Starting Your Own Accounting Business: 5 Things You May Not Have Considered

Have you been thinking about starting your own accounting business? It can be tempting to take this leap into being your own boss, but there are several things you should consider before you move forward. There are plenty of advantages to running your own accounting business, but just because you are great at accounting doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ready to be a business owner. The points below are all important ones to consider.

Your Education

Both starting an accounting business and education cost money, and you might be concerned about spending money on your education that you should be setting aside for your accounting business. However, having the right education is critical as well, and a graduate degree can really unlock your potential and prepare you for success. You may be able to get student loans from a private lender at a favorable interest rate to pay for the degree.  Either way, there is a path to becoming an Accountrepreneur.

Buying One or Starting a New One

One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether to purchase an existing accounting firm or start your own. There are different factors to keep in mind, and some of them will be specific to the company that you are considering buying. First, think about costs. On the one hand, you can arguably start your own accounting business out of your house with very little overhead. However, you might have to spend some money on marketing and getting your name out there, while an established firm might already have better name recognition. On the other hand, there’s no question that you’ll need a substantial amount of money in order to purchase a company.

If you’re buying a firm, one thing you have to be careful about is their existing financial situation. You will need to be prepared to really dig into their records and make sure you understand any liabilities they have. The owner of a struggling company that is up for sale might not be very forthcoming about money problems. When you purchase a firm, there are certain things that might be out of your control, like client loyalty and whatever rates the business has established. You can certainly increase the rates later, but you’ll need to keep them the same to start with.

Along similar lines, you may need to offer the same services for a while as you make the transition while if you start your own, you can simply offer what you want. Software and other equipment are going to be necessary and potentially costly. If you purchase a company, make sure you know exactly what is coming with the purchase and the age and condition of it all.

Either way, consider being in business for yourself but not by yourself with Universal Accounting Center.

Managing Employees

Whether or not to have employees might not be a decision you have to make immediately, but it is something you’ll need to deal with eventually. If you are starting from scratch, it might just be you, but you may want to add staff over time. If you’re purchasing a company, there may already be employees.  How much do you know about managing people? It may not be enough to be a good accountant.

This is where a degree in management could come in handy if you don’t have a background in it. If you have neither of these, you might want to read a few books about management and, if possible, explore taking some classes or seminars. Managing people is a skill in itself, and it’s a mistake to think that just because you are a whiz at accounting, you’ll also be great at management. Of course, some people are naturals in this position, but doing some reading can help confirm your instincts or shore up places where your skills might be weaker.

Your Personal Qualities

Having the right qualities to be an entrepreneur go beyond management skills. You also must know that owning your own business comes with many shades of grey. You might currently be asking yourself basic questions like is starting a tax prep business right for me but you need to understand that knowing if you have what it takes to actually do it is going to come from many more in depth questions about who you are as a person.

One irony you may face is that the very qualities that make you an excellent accountant are not necessarily that same ones that make for an excellent entrepreneur. Accountants may tend to be cautious and conservative, not risk takers like many entrepreneurs. There is an element of financial insecurity associated with running your own business that may fly in the face of your instincts. However, careful, and cautious people can be successful entrepreneurs as well. Making sure you have the right business knowledge and skills will be important. Writing a business plan can help you figure out where your weaknesses may be, and you’ll need one if you’re planning to seek loans or other types of funding.

Networking and Building a Client List

It’s not uncommon to get so caught up the various details of getting everything up and running that you lose sight of what you most need to succeed: customers. Are you a people person? If you’re more comfortable with numbers than people, this may involve some effort, but you’ll need to retain clients if you’re buying a business and attract them in the first place if you’re starting your own. And without the big budget that large firms have, that may depend on your ability to network and sell yourself and your company effectively.

You should work to strengthen the existing contacts you already have in the industry and locally and think about how you can make yourself more visible. This will vary depending on the type of service that you offer and the clientele that you want to attract, and you may want to consider working with a marketing firm or an individual to help you raise your profile if you are struggling to attract clients.

