Decision Time - TaxAssist Franchise

We all face difficult decisions at different stages of our lives. By difficult decision I mean a decision that will have a far reaching effect in years to come.

I am currently facing a difficult decision over a TAA franchise. Should I go for it? I will try and layout benefits and downsides as I see them of going for TAA franchise:

Advantages

Disadvantages

Great support means massively reduce the risk of making major errors

Giving up my own brand/name of practice – little known as it is. I spent so much time thinking of the name. 

Far easier to get bank funding with TAA name

Giving up my website- I spent hours and hours on thinking about the design. I just love my website. So do my clients. 

Shop front risk reduced – location, type, suppliers and help within the network of avoiding pitfalls

Giving up my office that I love so much

Exchange of ideas within the network

Franchisee fee

Lower cost of  product/services through TAA strong bargaining power

On-going management fee

Excellent systems

Have to follow franchisors systems even the ones I do not like

Excellent CPD through TAA Academy

High exit fees. If I decide to leave before my 5 years are up.

Regional meeting mean concerns and ideas can expressed

The territory I want is not available.

Third party suppliers are vetted by TAA

What if my chosen territory does not generate sufficient fee bank?

Most importantly sales and marketing support and training

 

It will force me to think and draft a business plan. I love their business plan template.

 

 

Massive increase in fee bank

 

Bold text are key advantages/disadvantages as I see them.

I still remain impressed with TAA. I spoke to 8 to 10 TAA franchisees. All of them said their investment was worthwhile and they do not regret their decision. Mind you they are 2 franchisees who have not returned my call. I do not know what that says. I will try and pursue them and see if they will speak to me.

It is now crunch time – yes or no? Any further light you can throw that will aid my decision making? 

Comments

Pages

Does not seem like a great deal to me    2 thanks

Roland195 | | Permalink

The advantages you have listed to not seem particularly great to me while the disadvantages seem severe.

After investing so much of your time in setting up your practice the way you want it, you would be mad to give it up.

petersaxton's picture

Listen to Roland    2 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

This is one of the easiest decisions I can think of.

Flash Gordon's picture

Observations    2 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

My thoughts on your 'advantages':

1, At this stage in your practice how many major errors can you make (other than getting a franchise!)? If you don't know how to do a job and therefore run the risk of fouling it up and getting sued then don't do it. Other than that?

2, What do you need bank funding for? And if you did but couldn't get it on your own then maybe that's a sign that you shouldn't be going for it anyway.

3, Maybe

4, Well you get that on AWeb for free!

5, How many products and services do you need to buy? Is the cost of a franchise really worth savings on office furniture?

6, Okay I trust you on that having not seen them but then you can adapt their system to your use. And you must have systems of your own that you can improve to perfectly match you.

7, I'm assuming it's included in the cost so okay but you can get great CPD from all sorts of places without them and you can tailor it to exactly what you need at a particular moment.

8, Yes but I refer you to answer 4

9, AWeb recommendations for free

10, Yes but for the fees you could hire a consultant / employee

11, Well you've obviously got their template so why not just force yourself to use it without them. Take yourself off somewhere quiet and write it.

12, Nice thought but it's not guaranteed, it's focus on low-cost clients which I always assumed you didn't really want, and you have to pay for the ones you bring in.

So my gut instinct is screaming 'run, dammit, run' and that's without focussing on the disadvantages! Why not focus on the key advantages and work out how you can replicate them in your own practice if you really need them?

 

 

FirstTab's picture

On my own

FirstTab | | Permalink

Thank you all for the response.

Being honest with myself, being on my own has not worked for me. It is coming up to 5 years now since I started on my own, it has not worked in the sense of fee level.

On the one hand I do not want to give my favourite baby at the same time I need to make some tough decisions.

If i was starting fresh I would go with TAA without question. Their model works.

My holding point is my 5 years of pain and effort. Plus giving up my baby!

