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Age is no barrier for Rosemary Bookkeeping franchisee Steve Brown

Age is no barrier for Rosemary Bookkeeping franchisee Steve Brown

Steve was named British Franchise Association Olderpreneur Franchisee of the Year 2016

A former IT specialist, Steve Brown runs a Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise business in Newbury in conjunction with his daughter, TJ Sutherland.

He was named Olderpreneur Franchisee of the Year at the British Franchise Association’s 2016 Franchisee of the Year Awards.

Key aims

“It’s great to be recognised for your success,” Steve says. “My key aims at the start of the franchise were that I wanted to build a sustainable business to pass down to my children and grandchildren and support the local community. With Rosemary Bookkeeping, I have fulfilled this ambition.”

Steve has been running his business for over six years and seen his turnover increase by 37 per cent per annum. Client numbers have almost doubled since 2012.

Steve and TJ work as a team, but each has key roles and responsibilities.

“Upon renewal with Rosemary for a second franchise term, the strategies for the business have changed, so that both myself and my daughter can take a back seat in relation to actually doing the processing and focus more on managing and growing the business by building a reliable team, ensuring quality control, marketing and increasing our presence in the local business world,” Steve says.

A question Steve asked himself when he became a franchise partner was: Why should a client choose my bookkeeping business from all the others out there?

“I value good customer service and wanted my business to focus on that,” Steve explains. “As such, I put some initiatives into place.”

His business:

- Offers unlimited face-to-face meetings with clients, showing genuine interest in helping them with their bookkeeping solutions.
- Answers client queries on the same day.<
- Provides solutions to streamline clients’ businesses. For example, Steve recently worked with a client to streamline the recording of engineer visits by developing a custom document that records the engineer’s time and money collected. The information is then uploaded directly into Sage software, saving the client time and money.

As the business has grown, Steve has diversified by offering additional services, such as:

- Bookkeeper training for companies that have grown to the point that they require an in-house bookkeeper.
- Helpline support for in-house bookkeepers.
- On-site staff.

Innovative approach

Using his previous business experience, Steve introduced a number of IT innovations into his franchise, including a free app for clients and the use of Dropbox and Google Drive to share information.

He has also been innovative in his approach to bookkeeping for clients who have a web presence and use Amazon, eBay, etc, but can’t afford to buy expensive accountancy packages to manage this. Steve’s low cost method takes the data from their websites and converts it, so it can be uploaded into bookkeeping software.

Lisa Curteis, Rosemary Bookkeeping director, says: “Steve’s award was deservedly won and acknowledges the commitment and passion he has shown for the franchise.

“Steve is an inspiration to our other franchise partners, gladly acts as a source of information and is always willing to help us, the franchisor, at various franchise events and support us with new initiatives.”

The Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise responds to the increasing need in the UK for an affordable, professional bookkeeping service that supports both the client and accountant.

Franchise partners work in harmony with their clients’ accountants, providing them with what they need in the format they want, saving clients’ time and money.

As well as a proven business model and distinctive brand identity, Rosemary Bookkeeping also offers:

- A recurring income, with average 50 per cent net profit margins.
- Excellent growth opportunities to build a management style business
- Flexible hours. Franchise partners can also work from home, which keeps costs down.
- Dedicated support in bookkeeping, operations, sales and marketing.
- A comprehensive training programme and ongoing support.

Established concept

The franchise is based on a business concept that has been established and refined since 2002, providing a bookkeeping system within a fully supported franchise package.

The founding partners have over 60 years of business experience between them in accounting, operations, sales and marketing. As an associate member of the bfa, Rosemary Bookkeeping has a proven ability to sustain a franchise network successfully.

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