James Darville’s TaxAssist Accountants franchise services the small business community in and around his home town of Havant, Hampshire
James Darville is a man who knows what he wants out of life. After working in the accountancy industry and becoming an AAT qualified accountant, he decided it was time to use his experience and ambition to start his own business and provide tax and accountancy services to the small business community in and around his home town of Havant, Hampshire.
James knew franchising would offer him a brand name, plus the technical and marketing back-up and support he wanted, to make a success of his business. After doing much research, he decided to join TaxAssist Accountants.
Big brand presence
“I felt TaxAssist was by far the best franchise available,” James explains. “The support system alone was enough to convince me that this was the right move. I was keen to make use of the big brand presence to gain clients quicker and be part of a network I could see was working together as a whole to achieve incredible results.”
TaxAssist is the UK’s largest network of accountants specifically servicing the needs of small businesses and the self-employed. An innovative, award winning franchise, which has been operating successfully for more than 20 years, the company offers services including year-end accounts, tax returns, bookkeeping, VAT returns, payroll and cash flow projections.
A consistent winner of awards in both the franchising and accountancy sectors, TaxAssist now has over 200 franchises trading from over 285 branches and looks after the needs of 63,000 clients with combined fee banks of £41 million.
For James, owning his own practice was always something he wanted to do: “Starting my own accountancy practice was a no brainer, as all my qualifications and previous employment have been in the finance and accountancy arenas, so it made sense to establish a business I could be passionate about.
“I had worked in practice for five years before I started my TaxAssist business and, as well as passing exams along the way, I had dealt with every aspect of working with clients and meeting them face to face initially to explain their tax position after completing their accounts. I like dealing with people and don’t have a problem with selling my services confidently to clients.
“When I first considered setting up on my own, I discussed my plans with my father Alan, who had himself run his own business. We both attended a discovery day and were very impressed with the people running the franchise and the help and support being offered.
“Thankfully, my business is progressing very well and everything TaxAssist said it would do and more has been done.”
Retail shopfront concept
With an established brand, TaxAssist stands out from the crowd. Traditionally, accountancy practices lack visibility, commonly positioned behind a door with a brass plaque.
TaxAssist has broken with tradition, providing a breath of fresh air in the accountancy world with its retail shopfront concept.
The majority of franchisees operate from highly visible, accessible and welcoming shopfront premises, which have been designed specifically to appeal to the small business target market, encouraging walk in trade.
The shop concept has proven to be extremely successful, with over three quarters of the network now operating from these impressive premises.
James opened his shop in August 2016 and it’s proving to be a hit with his clients. “I’m ambitious and excited about growing my business through the Havant shop and plan to eventually open additional offices in neighbouring towns, so our services are always convenient for our clients,” he says.
James currently employs two staff members.
“I’m proud to have opened my own TaxAssist practice in an area I know really well,” he says. “I pride myself on offering fantastic, jargon-free tax and accountancy services, specifically tailored to the small business community, which allow my clients to get on with doing what they do best - running their business.”
Sarah Robertson, group operations director of the TaxAssist Group, says: “We are delighted a franchisee of James’ calibre has joined the TaxAssist network. We look forward to supporting him to grow a large and profitable practice.
“By following the TaxAssist business model and taking advantage of everything our franchise has to offer, I have every confidence James will set himself up for life.
“I would encourage anyone who has experience in the accountancy, finance or banking world to consider taking on a TaxAssist franchise. Our target small business market is booming and, with the benefit of our experience and proven business model, we know how successful you could be.
“Each franchisee operates in an exclusive area and we still have a number of prime territories available in the UK, as well as resale opportunities for those wishing to buy an established business. We also operate in the Republic of Ireland and Australia for those thinking of relocating.”