When he became part of the TaxAssist network in May 2002, Terry knew that his wealth of experience working for a high street bank would stand him in good stead starting his own practice.
“I had a couple of years of experience working as a business development consultant for a traditional accountancy practice,” explained Terry who has shops in Lincoln and North Hykeham, “but when I found that the internal politics were just as ‘interesting’ as they were in banking, I decided I’d rather work for myself and have freedom and control over my own destiny.
“I felt a franchise would be safer than going out on my own, because I’d have the support network around me, rather than be isolated and trying to make a living as a one-man band. The TaxAssist Accountants franchise was attractive to me because it allowed me to capitalise on my own skillset, my network and draw on my experiences to date.
"My initial reactions to TaxAssist Accountants were that its staff were not only very welcoming and encouraging but also – more than anything – they were open and honest with me.
“The Support Centre provides help and assistance in all areas. The technical support, in particular for me as somebody that didn’t come from a traditional accounting background, was invaluable and continues to be used today as does the excellent marketing support.
“Having initially started out working from a serviced office, I moved into my first shop in 2005 and three years later opened a second office in North Hykeham to maximise the coverage in the Lincoln area. Today, I have eight staff covering both shops and I am about to sign up my 500th client and reach a fee bank of £350,000.
“The way I run my Lincoln and North Hykeham shops has evolved too, as I have adopted the latest technology, which has seen my offices bid farewell to dozens of filing cabinets as we have adopted cloud-based storage and software like QuickBooks ahead of Making Tax Digital.
"Using the QuickBooks’ Platinum Partner logo at the top of our letters has also reassured our clients that we offer them the best software. We have been using QuickBooks for over a year and to help our clients get the most out of the software, we have been holding training sessions.”
Providing a high level of service has been key to Terry’s success, who has found that getting back to his clients quickly and keeping them informed of the progress of their work has encouraged endorsements.
“By following this approach, I have enjoyed a good organic growth thanks to returning clients and new ones who have been referred to us.”
Being part of a network has provided Terry with the opportunity to forge firm friendships with other franchisees, with whom he has been able to seek advice and share business ideas.
“Since then, I have done likewise, helping and advising other franchisees in the network – several of whom have come over to see how I run my practices.
“I am also part of the TaxAssist Franchisee Forum, at which myself and other franchisees regularly meet to discuss developments and new initiatives with the Board of Directors, as well as share best practice among ourselves. At the end of the day there’s no point in reinventing the wheel if others within our network have already found successful ways to do something.”
Although Terry has no plans to open another shop, he instead has chosen to concentrate on building his business as an asset he can sell for when he eventually retires, he may well be closely linked to another TaxAssist Accountant further north.
“It is highly likely there will be another Peachman-owned TaxAssist Accountants in Manchester, as my son is hoping to open an office up there. He has been really impressed following the success of my business and we both recently attended a Discovery Day in Norwich, so he could find out more.
“The franchise has met my expectations in all respects. I’ve had support and encouragement which has enabled me to build a business in a way that they predicted. It’s now providing an income that I’d hoped to achieve and I’m very proud to be part of the TaxAssist network. Throughout all my dealings with TaxAssist, I’ve always been impressed by their complete honesty and never once have I doubted what’s been said. They’ve always delivered on their promises.
“I would certainly recommend the TaxAssist Accountants franchise – I have no hesitation in saying that – go for it – you won’t be disappointed. I doubt you’d find a better franchise out there!”