This article includes some excellent information on starting an accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm.
Startup Strategies for Accounting & Bookkeeping Entrepreneurs
It's fairly common for accountants and CPAs to eventually strike out on their own and launch their own firm. Sadly, it's almost as common to find accounting firms that are failing because the owner didn't implement the right startup strategy.
Accounting firm startups aren't turnkey businesses. As the owner, you'll need to roll up your sleeves and create actionable strategies for funding, marketing and managing your firm. At a minimum, you'll need enough cash to carry the business through the first six to twelve months, giving your firm enough time to build a client base.
A partnership or group practice can be an excellent startup strategy because it spreads the startup funding requirements over multiple stakeholders and exponentially increases your firm's ability to serve additional clients. The downside is that revenues will be shared, so it's essential to incorporate capacity requirements into your business plan.
Transitioning from an Accountant to a Business Owner
In many ways, accountants are uniquely unprepared for the demands of small business ownership. Think about it: you've spent your entire career managing back office and reporting requirements. But you probably have little training in sales, marketing and other activities that are central to successful business ownership.
From the beginning, you will need to mentally prepare yourself for the transition from an accounting professional to an entrepreneur. This includes honing your skills in business leadership and intentionally forcing yourself to set the spreadsheets aside so you can actively promote your firm in your target market.
Marketing Tips for Accounting, Auditing & Bookkeeping Startups
The majority of accountants and bookkeepers discover that marketing is the most daunting aspect of business ownership. Although the textbook approach to marketing makes it sound easy, in the real world your startup simply can't afford to throw money at ineffective marketing strategies and tactics.
The bottom line is that marketing is like any other investment. It needs to be tracked and monitored to ensure that every ad or marketing mechanism you employ is generating sufficient ROI to justify its continuation. If not, it's time to cut your losses and identify marketing vehicles that are capable of delivering bigger bang for the buck.
Creating Business Plans for an Accounting, Auditing and Bookkeeping Services Firm
Does your accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm have a business plan? If not, your company is lacking a critical business tool. With the right ingredients, a business plan can help your startup secure financing, attract investors and execute a strategy for growth.
Although many entrepreneurs write their own business plans, others outsource business plan creation to a professional business plan writer.
Time and time again, the best entrepreneurs we see rely on professionally crafted plans to guide their decision making. However, outsourcing doesn't completely eliminate your responsibilities in the writing process.
As the primary stakeholder in your accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm, you will intentionally need to insert yourself in various stages of the plan's development.
Take a Look at Competitors
Before you open an accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm within your community, it's a good idea to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors in your area. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firms in your community.
Gain a knowledge of how existing firms have positioned themselves in the marketplace, and then design your business in a way that sets you apart from the others.
Getting Advice from Experienced Entrepreneurs
Once you've finished assessing the competion, the next step is to speak with somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started an accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm in a different city may be more than happy to give you a few tips, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you go about finding an accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm manager in another city who you can speak with?
Easy. Find them using our link below and start calling until you are successful.
Is It Easier to Buy an Existing Accounting, Auditing and Bookkeeping Services Firm?
Tough decisions are what business ownership is all about. And one of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether to start a business from scratch or buy an existing accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm.
Despite the appeal of a new business launch, the scales consistently tip in favor of buying a proven business enterprise. When you buy an established accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm, you gain access to a functional business operation with a customer base and a steady revenue stream.
Entrepreneurs who are committed to a highly unique value proposition may need to pursue a startup approach. But whenever possible, we recommend carefully surveying the business-for-sale marketplace before committing to a startup approach.
Don't Forget About Accounting Franchises As an Option
If you want to increase your chances of business success, it might be wise to contemplate the pros and cons of purchasing an accounting-related franchise.
If you planning on starting an accounting or bookkeeping firm, you may as well take the time to determine if any of the many good accounting franchise opportunities might be right for you.
The link below gives you access to our accounting franchise directory so you can see if there's an accounting franchise opportunity for you. If you browse our full franchise directory, you might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These interviews should be of interest to you.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own an accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firm, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services firms, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.