How do you market your Bookkeeping business? It’s one of the oldest problems for independent bookkeepers. Years ago, bookkeepers worked for large accounting firms that would provide expensive software, collect payments from customers, and provide a steady stream of work. Not so now. Just about anyone can spend a few hundred dollars and get an industry standard software like QuickBooks. Therefore, it’s pretty easy to set up a bookkeeping business.
First, where do you get the experience/ knowledge to do bookkeeping?
- Community Colleges have great courses. Basic Accounting, Bookkeeping, QuickBooks and other subjects.
- Online Classes. School of Bookkeeping is one such online service that provides online classes.
- On the job. Many bookkeepers start working for other people. It can be a great way to learn how to do it right and get business experience.
- One day seminars are great for general product knowledge, but no one has built a career out of just attending those marketing events.
Second, Focus, Focus, Focus
- Determine which software is your specialty. Determine what the annual cost is.
- Market Niche. What’s your sweet spot? Construction? Professional Service firms?
- Customer Testimonials. Absolutely essential.
- Services? Are you doing taxes as well? Howabout business licensing?
- To Do list. What do you need from your customers and when.
- How will they get you the information?
- Tax Deadlines. Make absolutely sure that you get results before the tax deadlines. Make sure that any tax accountant or CPA has adequate time to do the taxes. If you do this one simple thing, you will get referrals from the CPA firm.
- Determine how many hours it will take to complete a task. This is a common question when being interviewed by potential customers. You should be able to answer that question.
Fourth: At last the marketing part!
- Referrals: Got a happy customer? Ask them for a testimonial.
- Marketing groups. BNI, Le Tip, Chamber of Commerce
- Affiliate Groups: ASWA, CPA Organizations, Meetup Groups.
- Actual Advertising in local newspapers. Local community papers seem to work better.
- Google Adwords. If you do this make sure you have a kick ass landing page, testimonials, and a budget. You can limit the ads to a geographic area. Or make it national or international if you want to have a cloud accounting practice.
- Google Local Places. If you are going to have an actual office, this is essential. I’ve noticed that the registered agent address is sometimes used as the physical address. Make sure you take a look at your own listing.
- Linked In: A great place to network with your peers. But I don’t think any business looks for a bookkeeper on linked in. Personal referrals are the best way, but busy people don’t have time to search there.
- Facebook: I’ve yet to have an actual friend who was interested in bookkeeping there. People go there to play games and socialize; not find bookkeeping services. If you can make it work, let me know.
- Other accountants. Let’s face it, the people who are most likely to purchase bookkeeping services have used one before. Network with the local cpa firms, bookkeepers, and bankers. Perhaps they will send one your way. Be aware that they are also in business, so don’t be offended if some have a chilly attitude.
- A Shiny Sign. A nice big shiny sign on a somewhat busy street is also excellent. Make sure there is parking nearby.