In short there is a Turnkey Business Plan for accounting professionals, there is no need to feel like you need to reinvent the wheel.

Room to Grow: Up-sizing Your Home for a New Business Venture

Professional Tax Preparer™ Certification by Universal Accounting Center (School)Starting a home-based business is an exciting challenge. Chances are you worked hard for a long time to reach this point, and watching your dream come true is satisfying, thrilling, and a little overwhelming. The key is good planning so you can up-size your home into the right location to see your vision become reality.

Choose a Great Space

It Starts with an Idea

Being ready to jump into a new home business can mean different things to different people. You might have recently experienced a life change and the time is ripe. Maybe you’re weary of corporate culture and want to run your own show. Perhaps you came up with an idea too brilliant to let slide, or maybe current trends inspired you to grab one of the best startup ideas out there, such as selling selfie drones, HIIT equipment, or smartwatches. Whatever your reasoning, your idea is the place to start. For instance, Entrepreneur recommends thinking about what your new business will look like. Is it casual and earthy? Is it polished and elegant?  Will you have clientele visiting your home, or will you make deliveries or shipments? Do you plan to work via the internet? Will you need production space? You need to find the right fit for you all the way around, something you believe in and understand, so you can be successful.

Consider Location

Many factors go into selecting the right location for your new business. If you plan to open a retail space, whether it’s to sell handmade crafts, matcha tea products, or parts for upcycling, choosing a location that fits your market can be a key to success. You can take advantage of shoppers with an interest in your kind of product. For example, if you raise bees and plan to sell honey and honey-based baked goods, a location near gourmet food shops, cafes, or specialty boutiques might bring you foot traffic. Think about the fact that fast-food chains normally lump together in a general location; they are taking advantage of that concept.

Personal Space

Another key aspect in making a good selection is where you work best. AllBusiness points out your atmosphere can affect your outlook and productivity. Some people need a quiet place away from family members to focus, while some love interaction. If you plan to meet clients, do you need an area in your home with a separate entrance? Would an outbuilding be best for meetings, completely apart from family comings and goings? You might need space for packing, shipping, and deliveries as well. With that in mind, check zoning restrictions in prospective areas, as there may be limitations on what can and can’t occur from certain locations.

Get Up and Running

Success Begins with You

Once you find that perfect place, you need to think about how you will structure your work. Running a successful home business means being dedicated and professional. Be conscientious about time management, allotting your work time and setting and meeting goals. You need to plan for your short-term goals, such as what you need to do during the day to meet your objective for the week, as well as your long-term plans, such as what you want to accomplish this quarter, by the end of the year, and where you see yourself in five years. Prioritize your time so you meet clients’ needs and deadlines and stay on task.

Don’t Be Shy

Marketing your new business is another key to success. Chron.com suggests taking advantage of email and websites. Produce a newsletter, get on social media, and create a website of your own. Participate in local events, do some speaking, and get involved in your community so others know who you are and what you’re doing. Also, be candid about your business structure. You’ll find people respect and appreciate your authenticity.

Your Work, Your Way

Little can be more satisfying than pursuing a dream. When it’s time to up-size for a home-based business, do some thinking and planning. Your vision can become a reality with good choices and hard work!

By Julie Morris

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

Five Simple Marketing Strategies for Tax Professionals in the Digital Age

At a time when many consumers turn to the Internet to find products and services, it’s vital to have a presence on the Web. Otherwise, many potential customers may overlook you, simply because they can’t find you. Through the Internet, you can attract future clients in your area and communicate with your current clients. Here are five simple tactics to market your tax preparation service on the Web:

1) Create a functional website

According to the Yahoo Small Business survey, 70% of small businesses had a website by the end of 2004; we can only assume current numbers are even higher. Building a website is the first step in developing an online presence. There are books written on building websites and firms that can help you design and optimize your site.

Your site should reflect your practice. It should be clean, professional and informative; and make sure your contact information is apparent.

