There are a number of things to consider when starting a bookkeeping business. When beginning a journey you need to know where you are starting from, where you want to go, and how you are going to get there. So let's ask a few questions to see if we can get you started mapping out your business plan.
This is the most important question because the answers will be what keep you motivated when the going gets tough. One of the biggest reasons is the freedom it can offer. Do you like bookkeeping? If so, it can be an excellent reason to choose this line of work. And of course, earning a good income can be a wonderful motivating factor.
There are many kinds of businesses out there. When doing small business bookkeeping, you basically have your choice of looking for clients within a certain industry or working for a diverse group of clients. In the beginning I recommend looking for clients in a field you are interested in or have experience with. There are small, medium and large small businesses. You might want to start with a small business so you won't be overwhelmed, but it could also be a good thing to get a larger business in the beginning so you won't have to have as many clients. It is up to you.
Do you want to have a small home based bookkeeping service? There are freelance bookkeeping
services that are one person operations. This works especially well if
you only want to work part time. Perhaps you dream of having a large
accounting company. A bookkeeping franchise
would be one option, but there is only one that I know of in the U.S. and Canada. You could buy an existing business
or build your own successful company. Building your own business can
be exciting because there are many services you can offer your clients
like payroll, personal financial planning and tax preparation.
The services provided by your bookkeeping business do not have to be limited to accounting. As you get to know your clients and work on your business plan you may discover that you have ideas for additional services you can offer. I have printed business cards and brochures for clients and helped them prepare professional letters. They may call upon you for help with understanding financial documents as well.
Will your niche be small businesses, medium sized or both? I have found
it especially rewarding to work for ultra small companies. It just
fits my personality. Maybe you will specialize within a certain
industry such as construction or retail.
There are different models for how to price your professional bookkeeping services. If you have clients who have very small businesses you could set a monthly service fee for them. Some clients will have enough work for you that you might charge them by the hour. Place a value on your time and charge accordingly as you determine how many hours you will spend working for each client.
Knowing what kind of clients you are looking for is one thing. Getting
them to find your bookkeeping business is another. Be sure to give a
lot of thought to how you will advertise. One way that has become more
popular than anything to get the word out is building a quality website for your bookkeeping business.
Will you work from home or a commercial office space? Some clients are happy to have you take their paperwork and use a client bookkeeping system on your computer. This is ideal if you prefer work at home bookkeeping.
Others will ask that you come to their place of business and perform
your services at their computer. Sometimes these clients will have a
remote connection setup where you can perform your service on their
computer and work at home.
There are more questions you may ask yourself as you build your business system such as whether or not you need to carry insurance. You might even want to study your competition. As you take the time to answer these questions you will find a plan beginning to form in your mind. Then you will be on your way to starting your own business at home.