New TaxAssist Accountants to receive mentoring from hugely successful former franchisee

June 22, 2022

New Franchise Development Manager role for former TaxAssist Accountants franchisee and non-executive director, Mark Fordham.

Former TaxAssist franchisee and non-executive director, Mark Fordham has re-joined the franchise as a Franchise Development Manager, with a specific remit to support new franchisees.

Mark’s role is to share his expertise and experiences along with TaxAssist best practice, to help with growth and operations in a franchisee’s vitally important first year in business.

“Having lived and breathed accountancy services for almost a decade, I know what it takes to run a successful accountancy practice and I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge,” said Mark.

“I’ve already made a number of visits to franchisees and have received some really positive feedback. New franchisees are often lacking in confidence, and my visits will give them the support they need to focus on achieving their personal goals.”

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Mark joined TaxAssist Accountants in October 2003 and built up a large and profitable practice in Harpenden and St Albans. In his nine years as a franchisee, Mark’s success saw him win the TaxAssist ‘Fastest Growth Award’ three years in a row, as well as ‘Accountant of the Year’. He also won the British Franchise Association ‘Franchisee of the Year’ Bronze award in 2009.

Mark sold his franchise in 2012, achieving the network’s first landmark £1m resale, after selling his franchise to Mike Melling (now himself a successful franchisee and Group Development Director), achieving a multiple of 1.25 against an accountancy industry average of 0.8 to 1.

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Mark joined the TaxAssist board as a Non-Executive Director representing franchisees in January 2015, and following over five years’ service, he recently retired from that role.

Sarah Robertson, Group Director and UK Managing Director, said: “Mark brings with him a wealth of TaxAssist knowledge and experience which will be so beneficial to new franchisees.

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“We constantly look to enhance and evolve the training and support we provide to our franchise network, particularly those in the early stages of operating their practice, so we are really pleased to have secured someone of Mark’s calibre for this role. We are currently advertising for an additional Franchise Development Manager to work alongside Mark, to further boost on-the-ground support to our franchisees.”

If you’re keen to build your own practice, a TaxAssist Accountants franchise can provide the systems and support you need to be successful. Regular Discovery Days are being held, where you can find out more about the technical, marketing and business development support on offer. Call 0800 0188297 or submit an enquiry here to register your interest.

Oxford and Sandhurst franchisees celebrate 15 years with TaxAssist Accountants

June 20, 2022

David Lushington and Shekh Rao recently celebrated the milestone anniversary of 15 years in business with TaxAssist Accountants.

Two TaxAssist Accountants specialising in looking after the accounting needs of businesses and individuals in Oxfordshire, and Hampshire and Berkshire, have recently marked their 15thanniversaries in practice.


David Lushington runs two shops in Oxford and Abingdon along with his wife Carole and three members of staff. He said: “Many thanks to all at the Support Centre for the 15th year anniversary gift and for all the help provided to me over the years. The years have flown by, but I am as proud as ever to be a member of the TaxAssist family, meaning I have no hesitation about renewing my franchise agreement for another five years.”

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Shekh Rao operates his practice from shops in Sandhurst and Aldershot East with his four members of staff. He said: “The 15th anniversary gift I received was a lovely thought and much appreciated.

“It has been a great experience managing my practice for the last 15 years, but I could not have achieved it without the fantastic and truly professional team at TaxAssist Accountants.”

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Sarah Robertson, Group Director and UK Managing Director, said: “Many congratulations to David and Shekh for reaching this milestone in their journey with TaxAssist Accountants. We look forward to their continued success and to helping them achieve their future personal business goals.”

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If you’re keen to build your own practice, a TaxAssist Accountants franchise can provide the systems and support you need to be successful. Regular Discovery Days are being held, where you can find out more about the technical, marketing and business development support on offer. Call 0800 0188297 or submit an enquiry here to register your interest.

Ovenu invests in website revamp to appeal to smartphone users

June 15, 2022

Ovenu, one of the UK’s largest franchised oven cleaning specialists, has revamped its company website to ensure it stays ahead of changing digital trends.

Ovenu, one of the UK’s largest franchised oven cleaning specialists, has revamped its company website to ensure it stays ahead of changing digital trends.

The Berkshire-headquartered business has introduced a range of new user-friendly features which is already helping to drive more visitors – both clients and potential franchisees – to its website

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Rik Hellewell, managing director of Ovenu, launched his business in 1994 around the same time the world wide web was born and says he has long recognised the vital role Ovenu’s website plays in creating brand awareness and promoting its services to prospective clients.

