FRANCHISOR LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM WANTS TO HELP OTHERS DO THE SAME

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FRONT COVER STORY  JULY 2015

Working his way up from the type of poverty that others can only imagine, one entrepreneurial-minded franchisor wants to help others realize their American dreams, just like he did.

Founder and CEO of One Stop Tax, Dr. Charles Kinuthia, came from a poor background in Kenya where he lived off of less than $10 per month. That didn’t stop Kinuthia from working his way through school and immigrating to the US.

“I actually saw an opportunity where I could live the American dream,” he said during a recent interview from the One Stop Tax headquarters in Houston. “When I arrived in the U.S., I started at the bottom doing security and cleaning jobs and worked my way to oil and gas, but then 2007 came and the now-infamous economic recession began”.

Like so many others, Kinuthia found himself without a job. What he did have, however, was a head for numbers and an entrepreneurial spirit that helped him survive in his home country on virtually nothing.

He also saw a niche to fill, and that niche was tax preparation where customers are actually treated well.

“I’ve always been a math fanatic ever since I was young and it kept bothering me every time I went to file my taxes that I received poor treatment as a customer,” he recalled.

Either the tax preparer didn’t know what they were doing, Kinuthia said, or they knew what they were doing, but provided terrible customer service. He became fascinated with the idea of making tax preparation pleasant instead of a dreadful experience by providing great customer service while also having taxes done by competent tax preparers.

From humble beginnings in a 200 square foot space in Houston, Kinuthia has grown One Stop Tax to one of the fastest growing tax preparation service providers for the general public in the country. In operation for seven years, Kinuthia started franchising the business in 2014.

Ideal Franchisees

From retirees, to veterans to stay at home moms, the One Stop Tax CEO has welcomed many different types of people into the business. Despite their difference in backgrounds, though, these people all wanted to invest in a recession-proof business, he said.

Ideal candidates should be dedicated and success driven, Kinuthia outlined. Organizational and leadership skills are paramount, as well as a strong passion for business, good moral character and keen business acumen.

Lest it all sounds too serious, though, the CEO also wants franchisees who like to have fun. Tax preparation and accounting skills are not necessary, he noted, but it’s incredibly important to fit into the overall company culture.

That company culture is morality based rather than bureaucratically based, he explained, and ideal franchisees should love to give back to the community, either with their time, their resources, or through participating in volunteer opportunities.

Getting On Board

Potential franchisees start with a Q&A conference call session with Kinuthia himself where he finds out about them and they find out about the business.

The second step is to attend a seminar, either in webinar format or they can come in person to one of the company’s live seminars, giving them the opportunity to meet the One Stop Tax team, plus other franchisees.

After the application process is complete, all agreements signed and the franchise fee paid, the company will help

franchisees find a location and set up shop as they complete the operations training program. Then, the new location opens.

This all could take as little as 45 days, Kinuthia said.

Training and Support

One Stop Tax provides full training of the skills required to run a tax business to ensure franchisees are thoroughly prepared and knowledgeable about marketing, IT, staffing and everything else that goes into running a tax business.

This includes how to prepare taxes, how to deliver and communicate financial products to customers and advanced training about how to grow and sustain a business, plus leadership training.

The company also provides technical support, marketing support in the way of local and national advertising, plus the aforementioned site selection assistance to help franchisees identify the right location for them.

Expansion

Currently, the company is looking to expand into what Kinuthia calls prime territory from a strategic point of view. This includes Ohio, Arizona, New Jersey, Missouri, Kansas and Mississippi.

He’s been studying the marketplace for a while, the CEO said, and the way they are expanding, they want to be in certain geographical areas because of their long-term strategy.

The One Stop Tax Difference

Kinuthia called One Stop Tax a customer-obsessed organization with a Golden Rule approach to customer service; treat everyone the way you want to be treated.

A common refrain at the company is that it’s always day one at One Stop Tax, as there is always a lot more to learn

and new ways to serve customers. That, along with their competitive pricing for both franchisees and customers, help set them apart from the myriad other tax preparation services.

The company also embraces and drives change, he said, from paperless offices to saving customers time through advanced technology.

Among the newest developments at One Stop Tax is the vendor placement, which is perfect for starting or expanding a tax franchise. A person can open a complete tax office inside a national retail chain that the company has exclusive agreements with for the upcoming tax season.

For Kinuthia, helping like-minded entrepreneurs live their own version of the American dream is the best measure

of success for the business.

For more information:

1 855 408 2937 ext 809 or go to website www.onestoptax.com