First Area Representative Agreement signed for TaxAssist Accountants in New Jersey

TaxAssist Accountants, the UK’s largest network of small business specialist accountants and leading tax and accounting franchise, which launched in the US earlier in the year, has signed its first Area Representative Agreement with President Hal Gross.

Now, with a growing pipeline of inquiries, Hal, the TaxAssist Accountants US Company President, and Area Representative for the state of New Jersey, is promoting virtual Discovery Days over Zoom, for anyone interested in finding out more about the franchise opportunity, with the next one scheduled for January 20th 2021.

“I’m really excited to have now signed the Area Representative agreement, and keen to spread the word about the significant opportunities available with TaxAssist Accountants,” said Hal. 

“We’ve had a considerable amount of interest in the franchise, and we are currently in advanced negotiations with a prospective franchisee who is eager to open our first store front.

“When COVID-19 struck, it was accountants who businesses turned to, to help with business planning, funding and support. With this increased demand, and with clients seeking more from their accountant as they navigate their business through this year and beyond, many will be looking to switch to a more proactive firm.

“TaxAssist Accountants offers a year-round bookkeeping, tax, payroll, and advisory service, based in modern, welcoming store fronts. Using the very latest technology, with all of the time saving and efficiencies this brings, TaxAssist provides a cost-effective service for small businesses, and expertise that traditionally would have been reserved only for larger businesses.

“We know, with the combination of our prominent online brand positioning and store visibility, that as the economy recovers from the events of 2020, we are well placed to service this increase in demand.

“All of our strategic partners are now in place for funding, training, digital marketing and support functions, so we cannot wait to get started on building our network.”

Hal is working closely with experienced franchise professional David Paulson, Senior Vice President, Franchise Development, who, as soon as circumstances allow, will be relocating from the UK to the US to support the expansion of the network, which has the potential for 50 Area Representative and over 4,000 franchisees. David is already in serious discussion with several individuals interested in becoming Area Representatives, as well as potential franchisees in their target states.

TaxAssist Accountants also operates in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia and Canada, with plans for further international expansion. There are currently over 263 TaxAssist Accountants franchises worldwide servicing over 82,000 clients.

Multi-unit McDonald’s franchisee talks to whichfranchise

John Kiely is a McDonald’s multi-unit franchisee in Coventry. Since opening his first restaurant in 2013, John currently owns 6 restaurants including 4 Drive Thru restaurants. In this exclusive interview with whichfranchise, John talks to us about the benefits of being a multi-unit franchisee, why he chose McDonald’s, challenges faced and his plans for the future with McDonald’s.

Name: John Kiely
Location: Coventry
Franchise: Jake Restaurants Ltd /As McDonald’s

Please tell us about your business:
I started as a Franchisee with McDonald’s by relocating to the Midlands and taking on my first restaurant which was a High Street Restaurant in Coventry City Centre in March 2013. I now have 6 restaurants in Coventry – the High Street Shopping Centre Restaurant and 4 Drive Thru Restaurants.

What is your business background?
Commercial background, mainly in the Construction sector, my last job was opening up satellite sales office worldwide for a UK Manufacturing company.

Why did you choose the fast food industry and McDonald’s?
I wanted my own UK business so I could be in charge of my own destiny and limit my travelling.  I looked at a lot of franchise opportunities from construction to retail. I chose McDonald’s as it was a big brand, well respected, always evolving and changing to suit customer expectations, they were not interested in me just for my money but more for the skills I had, including business development, strong P&L skills, building through people, customer centric, community ambassador and strong brand representative.

What’s are the benefits of being a multi-unit franchisee?
Spreading the cost of a structural organisation across stores, sharing skills at all levels, opportunity to develop staff across stores, benchmarking best practice, opportunity for greater involvement with local and city community, building a strong Coventry brand name and working with local companies to support your requirements.

What training and support did you receive initially and on-going?

