You can build a profitable bookkeeping business from home if you avoid making many mistakes. Here are 4 common ones to stay away from:
1. No Niche
During a slow economy, and even when the economy is doing great, you may be tempted to help promote your business to anyone that needs help with bookkeeping. However, not defining your niche is a huge mistake. You'll spread yourself so thin that you won't be effective, and your business won't grow the way it should.
If you're just starting out, this is a great time to figure out the audience that you are willing and able to serve. Does your professional experience establish you as an expert among a certain group? For example, your resume may not be solid enough to pitch your services to a large corporation, but it may be more than enough for your local "mom and pop" shop. Even if you've already launched your bookkeeping business, you can still make the necessary changes to market yourself to your niche.
2. No Marketing
One of the main reasons why businesses fail is because the owners don't do marketing. It can be easy to get caught up in the daily tasks of doing work for clients that you forget to market. However, marketing is how you get more work from potential and existing clients. When your current work runs out (which it will), what will you do?
It's important to take time to draft a short marketing plan and commit to following it on a daily or weekly basis. Take one hour daily, or at least 3 hours weekly, to market your business so that you reach new customers or get repeat business from existing clients. If you're concerned about getting too much work, then it's time to think about building a team.
3. No Team
A major benefit of working from home for some people is that fact that you're your own boss, and you don't have to deal with working with other people. However, if you want to build a successful bookkeeping business, you'll need a team. You don't need to hire employees, but you do need independent contractors if you want to grow. Sometimes, your potential team members live with you.
Your family may be an incredible resource, and it's worth thinking about that as you plan to launch or grow your business. If that's not the case, you might find other team members online or in your community that you can outsource administrative, marketing, legal and other tasks to. Don't make the mistake of being an island unto yourself. Building a team takes time, but it's worth finding people that will do a good job for you.
4. No Money
You can start a bookkeeping business on a shoestring. However, you'll need money for living expenses. People make the mistake of not planning for those expenses and end up in a financial hardship because the business didn't bring in the money they thought it would. You can avoid this mistake by making a budget, avoiding debt and saving your money for at least three months. It takes time to grow a business, and you'll want to have money to make up any cash flow deficiencies.
Avoiding these mistakes is key to building a bookkeeping business that won't fail in the short-term. Take the time to find ways to overcome each of these challenges.
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.