For Kully Sahota, working for himself had always been his dream, and franchising offered the safety net he was looking for to reduce the risk of business failure.

Kully launched his practice in November 2015 and operates from shops in Hagley and Quinton in South-West Birmingham and offices in Edgbaston, Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, Stourport-on-Severn and Halesowen.

Now eight years into the franchise, Kully has built his practice up to over 960 clients with a healthy fee bank, gaining 150 clients in the last year alone, with 30% profitability in the practice.

He maintained a good growth rate through the pandemic, with a 16% increase in sales, 24% increase in clients and 28% increase in fee bank.

Why did you decide to join TaxAssist?

I chose TaxAssist Accountants because it had a proven model and had been established for many years. There were successful franchisees across the UK which proved the model worked.

Although I had an accounting qualification I had never worked in practice before and the majority of my work experience before joining TaxAssist Accountants had been in banking in the Treasury.

Running my own practice was an unknown quantity to me. I needed help with all the compliance pieces, getting set up, and learning how to go about marketing and signing up clients. TaxAssist took care of all of this for me. I also leaned heavily on the technical team in the early days to give me the confidence I needed in front of clients.

I knew that this was not a get rich quick scheme. It would require dedication and the knowledge that for the first 18 months, I would be spending more money than I was bringing in and that it would take time for clients and cash to build up. I knew that I needed to stick with it and in time, the business would start growing.

There’s never a perfect time to make a decision, and this was certainly the case for me. I had two small children at home when I joined and my wife wasn’t working, but I trusted my instinct and knew I could make a go of it.

How does the support from TaxAssist affect your business?

Being a part of the network has accelerated growth, no doubt about it. People often ask me if I could have achieved all I’ve done on my own and I always point out that the franchise has got me from A to B so much quicker than I could ever have done alone.

I have many friends who have tried to launch their own bookkeeping or accountancy businesses and have now given up, because they’ve found it too hard without adequate back up and support behind them.    

Clients recognise the TaxAssist brand and trust us, so referrals flow through the entire network which helps grow the practice. Also, the team in the marketing department are always looking at new strategies for advertising and using the best methods which attracts new clients and hence increases growth.

The accountancy industry is very fast moving and the Support Centre team are excellent at turning around a budget response or keeping us up to date with tax changes so my staff and I can update our clients straightaway. Many clients who move over to us from other accountants are often totally unaware of changes which have happened months or years ago because their accountant never spoke to them! We pride ourselves on the speed and effectiveness of our client communications. Having the Support Centre prepare these communications for us saves us a huge amount of time and effort.  

Training from the Support Centre has been great, with courses always available and they are the first to react to changes and keep us up to date. The guidance and help through the pandemic was priceless and the support team have been with us every step of the way. You really do get what you pay for when you join the TaxAssist Accountants family.

How has operating from a shop helped you to grow?

The shop has played a big part in my growth. When I first started people could see I was new in the area and the blue and yellow colours made us stand out from the crowd. Thousands of cars drive past the shop every day and we get a large volume of calls from being so visible.

It’s a local point for clients to pop in and helps us to build that relationship with clients which is so key.

What does a typical day look like?

It’s a cliché but there really isn’t a typical day which is one of the main reasons I enjoy being a franchisee.

Generally, it would be logging in and checking any urgent emails and allocating work for staff. I tend to clear my emails from the day before in the morning and hold client meetings in the afternoon, which I think works very well.

I’m still hands on in the business and I spend my time holding Ltd Company meetings and signing up new clients, but I’m able to pass on the admin, payroll, marketing and operational work.

Is there a sustained demand for your services?

Absolutely, 100%. Even through covid we grew, as clients still needed us for furlough and loans. What I’ve found since then, is that as some businesses have closed, others have opened in their place. We have a lot of online businesses, as well as drivers and consultants.

My practice is predominantly compliance based. Where I’m based in Birmingham, clients need help to understand their tax and accounts and the deadlines involved. They need us to be their back up and to help them with all the financial aspects of their lives and businesses.

I’ve very keen to make use of TaxAssist Financial Services. It’s a great in-house service to have access to and with regionally based Independent Financial Advisors coming into our shops providing face to face appointments alongside myself, it will make the process so much more convenient for clients who need to build up that relationship, particularly around pensions and investments.

Highlights of being a TaxAssist Accountant

I’d say for me, one of the main highlights of being a franchisee is helping the small businesses in my local area, while growing the business into the established presence it holds today. A personal highlight for me has also been finding great staff and building a team who I enjoy working with and seeing them grow.

It’s been really rewarding to meet with so many other small businesses in the area and build up a referral network between ourselves. I often refer work to my clients, and those clients then refer work to me and I’d estimate around 60% of my new clients come from referrals. My clients are my network and many have become good friends.

Would you recommend the TaxAssist Accountants franchise?

Yes absolutely. For me, becoming a franchisee has given me the freedom and flexibility to spend more time with my family and build an asset for them for the future.

I’ve not done anything special, I’ve put some effort into it and achieved a fee bank and acquisition by hard work and following the model. If you’re not going to follow the model, don’t invest. It’s there to support you, the brand’s there to push you, it’s recognised. If you’re willing to put effort and time in, you can be successful.

Future plans

I’m pretty ambitious and I’m keen to continue to grow the practice towards the £1 million mark. I bought out a neighbouring franchisee in early 2023 and I’m always open to considering purchasing a fee bank or additional area.

I’m a real believer that if you put the effort in you will reap the rewards.

October 2023