Running a Bookkeeping Business

There is an old saying that “a poor plan well executed is better than a good plan poorly executed.” This saying applies very well to running a bookkeeping business. The reason most people fail when they start this type of business is usually not due to a lack of vision or intelligence. People simply fail to execute their plans.

There are a lot of bookkeeping business plans available on the Internet. Most of these plans involve learning basic bookkeeping skills and then finding clients. It’s a pretty straightforward plan, albeit difficult.

There are several ways to learn basic bookkeeping skills. One of them is to attend a University and earn a degree in accounting. Accounting majors graduate with a solid understanding of basic accounting principles. Most accountants don’t like to think of themselves as bookkeepers, but the truth is they understand the principles behind bookkeeping very well.

Many people with a degree in accounting have no idea how to set up an accounting system for a small business. This is something that comes with practice and experience. In school, accountants are taught the principles of accounting, but they aren’t generally taught how to step into a business and set up that business’ accounting system.

If you don’t want to drop four years earning a degree in accounting just to start up your own bookkeeping business, there are other ways to obtain the knowledge you seek. A quick search on Google will reveal some of the quicker courses you can take online or with a community college. These courses tend to be much more practical and they give you advice on how to use accounting software (something else that isn’t really taught in the big Universities). Most of these courses will cost you some money, but many are very affordable.

After you have the basic training down, it’s time to get your first client. Finding the first client can sometimes be the most difficult. At this point you probably don’t have any experience behind you and most people don’t want to outsource their bookkeeping to someone who has never done bookkeeping before. To overcome this obstacle there are several options:
(1) Try teaming up with somebody who does have some experience. After you’ve done a few jobs, then you can go out on your own.
(2) Try to find a friend or family member who is willing to take a chance on you.
(3) Try offering your services at a discounted rate, or even free, until you pick up that first customer.

On your first job, put everything you have into it. Really do a good job and you will find that your first client will refer other clients to you. The best way to find new clients is from existing clients. A simple, “Do you know anybody else who might benefit from my services?” will get you a surprising amount of customers.

The blueprint for starting a bookkeeping business is not rocket science. You simply need to understand basic bookkeeping skills and find clients. However, most people fail to execute this simple plan.