Why Start a Bookkeeping Business?
by Sylvia Jaumann http://www.1stRateBooks.com http://www.GetBookkeepingClients.com
About the Author
Sylvia Jaumann is quickly becoming known as the go-to gal in the bookkeeping business field. Her 18+ years of bookkeeping experience has enabled her to successfully run her own bookkeeping business.
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© Copyright 2006-2010 Sylvia Jaumann
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISCLAIMER AND/OR LEGAL ISSUES: The author and publisher of this report have used their best efforts in preparing this program. The author and publisher make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents of this information. They disclaim any warranties (expressed or implied), merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose. The author and publisher shall in no event be held liable for any loss or other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. As always, the advice of a competent legal, tax and accounting or other professional should be sought.
Should You Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business?
The demand for good bookkeepers is at an all time high as more people make the leap into self-employment each year. These entrepreneurs are all searching for their slice of the pie by starting their own successful business venture. This leaves the door wide open for talented bookkeepers to reap the rewards to cash in on this trend by helping these businesses with their finances. These entrepreneurs are starting their businesses doing what they’re good at, whether that means plumbing, taking care of children, painting or running a retail store. All these business owners have one common goal -- to successfully start and run their own business. What they almost always don’t have, however, is the know-how to take care of their own bookkeeping, which is where a person who has these skills comes in. As an experienced bookkeeper you know that bookkeeping is one of the most challenging, rewarding and necessary functions of operating a business. If “the books” are not in order a company can quickly go out of business. Keeping track of revenue and expenses is the key to a successful business. Your reasons for wanting to start a bookkeeping business will probably be as individual as you are. Maybe you’re a mother who wants to stay home with her children and still earn a decent living. Or you could be a bookkeeper who has worked in the corporate world for many years and is ready to take on the challenge of running your own bookkeeping practice. You will need to have several years of hands-on bookkeeping experience under your belt before you even consider starting your bookkeeping business. You may want to consider working for an accounting firm or established bookkeeping business prior to launching your own practice. This in itself, will provide you will invaluable training and knowledge. It’s important to get a range of bookkeeping experience by working on all levels of businesses: corporate, proprietorship, and partnership. Also, try to do bookkeeping for as many different types of businesses as you can such as service, retail, non-profit, contractors, etc.
As a bookkeeper you will never stop learning, which really is the best part of this business. It never gets boring and you’re always learning new information.
Starting a Bookkeeping Business – 3 Reasons to Start One
Most small business owners don't have backgrounds in bookkeeping. They need the expertise only a skilled and qualified bookkeeper can provide. That’s where you come in. Not only is a small business bookkeeping practice a great home-based business, but here’s why it's the ideal business to start part-time: 1. Starting part-time working about 20 hours per week is a good way to start your bookkeeping practice and never risk your current full-time income. Unlike many business opportunities today, taking the step to a full-time bookkeeping business is usually a smooth transition. First build your up business, then decide if you want to make the leap to full-time. 2. Every day bookkeepers sell their precious skills to their boss for a paltry $12-$15 per hour when they could earn top dollar running their own bookkeeping business. As a small business bookkeeping expert, you'll charge $30 to $60 per hour and be confident you provide more value than an accountant. 3. With very little marketing effort, you can expect to find one or two clients per month who will welcome your services and happily pay for the expertise that you provide to their businesses. For example, a one-man contracting business would be happy to find someone to keep his books for him. He just drops off his receipts and invoices and you take care of them. You provide a valuable service because without proper bookkeeping, business owners can’t keep up on their invoicing, collecting of Accounts Receivable, tracking expenses, and government reporting.
Part-time or full-time, bookkeeping is an ideal way to earn a comfortable living.
7 Easy Ways to Advertise Your Bookkeeping Business
So you’ve decided to hang out your shingle and start your own bookkeeping business. Now the nail-biting begins. How are you going to line up some clients fast?
Send out a sales letter to new businesses announcing your bookkeeping service. Put together a mailing list using your local Yellow Pages directory or Chamber of Commerce membership list.
2. Place a display ad in your local newspaper. Watch your costs on this though, as display ads can really be expensive. You could create a “Question and Answer” display ad which solves a common problem a potential customer may have. Your expertise will help assure potential clients that you know your stuff. Create a different ad weekly and you could develop a loyal following.
