Enjoying 20% growth since the financial crisis hit in 2008, compared to a 2.5% contraction in the overall economy, franchisors make substantial investments in training and business support for their franchisees, to ensure that their winning business formula is replicated and developed successfully throughout the country and for those expanding overseas internationally.
So what does good training and business support look like? Mould-breaking accountancy network TaxAssist Accountants was named Best Training and Support provider in a recent national benchmarking survey. One of only ten franchisors in the country to achieve 5 Star Franchisee Satisfaction rating in the survey, run by specialist consultancy Smith and Henderson, the franchisor received the accolade based on feedback from its almost 200-strong franchisee network.
“For me, it’s very much about sharing best practice,” said Ben Dixon, 25, who joined his parents’ TaxAssist Accountants franchise three years ago, working across their four shops in Bishop’s Stortford, Brentwood, Ipswich and Epping.
“You join established and experienced franchisees as well as newcomers, at the national support centre and through webinars, so you’re confident that the theory is working out there in practice.
“What is really important and I think makes us stand out from many other franchise operations, is the focus on business growth and lead conversion. Technical training is important, of course, but accountancy is probably not the first profession you would associate with confident communication and selling. I’ve been given vital tips on making the best use of social media channels, mentored on optimising meeting opportunities with potential clients and taught the key elements of successful sales and marketing. It’s given me much more confidence in helping to grow the business.”
Ben’s parents David and Anne Dixon joined TaxAssist Accountants in 2002 and opened their first shop three years later. They now employ five full-time accountants and an administrator to meet demand from a client base of some 750 small business clients across their four shop premises.
David, a Chartered Management Accountant who had worked as Group Financial Controller for a major motor dealership before making the decision to join the franchise, comments:
“The training and support offered at TaxAssist Accountants has played a fundamental part in our continued growth. Their package includes a comprehensive six-week course focusing on all aspects of running a business, which gives you confidence that you’ll be able to bring more business to the business. Their advice and guidance is very clear, to the point and incredibly helpful.”
TaxAssist Accountants’ Training Academy provides specialist courses on social media strategy and implementation, sales conversion, business acceleration and succession planning. Technical training includes the latest IT and software support, as well as updates on tax and accountancy legislation and innovations within the business and market place.