Many people decide to become freelancer bookkeepers, either instead of a full-time job, or as a way to supplement a current job. If you have decided to work as a freelance bookkeeper, you will be in charge of getting and keeping clients, marketing yourself and promoting your business.
Study the market. Find clients that are too small to afford to hire a large CPA (Certified Public Accountant) firm. Know what local CPAs charge and charge less. Be prepared to negotiate a fee. Keep your hourly rate low in the beginning to get clients. You can increase your rates once you are established.
Solicit clients. Be aggressive in marketing your skills. Look for small local businesses such as hardware stores, restaurants or gift shops. Approach the businesses and show them how you can help their business. Offer a wide range of services, including taxes, payroll, accounts receivable and payable and inventory. If a business is small enough, the proprietors may be too busy or lack the skill to handle an accounting software program. It is important to show them how you will enhance their business.
Act professionally. When you meet your potential clients it is important to be look and act professionally. Wear a suit and have a business card to leave with the client. Before you meet your client, review his business and be prepared to discuss how you can enhance his operation. If you have other clients, use them as references. If you do get a follow-up interview, bring a business plan to show how your operation improves your client’s enterprise. This step might be as simple as offering an inventory plan to control costs.
Advertise on the Internet. The Internet offers an almost endless pool of potential clients. There are many websites that advertise for people either seeking or providing services. You can also advertise in the online edition of the local paper in its classified section. In your advertisement, it is essential that you state that you are offering a wide range of bookkeeping services.
Eileen Baylus has worked in the publishing field since the 1980s. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from Towson University in mass communications, she has spent time as a writer for local newspapers, a proofreader for journals and an editor for book publishers.