Flash Gordon's picture

Make it work    3 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

I've been working on my own for about 8 years and my fee levels are not where they 'should' be but I know that's down to me and a lack of drive to do something about it. I've been focussing more in the last 6 months to get things moving but I'm not entirely convinced that my heart is in it. I love working hard, sorting out better systems and so on. It's the client side that I don't enjoy. And somehow I need to find a way that makes it work for me, or find an alternative. But the point is that there isn't an easy way of going from 0 to 60. You have to put the effort in. I don't doubt that TAA is a good idea if you're starting out from scratch. But for someone who's already built something, whatever size...I just think you're going to find it equally hard (or harder) because you have to want to change what you do. And if you want to change that much then you could do so without paying TAA.

Think of it like having a gastro-band to lose weight - you can't make the effort to lose weight properly (eat less, move more) so you go for the easy option of surgery. And great you lose some weight because you can't eat much. But then you gradually increase those mouthfuls so you're getting more and more down and before you know it the band has failed, you're bigger than you were originally and the NHS is a whole chunk of money down the drain. You get very little worthwhile in life if you don't make the effort.

Your baby is now a toddler - move it on from nursery to school and don't go with the soft option of chucking it at a nanny to look after :)

mrme89's picture

     1 thanks

mrme89 | | Permalink

 

Hi FT

 

I think the other posters have given some great advice.

 

I also agree that the TAA franchise would be more suited to somebody starting out; in effect you would be starting from ground zero if you went with TA.

 

I think the advantages that you have listed are all things that you can work on without paying a franchisor. From your list, I would say the advantages are weak compared to the disadvantages.

 

It seems that you like the idea of a support network, but you have one here on AWeb. If you need that human contact for ideas, have you thought about a partner or hiring a senior to help drive the business forward? Every idea has its advantages and disadvantages though.

 

For the money you would pay to TA, it would go a long way in developing your own brand.

 

Ultimately, it’s a personal choice and I hope you make the right decision for you.

 

 

Kind Regards

John 

Red Leader's picture

In answer to your question    2 thanks

Red Leader | | Permalink

NO!

RIght direction?    1 thanks

wilcoskip | | Permalink

It's not so long ago now that you were telling us what a great experience you'd had with a consultancy assignment.

This would suggest that rather than move to the volume/low-cost end of the market your skills and temperament might be better suited in the other direction - i.e. higher cost, you deal with consultancy side of things, trained employee deals with compliance.

I still think your solution lies more along the AVN route rather than TA.  Not that I'm saying that AVN is the only solution for you (Principa for example, if I remember the name correctly), but it's in the right direction.

WS.

FirstTab's picture

My experience    1 thanks

FirstTab | | Permalink

Once again thank you all for your response. 

Some comments talk about buying in the TAA type support services. I tried this on telemarketing it did not work for me. 

Firstly there was the problem about not knowing whether the telemarketer was any good. Once I found them, this is what I went through: 

1) First one was no good

2) Second one was okay - He informed me that London was tough crowd and left me

3) Third one a highly reputable company  - got me some appts then just left me. They could not get me more appts! Same reason - London is a tough crowd. 

4) No 4 - as above

The point I am trying to make the amount of frustration and time that I spent on this was just too much in looking for a decent supplier. Here is one example where franchise would help.

AW good as it is with all due respect we do not know the calibre and credibility of all the people who respond. They may have their own agenda. It just cannot replace a reputable and well respected franchisor. 

 

 

two sheds's picture

firmly in the no camp    1 thanks

two sheds | | Permalink

Firmly in the no camp for you and your circumstances, as said some great advice there, the thing that bothers me is, are you sure that the fee bank would increase massively? Am I right in thinking that TA do not give any guarantees? And if the increase is due to marketing, then spend the franchise fee and ongoing % that you would have to pay to them and away you go.

I think a lot one man/woman bands are not where they would want to be and I think this is due to the different strands involved in being in practice...probabaly the answer is to partner up with someone who complements you and is good at the things your not (client contact for Flash, systems for me, perhaps we should get together!)) although I suspect the lack of control is what stops most of us...usually doing our own thing is what we wanted and what got us started...From what I have seen it is the two partner and up firms that seem to be most succesful.

 

ShirleyM's picture

Own agenda?    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

FirstTab wrote:

AW good as it is with all due respect we do not know the calibre and credibility of all the people who respond. They may have their own agenda. It just cannot replace a reputable and well respected franchisor. 

