How to Start a Small Bookkeeping business

A calculator and a plain paper. Near a corner is a boldly written: How to start a small bookkeeping business.
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    Bookkeeping is one business that has remained in demand over the years. Bookkeepers are important for other businesses to grow because they ensure these businesses keep their financials on track to grow. Starting a small bookkeeping business is a wise business idea.

    Key Takeaways

    • Bookkeepers are not the same as financial accountants, however, they can help you arrange your financial transactions and know your cash flow.
    • Like every other thing, there are different niche industries under the bookkeeping business. If you want to succeed in your business, you can focus on a specific niche industry.
    • The right bookkeeping software can make a huge difference in your bookkeeping business’s success.

    Who is a Bookkeeper?

    A bookkeeper is an individual that manages and organizes the financials of an organization. This includes categorizing all their financial transactions and helping organizations get important financial statements like a profit and loss statement. A bookkeeper help business owners understand their cash flow, which is important for growth. 

    You may wonder, Are bookkeepers the same as accountants? The answer is No. Bookkeepers cannot perform financial audits or file taxes. Bookkeepers do not need to have a degree in accounting to run their businesses; their services include:

    • Helping organizations get a view of their financial transactions
    • Generating financial statements
    • Managing an organization’s financials through software
    • Manage a business account

    How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

    Having a plan makes it easier to set up a bookkeeping business. Here are seven steps you should follow if you want to launch your business:

    1. Choose a niche market
    2. Write a business plan
    3. Register your business
    4. Choose a bookkeeping software
    5. Set up your business infrastructure
    6. Price your business
    7. Get customers

    Choose a Niche Market

    As a bookkeeper, you can work in any industry. This is because every business needs to understand its financial transactions and keep them on track. However, if you really want to make your bookkeeping business succeed, you need to choose a niche industry. 

    Focusing on a specific niche will help you grow and stand out amongst competitors. Also, it is easier to deduce your target market if you specialize in a niche than in various niche markets. To help you choose the right niche, you need to research different niche industries in the bookkeeping business, see how saturated they are, and find the best ways to market yourself. After thorough research, you can decide which fits you best based on your strength and market saturation.

    Write Your Business Plan

    After choosing your niche, your next line of action is to write a business plan. A business plan will include all your plans for your business‌. The plan must be comprehensive and must include your services, niche market, unique value proposition, your competitors, and how you plan to market your business.

    Generally, a business plan includes:

    • An executive summary: This is the elevator pitch of your business
    • A business overview: This is a more detailed explanation of what the business is about and will do
    • Competitive/Market analysis: A comprehensive analysis of your competitors and your niche industry
    • Marketing plan: How do you intend to market your business to generate sales
    • Budget and financial projections: Your proposed budget and how you plan to spend the money.

    When writing your business plan, there are two things you must take care of before you proceed to the next steps. They are: choosing your business name and getting certified.

    Choosing Your Business Name

    This will be the first thing your prospects will notice, so take it seriously. What does your name represent? Does it reflect your personality, your specific niche, or your skills? Before choosing your business name, check if someone else is not using it. You can check online to see if your chosen name is already in use. Once you have your name, register it with the right regulatory authorities.

    Get Certified

    You don’t need an accounting degree to run a bookkeeping firm, but you need to get certified to improve your professionalism. Being certified helps to differentiate you from other bookkeepers in your niche industry. So, look for certification courses in bookkeeping.

    Register Your Business 

    Once you have chosen your name and gotten the necessary certifications, the next thing to do is to make it all official by registering your business. This varies on the business structure you go for. You need to check with states and federal laws on how to register a bookkeeping business. 

    There are several factors you must keep in mind in this step. They are:

    • choose a business structure
    • get insurance.

    Choose a Business Structure

    Choosing a business structure determines how you will pay your taxes as a small business owner and also what liability protection you will receive for your business. If you are new to the business, you might choose to work as a sole proprietor at first. Later, you could choose to become an LLC. 

    Get Insurance

    This is not mandatory, but it is a good decision to take. Insurance can protect you from expensive liabilities like mistaken financial records on your clients’ books or poor financial transactions. 

    Choose a Bookkeeping Software

    This is a very important aspect of your bookkeeping business. The software you choose will be your business foundation. You have a lot of options for the best bookkeeping software so choose right. 

    Set up Your Bookkeeping Infrastructure

    Now, you have reached a critical step. You need to organize your business infrastructure. The following are some important things that make up your business infrastructure:

    • Your website
    • Your client’s database management software
    • File-sharing software
    • Business accounts

    Your Website

    You must create a professional-looking website that explains your business and helps your client hire your services. Especially when you are running an online bookkeeping business, you need a website that allows clients to find you and your services. Thankfully, there are plenty of free website builders that can make your website creation easy.

    Your Client’s Database Management Software

    As you get more clients, you need to ensure that you are keeping track of their financials effectively. The best way to do this is to get customer relationship management (CRM) and project management software to improve workflow. You could also get some accounting practice management software and integrate them into your bookkeeping software.

    File-Sharing Software

    Your clients will be sharing important documents like their financial statements, transactions, or receipts. To secure these documents, you might get file-sharing software that protects the documents from anyone other than you or the clients.

    Business Accounts

    You need to keep your business financials separate from your personal account. For this reason, you need to set up a business account to do so. Both physical commercial banks and online financial institutions might offer attractive business account options to you, so research thoroughly before deciding where to save your business money.

