Franchise Players: From Translator to Franchisee at a Tax Franchise
Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email email@example.com.
When Dulce Cuevas moved to the United States from Mexico, she realized that her university credits wouldn't transfer to any colleges in the area. Looking to earn extra income, Cuevas saw an ad in her local paper for a bilingual translator at Liberty Tax. She got the job and worked her way up in the company to a tax preparer, tax school instructor and eventually a multi-unit franchisee. Here's what Cuevas has learned climbing the franchise ladder.
Name: Dulce and Jose Cuevas
Franchise owned: Three Liberty Tax locations in Rocky Mount, N.C.
How long have you owned a franchise?
We wanted to join a trustworthy company where our investment of money and time could help us attain financial freedom and allow us to retire early.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was managing two Liberty Tax Service stores and my husband was in the construction industry.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I started working for Liberty Tax in 2006 as a bilingual tax preparer. I liked how the company maintained close and strong relationships with customers. It provided a fun work environment and the opportunity for everybody to grow professionally.
When my husband and I were given the chance to open our own store and become franchisees, we thought it over and decided it was an ideal fit for us. It gave us the chance to grow financially, while allowing us to spend more time with our family.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Initially, we did not have to put anything down. The offices we purchased were existing offices operating properly. We acquired them in the fall and the only expenses at the time were for business permits and tax school expenses, totaling less than $3,000. Liberty Tax has great programs for people who have proven themselves as either tax preparers or marketers and interested in getting into business for themselves.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
We always had interest in Liberty Tax, so we sought out an existing, successful franchisee who explained to us the advantages of franchising with a reputable and fast-growing company. Also, our area developer has been assisting us at every turn. He guided us from the beginning and provided the information and support we needed.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
Believe it or not, the most challenging aspect of initially having our own business was facing our fear to fail as well as the fear to succeed. We were also scared we’d face other issues, such as not having enough tax preparers for all of our customers. Another challenge was our financial situation because we did not have much capital to invest.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Our advice prospective franchisees is that if they commit to the system, there is almost no chance to fail. We do most of our business within the first four months of the year, so Liberty Tax provides the financial freedom individuals look for and most importantly, time to share with family and the people we love.
What’s next for you and your business?
We are looking to expand our business and with a new game changer this year with the Affordable Care Act, we see the opportunity to generate extra income at our locations by providing Health Insurance. Also, we see a lot of economic potential with the launch of Liberty Tax’s new Hispanic brand, “Siempre Tax.”
Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor.