Long-Time Franchise Owner Grows Work and Family Relationships
I love my family, I love my job
All parents love their children but how many love their co-workers? For Judi Randall, H&R Block franchisee for 33 years, it is easy to do both. In the tax business for 53 years and with 13 offices and more than 65 tax professionals, Judi also has her two sons in the business.
Judi brought her older son John Bishop into the business in 1995 and raised youngest son Rusty Randall in the business. He was born four years after she purchased her franchise.
“I was raised in the business from playing in the tax office to working on the office maintenance and as receptionist before going off to college,” said Rusty.
After Rusty finished college, Judi attempted to lure him straight to the family business by offering him the chance to run an office. He refused and went to work in the insurance industry.
After a year, Rusty decided to return to the family business, but Judi had him start at the bottom and work his way up. He eventually did, now running two offices.
A third member of Judi’s family is also in the business. During the tax season, Rusty’s wife runs an office more than eight hours from the family’s home.
The highest level
The family has a passion and a competitive streak about the tax business. All three are enrolled agents. Judi took the three-part comprehensive exam to be become a federally-authorized tax practitioner for one simple reason: “It is the highest level. Of course that is where I set my sites.”
Son John was right behind her. After time in the automotive industry in California, he dove into the business after taking the income tax course. In addition to running offices and preparing taxes, within three years, he was leading a study group for the enrolled agent exam.
Rusty’s enrolled agent certification came as part of his business development efforts. “We needed more [enrolled agents] in our offices, so I gathered a group and we started the process and took the tests.”
Family secrets to success
The family credits diversity in skills and willingness to divide up the work without egos in helping them succeed. While the three may have diverse business skills, they all share a good nature and sense of humor. All three laughed when Judi explained her business exit plan: “a casket”.
The three laughed when recalling family dinners where spouses congregate to one room while quasi-business meetings happen after dinner and the wedding toast where the brother-as-best man toasted the bride, the groom and H&R Block. But only two of them chuckled when the older brother made rabbit ears behind the younger brother on camera.
H&R Block: the next, next generation
A third generation maybe on its way into the family business. Rusty’s two teenage daughters have also been raised in the tax office. The high school students juggle school, activities and help in the business.
What motivates someone to stay in a business for 53 years or to expand the business with your family? For Judi, it’s love.
“I love what I do. I really do. I really enjoy working with my children and I have a different level of connection with them and their families. Watching them grow is fantastic.”
By Lisa Patterson
Lisa Patterson has been a member of the H&R Block newsroom since 2012. She supports efforts to educate consumers and members of the media about taxes and company happenings. Before helping tax professionals talk taxes with the media, Patterson was a consultant for small companies running social media efforts, blogs, events and product marketing. She spent more than 10 years in local government managing communications for city operations, fire and the city manager. Patterson holds two degrees from University of Kansas: a Bachelor's in Business with an emphasis in marketing and a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications.