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SMALL BUSINESS ACCOUNTING
STICKING TO THE PLAN
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New SBA franchisee finds, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get’
What’s made Small Business Accounting (SBA) grow so rapidly? ‘Ease of access, quality of service, affordable rates and a very successful partnership with Xero,’ says Vas Khrapov. It’s not just a sales line – these were the very qualities that led him to leave his corporate career and join SBA as a franchisee in Christchurch. Now he’s been named the franchise’s 2017 Rookie of the Year.
There are over 50 offices of the approachable, high street-based SBA around New Zealand, and over 20,000 clients rely upon them to produce regular, accurate management and financial information without it costing the earth.
For Vas, his business is part of a 12-year plan. ‘I graduated from Canterbury University in accounting and information systems before joining Spark on their graduate leadership programme,’ he says. ‘That meant a move to Auckland, and I spent the next seven years there. Then I got married and had a son, which changes your perspective on life. I sat down and asked myself what I wanted to achieve by the time I was 40. I realised I no longer wanted the corporate pay cheque – I wanted to have some flexibility. So I planned to generate wealth at a steady rate with a mixture of property, good old-fashioned investment and, of course, my own business.
‘I guess many of us think we know how to run a business but I quickly realised franchising offered many advantages, especially with a tried and trusted brand. For a small business looking for someone to do its accounts, the most recognisable brand is undoubtedly SBA. It was my first port of call, too – I could see the potential and liked the idea of getting the family back to our roots in Christchurch.’
Vas signed up as a new franchisee but still being tied to his desk in Auckland meant finding the all-important premises for his new business was a problem. ‘However, everyone at SBA was eager to help and franchisor Adam Parore scouted locations in Christchurch himself before finding the right place in Burnside. I trusted his judgement and I’ve had no regrets since I started in November last year. As I tell some of my clients, due diligence and location are vital, and Adam got it spot on for me!’
Vas freely admits that starting his new business from scratch with zero clients and a family to support was a bit scary, ‘but it all worked out. I already have 120 clients, a couple of months ahead of schedule, and the SBA network has proved invaluable. My colleagues – especially Sally in Ferrymead, Andrea in Shirley, Gary in Hornby and Lisa in Takanini have all been fantastic and supportive, as has the rest of the SBA community in Christchurch.
‘If I’ve learned one thing this year it’s that the harder I work, the luckier I get. The SBA brand brings you business and, if you take the opportunities wholeheartedly and get out there, then your clients will come. By doing a good job, you also generate referrals from satisfied clients.
‘I’ve also learned to concentrate on my strengths, which include explaining complicated financial information to people in a way they can understand. Ultimately, though, my greatest learning has been about answering to myself. It can be easy to get distracted when you are your own boss, so I pretend there is a director breathing down my neck to whom my every action is accountable. That way, I focus on achieving the goals I set myself.’
Craig Gardiner, the general manager of SBA, says that you don’t actually have to be an accountant to be a franchisee. ‘We provide intensive training for new franchisees, so what you need most is enthusiasm, a desire to solve problems, and experience in small business or finance. Some of our most successful franchisees have been small business owners previously and they bring a natural empathy to understanding their clients’ needs and concerns.
‘That also means our network of offices is manned by a variety of franchisees with a massive accumulation of knowledge in all sorts of areas – a real strength. Between all of them, the franchise office and our partners at Xero, you can quickly find an answer for any potential question you might have.
‘The adoption of Xero by all SBA branches has opened a new and highly successful era in how we collaborate with our clients, improving both the service we offer and the bottom line for our franchisees. It’s a winning formula and has led to demand for additional offices throughout New Zealand. The franchise costs $45,000 +gst with an additional $15,000 needed for shop fit-out and other capital investment.
‘As Vas has demonstrated, SBA’s reputation appeals to financially-savvy people looking for a good business opportunity. The franchise can not only provide a very good income, but being part of such a well-known brand adds a real value to your business when the time comes to sell. We are very keen to hear from anyone who wants to make SBA part of the plan for their own future.’
See this advertorial on page 39 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 4
Contact details for Small Business Accounting
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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.