Lisa Curteis - Franchise Recruitment Director

Date

Feb 10, 2017

Lisa's considerable business skills were honed during her nine years with a firm of management consultants. She joined when the company was first formed and played a key role in its ensuing development; today it has become a highly successful £multi-million concern. Her responsibilities were wide-ranging and embraced all aspects of finance, marketing, HR and operations. Lisa was responsible for ensuring that all concerned were able to deliver a very high standard of service to clients – valuable experience which is of particular relevance to her present role.

Fulfilling a personal ambition to share her business know-how with others, Lisa joined the Board of Rosemary Bookkeeping in 2009.

Lisa lives in Hertfordshire with her husband Fraser, daughters Lily and Ella and their new son Austin. She enjoys running, competes in a local netball league and is committed to fundraising for both local and national charities.

FranchiseExpo: What is the Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise opportunity all about?

Lisa Curteis: We are a bookkeeping franchise. Our franchise is based on a successful business which was established in 2002 and offers a unique bookkeeping system within a fully supported franchise package which is built around charging clients per transaction rather than per hour. Focused on flexibility to its owner with superb work / life balance potential.

Working with clients’ accountants and providing them with exactly what they need saves everyone time and money.

We are accredited members of the British Franchise Association and our Founding Partners have over 60 years of business and bookkeeping experience between them in the essential business disciplines of accounting, operations, sales and marketing.

We now have over 20 franchisees established in the UK either running their franchise as a management business with bookkeepers undertaking the work for them or working on client accounts themselves.

The Rosemary Bookkeeping™ franchisees offer outsourced bookkeeping services to small businesses and accountants. The franchisees are trained under the Rosemary System® for bookkeeping, which delivers intelligent processing, ensuring each franchisee delivers the work in the same manner so accountants and clients know what to expect when utilising a Rosemary bookkeeper. The Rosemary System® for bookkeeping is specifically focused around the popular suite of Sage Accounts software, commonly used by businesses and accountants.

Our franchisees respond to the increasing need in the UK for an affordable, professional bookkeeping service that supports both the client and the accountant. Working with clients’ accountants and providing them with exactly what they need, in the format they want, saves everyone time and money.

FE: Who is your ideal candidate for a Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise?

LC: The Rosemary Bookkeeping Franchise is ideal for anyone looking for a profitable and flexible business. Rosemary Bookkeeping™ is looking for people with the following qualities:

  • Bookkeeping experience generally required or equivalent relevant experience
  • Presentable and professional manner with good communication skills
  • IT literate with experience of Microsoft office (especially Word and Excel)
  • Flexible working hours but with a full time attitude
  • Space for an office set up at home
  • UK driving license and own car
  • A friendly nature & logical mindset
  • Energetic people person, able to build client relationships
  • A willingness to learn with a ‘can do’ attitude

FE: What type of training and support do you offer Rosemary Bookkeeping?

LC: The levels of support we provide are unusually high. We offer Franchise Partners a 12-week structured training and launch programme, including:

  • 5-days initial training with four directors
  • 5 additional days of bespoke training
  • Weekly telephone support
  • Quarterly training forums
  • Monthly webinar topics covering marketing, operations, business development and bookkeeping
  • Tailored and proven marketing launch plan
  • Scheduled launch programme of business activities
  • Lead generation, sales techniques and management ongoing
  • Networking assistance (BNI)
  • Full-time helpline
  • Head Office technical support
  • Remote IT support
  • Sage system support package
  • Buddy system
  • Dummy client data for learning Rosemary System®
  • Legal considerations
  • Photography
  • Personal website setup and support
  • Stationery
  • Branded business letterheads, business cards
  • Targeted professional flyers

In the first three months of launch, Rosemary’s Franchise Development Director coaches franchisees on how to develop strategic affiliations, how to build relationships with accountants and how to close potential clients. The 5-year franchise territory license is renewable without incurring a further license fee. The UK has been professionally mapped to include 10,000 small-medium businesses which are Rosemary prime targets.

