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 and run his own show.
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 join 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.
“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 over 200 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. 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?!
"There’s still a huge growth potential here and I recently opened another shop with my franchise partner who was formerly my practice manager in Clapham Junction.
"Eight years ago I had no clients and no staff. Fast forward to 2021, I have 600 clients, a £700k+ fee bank and six staff. There have been bumps in the road of course, but I make good money and I have to say joining TaxAssist Accountants was the best thing I ever did."