Bukky Shonola is a qualified AAT technician with almost eight years’ experience working in various roles in accountancy. She bought the Letchworth TaxAssist Accountants resale in April 2018 and will concentrate on the day to day running of the business.
Marketing and business development will be looked after by Bukky’s husband Dapo, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) with more than 20 years’ experience in accounting.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I am a qualified AAT technician with close to 8 years’ experience working in various roles in accountancy. After graduating with an honours degree in Philosophy, I started work as an accountancy assistant with a charity and worked my way up to the role of accountant. I resigned to take up the lead role in running the franchised TaxAssist territory in Hertfordshire.
Dapo is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and has over 20 years of accounting experience. Dapo holds an honours degree in Accounting and Law as well as a postgraduate degree in Accounting. Starting off as a trainee auditor, Dapo has worked with several public and private sector organisations over the past 20 years. His focus will be on marketing and business development as I take the lead role in the day to day running of the business.
How did you raise the Finance?
The purchase of the business was financed through personal savings and financial support from a bank.
What was the prime motivator for buying a TaxAssist Franchise?
Having worked for other people throughout our working lives so far, we thought it was time to pursue our dream of owning a business that can provide a decent income initially, but that we can also grow into something much bigger over time. Both being accountants, we thought buying a TaxAssist would be a good fit and the discovery day convinced us that this is the right opportunity for us.
What are your aspirations?
We are very excited for the future and for the opportunity to work as a family to grow this business into something much bigger including having multiple shops within the current territory. The ultimate goal is for the business to grow so that both of us can work in the business with little or no impact on the family’s annual income.
What are your thoughts on the support you have received so far and the initial training course?
The TaxAssist Operational Centre Team has been excellent and we really couldn’t have done this without them. At every stage of the process, they have been there for us. This was particularly made manifest when we had some issues with the bank, they were able to speak directly to the bank on our behalf and move things along much quicker than we could have done on our won. The initial 6 weeks training was delivered in a professional manner and I felt ready to take on the challenge of being a TaxAssist franchisee at the end of the training. I have no doubt that they will be just as supportive going forward.
What good advice did you receive from the existing Franchisees?
The Franchisees we met were very helpful and they unanimously advised us to follow the model and not deviate too much from it. Also, to remember the support centre is always there to help and advise. They testified to the support that they received during challenging times and encouraged us to approach TaxAssist HQ if we need the help of a ‘big brother’ at any time. Lastly, work on the business and don't get drawn into working in the business.
What do you hope to achieve over the coming year?
A key element of the growth strategy is for us to move into a shopfront premises as soon as possible. Achieving this goal will count as a major success for the business in its first year. There is also the challenge of getting to know and building relationships with existing clients and staff.