How to Start a Bookkeeping Service

What every business or commercial entity needs is a bookkeeper. Proper accounting is the life blood of every establishment.
You could offer independent bookkeeping services to small business owners in your demography. The business is commercially viable and always in demand.  
The business involves organizing financials such as bills, invoices and bank statement. You could run the venture from home or a dedicated office.
A home-based office is cost effective and requires only a dedicated office space. Startup funding is low and easily scalable.  
To start the business you need an in-depth knowledge of bookkeeping. Make sure you write a bookkeeping service business plan and carry out a feasibility study.
Other requirements include rent, furniture and equipment. To remain solvent you need to attract regular patronage or contracts. 
Bookkeeping Training
It is very important you get some bookkeeping training. You need formal training to establish credibility in the bookkeeping business.
This can be achieved in a formal institution or through an apprentice program. Make sure you obtain a degree and get certified as a bookkeeper.
Take regular bookkeeping courses, software training and join a certified bookkeeping association.
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Home-based or Office
You need to decide if you want to operate from your home or an office. The home format is simple, create a space, and buy equipment.
If you want to lease an office then make sure you go all out by choosing a busy location. Make sure the office is in a commercial area with heavy vehicular and human traffic.
As an independent contractor it is advisable you work from home and gradually build a client list. Once you have steady patronage you can expand the business by renting an office.
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Permits and Supply’s
Get general liability insurance and register the business as a limited liability company. Hire a lawyer to help with the documentation.
You can display your certificate for prospective clients to see. Apply for employer identification number to pay business tax. Basic office supplies are computer, modem, stationery and bookkeeping software
Prices
According to some business websites independent bookkeeper earn $15-$45 per hour. This metric depends on the type of client and work executed.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimate that bookkeeper in 2012 earn $35,170 annually. Before pricing, find out what your competitors are charging by requesting price information directly from such companies.
Marketing
Without clients you will find it difficult to breakeven and your business will fail. Therefore develop an effective marketing strategy.
Study your competitors to understand their marketing strategy and prices. Use word of mouth, email marketing, phone calls and referrals.
Build a website targeted to your preferred demography. Advertise in newspapers and distribute call cards.
Attend business seminars and events to drum up business. Place your advertisements in phone directories and yellow pages.
How to Attract Patronage
  •  Use word of mouth
  • Direct Marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Phone calls
  • Referrals
  • Build a website
  • Advertise in newspapers
  • Distribute call cards
  • Attend business seminars
  • Use phone directories
  • Yellow pages




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