Whatever their product, whatever their service, a business needs a good bookkeeper to keep afloat. Without proper bookkeeping, businesses cannot have a good insight into their finances, and that can quickly lead to their ruin. Now, some businesses like to do something worse yet – they keep their own books, instead of hiring professionals. And, while you do not need a degree to be a bookkeeper, it is still of great help to have a certified professional look over your books when the IRS comes a-knockin’. So, how does one start a bookkeeping business? What do you need to do to start successful bookkeeping, attract customers, and remain competitive in this cutthroat market? No worries, we’ve got your back – in this little article, we’ll tell you all you need to know in order to succeed.
Choose Your Niche
Before you start a bookkeeping business, you need to pick your niche. I.e. choose your preferred industry. Whether you’re focusing on manufacturing, retail, or catering, it doesn’t matter, so long as you focus on one of those industries.
The reason behind this is that it becomes much easier to market to customers from a single niche than spreading out. Of course, if you have experience in multiple fields, you can pan out, but, in the beginning, it’s best to start small, then expand from there.
Write a Business Plan
Once you’ve picked your niche, it’s time to write your business plan. Your business plan is going to be the cornerstone of your business, and it should outline everything from your services, to your market, pricing, plans for expansion, and, most importantly, what competitive advantage are you offering as opposed to other bookkeepers out there.
Finally, display any certifications you have. As we said, bookkeeping doesn’t require a degree of any kind, but having certifications from prestigious courses cements your professionalism on the market.
Register Your Business
Don’t forget to register your business! Choosing your business entity is of great importance, as it influences how you pay your taxes. Also, your business entity opens up multiple insurance options. While not necessary, it’s prudent to practice having insurance, to ensure the safety of you and your business should unfortunate events occur.
Now that you’ve got your business plan written, your company registered, and your niche in your sights, it’s time to start marketing.
This is why we insist on picking your niche – as we said, it’s easier to create a marketing strategy if you know who it is you want to attract.
You can market your business in any number of ways. Email marketing is one of the strongest strategies, while social media marketing is especially good for business-to-business (B2B), especially when advertising yourself on Linkedin.
If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to focus on blogging and content creation, coupled with optimizing for local SEO. Google’s search engine tends to favor local businesses more in its rankings, so if you optimize your posts with a keyword such as local accountant in the Toronto area, you’re much more likely to get noticed by businesses based in Toronto.
Choose Your Bookkeeping Software
Your final consideration should be your bookkeeping software, as it will be the heart of your operation.
These days, most bookkeeping and accounting firms are looking to the cloud to enhance their services. Cloud computing allows for faster processing of large amounts of data, as well as offering a good deal of automation.
Currently, Bookkeeping Online and Xero are some of the best accounting cloud platforms, each with an excellent ecosystem of accompanying apps that allow you to run your company in an efficient and professional manner.
And there you have it, our tips on how to start a bookkeeping business. Naturally, starting a business is never easy, but with these few steps, we believe you have a much better chance of succeeding, than jumping into it blindly!