Place a classified ad in the Work Wanted section. Make sure you create a catchy headline and describe which services you provide. Don’t print your hourly rate though as you want to be able to negotiate this depending on each client’s needs.
4. Get in contact with your local Accountants and setup a referral system with them. These professional are always looking for good bookkeepers that they can refer their client to. It saves them from dealing with an accounting nightmare at year end.
Start networking at your local Chamber of Commerce or other business type organizations. These groups are all made up of business professionals who either will need a good bookkeeper or can refer you to someone who does. As a follow-up to your sales letter you could send out a newsletter with information on bookkeeping, financial and business issues. Try not to overly promote your bookkeeping business otherwise people will just see it as blatant advertising and not valuable information worth keeping.
Send out small postcards as another follow-up to your original mailing. It keeps your bookkeeping business name on people minds. You could use the “Questions and Answer” format and make it another valuable information piece for potential clients.
So now you’ve got some idea on how to promote your bookkeeping business. Now go out and line up some clients.
How Much Can You Make Bookkeeping?
Are you a bookkeeper who has spent countless days cursing your boss under your breath while dreaming of the day you’ll be able to start a bookkeeping business of your own? Bookkeeping is a valuable skill and unfortunately many employers take this skill for granted and pay measly wages for a job that is the keystone to their entire business. So how much money can you make if you started your own bookkeeping business? The short answer is probably much more than you’re making now. Don’t just assume that because you are making $12.00 per hour at your current bookkeeping job that you should just charge this rate to your clients. You must take your overhead costs into consideration (such as stationery, utilities, travel time, etc.). If you don’t do this, you’ll end up in the red financially. Before you make the leap to starting your own bookkeeping business, do some preliminary research by calling several bookkeeping businesses in your area and enquiring about their hourly rates. You’ll discover that most professional bookkeepers charge anywhere from $15.00 to $50.00 per hour depending on the area where you live. Some bookkeepers prefer not to charge by the hour, instead formulating a flat rate to charge each client depending on the work that needs to be produced each month. This also helps them ensure a steady paycheck for themselves. You’ll discover in your preliminary research that most bookkeeping businesses charge well over the average rate they pay their
bookkeeping staff so they can still make a profit. You want to be making this profit too. If you decide to start a bookkeeping business you will be in business to create a better life for yourself, so make sure you do your homework. Then you can curse out your boss to his face and start your own bookkeeping business.
5 Additional Services For Your Bookkeeping Business
Are you a bookkeeper who is wondering what services you can offer your clients in addition to bookkeeping? Bookkeeping itself is a valuable skill, but some professional bookkeepers like to diversify and offer other services to their clients as well. They do this not only to keep things more interesting for themselves but also to provide their clients more services and increase their revenue potential per client. So here are five potential revenue-generating services for your bookkeeping business: 1. Word Processing / Secretarial Services Some clients are looking for more than bookkeeping and instead would like to contract out secretarial work as well. They might be looking for letters to be typed, need forms created for their business; require audio data transcribed or want manuscripts and reports done. If you like typing, this is a great add-on to your bookkeeping business. 2. Data Entry This is similar to the word processing category above but tends to be extremely repetitive work. Clients need mailing lists created and databases kept up to date. This can be steady work if you can handle it, but can also tend to be mind-numbing. 3. Tax Returns
Many bookkeepers are familiar with income taxes so this is a good fit for a bookkeeping business. This is a valuable skill that can keep you busy for several months of the year if you have the time for it. 4. Desktop Publishing Businesses are always looking for beautifully created documents to help them look professional. If you’re able to create brochures, flyers and newsletters then you can make some extra revenue providing this service to clients. 5. Collections A natural extension to handling your client’s accounts receivables is offering a Collections Service. This is another skill in itself and should be billed out accordingly. Collection reminder letters are readily available on the internet or in books. Set up a three letter system with the final letter threatening collection action. Generally this is all it takes before most outstanding balances are paid. If you have strong nerves for this type of service, you can also offer collection phone calls but make sure that you bill this on a percentage of each outstanding invoice that you collect on. Bookkeeping itself is a great business to start but by adding additional services you can maximize the amount you earn from each client and reduce the number of clients that you need in order to succeed.
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How to get many more referrals without resorting to nagging or trickery The simple technique for making sure you get paid for your work! What you should know as a bookkeeping professional 12 low-cost / no-cost ways to skyrocket your business How to quickly and easily create your business plan, using a free online business plan program – I show you how!
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