If you’ve a head for numbers, have some bookkeeping or accounting experience, or even if you’re a part (or fully) qualified accountant who is looking to go it alone, then starting a bookkeeping business might be just the business opportunity for you. Doing the bookkeeping for a small business is not something that most entrepreneurs or small business owners enjoy, therefore it’s often one of the first things they will outsource, making bookkeeping a relatively safe business even in uncertain times.
The bookkeeping business doesn’t require a significant level of start-up capital, just enough to buy:
- A computer
- Accounting software
- Marketing material
- A phone link
All of which can probably be brought for between £1,000 and £2,000.
How to start a bookkeeping business
When it comes to setting up a bookkeeping business I would suggest you read my article How Do I Start A Business, in which you’ll find a general description of the steps involved in starting a business. However I would suggest that you don’t need to test the business idea – it’s well proven. Instead you might like to test the local level of demand and the level of competition. To do so I’d suggest making use of the phonebook/yellow pages, Google Local and some local networking events. I’d also suggest that you start a bookkeeping business on a part time basis until you have managed to create an initial client list. As most small business clients will do their bookkeeping in the evenings/on weekends you should be able to fit this around an existing job.
When it comes to finding clients you don’t need a degree in marketing, simply get out there and start networking with other businesses (speak to your local Business Link, FSB and Chambers of Commerce to find out what events are being run). I would suggest you focus on new start-ups and growing businesses who may not yet have a bookkeeper. I’d also talk to the local accountants and other local bookkeepers as some of them will have enquiries that they can not handle, but that they may be willing to pass on to you. You might also find it worthwhile to use direct mail to reach list of local businesses.
If you don’t fancy going through the process of creating the business from scratch and would rather hit the deck running it might be worth looking for/asking around about any local bookkeeping businesses for sale. Buying an established business is a great way to start off with a client list, or to expand your client list once you’re up and running.
Some useful books on how to start a bookkeeping business:
Start and Run a Bookkeeping Business – might have an American bias but could prove useful if you’re new to running your own business.Email This Post