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SMALL BUSINESS ACCOUNTING
IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN NUMBERS
Being local and friendly makes all the difference for SBA franchisees
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Stewart Watson, Crewcut Lawn and Garden franchisee (Kapiti Coast) and Shayne O'Hagan, SBA franchisee (Mana, Kapiti Coast)
Small Business Accounting (SBA) is one of the most recognised accounting brands in New Zealand. Now over 20 years old, the brand has 53 offices nationwide with franchisees focusing on providing fast, affordable accounting services. That makes it a sizeable brand – but it’s being local and friendly that wins customers.
A typical SBA client is Stewart Watson, who bought a Crewcut Lawn and Garden franchise on the Kapiti Coast in 2016. He was a first-time business owner and, being a former banker, he knew the importance of staying on top of the numbers right from the start.
‘I signed up with SBA in Mana from day one as I knew they specialised in looking after small businesses and I knew the franchisee, Shayne O’Hagan, as a down-to-earth and professional operator from my banking days,’ says Stewart. ‘I bombarded him with questions, but Shayne is very patient and has the ability to answer everything in simple, easy terms.
‘As expected, my first year was really busy building up my portfolio of clients from 70 to around 120. It was a huge learning curve managing my day-to-day schedule, tool maintenance, invoicing, payments, GST and of course preparing my end-of-year financials. Now that I have my first year under my belt, I have got a good system going but I still continue to look for ways to be more efficient and streamline my financial management. That’s where Shayne comes in: he answers my many questions and recommends systems or processes that could save me time and money.
‘I’ve found there are three top benefits to getting SBA to do your accounts,’ says Stewart. ‘First, it is small and local – they are not a large corporate organisation and I certainly don’t want to be a face-less number. Second, Shayne has extensive business experience working outside accounting and therefore has empathy for what we go through. And third, as a franchisee myself I like that my accountancy service is also a franchise and that Shayne understands the benefits of franchising.
‘I’d highly recommend SBA as they have an absolutely fresh approach and, in Shayne’s case, a great local understanding.’
After 20 years in retail banking, Shayne O’Hagan is revelling in his career as an SBA franchisee in Mana on the Kapiti Coast. Now in his third year, he says, ‘People come through our doors off the high street into a comfortable place which doesn’t feel like an accountancy office – they feel welcome and able to ask for help. That’s a great start to a relationship.’
Shayne had become familiar with SBA during his banking career. ‘I attended one of the SBA conferences and was amazed at the variety and mix of people the franchise attracted. You don’t need to be an accountant to be a franchisee as long as you have some financial or business experience, so I’d begun to see the potential for buying my own franchise, but at the conference I realised just how big it was.
‘I already had excellent local contacts throughout the Kapiti Coast, and I’ve been able to exploit that network from day one. Of course, it was still a bit of a “gulp” moment when I signed the lease for a $40,000 office with no income – I think every small business owner goes through that – but knowing all I knew about the franchise, I had confidence it would bring the rewards. My start-up coincided with the local post shop in Mana closing so, as I had the premises, I took on the NZ Post agency too. That brought 200 people a day through the door and provided a lot of extra potential customers.’
Although Shayne says the first few months were ‘a bit slow’ while he was finding his feet, he has been astonished at the growth since. ‘One of the best things about SBA is that it is a network in its own right,’ he says. ‘I teamed up with another franchisee, Peter Fussell – we do all manner of comparisons and he has assisted me greatly.
‘The technology is also a huge advantage. SBA works with industry-leading partners like Xero and other software providers to integrate the best systems throughout the business. It’s not only more efficient – it’s simple and intuitive, and I find I can get customers to understand it very quickly. But at the end of the day, it’s all about relationships. If you are a people person, and you can enjoy a good laugh with your customers sometimes, you can achieve a great deal with SBA.’
According to Craig Gardiner, the general manager of SBA, ‘The adoption of Xero by all SBA offices enables us to use the very best accounting system to improve our service to our clients and boost the bottom line for all our franchisees. The investment is $45,000 +gst and an additional $15,000 will be needed for shop fit-out and other capital investment.
‘It’s a winning formula and we need additional SBA offices in many areas to fulfil demand, so we’re very keen to hear from anyone with a suitable background. Call us now.’
See this advertorial on page 71 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 3
Contact details for Small Business Accounting (SBA).
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.