Friday, July 24, 2009

How to Start a Bookkeeping Business 1-2-3

There is money to be made as a bookkeeper. Many small businesses outsource their bookkeeping work, and there are lots of individuals and families who simply want someone else to manage their record-keeping for them. Even if you think you'd never be able to start your own business - with basic accounting skills, some software and insurance, you can be off and running very quickly with your own bookkeeping company.

Why would someone want to start a bookkeeping business anyway? To start, bookkeeping is a very affordable and low-risk business to start. You can conveniently work from home or offer a mobile service without having to rent office space or open a store front. You don't have to hire employees and can run your bookkeeping company as a one-person business if you choose. A bookkeeper's work schedule can be flexible: part-time, regular business hours, evenings, weekends or even varying hours by week.

A bookkeeping business is ideal for someone who enjoys accounting (of course), who likes working independently, is organized and likes solving problems. As this field has evolved, the internet and computer programs have made bookkeeping an easier task to accomplish from a remote location. Generally, there is not a lot of social interaction with bookkeeping, but having good people skills are an advantage in any business.

So how do you actually go about starting your bookkeeping service?
  1. Learn your business - brush up on your accounting skills if necessary, become adept with accounting software like Quickbooks. Search the internet to find out what services other bookkeeping companies are offering and be prepared to offer them yourself - before your customers ask. Also, getting additional certification can give you a competitive advantage - the Certified Bookkeepers Designation is awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.
  2. Find out where your customers are. You may choose to work with businesses or individuals - or both. A bookkeeping business can be built quickly through referrals. Find one good client who has a few friends, and that may be all the advertising you need to grow your business. That said, the best way to start your company may be through someone you already know - including a local business. Offer discounts or gift certificates for customer referrals, and you can have more customers than you need without ever having to place one ad.
  3. Find out which licenses or permits you need from your local government office. Talk with an insurance agent and banker (you can get referrals from other local business owners or friends) to get helpful tips on insurance requirements and business management that will save you time, money and hassles in the long run.
Running your own bookkeeping business can offer lots of benefits to you as a business owner. Compared to other businesses, this field is fairly easy to enter into, and you can get started quickly - plus you can even start your business on a part-time basis. With so many individuals and companies needing this service, you may be profitable sooner than you think.

About author:
Sue Barrett has been the Director of Business Solutions at Home Business Center, Inc. for over 10 years. Specializing in small and home business issues, she can provide quality insight and reputable resources for those wanting to start, manage and grow their own home-based business. See more about >> Starting your own Bookkeeping Business.

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