Thank you for your interest in learning how to start a bookkeeping business from home. I’ll admit we never started a bookkeeping business of our own, and the reason for that will be described further in this article.
Bookkeeper, Tax Preparer, that’s right, every year the dreaded tax season comes around, and we all stick our heads in the ground hoping that it will just pass by quickly. Then reality sets in, and we need to get our tax stuff in order as not to have the tax person come to us.
There are so many people that do not like or just do not have the time to do their taxes, which is why there will always be customers to provide you an excellent opportunity to create a long-term and steady business.
Bookkeeping is not just a seasonal job; most small businesses need bookkeepers year round to keep track of all their financial documents.
How bout we start by looking at some advantages and disadvantages of starting your home-based bookkeeping business to see if this may be something you would like to do.
Home-Based Bookkeeping Business Considerations
- Flexible hours
- Work from home, except possible visits to clients, to gather documents
- Little to no commuting
- Less overhead /expenses working from home
- More time with family
- Claim portion of home expenses on the business
- Low start up cost
- Decreased contact with people
- Increased need to be self-disciplined to complete your work
- Need to manage your bookkeeping needs plus doing it for others
- Your work is around you 24/7
- Having to collect payments from clients. Keep in mind the income may also be at the lower end for a business income. Most bookkeeper jobs pay an average of $10 to $25 per hour.
Tips At Starting Your Home-Based Business
- START HERE!!! Do Not Skip This Part! This step will tell you whether you should even pursue the idea of starting your business any further. Prepare a business plan that consists of a summary of your business, management and operating plan, analyse your competition and market and last but not least the money or a.k.a. financial plan.
- Obtain certifications and licenses. Although most regions or countries do not require you to be certified or licenced, it is good practice so you can convince your potential clients that you meet minimum standards to complete the job. Of course, your exemplary work will spread and you’ll end up with hundreds of customers.
- Create a schedule. Even though working from home allows flexibility, it is still important to make a weekly schedule ensuring you remain on track at completing the work that needs finalizing before submitting to your client.
- Network! Networking with family, friends, neighbors and strangers. Although the people you speak to every day may not become your customers (because they don’t want your nose in their financial business), they know people that know people that may need your services. So you need to look at every person as though you may be obtaining a customer.
- Set Goals! Have a vision of where you would like to be in 3, 6, 12 months. Review your goals at these times to see where you are at meeting them. Do not consider it a failure if you have not met them within the given timeline. Consider it more of a direction guide, you may have steered off course from your plan, and these intervals will remind you to straighten out and get back on track.
Now you’re probably wondering if it is all worth it after seeing the list of things to consider above and whether you can even compete with the big companies. Sure there are many tax preparer agencies out there, but that doesn’t mean you cannot compete.
All this competition information will be part of your business plan of course 😉
Keep in mind that most of the competing agencies, clients have to go to them, wait in line in a mall to try and explain all your personal finances with a stranger.
Due to this type of limited service availability is the reason your business can be competitive with the big companies.
Another way to compete with other home-based bookkeeping businesses is to have proper certifications as mentioned earlier, in most regions or countries one does not require any training, certification or licencing to name themselves a bookkeeper.
Pretty scary thought, here we are passing some of our most precious information to a stranger where they may only have experience doing their mother’s tax papers.
Yup! That pretty much describes my level of experience, but I’ll get to that further down, be patient I’ll get to that subject.
OK, knowing that anybody off the street can title themselves as a bookkeeper is why it is recommended to get certifications. Although it is not a requirement in most countries, it would be a good idea to show potential clients that you have the knowledge and experience in providing you a quality service. If you were looking to apply for a job as a bookkeeper, no employer would even think of having interview unless you have a certification. That would hold true for any business wanting to hire someone to manage their businesses books.
So let’s say you have the experience and certifications to start your business.
Your business plan should outline the following information I will discuss in more detail, but I wanted to highlight it here for you to consider before going through all that work of creating a plan.
Can you make a living just doing tax papers during tax season or as a full-time business bookkeeper?
Along with all the usual determinations of costs to run your business you will need to do some calculations such as; How long does it take you to prepare the documents for a standard client? How much do you charge that customer?
Consider all your variables to calculate your potential net profit.
Can you work fast enough and still provide quality work to make more than working at MacDonalds? Just remember that most employed bookkeepers make an average of $10 to $25 per hour. So the real selling point for starting your home based bookkeeping job would be the
Consider that with added experience you may be able to double or triple your income as your speed increases. Maybe you can start on a part-time basis. Gaining experience and speed over time, to eventually say you can stop your day job.
That, on its own, is one of the real selling points to this type of business. You can start and increase your business at your pace.
Now let me tell you about my experience with being a bookkeeper. In most of my other blogs, I would describe my experiences at the start of the article. In this case, I decided to provide it at the end as my knowledge is limited. As hinted about midway through, I am pretty much one of those that only have experience doing my taxes and those of some family and friends in exchange for a bottle of wine or beer.
Needless to say, I do not feel qualified to be running a bookkeeping business on the merits that I was being paid for with drinks for the work that was completed. However, I do feel qualified to describe what is required as most home based businesses fall under similar considerations, and I do know family and friends that do bookkeeping as an independent business.
As you can see from this website, I opted not to be a bookkeeper but to become an online entrepreneur, a blogger, an online helper of things.
I owe this online success to the great people at Wealthy Affiliate. Kyle and Carson ( The creators and owners) have developed the most comprehensive and unique online university available. You can click on the following link for more information==> Wealthy Affiliate
In summary, starting a bookkeeping business from home would be an excellent choice if you need flexible hours, low start-up costs, don’t mind taking a certification course and like crunching numbers.
If you don’t like crunching numbers day in and out, then this may not be the choice job for you.
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