You’ll be using the name for years, so be sure it’s a professional and accurate description of your work. You may not want to hire employees right away, but prepare yourself now, so the process is easier in the future. You can research how to hire employees and download or bookmark any necessary forms like the W-4 and W-9 through the U.S.
The next day, hop on to LinkedIn, sort through them, and connect with all business owners you met and send a personalized message. In the beginning, you should have enough time on your hands to head to several of these a week to get some word of mouth on the streets and to get to know local businesses in the area. Starting a bookkeeping business is going to take a lot of effort, but the barriers to entry have never been lower. There are great tools to work with, and there are plenty of people to support you. Present the packages in person or on a call, so you can walk your clients through them.
Design your business model
Once you’ve picked a business name, the next step is to register your business and make things official. The exact process will vary depending on how you plan on structuring your business and where you’re planning to do business. You’ll want to look up the exact rules for how to register your business with your secretary of state’s office. A bookkeeper’s work is applicable across many different types of industries — after all, every business needs to track and optimize its finances.
You will want to do your research before pricing your services, and you will also want to maintain some level of flexibility to adjust your rates in the future. If you join local networking groups, business cards, and brochures can provide a tangible way to make yourself memorable when meeting new connections face to face. Consider both traditional and online marketing tactics to help you get the word out about your business.
With a productized service offering, you can smooth out your workload throughout the year to eliminate this from happening. Unlike other finance professionals, such as accountants and financial planners, bookkeepers don’t need any licenses or certifications. Some bookkeepers may decide to earn optional credentials, such as the certified public bookkeeper (CPB) designation. You’ll also want to open a business credit card account soon. A business card will likely be the first form of financing you’ll qualify for, and it can be a great financial tool to help you with cash flow or necessary expenses early on in your business. It can also be a great way to track your business expenses easily—this will go a long way toward making tax time a breeze.
- Similarly, if you just want to work part-time hours, you can do that, too.
- Depending on the bookkeeping/accounting software you choose, there generally will be a payroll processing option you can turn on when you’re ready to hire employees.
- There are two pieces of the business plan that deserve a little extra consideration.
- If you decide to go with QuickBooks, it offers a variety of payroll options from which to choose.
- Common business insurance policies for bookkeepers include things such as professional liability and general liability.
Go Answer is a bilingual answering service that connects your customers to live customer service agents via phone, text, web chat, or email 24/7. As you grow your client roster, you’ll want to make sure you’re tracking them effectively and completely. You can use a CRM and project management tool in which you can set up your own workflow.
Once you’ve agreed on a package of services, set the fees upfront. Don’t advertise fees on your website – remember it’s about pricing the client and not the service. Most of your marketing will involve a combination of advertising or networking. Advertising could mean anything from paid Google ad placement to sponsoring your local Little League.
Rinse and Repeat – How to Start a Bookkeeping Business
We’ve laid out how to start a bookkeeping business in 15 steps. You’d better bookmark this page—you’re going to want easy access to this info as you build your bookkeeping business. Every business has a regular flow of financial statements, balance sheets, bank statements, and other financial documents to keep in check—and most business owners need help to do so.
You do not need an expansive or expensive website to get started. You can create a simple website for less than $50, including the domain name. If you don’t have experience, you can find many predesigned websites online or have one put together for less than $500.
Where to start
Therefore I recommend putting together 3 custom service options in a gold, silver & bronze type approach for each prospective customer you have. Conversely, without uncovering that pain point, potential clients would likely be more price sensitive. 3) Contribute to these social media groups that have accepted you by posting helpful, relevant content several times per week. In this example, I am assuming that you’re looking for small business clients in Miami.
Register your business name
The next decision is whether to focus on a particular small business niche or offer services to all small businesses. It’s much easier to become an expert in accounting for a particular business niche than for all businesses in general. Many clients will look for your website to find out about you and your experience. If you’re specifically running a totally virtual business, a website is extra important since it can demonstrate to clients your skills. And luckily, there are plenty of website builders to make creating your website a breeze.
Every contact with a business owner is an opportunity to land a new client. To preserve your time for expanding your business, think about how to outsource tasks to other team members. Outsourcing tasks might cost some money upfront but frees up time for running your business, working with your clients, and acquiring new ones. Have an expense log ready, and track expenses paid through personal accounts. Set up separate accounts for your business, just like you’d want your clients to do. You can base your niche on a specific location or specific profession.
Launch Your Virtual Bookkeeping Business
If people start sending you LinkedIn connection invites coming from these groups and from local businesses, you know you’re on the right track. Once you’ve been accepted into these social media groups, you’ll have access to the exact kind of new business clients you’re looking for. Your network will grow and some of these local businesses and small business owner contacts will turn into new clients eventually.
Step 5: Get the Right Accounting Software
Bookkeepers are also not required to have an accounting degree. Unless they are a certified public accountant (CPA), bookkeepers should not prepare tax returns or sign the returns as a paid preparer. Let’s take a look at the main categories of technology that you’ll need to set up at your bookkeeping business or accounting firm.