  • 9 months training, working in restaurants and developing from a crew member to a Business Manager – this enabled me to know every job role and requirements of a busy restaurant.
  • In restaurant and Head Office training courses
  • Support of a Franchisee Consultant every step of the way to answer any questions and develop my skills.
  • All office functions at my disposal – marketing, HR, Finance, legal etc.

How would you describe your role as a multi-unit franchisee?  What is your management style/method?
My role is to set the vision for the organisation, to have strict guidelines in place for roles and responsibilities, to make sure we have an organisation in place that allows for coaching at all levels, encourage democratic discussion and decision making that reflects the needs of the business, customers and employees. My management styles can change based on the circumstances but are based around democratic and coaching teams. This aligned with the strong Franchise framework of McDonald’s works really well.

What are some of the challenges you have faced being a multi-unit franchisee, and how did you overcome them?
As your organisation grows the impact you can have individually can diminish as you spend less time than you would have done working with individuals and more time working through your managers. The key is to make sure you are visible around your stores, the hierarchy is recognised, there is always an open door to yourself if required and you prioritise your time on the needs of the business and the different restaurants. I find that I spend more time in the newer restaurants to help them to adapt to the changes that they will encounter so that they are understood and less challenging.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to become a multi-unit franchisee?
My success has come from identifying and nurturing talent so that as your business grows, the team that you have developed, are ready and equipped to support your new units. If financially possible, get your team ready to take on the new units before they come along. Also, do not forget your existing employees as they will be excited about their opportunities in a larger organisation. Organisational growth requires talent planning and development at all levels. Also, strong financial planning to make sure you are ready for growth.

What are the company’s plans for developing the business and your own personal plans for your business?
My plans are to keep growing the business organically through investment in existing restaurants and excellent customer service but also, where financially viable, and aligned to McDonald’s plans, to purchase other restaurants.  This will allow me to continue to develop and promote the great talent we are nurturing in the business and become a bigger contributor to the local community.

What advice can you give someone who dreams of becoming a successful multi-unit franchisee?
Make sure you are prioritising the unit[s] that you have already as them being successful financially, and continually developing talent, will allow your business to grow when it is ready. Business is all about developing talent with existing or new employees and giving them recognition for the great contribution that they make. Alongside strong financial discipline, and alignment to your partner Franchisor, your business will grow.

Franchisee’s impressive portfolio includes KFC, Burger King, Costa, Taco Bell and Anytime Fitness

Raja Adil is the CEO of The Adil Group, a family group whose impressive franchise portfolio includes KFC, Burger King, Costa Coffee, Taco Bell and Anytime Fitness.

Raja started his first job at the age of 12 in a Wimpy restaurant in Cricklewood. The buzz of working in a fast-paced environment and in a team has never left him since. He qualified as a Solicitor in 1999 and became a KFC Franchisee in 2004 when he also joined the Adil Group. Raja now oversees the entire business. He could not be prouder of what The Adil Group has achieved and the hunger for further growth still burns strong.

Name: Raja Adil
Franchise: The Adil Group

Tell us about yourself and the Adil Group
My background is very varied. I qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and then in 2004 I joined The Adil Group. At that point the group only had Burger King franchises and so we embarked upon an ambitious diversification strategy which included me becoming a KFC franchise and adding the brand to our growing portfolio.

We then added Costa Coffee (2007), and I negotiated a deal with KFC in 2008 to buy 14 franchises which at that time was the biggest deal to date. In 2014 we acquired our first franchises in Scotland when we opened two KFC’s in the centre of Glasgow. We continued our Scottish expansion with the opening of Costa sites in 2015 and then in 2017, we obtained the rights to roll out the Taco Bell brand in both London and Scotland.

I could not be prouder of what The Adil Group has achieved, from our beginning in 1969 when our founder Mohammed Adil bought his first Wimpy franchise, to the franchise powerhouse we are today. And the hunger for further growth still burns strong.