If that is your opinion of AWebbers, and TaxAssist, then you have ruled out any choice in the matter. If you don't trust us, but do trust TAA, then go for it!

petersaxton's picture

Why TaxAssist?    2 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

 

“Most importantly sales and marketing support and training”

London will still be a tough crowd!

I would suggest just letting people know you are around and wait for recommendations.

“They may have their own agenda. It just cannot replace a reputable and well respected franchisor.”

Who will have their own agenda!

I don't see anything you have said about TaxAssist that couldn't be got better from somewhere else.

It seems that you have been brainwashed by them into thinking they are something special.

Flash Gordon's picture

Gospel?    2 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

Technical questions aside, the general how-to-run-your-practice style questions (which tend to be more your sort of qs) are perfect for Aweb because you get a variety of views and from them you can make up your own mind. I think it's great because it sparks off ideas in my head that otherwise I may not have considered. I'd not have discovered VT, BTC or Moneysoft without AWebbers and all three programs have saved me time and money.

Agenda-wise why would any of us have agendas? Okay so if you ask for a supplier recommendation then some suppliers might respond but you take them at face value. It's when you get 100 responses saying 'Moneysoft' that you know its worth a look! What are you going to get from TAA? One opinion with their profit-making agenda behind it. We won't make money out of you, they will. But like Shirley says, if you don't trust us and you do trust them go for it.

Telemarketing - you tried it and it didn't work. What would you do if TAA said use this telemarketing company, its the only one we allow. And then it didn't work? If you're making the decisions you can ask around, try a few and if none work then maybe that means that telemarketing isn't the way forward and you need to advertise instead?!

 

petersaxton's picture

It doesn't make sense    2 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

"AW good as it is with all due respect we do not know the calibre and credibility of all the people who respond. They may have their own agenda. It just cannot replace a reputable and well respected franchisor. "

What agenda could people on AccountingWeb have? 

You said yourself that you are not very successful at getting clients so they can hardly see you as credible competition.

In fact you couldn't get a franchise in the area you are now because of the TaxAssist office in South Wimbledon so you would have to move out of the area. That would be a reason for any AccountingWeb members in your area to want you to sign up with them and for you to set up in a TaxAssist office in the Orkneys or somewhere!

Is there anybody on here who is saying don't pay lots of money to TaxAssist but not giving you plenty of good advice other times?

OK, gloves are off    3 thanks

Roland195 | | Permalink

FirstTab wrote:
They may have their own agenda. It just cannot replace a reputable and well respected franchisor. 

I have never heard of anyone who had a good experience with operating a franchise - when their promises do not materialise you are generally left to continue to pay fees to them for an extended period and will never see any of your intial investment returned. Do you honestly believe that the moment you hang up your Tax Assist sign, there will be a stream of clients flocking to your door? Once you cheque clears, I bet you will be hard pressed to find someone willing to answer your calls.

This also ignores my feelings specific to Tax Assist - this model may work for selling sandwiches or cleaning wheelie bins but is hugely inappropriate for professional services. I worked long and hard to gain the qualifications and experience necessary to be an accountant in practice and find the idea that anyone (with £30k for the fee) can be trained & supported to do so insulting.

 

 

 

 

runningmate's picture

Just wondering    1 thanks

runningmate | | Permalink

Sometimes FT your posts suggest that you worry too much and suffer from self-doubt.

Perhaps if you had a 'brand' such as TAA behind you then you would feel more confident. That MIGHT make all the difference for you - in which case it would be the way to go.

On the other hand it may be the case that what you find after joining is that you still have the same problems which you have on your own now - in which case you would have put yourself in a strait-jacket and paid out a lot of money for the privilege!

RM

Flash Gordon's picture

How far away is the franchise?

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

So how far away from your current location is the franchise you're being offered FT?

Red Leader's picture

Telemarketing    2 thanks

Red Leader | | Permalink

I'm interested in hearing more from FT and others about their telemarketing experience as a way of getting new clients.

Years ago when I used telemarketing companies - probably the same ones as FT - the telemarketers always used to say that people in London were much more difficult to engage in conversation compared to other parts of the UK. However, it didn't stop me getting a stream of appointments which led to enough new business to make it very worthwhile as a way of building a practice. So I am mildly puzzled by FT's experience.

Are there any AWebbers in the London area currently using telemarketing in a way that they regard as successful? Is FT's experience typical or specific to him?

