TaxAssist proved so impressive it pulled Paul out of retirement

Paul Simpson was so impressed when he attended a Discovery Day that he decided to come out of retirement. Such has been his success with TaxAssist Accountants, he opened his first shop just two months after completing his initial training, and at seven months signed up his 100th client!

Paul had a successful career in financial services as a banker, IFA and Estate Planner spanning over 35 years, before selling his business in 2019.

“Having retired at a relatively young age, I thought that I was ready to devote my life to my hobbies and interests including cycling, freemasonry and charitable work. I had also just married Denise and we were looking forward to spending lots of time together,” said Paul.

His original intention was to look for a part time business, but he was blown away by the professionalism and openness of the entire management team at TaxAssist, he decided to devote his time and energy to the venture full time. His wife will also play an integral part in the business, as well as continuing to run her own successful ETSY online shop.

“I realised that I needed the support of a franchise environment to allow me to develop and grow the business quickly. Having all the processes and procedures in place make starting a new business much simpler," Paul explained. 

Initial Training

Paul started planning his new business as soon after he had attended the Discovery Day, and quickly signed the lease on his first shop in Market Harborough, which required extensive renovation and refurbishment. He has also set up two virtual offices so that all three postcode areas in his territory are covered.

“Everyone at the Support Centre has been incredibly supportive and nothing has been too much trouble. The message that has come across very clearly from all the training and meetings that I have attended is – Stick to the model – That is something that I fully intend to do.”

Market Harborough Shop

Paul opened his first shop in May 2021 and has already made a real impact on his local community, with his enthusiasm, energy and mission to ‘Help small business owners realise their dream’.

Paul said: “I am delighted that the shop opened on schedule on 17th May 2021. This was always the intention to fit in with the Government roadmap and the easing of restrictions. The shop is a lovely relaxing environment to work in, and everyone that walks past is having a good look! 

“I have been working hard networking and promoting the business, and I’m pleased to say I have already exceeded my business plan. I have ambitious growth plans, and plan to open further shops in the local area over the next few years.”

Beating his business plan

In October 2021, seven months after joining the franchise, Paul smashed his business plan projections after signing up his 100th client, which is 50% ahead of what was his 12-month target.

“It’s certainly been a busy time, but I’ve loved every minute of it and am proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time,” said Paul. “I’m a real believer in getting out there and networking and being passionate about what I’m doing, which I think comes across when I speak to clients and contacts. I’ve been very active on social media and made sure to sponsor local events and clubs, which combined with the national advertising activity carried out by the Norwich based Support Centre team has worked brilliantly to drive new client leads.”

New client manager

Having witnessed the client demand in Market Harborough, Paul decided to appoint his first team member, Alex Shields, as a client manager. Alex has a First Class Honours Degree in Accounting and Finance and has to sit four more exams to be a fully qualified CIMA. He also has Xero Advisor Certification with ACCA.

“With an eye on the long-term future of the practice, I decided to take on a client manager who can assist with client meetings and networking. The plan is to train and work closely with Alex and to maximise the business to its full potential, with the aim that he will attain partner status within five years.

“We are both enjoying introducing ourselves and explaining more about the services that we offer to small businesses in Market Harborough, and plan to do the same in nearby Blaby, where we hope to open our second shop.”

In March 2022, Paul celebrated the first anniversary of his shop.

"Happy Birthday to TaxAssist Market Harborough and what a year it has been:

  • 156 clients
  • 114 1-2-1 meetings
  • 44 Five Star Google Reviews
  • Two full-time members of staff recruited

"It's been great fun and hard work but I've enjoyed every minute of it."


Paul always had the intention of expanding rapidly both by organic growth and by acquisition. In August 2022 he purchased a neighbouring franchisee's practice in Lincoln.

“Having spent 12 months growing my initial Market Harborough franchise, onboarding over 200 clients and employing both a Client Manager and a Client Administrator while getting used to the systems and procedures, it was time to take the business to the next level,” said Paul.

“When I heard that a neighbouring franchisee was considering retiring, we arranged to meet and immediately knew that we could work with each other in a smooth transition of the business. It is a business model that I know well and is based in the East Midlands like my existing franchise.

“The franchisee had grown a successful business over the last 20 years that is well respected in the area. I am looking forward to working with the team in Lincoln to grow the business and becoming even more involved in the local community and welcoming more clients to the TaxAssist proposition to allow them to take the pain out of their bookkeeping and realise the business of their dreams.

“I have inherited a loyal and experienced team and will be growing the staff numbers to cope with the additional clients and the introduction of TaxAssist Financial Services.”


November 2022