Start a Bookkeeping Business – How Easy is It?

Starting your own bookkeeping business is appealing to people for a number of reasons and it is quite easy if you find out exactly how to do it. It is a very low cost business to start up. You can start at home with just a small workspace, telephone and printer. It is also quite unregulated in many countries, which mean any one with some knowledge, and experience can use their expertise to start their own business.

Apart form a low cost start up, bookkeeping as a freelancer or contractor pays a lot more per hour than an employee gets per hour. This is a good way of increasing your hourly income with out too much effort. It does mean you need to attract clients and source your own contacts, but this can also be done cheaply with know how.

It will be important to price your services correctly as you need to cover your own insurance requirements and office costs, however with low overheads and an increased hourly rate it is possible for a good profitable business to be created quite easily.

It is also possible for you to continue with employment and work part time in your business. This will give you a sense of security still in paid employment until you have either the courage or the necessary client base to quit employment. This will also give you time to start building a client base or potential contacts prior to giving up paid employment.

Having a bookkeeping business is also popular as it can also be done around your own hours. You may find clients very flexible and accommodating of your working hours. You can work around your other commitments such as family or childrens activities.

Working solely from home is also possible with this type of business. Increasing technological advancements means people do not even need to walk into an office to do their work. There are issues with the source documentation from the business for a bookkeeper to undertake their duties, but this can be over come with couriers or post. Some small business operators only give the bookkeeper their bank statement with the items already pre coded and this prevents source documents being required.

Marketing your services will take time and you will learn some new skills. Marketing, advertising and sourcing clients will be important. Don’t discount the opportunities when you are talking with people to mention what you do. Many bookkeepers agree that word of mouth is their best source of clients.

One often overlooked opportunity is the business card. How many times have you been in a shop and they have needed to order something or contact you when an item arrives? Instead of just writing your name and number, give them a business card instead. It is amazing how many opportunities arise for you to do this. Even if they don’t need your service, someone who does might see your details.

Accountability – The Secret to a Profitable Bookkeeping Business

As a freelance bookkeeper, “accounting” is a word that’s an integral part of your life. You keep account of other peoples’ books, providing their business with a support system that keeps it financially healthy. But let me ask you – who keeps account of you?

Whether you are a student of accounting, an employee, or a freelance bookkeeper/accountant running your own business, you all have one thing in common – the need for accountability.

· When you’re a student, the teacher and class curriculum provides accountability to help you make progress quickly.

· When you’re employed, your employer sets the pace you need to process the accounts and the way in which to do them efficiently.

· When you become a solo entrepreneur, you enter a whole new world. Not only do you have to do all of the actual bookkeeping work, but all of the motivation, processes, systems, and marketing of your business rests solely on your shoulders.

Some people say that the best way to learn is through the school of hard knocks. When I built my freelance bookkeeping business, I learned a lot from making every mistake in the book. But that is certainly not the best and easiest way to do it. Constantly struggling to reinvent the wheel is a waste of your time and energy.

An invaluable way to keep on track and move forward is to make sure you always have some type of coaching or mentoring relationship in place. This will give you a fresh perspective that will help you answer questions about your business that you don’t even know you need to ask. And it gives you accountability!

Where Do Bookkeepers Need More Accountability?

For the most part, I find freelance bookkeepers don’t need accountability when it comes to getting their clients’ work done. Most of you never miss a deadline – even during the hectic tax season you get it all done on time.

But what you continually place on the “back burner” is managing your own business. Critical tasks that will help your business grow and become more profitable are the ones often ignored, such as:

· Implementing systems that support you and your bookkeeping services. Systems keep you from having to reinvent the wheel every time. They keep you and your client on the same page and can transform a business from overwhelm and barely making it to a smooth running engine with a nice fat bottom line.

· Proactively anticipate your clients’ needs.

· Making time for marketing. It is so important that you make time in your schedule to work ON your business. Instead of enduring the constant feast or famine cycle, come up with a weekly marketing plan that works for you and brings a consistent flow of work through your door.

· Investing in yourself with ongoing education.

As you read through this list, did you see critical business tasks that you are ignoring? Where could you use some accountability? Identify your weaknesses and come up with a plan to do something to strengthen your business muscle.

I recently made big changes to The Bookkeeper’s Club. There are now three different levels that will allow you to find the right mix of training, support and accountability. If you haven’t taken a look, check it out and let me know what you think!