You love working as a bookkeeper, but you’re tired of sitting in rush hour traffic to get to work. And, you’re fed up of the monotonous 9 to 5 and really wish you could make your own schedule.
Well, guess what?
Instead of wasting away your life in a cramped office, you can work from the comfort of your home. Working when you want, where you want, and how long you want.
How can you make all of this happen?
By starting an online bookkeeping business.
While working at home and starting your own business may seem like a far-fetched goal, it’s more achievable than ever before.
In fact, it’s estimated that within the next decade, freelancers will make up the majority of the workforce.
In other words, there’s no better time to take that leap of faith and start your own online bookkeeping business.
But, how do you get started?
Check out this guide to learn the key tips for starting an online bookkeeping business.
1. Learn the Ins and Outs of Bookkeeping
If you’ve already worked as a bookkeeper, then you can skip this step. If you’re new to the world of bookkeeping, then keep reading.
In order to become a bookkeeper, you will first need to get certified. While not all states require certification, this helps to demonstrate your credibility as well as your commitment to the industry.
There are two top-tier organizations that are highly recommended for certification. These are:
1. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers: In order to become certified, you must have 3,000 hours of experience and pass a certification exam.
This certification is ideal for anyone who doesn’t have formal education in the field of bookkeeping or accounting.
2. National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers: In order to earn your certification through this organization, you must submit proof that you’ve either earned an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree. You must also pass a written exam.
Understanding the Responsibilities and Skills
Before you jump headfirst into your own bookkeeping business, it’s also very important that you understand the responsibilities and skills that come with being a bookkeeper.
- Creating financial reports
- Printing checks
- Performing bank reconciliations
- Making sure the company’s financial records are accurate
- Paying company bills on time
- Maintaining inventory records
- Keeping track of money that’s going in and out of the company
- Problem-solving skills
- Analytical skills
- Good organization skills
- Attention to detail
- Data entry
Once you’ve checked off all these boxes, it’s time to dive further into starting your business.
2. Create a Business Plan
Once you’re certified and comfortable with your skill set, it’s time to start creating a business plan.
When creating a business plan, there are a few different things you need to think about.
First, you need to think about who you want your customers to be. Then, you will want to think about the specific products and services you will offer as a bookkeeper.
You should also include a financial plan that discusses your projections for the next 12 months in terms of profits and losses.
While every business plan will look a little different, here are the key features that yours should include:
- Cover Page
- Executive Summary
- Overview of Your Company
- Marketing Plan
- Analysis of the Competition
- Start-up Costs
- Financial Projections
By creating a business plan, you’re turning your idea into an actionable goal.
3. Take Care of Business Operations
Just as is the case with starting any business, there are a few administrative tasks you need to take care of before you get up and running.
- Incorporating your bookkeeping business
- Selecting a business name
- Setting up a business bank account
- Getting bookkeeper insurance
- Establishing a mailing address for your business
- Applying for a business credit card
While all of these tasks can take a while and aren’t exactly fun to do, they are absolutely necessary for getting your bookkeeping business up and running. Just remember to keep your eye on the prize, and these tasks will seem a lot easier.
4. Get the Right Software
A bookkeeper is really only as good as their bookkeeping software, so make sure to take the time to select the right software for your business.
As a bookkeeper, there are two kinds of software you will need. These include:
Online Accounting Software
This type of software will allow you to look at accounts at the same time as your client does.
This way, you can talk quickly over the phone, reducing the number of meetings you need to have.
This software also allows for automatic data entry, payroll, and bank reconciliation.
Practice Management Software
The second type of software you need is practice management software. This software helps you to manage your workflow and keep your business in order.
5. Market Your Business
Last but not least, if you want your bookkeeping services to take off, you need to market your business.
While there are a ton of ways to market your business, the best thing to do right off the bat is to start a website and start blogging.
Not only will starting a website make it easier for potential clients to find you, but it will also help you to establish yourself as an expert in the industry.
You should also set up social media accounts for your business- on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube. Here, you can post about your services as well as industry news.
You may even want to consider hiring a marketing expert so you can focus more on your business operations.
Are You Ready to Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business?
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into starting your own bookkeeping business.
But, if you have the drive to do it, all of this is very doable.
If you have any questions about starting your own bookkeeping business, comment below!