Overcoming obstacles when starting your bookkeeping business

Hey, this is Veronica Wasek with another episode of BK Biz: Overcoming Obstacles When Starting your Bookkeeping Practice.  

Overcoming obstacles when starting your bookkeeping business: This is an area that is a great challenge to a lot of you, and it was also a great challenge for me because obstacles can get in the way before you know it, you haven’t really been able to more foreword as you had planned 

#1 Building your business 

One of the issues that I had starting out was while I was still in the process of launching my business. I was working part-time for a CPA, and I was hoping that I could remain working part-time for the CPA while I was building my business on the side. Unfortunately, the CPA didn’t like that, so we ended up having to part ways. This was a great obstacle because I had no money coming in, and I really didn’t have clients or money to start my business. So, one of the things that I did in response was reach out to several CPAs who I knew around the area. And, I actually ended up doing contract work for about three different CPA firms while I was building my bookkeeping business on the side. This actually helped me, because when I approached these CPAs, I was letting them know that I had started a business, and that the contract work I was doing for them was part of my business. So, it actually helped me to get my business going. 

#2 Fear and insecurity 

Second obstacle that a lot of people face was fear and insecurity, which is totally normal. You know, you’re doing something completely new. You don’t know if it’s going to work out or not, or if it’s going to work out the way that you planned. Fear is absolutely normal. One of the things that I think is working really great now is Facebook Groups. So, join communities of bookkeepers to connect with them, to exchange ideas, and to let them know about the things that you’re unsure of. There will be someone else who has already done it and will give you the benefit of their advice. I encourage you to join my Facebook group. It’s called 5 Minute Bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online. Join our community and get connected with other like-minded bookkeepers. 

#3 Lack of experience 

Next obstacle that you will likely encounter is your lack of experience, and that is something that you may still run into issues with because you may be new to QuickBooks, even if you have worked 20+ years in the accounting field as I had. You may be new to bookkeeping even though you could be a CPA, or you have an accounting degree. You might have worked as a senior accountant in the corporate world, but that’s very different from running your business, doing bookkeeping, or even using QuickBooks. So, what I would ask you to do and to consider is to volunteer for a non-profit. There are lots of non-profit organizations that need help with their books. Volunteer for a non-profit organization or a local club in your area to function as their bookkeeper or as their treasurer to get some experience. Also, let your friends and family members know, that this is what you’re doing. Maybe some of them own businesses and they may want you to help them. And, of course, remember that you’re getting valuable experience in exchange for helping them out. 

#4 Lack of technical knowledge 

Next is a lack of technical knowledge either in QuickBooks or in bookkeeping. This is where you need to be taking bookkeeping and accounting courses. There are lots of free courses online as well as paid courses. If you can, invest in a good bookkeeping certification, so that you can get some very good training, and also get certified in QuickBooks online. It’s free. You may need some QuickBooks training first, so make sure that you take advantage of the free QuickBooks Online training that we have on our blog at 5MinuteBookkeeping.com. 

#5 No sales and marketing experience 

Fifth obstacle that you will encounter is realizing that you are not a salesperson. You don’t do marketing, and perhaps you’re not very comfortable talking to people that you don’t know. Again, I’ve been there and done that. I am actually very introverted, and it’s not always easy to talk to people that I don’t know. I was definitely not comfortable with being this “salesy” kind of person and really didn’t know how to do marketing and how to get clients. 

What I did was figure it out. I watched YouTube videos. I read a lot of books. I did invest in some training to help me develop those skills, and it’s something that you just have to start doing and get used to doing. It’s like learning to ride a bike. You’re going to fall a few times, you’re going to get some bruises along the way, but then you’re going to get on that bicycle and you’ll be able to ride the bicycle. And, remember that sales and marketing skills, as well as just what I call networking skills (getting out and meeting people and developing relationships) are what are called soft skills. Everybody can learn soft skills. I encourage you to stop thinking of yourself in terms of the things that you cannot do or don’t know how to do. Those are opportunities for you to learn. 

Closing 

Remember, your desire to help others and grow your business has to be bigger than the obstacles that you encounter. You will have many more obstacles to overcome as you grow your bookkeeping business, but that’s just part of being a successful business owner.  

I’m Veronica Wasek, and this is BK Biz. 

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