As more people than ever own their own business, there is a growing demand for services such as being an account or a bookkeeper. Not everyone wants to learn to do these things themselves but at the same time, they don’t need to hire someone to work in-house for this purpose. They are better hiring someone who has been through an Office Management Course to run the larger office. So if you want to become a self-employed bookkeeper, what path should you take?
Get the right training
You definitely need training and a qualification to become a bookkeeper because you need to prove you can do what you say, and you are up to the latest laws and regulations in the area. One of the top bookkeeping training courses comes from the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) who offer courses that can get you to the level needed to be a self-employed bookkeeper. Another of the top courses comes from the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers or the ICB.
Whatever training option you go for, it is a good idea to get some work experience alongside it. That way you can show that you have the skills and knowledge to do the job and even get references from the people you have done work from. You may want to spend a little time working in a junior role as an accounting assistant or similar until you are qualified and ready to go self-employed.
Prepare for start-up costs
While becoming a self-employed bookkeeper doesn’t require a large amount of equipment, there are some things you will need to start doing the work and it is a good idea to prepare for these start-up costs before you go self-employed.
You will need a computer and printer as well as somewhere to store documents that you print. These will need to be secure, so a locking cabinet is a good idea. You will likely need some software, depending on what you prefer to work with. And you will want to have somewhere to work. This doesn’t mean an office necessarily – you can work over the internet and use part of your home as a base. But you do want to have somewhere to go and work, away from the rest of the house.
Create processes and packages
You need to know what you will offer to customers, how much you will charge and what will happen when they buy the packages. So another step in starting your business is to prepare all of these. Look at what you will offer, how long it will take and what hourly rate you want to earn. You can charge per service but having an hourly rate idea and seeing how long it will take helps you work out how much to charge.
Once you have decided on your packages, the processes are next. What information do you need from your client? How do they provide it to you? Where do you keep it and for how long? Are there deliverables you need to provide them and how (such as a copy of their accounts for their references). Have all of your processes documented before you start – there might be some fine tuning, but it will be easier than starting from scratch with your first client.
Find your clients
The final step is to start finding your clients. There are lots of ways to do this from work sites to marketing your business on social media. You can talk to local businesses, attend network events and get people to refer others to you. Decide on how you will approach it and you are ready to get started.