Kam & Sejal Sira launched their TaxAssist Accountants franchise in Watford in 2010. Former lawyer Sejal said: “It was the height of the last recession when Kam was made redundant, and knowing that accountancy services are always in demand, we took the chance to start our own business with TaxAssist.”

Kam said, "I was looking to work for myself using skills I had build up over my working career, but wanted the advantage of the support that a franchise offers. The vast reputation and success of TaxAssist gave me all the confidence I needed to join the network." 

The couple raised the necessary payment and a loan from NatWest, arranged with its franchise lending team. “We had to draw up a business plan – not a huge problem, given our skills – but the team as the Support Centre assisted us” said Sejal.

It helped that they were starting a franchise business. “We had a strong growth mindset and lots of guidance from the Support Centre about marketing, social media and networking. Business leads started coming in immediately” said Sejal.

The couple now have two shops in Barnet and Watford and an office in Borehamwood. “During the lockdown, we contacted clients offering our expertise and we helped many of them access government support schemes,” said Sejal. “We were busier than ever and this kind of goodwill gesture means we’re more likely to keep clients.

Kam said, "Recession can bring opportunities and redundancies mean people start new businesses and big companies swap their accountants to smaller ones to cut costs. Companies leave the market and businesses looking for efficiencies change suppliers. We are signing up two or three new clients a week, which continued even under lockdown.

"A recession can be a good time to start a business. My wife and I work together in our practice and we haven't looked back! ”