, many miles from our office, I view them as valuable and integral members of my team.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
Although the stress levels are different from being employed, I am much more relaxed, I really enjoy what I am doing and my husband likes me more.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
It's allowed me to have more of a work-life balance. Before, I was travelling around the country. Now I just drive to the office, set my own hours and can manage the work around my life and not around my boss'!
What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
The shop front, branded car and excellent website are key and bring in around 90% of our clients.
What are your plans for the future?
To make myself redundant so that I can expand my business. Get the Gosport shop to be self-supporting, so that I can reseed the business elsewhere.
Would you do it again?
Unquestionably yes! But I would have done it earlier and not procrastinated for so long. Feel the fear and do it anyway!