Case Study: Nadeem Iqbal
Franchisee in Walthamstow, London
It had always been my dream to start my own business. I had tried many things to start a business and very soon realised that I couldn’t do it alone. I needed a team to help me along, with a well-proven and successful idea, a marketing plan and so on - the list was exhaustive and time was short. Then I came across TaxAssist Accountants – a solution for all of my concerns.
The reason I chose TaxAssist Accountants was their transparency and initial support. The main thing I liked was the freedom of choice given to me on the discovery day. I was presented with all the facts and figures, pros and cons and was left to make my own decision – no hard sell. I was given a list of existing franchisees to contact to find out more about their experience and received100% satisfactory feedback. This was the level of support and the network I was searching for, and I made my mind up in five days after the first click on the TaxAssist Accountants website.
I had no experience of running my own business as I had always worked as an employee. I worked for a bank in Pakistan for four years before moving to the UK. I worked for Dixons Retail Group for six years as a sales person before joining the TaxAssist Network. I got my first Degree in English Literature from Pakistan and my second Degree in Accounting & Finance from Kingston University in 2008. After my degree in Accounting, I worked for a couple of other companies as an Accounts Assistant.
After looking at my business plan, I realised I required nearly £51,000 to start the franchise. I managed to borrow £30,000 from family and friends, and I borrowed another £25,000 from HSBC. I personally believe, if you are determined, and you have a commitment to achieve your goals, then the resources you need will come to you.
I had a little knowledge of accounts and had worked in a bank, but I had not run a business before. I got six weeks’ extensive training from TaxAssist Accountants, which equipped me with all the necessary tools and my sales background helped me in closing down a sale.
Now I am keeping myself up-to-date with the bi-annual technical updates, TaxTV and some other TaxAssist training days, but I mainly concentrate on my business and personal development.
I leave my home at 8am every day for the 30 minute drive to my Walthamstow office. I host a staff meeting at 8:50am and go through our day-schedule and any other matters. I check my emails and respond accordingly.
Then I do some work on marketing, either on existing plans or making a plan for future campaigns, a bit of social media activities and other internal management work. I also check my assignment system for all team members to see if something urgent is coming up.
All of my staff are trained to take client appointments and handle new sign ups, but I also make myself available throughout the day if they have any questions. When I first started the business I was more involved with direct client meetings, but now I just take meetings occasionally and spend more time on business development and self growth. At 5.30pm all of the team meet again for a quick end of the day discussion.
Entrepreneurship is full of challenges and excitement. The main challenge I faced initially was managing my business and my staff. I received full support from TaxAssist Accountants not only on the technical side but also on the business development.
Becoming a TaxAssist Franchisee has changed my life in many ways. I am not only financially well off, with a better lifestyle, but also now have a purpose in my life. I am having a more active life and have a real sense of achievement.
The main marketing tools include the brand itself, my shopfront, online presence, daily website blogs and monthly newsletters. All of them are built into the TaxAssist model which leaves me very little to do. I simply follow the TaxAssist Marketing toolkit, along with some regular posts to social media. I am planning to run a local blogging website in the near future.
Personalised and tailored services for clients differentiates my practice from competitors. The key factor is listening to clients.
When they come to you, mostly they are confused and come with a problem which they cannot sort out themselves, so listening to them carefully and providing the right solutions for their needs is key for me, to winning and retaining them. I do not compromise on quality of service which clients are happy to pay for. Secondly, I am blessed with a strong and passionate team who are dedicated to helping my clients.
In order to become a successful franchisee, first of all you need to trust the TaxAssist Accountants' business model. The beauty of this model is you do not have to do anything but follow the step by step guidance and the model itself. I would recommend not trying your own ways of doing things, just follow tried and tested rules and you will succeed.
Secondly, you need to develop yourself by investing time and money on your personal growth. Learning self-management is more important than learning business management because as a small firm you are the business.
Last but not least is the Ttam. All successful people have not achieved success alone. If you build your team with motivated, self-disciplined and passionate staff then you are well on your way to success. Do not hesitate to invest in staff welfare and training.
We are all great dreamers but great assassins at the same time. We kill our dreams and we do it more regularly than we're willing to admit. The house we were going to build or buy but never did. The dream trip we were going to take but never did.
The business we were going to start but never started. The entrepreneurial life is meant to be an enabler of dreams. So if you have dreamt of being an entrepreneur, do not think too much, just act now.
After the successful establishment of my first office, I am planning to expand my existing territory and open two more outlets. I am also planning to invest in new territories around the area by opening more shops within three years.
Starting my own venture is the most exciting thing in my life and I would do it again if I needed to.
Nick Brook operates shops from Barnsley and Huddersfield and has now opened a shop in North Sheffield in partnership with his wife Pat.
In his time with TaxAssist Accountants Andrew Morton has built up a sizeable practice of over 500 clients which he runs from four offices across his territory in Shropshire.
Lloyd Evans is the TaxAssist Accountants franchisee in Kingswinford, Halesowen and Wolverhampton, West Midlands.
Dave Forrester joined TaxAssist Accountants in 2009 and operates from three shops in Keighley, Ilkley and Bingley.
"I chose a franchise because I lacked practice experience and had no knowledge of sales or marketing myself or a business. I wanted the support that I would get from a network of accountants, a working model and best practice guidance. TaxAssist Accountants was by far the best franchise that I looked into. "Cheryl Hopkins - Franchisee in Tamworth & Nuneaton
"I knew of the high reputation of the management team, the strength of the brand and business model, supported by many awards. I carried out a high level of initial research before committing to a Discovery Day. After meeting the team on that day I was convinced this was the right opportunity for me."Lloyd Evans - Franchisee in Kingswinford & Wolverhampton
"As I grew tired of corporate life, I started looking at options to start my own business. Owning a TaxAssist Accountants franchise appealed to me, as I valued the on-going support and readymade systems which would fast track my business. I didn’t want to be 'just an accountant'. It was great to realise that I was expected to run the business, employing accountants to do the operational side."Ali Redwood - Franchisee in Clifton & Portishead
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