by Franchise Accountants
last updated 10/12/2020
Advice Pays Off
by Franchise Accountants
last updated 10/12/2020
Franchise Accountants help people buy, manage and grow great businesses
Tracy Morris is on the verge. Next week, she takes ownership of an appearance medicine franchise clinic in Auckland, and she’s never done anything like this before. She’s clearly excited, and a bit nervous, but she’s also confident that she’s paying a fair price for a good business, and understands how to make it work.
That’s because Tracy has done her research, taking on Philip Morrison of Franchise Accountants to guide her through the process of buying a franchise. ‘My husband is used to looking at figures for work, and we have a personal accountant, but we decided to use a franchise specialist – after all, it’s a pretty big decision. A friend who had just bought a franchise in Christchurch recommended Philip, so we got in touch and asked him to tell us what he thought.’
The Franchise Accountants team have worked with hundreds of different franchise systems – they are five-times winners of the Service Provider of the Year title at the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards – so it’s no surprise that they had worked with other franchisees of the same brand before.
‘We supported Tracy through the whole process with a Pre-Purchase Evaluation Report, assessment, indicative valuation, tax advice and incorporating a company,’ says Philip. ‘She’s been very thorough and wanted to make a considered decision balancing all the elements.
‘Our role is to provide robust evaluation of the viability of her business purchase; to benchmark performance across a variety of key criteria; and use industry insights to provide the information a buyer needs.’
Reducing the stress
Tracy says that having somebody who can look at the numbers without the emotion of being excited about the opportunity is, ‘Incredibly valuable – it brings it back to the numbers and takes some of the stress out of buying a business. Philip is great at breaking figures down into the nuts and bolts and explaining things calmly, making sure you understand.’
Tracy says that although she has worked with advertising budgets as an account manager and had done some property development with her dad, ‘It’s different when you have a whole business to manage – it’s made up of lots of elements and you have to be on top of every one of them. Franchise Accountants have been great at that and we’ll definitely continue to use them as we go forward.
‘Philip is very easy to talk to, very good at explaining things and helping you understand. I must admit, I’ve bombarded him with emails at times as more questions have come up, and he responds quickly and calmly. It’s been very reassuring to have him dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Specialist advice might cost a little more, but the time to invest in it is now, not after you’ve signed!’
From novice to master
Steve Robinson agrees with Tracy. In 2013, after 17 years in the police, he was at the stage where he had to decide to do something new or commit to the force for life. Having trained as a chef originally, he was attracted by hospitality but recognised that he was a business novice and needed help, so he got in touch with Franchise Accountants.
Steve and his wife Lynette bought an existing Lone Star restaurant in Manukau. ‘When we first started looking, the numbers were overpowering, but Philip explained them very well from a lay person’s point of view. He has dealt with a lot of different franchises, is very knowledgeable and has his feet on the ground. He helped us understand the risks as well as the benefits, and we never felt he was “just an accountant”.
‘Of course, we needed a business plan and projections for the bank, but Philip also used his knowledge of other hospitality businesses to show us where we could make savings and improve sales. In fact, his sheet on 7 ways to improve your business is still on my noticeboard!’
It obviously works – Steve and Lynette have been Lone Star’s Franchisees of the Year, and the couple bought a second franchise 18 months ago, again with Philip’s help. ‘He is extremely good at taking the heat out of business decisions and helping you have the resilience to see past the down times.’
‘As you can imagine, his advice has been extremely important to us throughout the ups and downs of 2020 and I regard it highly. He helped us through that, discussing strategies, managing cashflow, keeping the bank informed and doing “what if?” planning. Now, both our restaurants are tracking along up on last year, despite Covid-19, with positive growth most weeks.
‘That’s the benefit of having been with Franchise Accountants right from the start – they understand our business, they understand franchising, and they give good, practical advice. If you’re buying a franchise, I’d say talk to Philip, for sure.’
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