Martin Beckenham

Now in his fourth year of trading, The Financial Management Centre has provided Martin with the perfect outlet for his financial skills.

After being made redundant when his employer relocated to Warwickshire, Martin found that his work experience often frightened off potential employers, who thought he was too well qualified for many of the positions he applied for. It did however provide the impetus to realise a dream, that of working for himself.

Whilst searching for a new position he found The Financial Management Centre website and decided it provided the perfect opportunity to join a national network, whilst retaining his independence. Following a Discovery Day at The Financial Management Centre head office where the proposition was explained in detail and questions answered he decided to apply for his local franchise.   It was a wise decision that has paid dividends, as he has not only taken on the Sittingbourne and Herne Bay franchises, but recently expanded to encompass the Ashford and Maidstone franchises as well.

Martin admitted it was a big step to take for him. 'Although I have always been involved in finance, it's always been within the framework of a larger company. Working for myself meant I would have to look for my own customers, but The Financial Management Centre provided a lot of help starting the enterprise off including comprehensive training and operations manuals.  As my company has grown it has enabled me to take on additional staff, which in turn helps the local economy.'

Martin is somewhat different from the regular bookkeeper, and is one of a number of ICB certified bookkeepers in Kent.  Additionally he offers a myriad of other skills such as business advice, payroll, admin and even foreign exchange for customers who sell overseas. But where the company comes in to its own, is the support he provides for customers. 'It's no good simply sorting the books for customers,' said Martin. 'You need to build a system of support for them. A bespoke, tailor made solution that helps.'

'Being part of a franchise means you get a flying start with the business. You are buying into a known brand that is already established. You don't have to build something from the ground up, which why so many start-up companies fail in their first few years of conception,' said Martin. 'They have the problem of making enough money to survive whilst looking for new customers all the time. It's a question of manpower in many instances. With The Financial Management Centre you are supplied with contacts as part of the franchise. It means you already have one foot on the ladder to making it a success.'

He concluded, 'Being part of a much larger organisation enables me to tap into their resources and services without having to invest in that side of the business. That is a huge saving in both time and money, as I have their expertise and experience instantly on hand to help my clients with any business advice they may require, or problems they might encounter. A win, win situation for all concerned. As for the future, we are doing more and more online and setting up user friendly accounting systems that will greatly reduce time and input from the customer.'