If you are looking to start a business with minimum investment, starting a home-based bookkeeping business could be a great idea. Even if you have no prior experience with accounting or bookkeeping it can easily be done.
Just like any other home-based business, you will not need to spend money on setting up an office or even pay rent for your office. You can do this from your home, on your own computer with your only investment being good professional accounting software and a printer.
You don’t need any qualifications to do it! You can opt to take up an online course or simply learn by watching youtube tutorials. It’s as simple as a data entry job, instead, it is your personal business so you have the freedom of working at your own convenience. You will not even need to be in daily contact with your clients. It can be a great side hustle without having to quit your regular job, and if done right the bookkeeping business can become your full-time job.
It does not require you to sell things, hire people or commute to an office every day. If this is something you are interested in let’s get started on how to set up a home-based bookkeeping business with no experience.
Table of Contents
How to get started?
Here is a step by setp break down on how to start a book keeping business
1 – Gather research based information about market to design a business model and select your niche.
2 – Learn the required skill sets including professional, technical and soft skills. It is best to work for a firm to gather the experience and knowledge.
3- Decide on the pricing and profits of your business depending upon your investment, business expenses, and workload from the client.
4 – Purchase the accounting software for bookkeeping and practice using it.
5 – Launch and Promote yourself in the market.
1- Business model and Niche
For this step, you will have to do a lot of research in your market. Just like any other business, you will need to design your business model and pick your specific niche. You need to be very specific about what kind of businesses you would like to extend your bookkeeping services to. Think about your ideal client and their qualities.
The more nich specific you are the more specialized you will be considered in that niche. However, initially, you might be tempted to pick up any work that you are offered and that is ok. But keep your nich in your mind and pitch more towards those kinds of businesses, eventually, you will start getting a response from your chosen niche. Try to pick a niche for your bookkeeping business with a larger clientele relatively less competition for your services.
2- Skill Set for Bookkeeping Business
Although you do not need any certifications or proper office setup, you do need to have some basic skill sets mentioned below for successfully running the business of bookkeeping
- You must have a basic knowledge of accounting procedures and taxation. If you lack this you can enroll in an online course or join a vocational training offered by a community college. You can even learn from helpful youtube tutorials.
- The ability to give attention to details is very important
- Honesty is also crucial for you to earn your name in the market and you must not give in, even if your clients force you to scrutinize numbers for them. It is best to walk away from such situations.
- The ability to stay committed and focused is equally important because it’s dull work and you might not feel motivated enough to do it after a while
- Just like any other business you also need to have an idea about legalities and planning a marketing strategy and drafting proposals.
3- Pricing and Profits
Since you are a home-based business with no employees, anything you earn will be a profit, unless you made the small investment required to start this business by taking a loan. However, it is important to set a pricing parameter for your business. You can charge your client depending upon the work volume or the number of hours worked. You can also charge clients on a monthly basis depending upon the amount and nature of work.
Bonus Tip: While bookkeeping for your clients do not forget to keep up with your own bookkeeping. Always maintain a ledger for your business even if it on a paper or excel sheet.
4- The Accounting Software
Software and mobile apps have made everything faster, easier, accurate, and efficient. Although accounting software has also made bookkeeping super easy, people are still needed to sort out files and put in numbers. Quickbook, Xero, Wave, Sage, Freshbook, and Million are some of the popular accounting software that you can opt from. Get acquainted with the software by watching tutorial videos, practice your hand on it, and voila you are a bookkeeper now ready to launch your own bookkeeping business.
5- Promotion and Marketing
When starting a business it is important to know where you will find your potential customers. Your target market is huge and every business owner can be your potential customers. However, realistically most of your clientele will come from small business owners like plumbers, bakery owners, doctors, and salons who do not have time to jot down numbers and would rather focus on growing their business. Your bookkeeping business clients will be small business owners who do not have time for bookkeeping and want an accurate report at the end of every month.
Getting the first few clients for the bookkeeping business can be difficult but if your work is impressive, word of mouth will help you get more clients. Therefore, although experts often tell you to be niche specific you can not be very picky in the beginning. Obviously, accounting can be very different across industries, for example, bakeries, pharmaceuticals, and construction companies can have very different accounting needs, but taking clients from diverse fields will give you more exposure and opportunity to find which niche you are more comfortable with.
- Advertising is a great way to start but if you do not have the budget for that there are other ways.
- You can start by making cold calls to the businesses listed in yellow pages and even business advertising in magazines.
- You can reach out to accounting firms as sometimes they have more work flowing in than they can handle and might handover smaller clients to you.
- Networking is always a great idea for owners of all sorts of small businesses and startups.
- Start promoting your business online. Having a business presence on social media can also help you find clients specially if you have a large following or network to show for your credibility.
- If nothing else works you can offer your business owner friends to do their booking for a month free of charge and if they are happy with your services, they can hire you.
Just be confident, push hard, don’t give up until you have set up your home-based business. With the right pricing and marketing strategy, your bookkeeping business will be soon earning more than just your kitchen money. Good luck.