How To Start A Bookkeeping Business
Everything you need to know about starting a bookkeeping business!
Research & Refine your Business Idea
It’s important to make sure you have everything in order before you get started in building your bookkeeping company. This can make the process easier and ensure that you are better guarded against issues that might pop up in the early stages of your business.
Three of the important aspects to start out with are becoming certified, planning your company and selecting a name. While these might seem like simple things, they can actually include some rules and guidelines that you may not have thought of.
Not to worry, we’re here to make sure you have everything you need!
Becoming a bookkeeper with certification is a great way to show potential clients that you have the professional ability to handle their needs. If you’re not a CPA, then gaining your certification can be absolutely key to getting and keeping customers.
The good news is, there are a number of ways you can do this. Many of university-level programs offer the ability to become either NACPB or AIPB certified. It will be worth considering the price of this certification, as you’ll need to be able to take that on prior to starting a successful business.
Planning well is extremely important in allowing your business to be successful. As you’re beginning this planning, you’ll want to consider things like start up costs, how much business you’ll need to make a profit and some solutions to problems that can occur with this type of business.
In addition, including as many details as you can in your business plan can help you to have a clearer view of what you’re looking to accomplish, and it can show others that you have an in-depth plan for your business. Especially in situations when you may need to ask for money from others to cover the start-up costs, this can be a very useful thing.
Selecting Your Name
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, it’s wise to do your research and to have backup options. There’s always the chance that some other company is using the name, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. Try to write down some ideas and check them to see if they are already taken.
On top of that, make sure you consider a name that can easily be remembered, typed or written, and that looks well as a domain name. These might seem like small things, but they can easily be overlooked and it may be difficult to change the name after you’ve already done the paperwork.
Creating your Business Website
An aspect that can be somewhat intimidating to those starting a new business is creating a website. However, the process is truly easier than it ever has been before. Thanks to new advancements in technology, you can make a great looking website without having to worry about too many complications.
Sites like Squarespace and Wix offer the ability to build a website with little to no expertise in the matter. There are simple, click-and-drag controls that allow you to organize and decorate your website with ease. There’s no worry about codes or confusing numbers to complicate the process.
After you’ve set the website up, it’s just a matter of getting a domain name and finding hosting. The good news is, you can easily do that with the help of BlueHost.
Setting up a website isn’t as hard as it may sound, in-fact, many hosting providers have tailored their service around small businesses who may not be tech savvy. We suggest going with BlueHost to host your website, they’re service is simple and easy to use/setup and they’re currently offering 60% off hosting, including free domain registration.
Additionally, creating a blog on your website is also a great way to attract organic traffic and expand your business. Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.
Get Ideas for your bookkeeping business name!
Marketing Your Business
Marketing is key to catching the attention of potential customers and getting them to buy your products or try out your services. Consequently, it can be helpful to put a little money and effort into making sure you have a good marketing program going.
There are a few ways you can tackle the prospect of marketing, including both digital and print advertisements as well as social media. Keep in mind while you’re deciding which to make use of, that the more people see what you have to offer, the more likely they are to make use of it.
There are a huge number of people making use of the various social media sites today. Because of that, it’s important for even a bookkeeping business to have social media profiles wherever may be appropriate. That way, they can allow customers another place to communicate, gather and leave reviews.
Generally, a bookkeeping business profile wouldn’t be as expected to be active on social media in the same ways that other kinds of businesses would, but it can still be a good idea. It’s also a great place to share bookkeeping tips, special offers and things of that nature.
Marketing through print is a great way to get attention from those who may not be as technologically-inclined, as well as those who are, but happen to see the advertisement anyway. There are many ways you can let people know what you’re doing through print.
If you want to go big, then you can opt to place a billboard or other large advertisement. Otherwise, things like brochures and mailers can be lower in cost and easier to get done. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide the best ways to market your company.
A popular option that works very well in addition to social media, is digital marketing. This includes placing ads online on other websites, or through programs like Google AdSense, which can connect your services to websites that are a good match for what you have to offer.
You can also opt to make use of the radio, TV, YouTube and even podcasts to get the word out about what you have to offer. These can all be fantastic ways to reach out, and they can often be easier than placing a huge billboard. You may even find that they may be less expensive.
Setting Goals and KPI’s
As you’re getting started, it’s important to think about the goals you have for your business. These goals can often be tied to Key Performance Indicators, which allow you to keep track of the progress your business is making.
Some examples of great indicators for a bookkeeping business might include the number of clients, profits coming in, people trafficking your website or following your business on social media, and more. By watching these, you can set goals to make improvements, and adjust those goals as needed.
Plan your Finances
The good news about starting a bookkeeping business is that it’s likely you have some idea about how to handle the finances for your company. Just in case you aren’t entirely certain, we’ll provide some tips!
To begin with, making sure that your funds are separated through the use of a company bank account. Some may even choose to open a business credit card, for spending that is needed for it.
Considering your start-up costs is also important. Once you’ve detailed everything that might become an expense, you’ll need to start gathering the funds to cover those costs. This might include some crowd funding through sites such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter, talking to friends and family or getting a bank loan.
Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset
There are always going to be ups and downs when it comes to starting a new business. This is true regardless of the kind of business it is, and often how well it has been planned. That said, detailed planning can help you to be better prepared for business downturns than you might otherwise.
Keep in mind that it’s normal for things to be bumpy as you get going. Continuing to learn and solve problems creatively are going to be key for keeping things afloat.
Other things to consider when starting your bookkeeping business
As you get started, some of your planning should include keeping track of the legal guidelines. This was briefly touched on earlier with regard to selecting a name for the business, but there are other aspects to consider as well.
These can include selecting the type of business you’re building, such as am LLC, corporation or something else. Understanding what these things mean is going to help you to make the right selection for your business.
Furthermore, learning about how taxes for your company will need to be organized can help you to be prepared, and to avoid any surprises that may come with them. These can differ from place to place, so make sure to stick to the laws in your location.
Accounting & Bookkeeping:
It’s likely you’ll have some good ideas with how to handle the bookkeeping for your business, but it’s worth covering just in case. For many, programs like Quickbooks and Xero are great options that can make tracking profit, expenses and more much easier than it would be otherwise.
You can also opt to hire someone who can take care of the bookkeeping for you. This might be a regular, full or part time employee, or you can look into hiring a freelancer through a site like Upwork. There are truly benefits that can be offered by both options, which are worth learning about and weighing so that you can make the best choice for your business.
Depending on where you’re located, there can be some different laws and guidelines for hiring employees. Whether it’s part of the hiring process, breaks and lunches, parental or sick leave or retirement, there are guidelines that employers simply must follow to provide a positive working experience.
If you choose to call in the aid of a freelancer, then there are going to be some different rules to keep things running well. This process can be a bit easier than hiring regular employees, but it’s still worth knowing what is expected of you as an employer.