 

petersaxton's picture

Roland    2 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

It may surprise you to learn that FT previously signed up for a franchise he was dissatisfied with!

I suppose that the difference is that the previous franchise warned him that they were a bunch of crooks out to fleece him rather than TaxAssist who have only good things to say about themselves!

I mean, if you can't trust a franchise, who can you trust!

FirstTab's picture

From here on

FirstTab | | Permalink

I will not blog about this matter any further.

I thought they would be a really balanced discussion.

There are some constructive comments - thank you.

petersaxton's picture

For and against    1 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

For TaxAssist franchise: FT

Against TaxAssist franchise: Everybody else ...

not strictly true ... there was TaxAssist in favour of it in other threads!

I don't call that EVENLY balanced. I think it's pretty obvious what the sensible solution is.

One question

Hope_Valley | | Permalink

What happens to your existing clients if you take on the franchise?

Do Tax Assist get a percentage of those fees too, or do you end up effectively running two businesses ?

 

 

Flash Gordon's picture

It would be balanced but    1 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

..you're the only one who thinks its a good idea FT! We're being helpful and sensible and giving you our opinions, it's just you don't want to hear them because they're not saying 'go for it'.

Flash Gordon's picture

@ Hope

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

In case FT doesn't answer my understanding is that after a couple of year's they get put in the pot and you pay a percentage of them too! And likewise if you then pull out. So all that effort you've put in someone else benefits from.

Red Leader's picture

@FT: In answer to your question

Red Leader | | Permalink

YES!

(In the interests of balance)

FirstTab's picture

Not voting - balanced argument

FirstTab | | Permalink

Okay lets forget this now. 

I was thinking along this lines when I said a balanced discussion - not voting one way or another. 

 

 

A few thoughts    1 thanks

B Roberts | | Permalink

Hi FT,

I have just a few questions - more for you to ponder, rather than to answer.

Having previously worked in a senior finance role (non-practice), what was your initial motivation for starting up as a sole trader ?

What has changed over the past 5 years ?

It appears to me that you want the flexibility and autonomy of working for yourself (plus, the theory that the harder you work the more you will earn), however in reality you also miss the comfort and structure of a wider support group / colleagues ?

It also appears that you may be thinking that a franchise may be a sort of half way house  etween employment and self employment that will give you the benefits of both worlds ?

From the feedback on this site it looks as though a franchise would not satisfy what you are looking for, and may also result in a number of other additional disadvantages.

You know yourself best, and you have done your research, so you are best place to decide what is right for you - the big problem being that it will cost you £35k + vat plus a tie-in to find out .........

Good luck whatever you decide.

 

 

petersaxton's picture

The FT Parliament    1 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

It's been a busy day in the FT Parliament.

The vote has just concluded. The FT Speaker announces the result:

FT Speaker: The Ayes one vote.

FT Speaker: The Noes 20 votes.

FT Speaker: So the Ayes have it!

ShirleyM's picture

But, Peter ...    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

It is FT's decision, and his alone, so if FT says Aye, then it should be Aye.

It seems that when he asked for our views, he didn't really want our views. I'm not sure whose views he did want, but it obviously wasn't ours.

petersaxton's picture

What about TaxAssist?

petersaxton | | Permalink

He seems to trust them!

ShirleyM's picture

Again, Peter

ShirleyM | | Permalink

That is for FT to make a judgement, and decide accordingly. It's FT's future at stake, not ours.

I am not sure what agenda you could have, Peter, other than wanting to help FT. After all, if FT joined TAA it would be one less competitor in your area. Alternatively, TaxAssist have a lot to gain. Maybe FT thinks nobody (including you) could be so altruistic?

 

petersaxton's picture

I made that point    2 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

But maybe FT didn't see it as balanced.

He seems to think that people are giving him duff advice about TaxAssist to encourage him to not join. He thinks TaxAssist are going to change his life. What did the prospectus say about getting a wife?

I advised him to get an advert on the main road to overcome his office which is a room down a side street. Was that duff advice to ensure he struggled?

I've said that he's better off buying a building on a main road. Living behind and above and having a shop front. Best of all worlds.

Will he do it? No, he'll waste time dithering about TaxAssist. He'll criticise everybody who says don't do it and then he wont do it.

