No matter where you live, there are small business owners who can benefit from your home accounting business. The services you offer should help business owners save money, find money and avoid paying excess taxes. Your operating costs are much lower than accounting firms, and for that reason alone, you'll win over some of your competitors. Here's what you need to do to get started:
Choose a Specialty and Target Market
You want to be known for something, beyond just an accountant, whether it's payroll services or tax deductions. The best way to choose a specialty is to align your passion, skills and experience with a pressing need in your community. That community could be local or online. Figure out what's keeping the people you want to work with up at night, and research what if anything your competitors are doing about it. If your competitors are failing to meet a need, and you're able to, then that's a viable option for a specialty you should choose.
Tell Everyone You're Open for Business
Everyone needs to know you're open for business, even non-potential customers. Your goal is spread the word, and the more people doing that for you, the better. You can use social media for that purpose as well, but you shouldn't attempt it before you build a website to direct traffic to. You also want to do more than say "I'm open for business" when using social media, because you'll be labeled a spammer. There are creative ways to get the point across, such as giveaways to celebrate the opening of your business. Give away free hours of consultation, or offer to plan and file the winner's taxes for free.
Build a Website for Your Home Accounting Business
People need to find you online, even if you only want to market yourself locally. It can also act as the "middle man" between you and your home business, because people won't have to call your home to get information or request your services. You can gather inquiries on a contact form, and people can request a consultation with you directly on the website. They can also sign up to receive periodic emails you send to subscribers. Consider hiring a low cost web designer, or build your own website with free web design software. If you're building your own website, you'll need to learn search engine optimization tactics to appear as high as possible in search engines. Knowledge of how to use long-tail keywords, such as "accounting business charlotte north carolina" will help local customers find your business before they find your competitors.
Put all your legal ducks in a row, so that you don't get into trouble down the road. Some legal considerations are:
- Client retainer agreements
- Malpractice insurance
- Legal disclaimers on websites, on handouts, when providing free
Don't ignore the legalease, because a client may sue you and drag down your business if you lose a case in court.
Starting a home accounting business is a great idea if you've got the skills, talent and patience for the job.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.