Gary Cullen is an ACCA qualified accountant with over 12 years' experience working in a variety of roles within industry. He comments, "I've always worked hard and was attracted to being my own boss. I decided to continue working hard at TaxAssist so that I had something to show for my efforts and to build an asset for my future!"

"I was considering franchising at the time and it was TaxAssist that really jumped out at me. The branding really stood out and being an accountant already, it was the perfect mix. I was able to invest €40k of my own money and obtain €60k from the bank. TaxAssist put me in touch with the right people and we were able to push this through."

"Prior to joining TaxAssist, I had very little experience of practice management and needed that support early on, especially in marketing. This was particularly helpful and I wouldn't have started on my own if I didn't have that support. The sales and marketing training was first class, and I can't really fault the overall training and support. Every time I have a question I get a fast response, especially if there is something that I'm not clear on."

Building his practice has gone well for Gary, "TaxAssist Accountants has a very strong brand it is more approachable than a traditional accountancy practice for clients. We are constantly signing up new clients and we have a steady stream of walk-ins from the branding on our shop and shop windows."

Gary admits that for him his main challenge was the learning curve of being a practice manager. "I'm learning every day and in the beginning, it was quite a sharp learning curve, but I've had excellent training and support to help me progress to where I am now."

Gary opened his TaxAssist shop in September 2013 and is full of praise for the way in which being a franchisee has changed his life. "It has provided me with more free time and I really enjoy the work, it feels like you're working towards something.

"The main highlight for me was winning the TaxAssist award for fastest growth. A big milestone was also breaking even within a year and a half."

"The next step is to hire a manager and then I can take a step back from the client work and focus on business development."

When asked what advice he would give to someone thinking of buying a franchise with TaxAssist he says, "I would definitely recommend the TaxAssist franchise to people, but you have to be prepared to work hard. You need to be determined and passionate to make it a success. Go the local networking events and advertise in the local papers. Also get involved in local charities and social media. We do as much as we can, and backed up by the marketing support from the Support Centre, this has helped me to build a valuable asset.

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