What FT should do is realise that success is down to him. I've wasted money advertising. I think he should concentrate on doing a good job for his clients and grow by recommendation.

papalazarou's picture

FT    1 thanks

papalazarou | | Permalink

FT

You might have already done this as part of your due diligence but how about downloading the last five years TAA franchisee accounts (as many as possible but definitely all franchises that started in the last five years in/around London).  You can then use this data to give you averages of all ratios/results in one spreadsheet/graph.

I think this would give you a good set of quantitative data to evaluate the proposition and you could also enter your own results in as well to benchmark your progress since starting.

I realise the accounts may be different/abbreviated but believe the quantitative data would be helpful. You are an accountant after all!

I personally believe the support is valuable and if I had the money for TAA I would seriously consider it. I am currently starting up and the amount of time taken up dealing with 'admin' before I can think about generating fees is definitely a burden. TAA must employ a lot of staff/resources and they will be effectively working on your business throughout the year. It is almost like having an Admin Partner leaving you to get on with building the client base. 

Good luck whatever you decide.

ps. Happy to discuss offline if you think it might help. 

 

 

 

 

ShirleyM's picture

Stop fretting, Peter    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Through our personal chats (and moans about clients), I know you have a heart of gold, and you are a very caring person that often goes the extra mile(s) to help someone, even when there is no benefit to you.

This doesn't always come across in your posts except maybe the time where you fed & 'watered' a client one evening when he wanted a quick tax return, allowed him to have a shower, and then drove him home afterwards. That was well beyond the call of duty, and I know  you help other people, and animals, too.

Don't take it to heart so much. You know the old saying .... "You can lead a horse to water ....."

petersaxton's picture

That horse    1 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

Flash set out a detailed case against going with TaxAssist. Many others made very valid points. Yet bizarrely FT seems to rely on what TaxAssist say!

That horse doesn't just not drink he tries to throw himself in front of a car!

petersaxton's picture

Abbreviated accounts    1 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

I would think they would all be abbreviated accounts.

What will a balance sheet tell you?

ShirleyM's picture

Forget checking accounts

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Even if they file full accounts you won't know who they are, as some franchisees will be sole traders, some will be partnerships, and some will be XYZ Ltd trading as TaxAssist.

papalazarou's picture

It was just a practical idea to try and help FT.    1 thanks

papalazarou | | Permalink

I realise the info might not be available. Just trying to be practical/constructive. 

ShirleyM's picture

We all are @papalazarou ... trying to help, that is.    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I am eager to know FT's decision :)

petersaxton's picture

Find one

petersaxton | | Permalink

papalazarou wrote:

I realise the info might not be available. Just trying to be practical/constructive. 

Tell you what, find one set of accounts and tell us about them. I don't think you will obtain more than an abbreviated balance sheet.

I think FT has received a lot of useful practical/constructive advice that he should take on board but looking for accounts isn't one of them.

papalazarou's picture

Peter    2 thanks

papalazarou | | Permalink

Who took the jam out of your doughnut? You seem to be taking this personally when we are all just trying to help a fellow member. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to take the time to post-I'll go back to my weekend. 

MissAccounting's picture

Toys firmly out of the pram    7 thanks

MissAccounting | | Permalink

FirstTab wrote:
I will not blog about this matter any further. I thought they would be a really balanced discussion. There are some constructive comments - thank you.

 

[Moderated - inappropriate personal comment.]  Just because the majority of people think its a bad idea you are not going to post on the matter again?  If Im being honest, I dont think running your own business if for you and I think you would be wasting your money paying a franchise fee.  Get yourself back into employment and take the pressure off yourself.

Flash Gordon's picture

For a really balanced view    1 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

In order to provide a balanced view I'll now argue AGAINST FT's apparent disadvantages:

1, Your new name will be better known (albeit shared with lots of others)

2, But you'll have a lovely new generic website. Being different to the herd is over-rated

3, You might love your new office more

4, It's only money. Money can't buy happiness so having it is pointless. You might as well give it away and while I prefer to donate to Cats Protection, Dogs Trust and other animal causes (plus the occasional deserving human) I'm sure TAA will put it to good use or reinvest in the economy, thus creating more employment.

