If you’ve got a knack for numbers and are looking for a career path that fits your skill set, bookkeeping is one option that offers flexible scheduling, allows you to work from home, and doesn’t require years of experience. You can launch your bookkeeping business in just days, and you have plenty of potential clients. After all, every business needs a bookkeeper, and you don’t need to be in the same location as a business to do its books. Set yourself up for success by following these steps to launch your bookkeeping business.
Learn the Trade
You don’t need any certifications or licences to call yourself a bookkeeper, but without much experience, taking a course can help. The Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping has a certification course for bookkeepers without any experience, and it requires you to complete college-level bookkeeping courses. The Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada has a certification exam you can take, but you need to provide proof you have at least two years of experience. There are quite a few other bookkeeping courses available online. Some include certifications upon completion, while others do not. The biggest benefit of taking a course is the knowledge you gain, but a certification also improves your resume, as it shows clients you’ve taken the time to get certified in your trade.
Set Up Your Work Space
Working from home has its own challenges, and chief among them is staying productive. It’s easy to get distracted, which is why you need a work space that minimizes intrusion. Choose a room or an area in your home for your work space, and use it only for work. This helps you keep your personal life separate from your business, reducing the temptation to slack off just because you’re at home. If you live with anyone, let them know not to disturb you while you’re working unless it’s an emergency. Fortunately, your work space doesn’t need much, as all you need for bookkeeping is a laptop with bookkeeping software installed. You can handle all your clients’ books using QuickBooks or any other bookkeeping software you choose. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the software so you don’t have any trouble using it by the time you land your first job.
Market Yourself Online
With the amount of connections that are made online, your web presence can make or break your business. Two things every bookkeeping business should have are a website and a LinkedIn profile. You can set these up under your own name or create a separate name for your business. It’s simpler to start out as a bookkeeper under your own name as a sole proprietor, as your province may require you to register a business name if you operate under it. Your website and your LinkedIn profile make it easier for potential clients to find you online, and they provide you with the opportunity to sell yourself. When you don’t have much experience, figuring out how to sell yourself can be a challenge. Highlight any current experience and qualifications. If you’ve done bookkeeping work for any clients in the past, emphasize that and see if those clients can provide testimonials. If you have no experience, focus on any courses you’ve taken and certifications you possess. Don’t stress over a lack of experience since everyone starts in the same boat.
Network to Find Clients
Following the right SEO strategy increases the chances of clients seeing your site, but you’re likely to get most of your clients through your own networking efforts. Talk to your personal and professional contacts to see if they know anyone in need of a bookkeeper since many businesses hire through referrals. After you’ve spread the word about your services through your current network, it’s time to start connecting with more people. LinkedIn works well in this regard as you can search for small business owners, add them to your network, and then send them a message introducing yourself. In your message, mention you’re a bookkeeper and ask how they’re currently handling their books. Sometimes just being the person who reaches out is enough to land a job. When you’re just starting out, the best thing you can do is send plenty of messages every day. Don’t just copy and paste a template; add a personal touch that shows you read what the recipient’s business does. It’s a numbers game in the early stages, and if you make enough connections, some of them are bound to become clients. Although it’s never easy to jump into a new career field when you don’t have much experience, the amount of bookkeeping courses available online and the low startup costs enable you to start making money quickly if you follow the right strategy. Take a course to improve your knowledge and your resume, and then make that education your main selling point as you build your brand online. Once you’re set up, start sending those messages and you’re going to have plenty of experience soon enough.