Ovenu said that the latest redesign represents the website’s seventh incarnation – which is not only mobile friendly but displays information in a clear and concise manner, making it easier for users to navigate. The site features video content together with linked sections explaining the different types of service technicians provide, from conventional ovens to cooking stoves, microwaves to extractor hoods and hobs.

Prospective clients of Ovenu can type in their postcode on the new look site to find their local technician. With more than 120 Ovenu franchised businesses, the company explains that each have their own individual page, highlighting contact details and areas covered. There is also includes a handy FAQ section together with online client reviews, as well as a dedicated section for those considering becoming an Ovenu franchisee.

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Hellewell said: “We brought in specialist website developers to ensure it is not only extremely user friendly but that it is future-proofed for some years to come. More people are accessing the website via their smartphones, so our main objective was to ensure it is mobile friendly and that the information is concise, relevant, and quickly accessible.

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“It’s part of Ovenu’s commitment to its franchisees to ensure they receive the best possible support – ensuring everything is in place to run a successful business, whilst ensuring clients receive a gold standard service. This is an example of Ovenu’s policy of constant reinvestment, which has over the years enabled us to keep ahead of our competitors.”

To learn more about Ovenu visit, or for territory availability call Hellewell on 01189 743 911.

Source: Franchise World

Cheryl Hopkins Celebrates 10 years of TaxAssist success

September 12, 2019

Nuneaton and Tamworth based Cheryl has recently celebrated a decade in business with a party for staff, clients, family and friends.

Cheryl’s shop based at 17-18 Abbey Green in Nuneaton was the venue for the special event which was attended by local Mayor June Tandy.

Cheryl said: “The last ten years have flown by, but I feel like a lot has been achieved in this time which I wanted to take the time to acknowledge. In particular I wanted to thank my fantastic team of five staff who have been invaluable in helping me to grow and support my practice.

I’d also like to thank the TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre team in Norwich, as the guidance I have received from them has played a significant part in the growth of my business. Having this support means I have had more time to spend on servicing my clients and working on my business.”


For Cheryl Hopkins it was a desire to escape the corporate rat race after the birth of her first child that spurred her into action to start her own business and she hasn’t looked back since.

“Returning to work after maternity leave, I realised it was very difficult juggling home and work life with the pressures of working overtime and monthly deadlines, and I decided I needed to work for myself in order to have more flexibility and freedom.

“It’s been hard work but great fun to grow my practice from nothing to over 350 clients and I love the variety of clients that I get to meet and work with. I find that referrals happen more and more, as clients are recommending our services to business associates, friends and family. I’m looking to grow the practice further so I’d encourage anyone interested in finding out more about our services to get in contact for a free initial consultation.”

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TaxAssist Accountants specialises in providing accountancy services, company tax returns, self-assessment returns, payroll, bookkeeping, tax savings and tax advice to small businesses. In addition, TaxAssist also offers QuickBooks Online and Receipt Bank which help business owners manage their finances, scan receipts and stay in control of their business.

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TaxAssist Coming Soon to a Screen Near You

September 10, 2019

TaxAssist Accountants to launch TV advertising campaign as part of recruitment drive to expand franchise network

The TaxAssist Accountants franchisee recruitment team at the Norwich-based Support Centre have been busy of late organising the filming of a new commercial which will hit TV screens in September through to November across Leeds, Coventry and Ipswich, where there are currently vacant territories.


Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive Director of The TaxAssist Group said: “We are very excited to be launching our new TV advert as we believe we may be the first franchise to use this medium to reach out to potential new franchisees both in the UK or elsewhere. TaxAssist Accountants is continuing its tradition of breaking the mould.
“The TV commercial looks great and we’re excited by the potential this offers to get our franchise opportunity in front of the right audience who have the drive and ambition to run their own accountancy practice but want the assistance and support of a national brand with all the benefits this brings. If the campaign works well, I’m hopeful of rolling out the advert nationally.

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“We have actually filmed seven separate campaigns to assist with franchisee recruitment and these are now all live on our website. These include five case study videos where franchisees were interviewed and filmed about what led them to consider franchising and the benefits of being a part of the TaxAssist network.

An ‘Introduction to a Discovery Day’ video has also been produced following feedback from franchisees on their initial training course regarding apprehensions they may have had in attending a Discovery Day. We decided an educational video which highlighted the informative, not sales nature of the day was needed and we are very pleased with the final results which reflect the friendly, family feel of the Norwich Support Centre.

If you are interested in finding out more about joining the TaxAssist Accountants network, please get in touch. The next step is to attend a ‘Discovery Day’ where you can meet with the directors of the franchise, learn more about the successful business model and support on offer and what can be achieved as a franchisee of TaxAssist Accountants.