5, Presumably you only pay if you get clients (apart from in x years when you pay them for your existing clients) so again its only money.

6, But you don't like your systems so theirs might be better. Don't complain about systems before you've tried them.

7, It's an incentive for making it work. And if it doesn't then it's just more money that you won't miss.

8, Well you didn't reply to my question about how far away your territory was going to be so I'm slightly in the dark but look at it as a new area to explore, some extra miles to enjoy cycling and lots more new women to impress.

9, Then you'll have wasted a big heap of money that you could have put to better use but as its still only money it doesn't matter. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You could make a fortune.

plus a few extra reasons to join TAA:

10, You'll be leaving more clients available for Peter who's a deserving sort of bloke

11, It'll be a whole new book of stories for your blog and therefore for us to enjoy (if they'll let you talk about them?)

12, nope, can't think of any more.

Disadvantages:

1, When you go all quiet on us and we start to worry we won't be able to send Peter round to check on you (you might see that as an advantage but we wouldn't)

2, They might say you can't talk about them and then we lose your blog and never get to find out if you find a woman, settle down and live happily ever after

3, Money can't buy happiness but it can pay for mortgages, food, new bikes when they get nicked, dinners with women, new outfits when you lose weight.....

I think you should go for it - you could lose a fortune and several years of your life but what the hell. If you can afford for it to go wrong then you've nothing to lose. You don't need our approval. (Though if I asked for opinions and got a large number telling me to do the opposite of what I wanted then I hope I'd listen and cogitate)

 

petersaxton's picture

I agree it wasn't a good idea

petersaxton | | Permalink

papalazarou wrote:

Who took the jam out of your doughnut? You seem to be taking this personally when we are all just trying to help a fellow member. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to take the time to post-I'll go back to my weekend. 

Is it now wrong to be honest? You come up with a silly suggestion and I tell you it is silly. If it's not a good idea then why post?

There are about 180 TAA    1 thanks

Fred Smith | | Permalink

There are about 180 TAA franchisees which is the same as in 2004 but not the same franchisees.  TAA seems good for start ups but adds less value as the business gets more experience.  The question is; how much to pay for that start up advice bearing in mind that it is a 5 year fee commitment with minimum, escalating, turnover levels in addition to the initial fee.  Given that AWeb is free........

My comment, for what it's worth....    1 thanks

uejorj | | Permalink

FT
I have not participated in any discussions in the past as I have not considered that I have much to contribute one way or t'other.
However I have been following your TaxAssist related blogs with interest.
I purchased a TAA franchise several years ago, using a redundancy package to finance it and up to that time my expertise was in a totally different service industry field, I was not, and am not a qualified accountant, however with the help of TAA I was able to build a profitable practice which I subsequently sold and have more or less retired.
My accounting knowledge was basic on day one, so not being a complete idiot I ensured that the clients I took on were within my expertise to manage, and if my expertise was lacking I was always able to call upon TAA who had and I believe, still have, a well manned qualified department to 'hold my hand'.
A few regulars have indicated that Aweb would give you support so why use TAA, however some of the questions posed on Aweb are fairly basic in nature and all too often replies along the lines of 'what are you doing in practice if you don't even know the basics', whereas no matter how basic or inane the question,TAA would always provide a civil response.
I targeted only micro businesses - I was not capable of advising where to place large amounts of spare cash to keep it safe from HMRC- so I simply ensured that complex tax advice would not be an issue which would arise.
You have been in practice for a few years and so any move to a franchise for you is based on a different set of criteria.
Whatever you ultimately decide to do will be your decision, but looking at your list of Advantages/Disadvantages I can confirm that in my experience, and assuming things have not changed all that much, the support service is indeed very good, the franchisor will push you to follow the business model, for it does work and, by pushing you to increase your client list, they also increase their management fee, so everyone should be happy.
I do suggest however that you look carefully at the exit costs, and check what the current position is if you opt not to renew the franchise agreement upon expiry, for in the past it was not feasible to simply walk away at the end of the contract.
Several contributors have advised that for the cost of the franchise you could replicate the advantages, without incurring the disadvantages, only you know if this is correct in your particular circumstances but I just wanted you to have a view from someone who has been there, done that and got the T-Shirt .
I will now retire to the outer darkness.
Good luck.

petersaxton's picture

Simply figures

petersaxton | | Permalink

FT should be able to come up with some sensible figures.

