Tax Franchise Aims to Work Hard for the Hard Working
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service is looking for the right franchisees to help serve an extremely special customer base.
“We cater to the hardcore working American,” Rick Peroe, Vice-President of Franchise Development at Jackson Hewitt said during a recent interview.
Headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, Jackson Hewitt is a 33-year-old retail tax preparation company that started franchising back in 1986. It currently has just over 6,000 franchises, half of which are located in Walmart stores throughout the United States.
Although the company has a presence in all 50 states, including major metropolitan and rural areas, it still has room for more franchisees right across the country, as long as they are the right fit for the company.
Some of these areas are brand new and others are opening up because some of Jackson Hewitt’s long-serving franchisees are ready for retirement and are looking to sell their businesses.
With Jackson Hewitt being such a long-standing company, Peroe has seen many franchisees join the family, and most of them end up sticking around for a long time.
“My average franchisee right now operates seven locations throughout their ownership,” he explained. “My average franchisee has also been with us for 10 years.”
Some franchisees just want one store to keep them busy for a few months out of the year while others want to have 15 or 20 stores to run. Regardless of what a franchisee is looking for in a business, though, Jackson Hewitt can accommodate them, the Vice President of Franchise Development noted.
A People Business
Although the company does have a lot of certified public accountants among its franchisees, a background in accounting is not necessary to open one.
In fact, Jackson Hewitt has franchisees from all walks of life, Peroe said. The franchise seems to appeal to people who come from middle management and who have been in an executive position for several years.
People who have management experience are especially suited to running a Jackson Hewitt franchise because they come with developed people skills.
“The majority of this work, even though it appears to be a numbers business, is actually a people business,” the vice president of franchise development said.
Whether it’s the tax preparers dealing with customers or the franchisee building a team of people during the hectic tax season, having people skills is a must for potential franchisees.
Support and Training
Peroe said what makes Jackson Hewitt different from its competitors is the franchise’s tremendous training program that starts off with a week-long session in Sarasota, FL at Jackson Hewitt’s technology center.
The training doesn’t teach franchisees how to prepare taxes, though. Rather, it teaches them how to run the business. It covers putting together an operating budget, preparing a profit and loss statement, setting up the office and training tax preparers.
After this initial training, Jackson Hewitt stays connected to franchisees via the company’s network of regional directors throughout the country who offer additional training programs on a local basis.
The franchise also integrates online learning into its training so if Jackson Hewitt comes out with a new product, the company can have a complete training program posted online for all franchisees to follow, ensuring the entire company is kept up to date.
The company focuses on training, Peroe said, because if they have a franchisee who has good people skills and team development skills, but who might not have all the industry training, they can still welcome them aboard because of how thorough their instruction is.
New franchisees get extra attention during their first two years with the company.
One of the best things about becoming a Jackson Hewitt franchisee is the steadiness of the business, Peroe noted. It’s not a business that is based on the latest food trend, it’s a business that is based on an important task that 150 million Americans do each year and will continue to have to do every year.
“I think this business is wonderful because it stands the test of time,” he said.
And to help franchisees serve Jackson Hewitt customers even better, the company has partnered with various banks to help customers get their hands on their tax return money quicker. The company will advance a customer up to $750 and take that money out of their return when it is processed.
Serving the hard working American taxpaying public is what Jackson Hewitt does and entrepreneurs who have the requisite people skills are invited to keep that long history of service going.