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TaxAssist magnificent seven ride for diabetes awareness

September 5, 2019

A team of TaxAssist Accountants from the south east of England will be using pedal power for Tour de TaxAssist – a three-day cycling challenge across East Anglia – to help increase awareness of Type 1 diabetes and to raise funding for the charity JDRF UK.

Charlie Walker from Bedford, Nadeem Iqbal from Walthamstow, Robin Johnson from Norwich North, Martin Thomas from London Victoria, Jeremy Gilks from Norwich South, Eliott Betts from Bury St Edmunds and Tony Hall from Beverley, will saddle up in their London & Zurich and TaxCalc sponsored jerseys on 12th September for the 233 mile ride, which starts at Charlie’s TaxAssist Accountants Bedford shop and ends there three days later.


The magnificent seven will be covering the 87 miles from Bedford to Swaffham via King’s Lynn on the Thursday, followed by the 81 miles to Bury St Edmunds via Norwich on 13th September, while the final day will see them cover the 65-mile home run back to Bedford. Over the three days Team de TaxAssist will also be using TaxAssist’s growing network of shops as pitstops by visiting those in Bedford, Norwich, Cambridge, King’s Lynn and Bury St Edmunds.

Charlie, who came up with the idea of the Tour de TaxAssist, said: “As a keen cyclist and having Type 1 diabetes for 40 years, I recognised the great business networking opportunity provided by cycling. Tour de TaxAssist, therefore, provides the perfect chance for me to combine my passion for cycling and raising money for JDRF.”

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The charity is very close to the hearts of TaxAssist Bedford, and the funds raised from Tour de TaxAssist will go towards helping find a cure so that children don’t face a lifetime of painful insulin injections five times a day and more.

If you would like more information about Tour De TaxAssist or to make a donation, please visit

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Bootcamp Pilates New Mobile App Launched

September 5, 2019

The benefit of being part of a franchise is that as the business owner you get to focus on the local marketing strategy whilst the franchisor can support you in central and strategic development which you then benefit from. Such is the case with Bootcamp Pilates. The have launched this month a new App!

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So customers can download the Bootcamp Pilates UK App today to plan and schedule their classes! From this mobile app they can view class schedules, sign-up for classes, view ongoing promotions, as well as view the studio’s location and contact information.

If you would like to find out more about running your own fitness business, with the support of a dedicated and experienced team then enquiry now.

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Elaine Anderson – case study

March 14, 2019

Elaine Anderson joined leading greeting card publisher and franchisor Card Connection in 2012 and took over the established territory of Glasgow and Fort William.

  • Name: Elaine Anderson
  • Location: Glasgow & Fort William
  • Franchise: Card Connection
  • Date: joined 2012

Elaine now delivers and merchandises Card Connection’s extensive range of high-quality greeting cards and accessories, such as wrap and gift bags, to retailers across the region.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise?

Before joining the Card Connection franchise network I was a contract manager for Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Enterprise for around 10 years before taking a break to re-evaluate options.

Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose your industry? And why your franchise?

A visit to the Franchise exhibition in Scotland sparked my interest in franchising and an advert in the local paper led me to the Card Connection opportunity which had become available. I was looking for a new challenge and Card Connection ticked all the boxes. The business offered a solid cash-flow opportunity and stunning products.

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I also liked the business model where Card Connection’s franchisees use a proven system to place quality greeting cards and gifts in retail outlets on a ‘consignment’ basis. This means the stock and display equipment are installed on free loan to the retailer. This is one step beyond ‘sale or return’ as Card Connection customers never have to buy the stock initially, only paying for what they sell. Card Connection’s award winning merchandising service provided to retailers by local franchisees has proved popular with retailers and supported franchisees in business for more than two decades.

The staff were friendly and helpful and this stood out too. The team have a good attitude and it is this support you need when starting out, not pressure.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

Training was thorough and took place at Card Connection’s head office in Farnham, Surrey. There was a full handover with the outgoing franchisee who was emigrating to Australia, so I could learn the ropes before taking over full-time.

What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?The Glasgow and Fort William territory is a mix of urban and some particularly rural areas and even includes several island locations. Driving through the scenery is a delight and I have got to see parts of Scotland I’ve never been to before! I also need to travel on a couple of ferries which is not a bad way to get to work! I have around 200 retail customers which I visit on a regular basis every four-six weeks. I visit between five and seven stores on a typical day to supply the new stock of greeting cards and refresh the displays.

What challenges have you faced?