I don't mean any of this "fees of £xxx in 5 years time" nonsense.

What I mean is what are his fixed costs?

Then what are his variable costs?

From that he should know his breakeven point.

He will then have a sensible understanding of his economic model and not pie in the sky "targets".

He should do this in profit and loss account terms and cashflow terms.

And whatever he does he shouldn't fill his head with rubbish from books.

I have always though that an independent mind, coupled with education and experience is best. Don't take short cuts and follow fads.

 

 

FirstTab's picture

Research    2 thanks

FirstTab | | Permalink

As I mentioned earlier I attended TAA discovery day. Since my blog post I also spoke to further 5 franchises. In addition, the 2 franchisees I mentioned earlier returned my call. This makes a total of 15 franchisees I have spoken to so far.

All the TAA franchises I spoke to did not regret their decision on their investment. Some of the franchisees also extended the franchise agreement to 10 years after the initial 5 years. Just this initself speaks volume. Further all the franchisees I spoke to were more than satisfied with TAA support.

I am keen on TaxAssist. Further TAA gave us a list of all their franchisees and said we can call as many franchisees as we want for a feedback. . I have not known of an organisation who gives a list of all their customers and say call anyone for a feedback. That says so much to me. Further, I think TAA senior management is very good.

Also TAA had their first millionaire franchisee last year by just following the system and using the support provided. Franchisee millionaire!

With all due respect most of the comments I have read are not based on sound research. In the main they are based on a negative perception accountancy franchises.

Based on the research I have done, I am impressed with the support TAA provides to their franchisees. What could be better research than their customers!

Of course franchisee has to do the work, excellent tools and support are provided by TAA.

I hope to become a TAA franchisee.

I am an intelligent person and no longer naive as I was when I started on my own 5 years ago. I do know what I am doing. I thought comments about being brainwashed were highly unfair.

Fair enough I should not have asked for further information since my mind was more or less made up based on my research. I was shocked with the negativity on TAA and a some personal attacks on me without any sound basis. I have no doubt further attacks will follow with my comments in quotes.

Once again thank you to all those who kept this thread constructive.

petersaxton's picture

"With all due respect most of    1 thanks

petersaxton | | Permalink

"With all due respect most of the comments I have read are not based on sound research. In the main they are based on a negative perception accountancy franchises."

I'm sure that most of the people have not done as much research as you. I've had information from a TaxAssist franchisee who as mentioned plenty of negative things.

"Based on the research I have done, I am impressed with the support TAA provides to their franchisees. What could be better research than their customers!"

What is the support that TaxAssist provides and how much does it cost?

"Of course franchisee has to do the work, excellent tools and support are provided by TAA."

What are the tools?

"I hope to become a TAA franchisee."

In five years what do you think you will spend and what will it be spent on? What do you think your fees will be?

"I am an intelligent person and no longer naive as I was when I started on my own 5 years ago. I do know what I am doing. I thought comments about being brainwashed were highly unfair."

You went to a day at another accountancy organisation and you came back raving about it and you signed up but a few days later you cancelled. Isn't that strange?

"Fair enough I should not have asked for further information since my mind was more or less made up based on my research. I was shocked with the negativity on TAA and a some personal attacks on me without any sound basis. I have no doubt further attacks will follow with my comments in quotes."

Why not ask for advice? It doesn't mean that you should do what people advise. But given that people have set out very sound reasons why you shouldn't go ahead it would seem that you are basing your decision on TaxAssist being "good", comments from franchisees being "good" and the support and systems being "good". I don't see any serious analysis from you. As people have explained, you can get a lot of what TaxAssist provide either cheaper or better elsewhere. One example is the ranking on Google. Given that you have built up your practice it seems madness to give 9% per year for three years to somebody who hasn't done anything to achieve those fees. Why pay higher amounts to "preferred suppliers" than the best you can find? How much do you expect to pay to TaxAssist over the five years? Usually you don't answer questions. That's your decision. But don't expect us to respect your decisions if you are not willing to justify them.

petersaxton's picture

My guess

petersaxton | | Permalink

You won't buy a franchise with TaxAssist.

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