Freelance Bookkeepers and Accountants enjoy an incredibly strong place in today’s market. As other industries find freelancing a very viable option, Bookkeepers and Accountants have been successful at it for years.In fact, Daniel Pink, in his book, Free Agent Nation says, “Nearly a decade ago freelancers were heralded as exemplars of a new way of working. These highly skilled workers had been liberated from traditional employment, partly by information technology, and enjoyed unprecedented autonomy, setting their pay rates, their work hours and even the location of their jobs. Journalists and economists saw the future in freelancing (and freelancers) and it was bright.”As you think about what owning a freelance Bookkeeping and Accounting business can do for you, let’s talk about six habits that will make your Bookkeeping and Accounting practice more profitable. As we discuss these habits, don’t let their simple nature fool you… these are powerful tools that will make a difference in your bussiness.
Habit #1: Be Prepared
This might actually sound familiar to some of you. But don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to put on your Boy Scout uniform and help elderly women (or men) across the street. But Habit #1 really is be prepared.In any meeting, conversation, phone call or e-mail, be prepared. Know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it before you begin. If you don’t know where you want to take the conversation, you aren’t going to get there.If a visual aid will help make your case, be prepared with it. If you’re going to talk about statistics, make sure you have them at your fingertips. Being prepared is often the difference between a successful interaction with your clients and an unsuccessful one.Be prepared.
Habit #2: Don’t Wait for Your Clients to Find You
Everyone gets lucky once in a while; you might find a client without too much effort, but that’s not always how it happens. Now, don’t misunderstand, there are a number of very effective and simple ways to build your client list. Some of which we’ve talked about already. Click on this link to see how to build your client list through networking, for example.As you decide what kind of marketing you’re going to do to bring in new clients, consider those that just “happen by” to be the icing on the cake. Don’t wait for your clients to find you… they want you to find them!
Habit #3: Don’t Let Your Sales Cycle Get You Down
Every business experiences seasons of plenty, when everything seems to be flying on auto-pilot, and dry spells, when closing a sale is extremely difficult.Dry spells are a normal course of business and shouldn’t be cause to be discouraged. The beauty of marketing is that it’s a numbers game… and we’re numbers people, right? Don’t give up, follow your marketing plan and keep going.Many of our graduates tell us that often the difference between finding the new client and going home empty handed is simply hangin’ in there. Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up.”Make that your mantra every morning and you’ll keep your practice busy and profitable.
Habit #4: Use Evidence to Influence
It’s always a good habit to back-up what you say with evidence. Habit #4 goes hand-in-hand with Habit #1. In order to get the most out of using Evidence to Influence you need to be prepared. Use testimonials, statistics or demonstrations to help reinforce your talking points with your clients.When I was in school I found that the more senses I could employ in the learning process, the easier it was to remember. Reading out of the text wasn’t enough. If I could write it down, or otherwise use additional sensory information it was easier to remember. You will find that your clients are the same. The more involved you can get them, the more invested they’ll be in the information you’re trying to give them.
Habit #5: Look Successful
I have a friend who is a commercial artist. He works out of a studio in the basement of his home. I have come to admire him as one of the most disciplined people I know. Despite the fact that he is working out of his home, he gets up in the morning and gets ready for work, just like he was going into the office and heads downstairs. If you stop by and see him during the day, you’d find him dressed for work and in his studio.I don’t think it matters if you are seeing clients or not, start the day as if you were. I think you’ll find that you are better prepared to start the day and get more accomplished than if you started work in your PJ’s.The freelancers who find the most success working out of a home office, have created a “work-place” inside their home. When they’re at work,they’re at work. A little bit of discipline will make all the difference.Work at maintaining your health as well as your appearance. If you maintain the appropriate level of health and fitness you’ll find yourself better able to cope with the stresses of the work day and your clients want to work with someone who looks and acts successful. Habit #5, Look Successful.
Habit #6: Invest in Youself
Are you a student of accounting? When was the last time you attended a seminar, or read a marketing book? Look for and attend conferences and seminars that will add to your knowledge of marketing, and of accounting. Proactively invest in your career and your future.The quest for knowlege doesn’t even have to be limited to accounting or marketing issues either. Read and study about anything that is of special interest to you. The better your understanding of the world around you, the better you’ll be able to help your clients. Keep your mind fresh and young by keeping it engaged with learning new things. This simple investment in yourself will pay off in a better quality of life, an engaged outlook on the world around you and the monetary rewards associated with being at your best.Universal’s course is a terrific place to start investing in your business. The Professional Bookkeeper Program is a great way to complement your knowledge of Accounting and Bookkeeping. Click here and find out how the Professional Bookkeepers Course can help you find the quality of life that you’re looking for.I’d also like to share with you some day-to-day things that can help you create an effective and profitable freelance Bookkeeping and Accounting business. Click here to learn about additional ways to create a productive working environment.