2) Register with online directories

If you go to the Google search engine and enter “Kaysville Utah Tax Preparation,” the first thing that appears in the results is the local business results for tax preparation near Kaysville,UT. This is Google’s online directory of businesses. Registration in this directory is free. Following the Google directory is a number of other online directories that list tax preparation firms. Conduct a similar search for your area and see which directories come up. Then go through the steps to register with these directories.

3) Create an email marketing campaign

An email marketing campaign will mainly target your current clients. This may be something you can implement in the future if you don’t have a list of your clients’ email addresses. Through an email campaign, you can inform your clients of special offers, promote your website or blog, and/or send a semiannual newsletter with tax tips and information. A newsletter is an excellent way to stay in touch with clients throughout the year and encourage them to come back the following tax season.

4) Build a purposeful blog

A web log, or blog for short, is one of the newest forms of communicating online. Blogs began as online journals where people could share their ideas, thoughts, stories, photos and videos. Only recently have corporations recognized the value of a blog to connect with their customers.

A major advantage to a blog is you can find free software and services that will host the blog. A CPA or tax preparer could use a blog to share insights and opinions on tax law or other tax related topics. I found one CPA’s blog where he shares jokes and comics about taxes and tax preparation. Though blogs are casual in feel, remember you are still representing your practice, so it should be done tastefully.

5) Use paid listings through search engines when cost effective

MSN, Google, Yahoo and other search engines offer paid listings as a form of advertising. Paid listings, also known as sponsored links, usually appear at the top and at the right of search results. Companies pay to have their links appear on the search results page in these areas. This type of Internet marketing can be effective, especially when you are first creating your online presence. I recommend you hire an Internet marketing firm to manage and track your paid listings account. Your ads should focus on the demographic in your area to avoid spending a lot of money on ineffective advertising.

If done correctly, online marketing is a fruitful strategy to increase your client base and well worth the time and money spent.

Visit http://www.1040works.com/ for more marketing tips and tax law information and take a look at Small business ideas that’ll make you money.

We welcome your feedback in our comments section.

Two Major Keys To Success In Accounting

Universal Structured Power Coaching, Coach FeedbackAs you pursue your career in accounting, there are so many paths to take. You may want to own your own firm one day. Find a promotion. Land a big raise. Regardless of your goals, there are some basic keys to your success in the field of accounting, and every single successful accountant can boast of these characteristics. You can do well with one or the other, but only together do they cooperate for success and freedom in your accounting future.

First you should take some time to address where you are now. Are you a beginner? Experienced? Expert? What are your future goals in your career of accounting? Are these goals available to you at the current time or will you need a big change to achieve your goals? You need some clarity for what you want before you can fully develop these traits. Then when you’re ready you can begin working on these two critical keys to success in accounting.

Competence

The primary key to success in accounting is of course competence. You must be good at your job. You need to be able to work efficiently, meet deadlines, think critically, and make effective decisions for your company or clients. You can begin working on your competence by reviewing your strengths and weaknesses in your current accounting position. Identify ways to strengthen your weaknesses and to display your strengths. Universal Accounting courses are available to bolster your accounting skills to maximize profits for yourself and your clients.

Confidence

This trait is by far the most lacking in the business of accounting. Most accountants believe that their work will do the talking, and that confidence is a trait for salesmen and athletes. If you do your job right you’ll have success right? Maybe. But the only way to truly guarantee success in your accounting career is to pair competence with confidence. Display your skills and speak up. Share your confidence with your superiors and clients. Believe that you can find creative solutions to any accounting problem, and that any endeavor you assume will be successful. Confidence transforms a mediocre accountant to a star accountant. Clients and firms will be attracted to your confidence and find more value in your efforts.

Are you lacking in competence? Feeling less-than-confident? Universal Accounting School is here to help. We offer courses and materials to help you flesh out both traits in your accounting life. You can become any accountant you want – we can make you a successful one.  Now is the time to become a Profit & Growth Expert and then a successful Accountrepreneur.