When you set out to follow your dreams, you don’t expect a global pandemic and economic shutdown to follow along for the ride! But Krystal Brown, a soon-to-be graduate of First Class Accounts Franchise Training, experienced just that. But despite the potential setbacks, Krystal has discovered that starting a business in uncertain times, means she can write her own rules and continue to follow her dreams with confidence and support.
We Zoomed in for a chat to Krystal about training, mentoring, and taking control of your work/life balance.
What made you want to start your own business?
I am at a stage in life where I was ready to follow my dreams. I wanted to have a career that combined my passion for finance with helping others achieve business success and provided a healthy work-life balance. I have two young children and want to have the ability to be present and see their school plays and cheer them on at sports days without having to ask permission. In the past, I have found myself giving 100% for my employer but not necessarily having that returned as an employee. By starting my own business, I get the return from the effort I put in.
What did you think of the training course?
I am thoroughly enjoying the training, the knowledge Tony (Tony Austin Manager – Development and Innovation, First Class Accounts) has is endless. It is easy to see that he is naturally talented at teaching. Tony possesses a manner that is easily understood and has a great way of holding your attention throughout the entire session. There is always an opportunity to ask questions at any stage and having him on call after meetings for a quick one on one is always a bonus.
I haven’t even begun to mention the rest of the training team, Rachel, Joanne, and Simon, all of them offer endless knowledge from all aspects of the business and pass on so much “need-to-know” information for a start-up franchise. I feel totally supported, which is refreshing as this is a new life journey for myself and one that I am very passionate about.
How has the training been held during COVID-19?
New franchisees normally head up to the Gold Coast for in-house training, but with travel restrictions, the team quickly mobilised everything and took it all online.
I have found the online training via zoom fantastic, again a new platform for me, but a straightforward and personable way of learning. I’m so grateful they ‘pivoted’ and chose to continue the training and not keep us new franchises on hold. I appreciate this very much as having the opportunity to see the team daily during training added a new dimension to the sessions.
Has this been an effective way to train?
I’ve definitely enjoyed the training being held via zoom. I was concerned at the beginning that it might not go ahead until restrictions eased so I was very relieved to hear that the training would still go ahead.
But despite the nerves, it’s been brilliant. The other new franchisees and I meet the trainers from the comfort of our own home offices for a few hours at a time each day, and I personally feel that the training has been very effective.
How has the national office supported you through this time (COVID)?
As a new franchisee at this time, I have had many questions and concerns and the national office team are always there to help and support me on this new journey. Linda (Linda Biggs Administration & Training Co-ordinator) is exceptionally knowledgeable in all the general questions a First Class franchise has. Deb Stanton (General Manager) has kept in touch all through the training to support me as well. There is a real family feel to the whole team at First Class Accounts.
There is a Friday afternoon catch up via Zoom that all the franchisees are invited to attend as a social catch up, I have found this to be very welcoming of me as a new franchisee.
Do you have a business mentor? If yes, how do they help you?
I have been given a mentor, Russell Sheil of First Class Accounts Carindale, who has been a First Class Accounts franchisee for 10 years. His knowledge, experience and passion for the industry is incredible.
Russell and I have set up a meeting/phone call weekly, and I appreciate the time he takes out of his very busy week to talk to me and answer my questions regarding being a franchisee. Having the extra support from someone like Russell has been enormously beneficial for my business success.
Would you recommend anyone interested in starting their own bookkeeping business to start now? Why?
Yes, I would definitely recommend joining the First Class Accounts family.
The training is on point, and the support is exactly what any new business needs to succeed. There is no better time to start your journey as a First Class Accounts Franchisee.
Find out more about First Class Accounts franchise opportunities here or contact Richard Oster on 1800 118 611