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Bookkeeping Express: What the Small Business Owner Needs

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Recently, I interviewed Greg Jones, CEO of Bookkeeping Express a franchise concept that targets small business owners.  Read the interview and learn about this exciting franchise and the services it provides small businesses.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 26 million businesses in the United States that employ up to 19 employees. According to industry experts, many small businesses don’t have a full-time accountant but rather use a part time bookkeeper. Some may even use a clerk to perform their bookkeeping activities.

The Bookkeeping Express franchise has the ideal product for these small business owners, a service that performs various bookkeeping activities at a reasonable cost.

The company started in 1984 and was acquired by Greg Jones, Merritt Green and Bob Stocker in 2007. Greg Jones is also a franchisee of Five Guys Burger and Fries. Bookkeeping Express, the McLean, Virginia based franchisor has grown to 22 franchisees since launching its franchise in 2008.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Bookkeeping Express  CEO, Greg Jones.

Greg told me “We provide bookkeeping services that the small business owner doesn’t have time to do, or a CPA is paid to do but at a much greater cost. Clients can send their information to the franchisee or directly to our Business Express Center which performs back office services for the small business owner.”

Greg indicated that when the company started franchising they focused on individuals that had bookkeeping or accounting skills. Since then, they’ve adjusted their profile.

“We target mid-management level people or higher that have well rounded business experience and good business development skills. Since our franchisee’s clients can use our Business Express Center as their back office, it’s not necessary that our franchisees have bookkeeping or an accounting background.”

In terms of franchise locations, Bookkeeping Express allows three types of franchisee locations; a virtual office, used by approximately sixty percent of their franchisees, a store front or commercial office location.

One of the key benefits small business owners receive when they use Bookkeeping Express services is when they are ready to sell their business. “When a small business owner decides to sell their business, poor financial records and bookkeeping can be a major problem. We’ve affiliated with a leading business broker VR Business Brokers so that small business owners are aware of the importance of having good financial records.” stated Jones.

One of the intriguing expansion strategies being employed by the franchisor is using a corporate hub. Greg explained:  “A corporate hub is a corporate owned location, which provides us an opportunity to enter and develop a new market.  Once we’ve established a foothold in a specific market we can franchise in that market having established branding and with a corporate representative in place. We’ve targeted five markets in the immediate future. The first two are Charlotte and Philadelphia.”

I asked Greg about the opportunities available of marketing to franchisors. He told me that they are developing a Franchisor Express Service Center that can provide bookkeeping services for the franchisors’ franchisees.

“This program would provide franchisees a valuable service at a reasonable cost. The franchisors could rely upon its franchisees following and utilizing a credible system for maintaining their books and records.”

According to Greg, one of the requirements for a successful network is the training and support that the franchisor provides its franchisees. According to Greg

“We put a lot more time and effort in supporting the franchisee after the franchise is opened, doing much more than is usually available to them.” In terms of expansion, Greg told me that the company is more focused on quality growth versus selling as many franchises as possible. The franchise investment for a single Bookkeeping Express franchise is reasonable at $50,000 to $75,000.  There is a 6% royalty and 2% ad fund contribution.

If Bookkeeping Express follows its strategy and commitment to quality franchisees and support, it has a huge market of clients to tap into. Visit their website at www.bookkeepingexpress.com

© 2010 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

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