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Starting a business

How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

If you’re ready to make the jump from an in-house bookkeeping position to starting your own firm, or you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a small business, we’ve got an idea for you!

Running your own bookkeeping business could introduce more flexibility and control into your professional life. After you’ve set up an office, found clients, and have a strategy in place for managing your time, you’ll be ready to go.Here are some points to think about as you begin your journey as a bookkeeping business owner. 

Get Certified

Even if you have plenty of experience providing bookkeeping services, you might want to consider getting a certification. Certifications show your current and potential clients that you have extensive training, and it helps to reassure them that they can trust you with their books. Consider becoming a certified public bookkeeper with some of the following organisations:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): CPA is a widely recognised certification in accounting, affirming expertise in various financial areas and regulatory compliance.
  • Software-Specific Certifications - Rather than choosing traditional certification options, you may want to look into certifications that are tied to specific types of accounting software. For instance, the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program offers online courses and training, and you can take certification exams for free.

Choose Your Work Space

When you start a bookkeeping business, you’ll need a productive and comfortable workspace to perform at your best. Eventually, you may want to rent a standalone office, but while you’re building your client list, a home office can be ideal. Alternatively, take a hybrid approach by combining a home office and a shared office space. A shared space gives you access to amenities such as conference rooms, copy machines, and potentially even a receptionist.

Find Out If You Need to Register Your Business

As a sole proprietor, you usually don’t need to register if you operate the business under your own name. But if you want to name your company something fun, you may be required to register a business. The rules vary depending on what country you’re operating in, so check the requirements in your area.

Create a Website

Your web presence can make or break your business, so you may want to create a small business website. Your website acts as a digital brochure and it’s an easy way to show prospective clients your offerings, your prices, and let them know a little about what your business stands for. You can also use your website to detail your experience, list your certifications, and share testimonials from former employers or clients.

Network to Find Clients

With the right approach, you can optimise your website to increase traffic, but you’re probably more likely to find clients through networking. Talk with your personal and professional contacts to see if they know anyone who needs a bookkeeper. Many small businesses, no matter what industry they’re in, hire based on referrals, and word-of-mouth advertising can be a great first step.

Then, maybe give cold calling a go! Pick up the phone and speak to businesses in your area. Consider focusing on small businesses that are unlikely to have an in-house team. Let them know about your services and refer them to your website to learn more.

Market Your Services on LinkedIn

To cast a wider net, consider joining a business-focused social networking platform, like LinkedIn. When you sign up, you can sync your contacts from your email and social media accounts. Typically, this list consists of your friends and former colleagues, but if they own businesses, they may well be interested in your attaining your services!This will help you make connections with friends-of-friends and other people who are loosely connected to your network. Additionally, you can search for business owners to add to your network. After you’ve connected, reach out to them with a custom message explaining what you do and how you can help them.

Then, l let your network know what you do and who you are. Make sure to optimise your profile or publish blogs that share your professional opinions and values. 

Ideally, you should have set digital marketing goals every day until you secure enough clients to keep busy. For instance, you may want to commit to making x number of phone calls or sending x number of messages every day.

Launching your own business takes a lot of hard work, but you can do it! Bolster your experience with certifications, then gather positive comments from your previous employers to use as testimonials on your website and social platforms. By talking about your services with friends, making a website, and networking online you’ll be well on your way to building a successful bookkeeping firm.

Use Software to Get the Job Done Right

Using professional accounting software from QuickBooks Online will help you build your new bookkeeping business with confidence. With features like multi-users, project management, app syncing, and more, you’ll have your bookkeeping business organised in no time. Try QuickBooks Online today!

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