Starting out was ‘hectic’ but in a good way! I can only compare it to expecting a child: you do all the research but nothing quite prepares you for the reality! Card Connection’s business model is simple, but there was still a lot to learn. The team have been tremendously supportive and really helped me get to grips with the franchise, so I could get up and running quickly.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life? If so how?

I am so pleased I chose Card Connection – the company and staff have been really good to deal with. I now manage my own business, it is completely different from any of my previous roles but I really enjoy the challenge.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?

Homework is essential! Research is great, but there is no substitute for spending time with a franchisee and seeing what they actually do on a daily basis.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?Organised people who are focused will make good franchisees. I think people who are over anxious may find self-employment challenging. Franchisees also need to be prepared to work really hard and be flexible. Often it is not a 9-5 job!

What are your plans for the future?

It is coming up to five years with Card Connection, so I plan to continue to build the business. I now work with my son and also have a part-time helper to pack the greetings cards. We will now focus on developing better quality stores which are of a certain size to maximise profits.

Would you do it all again?Yes! I researched many options before joining Card Connection but the franchise has definitely turned out to be the best choice for me.

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The power of Two!

March 14, 2019

Young entrepreneurs Shipra Mehta and Swati Bagwe are just two of Caremark’s thirty something clutch of franchisees who have recently joined the expanding UK network.

Shipra and Swati, friends and business partners, launched their Caremark home care business in Richmond-upon-Thames in January 2017 and started trading in May of that year. In less than 12th months, they have gone from a standing start exceeding performance targets to a business which is building a great reputation in their local community.

Their drive and determination to create a high quality locally based home care service was rewarded with two prestigious accolades from Caremark Limited at the company’s annual conference earlier this year: The Rising Star award and the Regional Award for top franchise in the south-central region, acknowledging their progress through the last year.

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Both women come from professional backgrounds, with Shipra having worked in the NHS and Swati within underwriting for a major insurance company. Despite their different career paths, their common denominator is their shared vision to create an outstanding business, delivering bespoke care and support to the vulnerable people in their local area.

Their young business has already attained recognition from Richmond Council as a provider of home care, as well as the council awarding one of their care workers with the Dignity in Care accolade.

The combined talents of both these young professionals is sure to stand them in good stead and will, no doubt, see them collect yet more gongs in the coming years.

With plans to extend their service to adults with learning disabilities, both Shipra and Swati are excited about their future and are looking forward to reaching out to different people in their community.

“I can certainly say, that now, a year on choosing a Caremark franchise has definitely been the best decision I have taken yet,” says Swati, a sentiment with which they both agree!

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One Woman’s Journey from Health Care to Social Care

March 13, 2019

Sharan Dhaliwal launched her Caremark (Cardiff & The Vale of Glamorgan) franchise after a career in the NHS, spanning 25 years.

Caremark Franchise UK. The former nurse, midwife and health visitor had a personal encounter of specialist care after her husband was involved in a road traffic accident, sustaining life-threatening injuries. He required around-the-clock, in-home care and Sharan witnessed the devastating impact of poor-quality support in the home.

“I soon realised that the quality and standard of care was generally poor when carers visited our home and I knew then I could do a better job. I spent a year doing research into the domiciliary care sector and decided to combine my background working for the NHS with the new business skills I had picked up whilst running my husband’s retail business. In September 2015, I made the leap from a career in the NHS to launching my Caremark franchise.”

Sharan’s business has gone from strength to strength, with two CIW regulatory inspections passed – Care Inspectorate Wales is the Welsh governing body which inspects and rates care providers, much like the Care Quality Commission – and an ever-expanding team of care workers joining her business on a regular basis.

Sharan puts much of her success down to the detailed planning and research conducted when initially considering the franchise opportunity.

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“I had a solid business plan to start with which I reviewed periodically. Plus, I determined simple critical business goals – you have to know where you are going before you get there. Building a successful business depends heavily on how well you work with and relate to others. I mainly listen more than I speak.

“The planning paid off and I exceeded my targets for growth in care hours set for the first year of business. I’ve also taken risks which I feel is key to building a successful business – for example, taking packages of care which are complex and having evidenced positive outcomes for my clients. We are one of the providers of choice with the Local Authority and have a good reputation.”

Sharan’s commitment to providing great quality care to vulnerable people living in her local community continues to drive her to grow the business further. She admits that, without her team, this wouldn’t be possible.

“I continue to foster a competent and caring team who apply Caremark’s aims and objectives in their everyday practice and it gives me great joy to see young care workers having lots of opportunities for progression within my business. In terms of personal achievements, I’m really thriving as a franchisee. I have some important short and long-term goals but, most importantly, I want to be an instrumental part of Caremark’s success.”

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