A bookkeeping business is a fantastic business to start nowadays. Indeed, according to your qualification, experience and where you are based, your skills can be precious.
The difference between bookkeeping and accounting
Bookkeeping is the first part of the accounting process, so the work of a bookkeeper and accountant often overlaps. Bookkeeping focuses on recording and organising financial data, while accounting interprets and presents that data.
Study the market for a Bookkeeping business
The Demand for Bookkeeping Business
First of all, it is essential to check how demanding is the market. Suppose your skills are not demanding right now. In that case, it might be safer to work for an accounting company to gain more experience, obtain a complementary diploma or start your bookkeeping business in parallel.
The good news is that accordingly to the accounting statistics in 2020 for the USA market, this industry is booming.
The Bookkeeping Business’ Competition
A market with competition is a healthy market. However, to stand out from the crowd, it is essential to know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, it is important to know how you can differentiate yourself and provide a unique service.
Your main competitors will be:
- Accounting firms
- Accounting small businesses
- Bookkeeping small businesses
- Accounting software
These companies are significant and can handle a lot of customers. On the other side, they might not be able to provide a personalised service to their customers. Consequently, you can see them as a partner as you can offer to work for them.
Accounting small businesses
Those companies are rarely able to have more customers as they are swamped. Consequently, you can see them as partners as you can offer to work for them.
Accounting software and cloud
Accounting software is more and more popular. Hopefully, companies still want to work with accountants and bookkeepers according to those statistics in 2020. Moreover, adding technological skills and automation to your bookkeeping business seems to be demanded.
Bookkeeping small businesses
Those are your direct and main competitors. Point out your 2-5 main competitors in your area and study their strategy.
Let’s analyse three bookkeeping firms in Auckland, New Zealand. Here what they all offer:
- Bank reconciliation
- GST return, filling
- Account payable and receivable
- Adjustable service to fit companies needs, size and type (business, non-profit organisation)
We can say that bookkeeping businesses in Auckland, New Zealand, provide a wide range of services. Therefore, only focusing on payroll services, for instance, seems not to be an ideal strategy.
Your Bookkeeping Strategy
According to our research, your best strategy will be to offer similar services. Adding specific services will help you to differentiate yourself from others: for example, a monthly fee, additional services, a free trial, business pieces of advice.
Like other bookkeeping businesses in your area, accounting firms and software seem not to be direct competitors but partners.
Now, let’s find out who are your ideal customers.
How is the market in your country? To illustrate, in New Zealand, 70% of all enterprises have no paid employees in February 2018. Also, most employees are in Auckland. Consequently, your primary target will be small companies and sole traders.
Your second-best customers will be accounting firms. Why? Because bookkeepers and accountants work together. It is easier to work with an existing company that already have customers that starting from scratch. When you start your business, accounting firms (small and big) are your best option.
Applying to a job advertisement
Non profit organisations
Working for non-profit organisations help you to gain experience, contribute to the community and get reviews.
All companies need bookkeeping services to be compliant with the law. As most businesses don’t know about accounting, they will delegate this to bookkeep and accounting businesses. Additionally, companies are more and more looking for an online service to save time and money instead of on-site services.
Set up your goals for scaling your Bookkeeping Business
Now that you know that you have a viable business model, you must define your goals.
When you set up your business, your main goal is to have long-term customers and provide a unique, accurate and tailored service to your customers in an optimised time frame.
To measure how close you are to reach your objective, let’s define smaller goals.
Goals must be SMART, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. You also want challenging goals.
You also want to set up short term (up to 6 months) and long term (6 months +) goals.
Your goals can be:
- 500 visitors per month on your website within 3 months
- 50 clicks through rate per month within 3 months on paid ads
Long term goals:
- 5 new leads per month
- Cost per conversion under $100 for 1 new customer
- 800 unique visitors per month
Your Accurate Digital Marketing Plan for your Bookkeeping Business
Let’s build your digital marketing plan for your bookkeeping business.
Firstly, people need to know about you. So the first step will be to have an Internet presence.
Start with a Google My Business Account to appear in the search in your area.
Also, create your website. You can use your business name as the domain name or explain what you do. For example, auckland-bookkeeping.co.nz
When you create your website, use relevant keywords to help people find you when they are looking for bookkeeping services:
“bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, account payable and receivable, small business, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch”
You can use tools like uber-suggest.io to help you to find more keywords. It is called SEO, Search Engine Optimisation.
Secondly, on your website, adding valuable, informative content will help more prospects to know about your business. Content can be text, video, infographics, podcast. Also, setting up an email marketing strategy will help you to understand your prospects needs. Using social media to touch various prospects will help. You can start with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Linkedin. Click here to learn more.
Next, as you start your business, you need to show up to the world. You can do this through advertisement. The best way to advertise will be through a platform such as Facebook ads, google ads, youtube. You can also advertise on physical support like your car or a sign close to your office if you have one.
Furthermore, you can directly target your prospect by sending them an email or message via LinkedIn. Some people prefer direct contact.
Another way will be to get recorded in online book phones such as yellow pages or the accountant Association’s website.
Get also an online presence on local famous advertising websites in your region. For example, in New Zealand, you can register on neighbourly, bark, and some popular Facebook pages dedicated to promoting your business.
Scale-up your Bookkeeping Business
All of those steps can be time-consuming. Consequently, you can always hire people to do them for you. You can also work with freelancers. Sometimes, it is cheaper to pay for a service and dedicate your time to your main activity.
Firstly start by having customers in your area. That way you can visit them and learn from them. Ask them for reviews. Then you can look for other customers in the closest cities and finally your whole country.
Consistently listen to your customer’s needs and add more services to your offer.
Get more certifications if needed as social proof too. Additionally, educate your customers on how to scale their business in another way to grow your business as well.
Always measure and adjust your metrics through tools like Google Analytics.
In conclusion, starting your bookkeeping business requires research and preparation. Once you have created your business plan, you know where you are going. You have your indicators to check if you are far or close to your goals. Finally, consistency and goals tracking will lead to your success.
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