Becoming a Businessman, 50¢ at a Time

Bill McPherson, a Liberty Tax franchisee since 2004, discovered his entrepreneurial itch early when, in middle school, he would buy Airheads candy at the gas station near his house (10 for $1), then sell them to his classmates at school for 50¢ a pop. The profits funded copies of the video games that were on his wish list and permanently changed his way of thinking. He became an entrepreneur again in college, starting his own computer consulting business, which was another success for Bill.

But he came to the realization that a lot of independent consultants and franchisees come to: Earnings are limited to how many hours you have in the day—and if you stop putting work into the top of the machine, money stops coming out the bottom. It was after college that Bill started investigating ways to get off that earnings treadmill.

What’s Holding You Back?

Bill entered the bookkeeping arena after college, driven by the logic that nearly everybody has to do their taxes at some point. He liked the idea of having a brand, a system and a network of seasoned business owners into which he could immediately dial in. He became a Liberty Tax franchisee in 2004, but he was also hedging his bets by working as a W2 employee for another organization.

Things were slow to ramp up at his first Liberty Tax location while he worked his second job to keep his income stable. One day, one of his fellow co-workers remarked, “Bill, it seems to me like you have all the tools to be successful. But something’s holding you back. What is it?”

Leveraging the Wisdom of the Liberty Tax Franchisee Community

Bill’s first franchise did a modest 400 returns in his first year, but his regional developer and the comment by his colleague spurred him to do better. In his mind, he had been working the Liberty Tax playbook, but as he invested more time learning from other franchisees about how they ran their stores, he saw he had a long way to go.

Finances became tight as he no longer had his paycheck job to rely on, but he doggedly kept applying the proven advice that other franchisees shared with him. The following year his first store doubled its business—enough for him to invest in a second storefront.

Today, Bill operates four Liberty Tax locations in and around the Orlando, Fla. area, also serving as a liaison between headquarters and franchisees because he wanted the opportunity to help new franchisees benefit more quickly from the knowledge that he took longer to acquire.

“I feel lucky. Franchising has changed my life,” Bill says. “I feel like I have everything, including the time I want to spend with my amazing wife and kids.”