Alex Mathew joined TaxAssist Accountants in October 2022 and operates from a shop in Haywards Heath.

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why TaxAssist Accountants?

There are several advantages to owning a franchise, particularly for individuals looking to start their own business. Franchises offer a relatively secure option for entrepreneurship, providing a proven business model and established brand recognition. This can help mitigate the challenges typically faced by startup businesses, such as building brand awareness and competing against larger firms.

TaxAssist Accountants, a well-established brand on the high street, presents numerous advantages for franchisees. Becoming a TaxAssist franchisee has significantly contributed to the growth of my business, enabling me to grow my client base to 118 clients within my first year of trading which surpassed my expectations and business plan. This level of success would have been considerably more challenging to achieve as a standalone startup business.

I always dreamed about having my own shop and to run an accountancy practice. One of the unique selling points of TaxAssist Accountants is their high street shop presence. The TaxAssist marketing team helped me find my current shop front which is ideally located in a busy high street in South Road, Haywards Heath.

The TaxAssist team are a resourceful bunch and highlighted a fee bank opportunity in my area, which I was interested in. They assisted me through the process of acquiring my first fee bank. The senior management team were extremely helpful in giving me the right advice that gave me the confidence to invest in the fee bank just 3 months into starting the business.

What did you do before taking up the franchise?

I held the position of Financial Controller at the Head Office (Support Centre), overseeing the financial operations of the UK & European schools for one of the largest private education providers with 70 private schools worldwide. As part of the finance team, my primary role was to deliver essential financial support to the schools. This included delivering monthly management information packs, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding their individual school operations.

What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?

Engaging with clients across various industries allows me to understand their unique challenges and provide tailored support and advice through a transparent fixed fee structure.

Additionally, I actively participate in networking events to leverage the advertising opportunities available within the local community and expand my professional network.

What challenges have you faced?

As your business expands, it becomes essential to have dependable resources in place to support your growth initiatives effectively. This includes having access to reliable staffing to assist with a smooth and sustainable expansion trajectory.

In my experience, one of the primary challenges has been the scarcity of professional and ethically-driven recruiting agencies available to assist with the recruitment process. Upon conversing with other businesses, it became evident that this challenge is not unique to my organisation; who are struggling with similar staffing resource issues.

What have been the highlights of being a TaxAssist franchisee?

The highlights of being a TaxAssist franchisee include access to a reputable brand, a proven business model, extensive support and training, growth opportunities, and the potential for a rewarding work-life balance.

What has the training and support from TaxAssist Accountants been like?

The training and support from TaxAssist Accountants is designed to empower franchisees to succeed in their business ventures. With comprehensive training, ongoing support, marketing assistance, technical guidance, and networking opportunities, franchisees have the resources they need to thrive in the tax and accounting industry.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?

Becoming a franchisee has been a transformative experience that has brought positive changes to various aspects of my life, including my career, financial stability, personal fulfilment, and work-life balance.

In your opinion, what differentiates TaxAssist from the competition?

In my opinion TaxAssist Accountants differentiates itself through its specialisation in small businesses, proven franchise model, national brand with local presence, commitment to technology and innovation, and client-centric approach. These factors combine to position TaxAssist as a leading provider of accounting services for small businesses and differentiate it from the competition.

How has being a part of the franchise helped you to grow your practice?

Being part of the TaxAssist franchise has provided me with the resources, support and opportunities necessary to grow my practice and achieve success as a small business owner in the accounting industry.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy a TaAssist Accountants franchise?

The most invaluable piece of advice is to ensure that buying a TaxAssist Accountants franchise is the right decision for your individual circumstances and aspirations.

By thoroughly researching the opportunity, conducting due diligence, assessing market opportunities, seeking professional advice and having a clear business plan to make an informed decision.

It is down to the franchisee to join TaxAssist Accountants for the right reasons. They will support you throughout your on-boarding process and provide the necessary support you need to set yourself up for success as a franchisee.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve had a hugely successful year in 2024, with 150 client signups and counting, and we’re looking to expand even more. 

My plan for the future is to continue to aid individuals, startup businesses and small enterprises by offering them advice to optimise their tax efficiency and develop a sustainable and profitable business.

Additionally, I aim to have another office space in my neighbouring town Burgess Hill within the year to enable me to expand my business to 500 clients within the next five years, leveraging my expertise and dedication to support the local community.

I’d like to thank TaxAssist for the support provided to me every step of the way in my new venture – it really has been a tremendous year for me and my team.

July 2024