One year in as owner of First Class Accounts Balgownie, NSW, Deepak Vallabh, knew the extra marketing and technical support would make the difference for his business.
Even as an experienced business owner of a retail store and a café, now owner of First Class Accounts Balgownie, NSW, Deepak Vallabh, knew he still needed the extra marketing and technical support from First Class Accounts, when he chose to make the transition to bookkeeper.
Here Deepak shares his story of changing career direction to be a bookkeeper, why he chose First Class Accounts and how his first year in business has gone.
Why did you change to be a bookkeeper with First Class Accounts?
I had spent 15 years in small business. I had run a menswear store and then a café. I sold our café to relocate from Canberra to the northern suburbs of Wollongong to be closer to extended family.
My wife is a charted accountant, and she recommended bookkeeping, knowing the strong need for the service among small and medium businesses.
Since I was starting a new profession, it was important for me to have the technical support. The backing from a national brand offered me invaluable credibility, which would otherwise have taken me years to build.
You launched your business during the first COVID-19 lockdown. How did that go?
It was initially a worrying time, but our industry soon realised all the government support for small business offered us a chance to show leadership and guide our clients to make the most of these financial changes.
There was a lot of internal training that ensured many First Class Accounts franchisees were able to better support our existing clients and even pick up more work.
What other support have you received in your first year?
I really appreciated the first-year marketing budget each new franchisee gets. It meant I could brand my car with First Class Accounts, which has recently led to a large local client.
It has also meant I have been able to take advantage of some external marketing training and join a local networking group called BNI. Head office did all the research for me and offered good guidance from on what local marketing opportunities to take up.
Have you worked with any other First Class Accounts franchisees?
There is a great culture in the group. I really enjoy that. It makes you feel like one big family, and everyone respects each other. Everyone is supportive.
We all get together regularly at quarterly conferences and during training. We can turn to each other with questions and just share stories and experiences.
What would you say to anyone considering joining as a franchisee at First Class Accounts?
It was a big decision. I asked myself lots of questions. ‘Can bookkeeping really sustain my family? How am I going to get clients? Does the First Class Accounts formula really work? Are the ongoing costs worth it?’
After joining the group, I know every dollar has been well worth it. I could have set up a business which might have cost $20,000-$30,000. This is like buying an established business and saved me so much worry. In just a year I have gone further than I could have ever expected going it alone.
Find out more about First Class Accounts franchise opportunities here or contact us on 1800 118 611