If there were four words that Nicole Ossenfort would use to get people to buy a Liberty Tax franchise, it would probably be what she finds most appealing about owning one: “Eight months of vacation.”
With tax season only going from January to April, operating a Liberty Tax franchise has afforded Ossenfort and her husband Scott Ossenfort the one thing even better than financial security: time to do the things they love.
In fact, Nicole says, she used to tease Scott that his old job as a retail manager for an automotive dealership used to interfere with her lifestyle because while she had the aforementioned eight months of vacation time, Scott only had three weeks.
While working out of her home she was mostly bookkeeping, but then tax season rolled around and the majority of Nicole’s clients just assumed she’d be doing their taxes, too. So, she did them and that’s when she learned that tax season was highly lucrative for someone with her skill set.
“I just had to figure out how to do the maximum amount of tax returns in the most efficient manner,” she explained.
Because Nicole had grown up around parents who regularly talked business at the dinner table, she’s always had an entrepreneurial streak in her.
So, knowing that taxes were good business, the next step was finding a franchise that she liked and Liberty Tax fit just right.
“I went looking for a franchise business model, knowing that entrepreneurship was in my future,” Nicole said. “I also knew that the franchise business model was my model of choice.”
Once she and Scott had done their research on the then-young company, they flew out to Virginia Beach, VA for a discovery day and were impressed with Liberty Tax’s leader, CEO John Hewitt, and how he ran things.
They also met with the company’s head of marketing, head of technology and several other people, including other franchisees.
“We were just really impressed with what we saw,” she recalled.
Nicole said the factors behind her decision to go with Liberty Tax were the leadership; the superb team at the company; the company’s core beliefs, which matched up with Scott’s and her own; and the clear vision the company had for its future.
Nicole described the franchising process at Liberty Tax as extremely streamlined. She first went for a five-day Effective Operations Training course, where new franchisees learn how to set up and run a successful tax business, which includes choosing the right location.
Nicole said the company helps you narrow your choices down to a few good locations and then someone from Liberty will give you an honest opinion about which location they believe is best. Liberty representatives also offer assistance for lease negotiations.
“I felt fully prepared for that first tax season that got us up and running,” she said.
Support is ongoing, too. In the tax off season, she said, Liberty Tax has Liberty College, where people can upgrade their skills. It’s called Liberty College because it actually runs somewhat like a college.
Franchisees can choose from several courses available and only take the ones they feel they would benefit from the most.
You figure out which area your business needs to improve and then you choose those corresponding classes.
The courses include leadership, marketing, guerrilla marketing, financial management and many more. And franchise owners can take courses via the internet if they can’t make it to one of Liberty Tax’s many training seminars across the country. Plus, they can use the web-based courses to help train their own staff.
Nicole has even been privy to the special training Liberty Tax offers to its Top Guns – the biggest producing franchises in the country – and the Elite 18, the top 18 producing franchisees in the country.
Way of life
Nicole said Liberty Tax offers a great opportunity not only financially, but in terms of a way of life. However, she noted, you have to follow the Liberty Tax formula and you have to be committed to stellar customer service.
As competitive as Liberty Tax franchisees can be – even with each other, Nicole said, the culture at the company is one of family and support for fellow franchisees.
“The culture is like none other I’ve ever experienced,” she said. And, if the great culture isn’t enough to get you to inquire about Liberty Tax, perhaps those eight months of vacation just might.
For more information: www.libertytaxfranchise.com or 1-877-285-4237