Franchisees are encouraged to be self-accountable. The support and contact offered is so regular that progress-tracking is an inherent characteristic of the Rosemary franchise.

Making sure franchisees understand how Rosemary works and how the support network functions is essential so they know they are part of a team and there is a strong team ethos. This is a shared experience – not a sole worker, but a confident independent worker who knows there is a strong safety-net behind them at all times and that they are more than capable to make their business a success.

FE: What are some of the advantages in being a Rosemary Bookkeeping franchisee?

LC: There are numerous benefits, including:

  • 12 week launch programme: 5-days initial training, 5 additional days of bespoke training
  • Weekly telephone, IT & technical support with full time helpline
  • Quarterly training forums
  • Monthly webinar topics covering marketing, operations, business development and bookkeeping
  • Tailored and proven marketing & business launch programme including sales techniques
  • Sage system support package
  • Induction into Rosemary’s Buddy System
  • Dummy client data for learning the Rosemary System®
  • Personal website setup, SEO and ongoing support
  • Branded business letterheads, business cards and targeted professional flyers

FE: Are you a member of any Associations?

LC: Rosemary Bookkeeping is a member of the British Franchise Association and the Federation of Small Businesses.

FE: Tell us a little about the (industry) Market?

LC: According to the Federation of Small Businesses, almost 3 million customers NEED this service. By law, all businesses in the UK are required to keep records of their transactions which later are used by an accountant to file for tax and often VAT. Managing these transactions is often the biggest headache to small business owners and a task that is left at the bottom of the pile.

FE: How successful is your company today and what are your future growth plans?

LC: Our target for 2011/12 financial year was to recruit 10 franchisees. The actual number of franchisees recruited in this period was 17. Seven of these franchisees became trained and operational in early 2012. The first of these are already 101% ahead of their forecasted position.

Rosemary’s first ever franchisee recently achieved 215% against forecasted objectives for the month.

Several franchisees have reached working capacity and have taken on subcontractors. Individual franchisees are also recognised across the business domain, such as Christina Gray who has been shortlisted for the Encouraging Women Into Franchising New Woman Franchisee of the Year 2011.

We aim to increase network coverage throughout the UK. Currently, the majority of the franchise units operate in the South as this is where the pilot franchise was based. Marketing strategy will be in place to begin to target areas of the Midlands and North East England by attending local exhibitions and holding Discovery Days in these areas.

As the franchise network continues to grow, the dedicated HQ support team will also increase in number. Our recently acquired serviced Head Office in Watford has the capacity to house a 10 strong team of full time admin and support staff in addition to the Rosemary Bookkeeping Directors.

FE: What are your franchisees saying about the business?

LC: "The training we have received from Rosemary was at a very high level and delivered at the right pace. Two years on we are going from strength to strength, we have 2 sub-contractors working with us and our business is still growing month on month," Steve Brown, Newbury franchisee.

"I am pleased to report that my bookkeeping franchise has grown twice as fast as I originally anticipated. I’ve taken on a part-time sub contractor and together we are working on providing a quality bookkeeping service. The support and guidance that I have received from the Rosemary network has been and continues to be fundamental to my success,” Christina Gray, Southampton Franchisee.

"The support and training received from the team at Rosemary Bookkeeping has been outstanding. Right from the start they covered every element of the business to ensure I felt comfortable and this was matched closely to my own skills and knowledge to focus on areas that I needed more help with. If you want to run your own business but like the idea of having someone to help you I would highly recommend Rosemary Bookkeeping" Belinda Whitaker, Chippenham Franchisee

FE: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

LC: Always attend a Discovery Day or Open Day that a Franchisor runs. This not only gives you a chance to meet the team and find out more about the franchise but it gives you a great opportunity to network and talk to like-minded individuals that are also considering the same business.

FE: In your opinion, why do you think that Rosemary Bookkeeping would be a great opportunity for someone?

LC: “This franchise is a serious consideration for those looking for a low cost, high profit margin, service business, operated from a home office,” Joanna Dennis, Business Development Director at Rosemary Bookkeeping.

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