Mohammed’s achievements were recognised in 2018 when he received an OBE for services to business, job creation and charity.

I am very lucky to have a supportive family that includes my wife and three children.

Please tell us about the franchises you have:
We have an extensive franchise portfolio of world class brands throughout the UK that includes:

  • KFC – 70
  • Burger King – 18
  • Costa Coffee – 43
  • Taco Bell – 1
  • Maitrise Hotels – 4
  • Anytime Fitness – 1

Why did you choose the franchises you did?
I am second generation Franchisee who inherited a Burger King business and further diversified the business into other brands and property holdings.

What’s the best thing about being a multi-unit / multi-brand franchisee?
You get to work with fantastic brands who have a different DNA and are managed by great leaders with different priorities and customer focused according to the Brand.

How would you describe your role as a multi-unit / multi-brand franchisee?  What is your management style/method?
A family business that is based upon growth, focus and accountability where our number 1 priority is hiring, retaining and training tomorrow’s leaders.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing from your franchisor?
All of the brands we partner with are long established and have fantastic training programmes. I am just about to attend a Leadership Peak course with Yum! in Italy. To be successful, you have to continue learning.

What are some of the challenges you have faced being a multi-unit/multi-brand franchisee, and how did you overcome them?
Our number 1 focus and challenge remains attracting and retaining good talent for future growth. Very rarely do we hire externally and only where our growth outstrips our existing pool of in-house talent.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to become a multi-unit / multi-brand franchisee?
You need to love being around people and have the ability to look at problems as challenges for which there are always solutions.

What are your long-term plans for your business and what are your goals for the future?
We would like to double our size in the next 5 years and are looking at further diversification. In addition, I hope the 3rd generation of The Adil Family will choose to join the business.

What advice can you give someone who dreams of becoming a successful multi-unit/multi-brand franchisee?
It is a tough journey and working hard is essential. I believe that you should never ask someone to do something you either cannot do yourself or do not know how to do so. The Adil way of running businesses is from the shop floor up and not the top down.

Businessmen diverse into fitness sector with 9Round

A fitness session helped Shakeel Jivraj decide to invest in the 9Round Fitness Franchise Opportunity.

Shakeel, his father Shafiq and brother Zahed are experienced, successful franchisees, having grown their family-owned pizza delivery franchise to 23 outlets in 13 years. Shakeel says: “We wanted to diversify our family business into the fitness sector because we are passionate about it – Zahed is a qualified personal trainer and I like working out.”

Figures from 2018 showed that the number of UK gyms was growing – and the trend is for smaller studios specialising in high intensity interval training (HIIT) and boxing-based fitness. Shakeel says: “As 9Round offers kick-box-based 30-minute full-body HIIT workouts, we considered it a good potential investment.”

The family did a trial workout at a 9Round club before investing. “We were impressed by the on-site trainer and manager. Head office supplies new workout routines to trainers daily, so we could see the attraction for gym users,” says Shakeel.

The family also liked the fact that it’s possible to open three sites for the price of opening one traditional gym (around £250,000). Breakeven is typically within three to four months and you can see a full ROI within two years. Finding sites is easier because at 1,000 to 1,500 sq ft, 9Round gyms are smaller than traditional gyms. 9Round is part of a US-based gym group Lift Brands, which operates multiple gym brands over 2,000 sites worldwide.

“We also found the 9Round UK leadership team very knowledgeable about the fitness industry and keen to help us get started,” Shakeel says.

The family have invested in three 9Round gyms in the London area. “The first opens in February 2020 and we are expecting a two-year payback on each site,” says Shakeel.

“We already have the skills to run a multi-site operation, an established back office and managers with people skills who can move between brands if required.”

Matt Fowler, from the 9Round UK master franchise team, says: “9Round offers premium franchise opportunities for those who are actively involved in business investments, or simply have big business ideas. With the right investment ideas, and the right team working with you, we will do everything possible to ensure success.”