Bookkeeping business--can I make a living?
February 7, 2013 9:18 AM Subscribe
Accounting degree, experienced bookkeeper working for other folks, already know Quickbooks, etc. A small amount of capital ($5-6k) and a current part-time job that pays just enough to cover my expenses, but it's only going to last another year or so. I could go get another bookkeeping job, but I'm sick of making next to nothing and having next to no control over my work. How can I make myself viable as a business?
posted by Ex-Wastrel to work & money (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I had started graduate school in a completely unrelated discipline, but after a few years and some major life upheaval, I'm miserable and leaving school after this semester. My current employer is not up to taking me on full-time, and I don't think they're going to be in business more than another year. But I know that I do this well, and I know that private bookkeeping companies can charge more than I get paid per hour--I know there's also overhead and such, but if I can net to about the same amount with a few more hours per week, plus have a more flexible schedule, I'll be thrilled. It would have been better to be ready to go at the end of the year instead, but, well, I didn't make the decision until recently. I'd like to have at least made my initial capital back by sometime this summer, ideally, but it'd be okay if it weren't for a bit longer than that.
Principally, I'm concerned with how I find clients. I don't have extensive connections in the community and I'm not a big salesman type; I am pleasant in person, though, and reasonably good on the phone. I already own a good laptop, a laser printer, etc, but won't have proper office space to meet clients at home, but I've heard that meeting people at their offices is at least somewhat okay. I assume I'll need to spend part of my money on phone/fax service and a PO box, and I'll need my own QB license, obviously. But I would think that at least half of it could go towards marketing. I know it isn't a lot of money. Where can I find out how to spend it effectively? More broadly, where can I find resources to make this thing a success?
Ideally, in five years I'd like to have an actual office, employees, working relationships with local CPAs, but for right now I just want to be able to make a living for myself where I'm respected for what I do, instead of being bottom-tier clerical staff. I'm fine if much of this requires a lot of legwork--I feel like I've been sitting around on my life far too long as it is.