    Price Your Business

    This can be one of your greatest challenges. You might not know if you should charge little or too much, especially in a competitive bookkeeping niche industry. To help you make a good choice, you can check out what others are pricing for their bookkeeping services. Remember that your charges should be based on your experience, skill sets, specialization, certification, and location. Also, your price is not fixed. You can change it anytime as your business continues to grow.

    Get Customers

    Marketing your small bookkeeping business is important. You need to have a marketing plan as early as possible. You need to know what your unique value proposition is and create a marketing message based on this. There are several ways to market your business. Look for creative ways to get your business out there.

    Check out our comprehensive guide on how to market your small business to get started.

    Helpful Ways to Market Your Small Bookkeeping Business

    You can only make sales if you market your business the right way. Here are some proven steps to get you started:

    • Create a Google Business Profile
    • Create a content marketing strategy
    • Choose your preferred social media platform
    • Create and optimize a website
    • Get reviews from current customers
    • Start email marketing
    • Create paid ads
    • Consider a FAQ page
    • Host a webinar

    Create a Google Business Profile

    As a small bookkeeping business, it is important to open this Google business profile. Google business profiles help provide your location and contact information for prospects. When your prospects search for bookkeepers in their area, they will see your profile. 

    When creating this profile, it is important that you add your business name, the city, the state, the services you offer, and your website (if you have any). Google tries to produce the best search results for searchers so ensure that you are specific as possible in your profile.

    Create a Content Marketing Strategy

    You understand how your industry works, so show your potential clients that you do. Create content that relates to them and add value to your prospects. You can create a content marketing strategy for your prospects. Choose the topics that relate to them and create content (blog articles, social posts, and videos) they will love. 

    You can research keywords related to your business that people search most about on Google and YouTube and create content based on the keywords. Remember to choose a medium that suits your target market the most. If your target customers love watching videos, you can start creating videos for them. What if they like reading blogs? Shift your focus to blog writing. The most important thing is to choose a medium that works for your target audience.  

    As a small business owner, it is wise to build trust in your target market and not push your business into their faces. You can follow the 80/20 rule when creating content. Make sure 80% of your content is informative while 20% can focus on sales. People are more likely to follow your business organically if they love your content. In time, they can convert into customers.

    Choose Your Preferred Social Media Medium

    Where are your ideal customers? Are they on LinkedIn or Facebook? Can you find them on Twitter or Instagram? Understanding where your ideal customers are will help you choose the right social media medium for your content marketing.

    Create and Optimize a Website

    Creating a website is not enough. You need to ensure that the website is discoverable on Google. This is where SEO comes into play. It is important that you optimize your website for search engines. Also, optimize your website for mobile devices. Studies have shown that there are more mobile device users surfing the internet than before. You need to ensure that they can access your website without issues.

    Another important thing to note when optimizing your website is to include your services with the right keywords. Do not just add bookkeeping services to your website copy. Break your skills into several high-ranking keywords. Doing so will help your prospects to understand what you do and also help search engines discover you faster.

    Get Reviews for Current Customers

    As you keep building trust and credibility in the heart of your customers, it is time to start getting reviews from them. These are important because they improve your reputation. Your prospects will search for your business and these reviews will provide insight into what they should expect from your business and if hiring you is the right decision. 

    Make sure you monitor your reviews, both good and bad. Take steps to correct bad reviews by clarifying the issues promptly.

    Start Email Marketing

    Start email marketing as soon as possible. You can add a newsletter option for your clients to your website. Send valuable and informative content to them weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Inform them about promotions and specials on time. Provide incentives to your email subscribers so they feel valued.

    Create Paid Ads

    You can choose Google Ads to showcase your business anytime people search for your services. If you have a tight budget, Meta ads are highly suitable.; they are also more suitable if you want to reach many people on time.

    Consider a Frequently Asked Question Page

    People are more likely to phrase their searches as a question than a keyword, so plan for this and create a frequently asked question page on your website. If you have a blog, you can always include an FAQ column to address frequently asked questions by your prospects. This is a fine way to build authority.

    Host a Webinar

    People are more likely to take part in a video conferencing meeting than a physical conference. This video conferencing meeting provides you with an opportunity to talk to a lot of people at once. You can talk to them about topics related to your industry. A great period to host a webinar is before the tax season. This is because many business owners have bookkeeping in their minds during this period. 


    One of the important things to keep in mind as you start your small bookkeeping business is to ensure that you grow as your business grows. Grow in knowledge and network with as many people as possible in your industry. Take certification courses, attend professional webinars and events, and never forget to be up to date with the latest trends and innovations in the bookkeeping industry.

    Bookkeeping is not the only small business idea you can start this year. There are several profitable online business ideas you should start in 2023. Starting any of these businesses requires patience and hard work. In the end, you will get rewarded for your persistence and dedication.

    Frequently Asked Questions on Bookkeeping Business

    Do I need a physical space to start a bookkeeping business?

    No, you don’t need to have one. You can start this business in the comfort of your home. As your business grows, you might choose to hire employees. When you do so, you can decide to rent an office space or continue working remotely.

    Is it a must to specialize in a niche industry?

    It is not compulsory to specialize in an industry, however, many do so for marketing reasons. It is easier to market your bookkeeping business when you specialize than when you don’t.

    Why is Bookkeeping Important for Businesses?

    Bookkeeping is important for businesses to properly manage their financials, set budgets, pay taxes, and plan for growth.

    How can I market my small bookkeeping business?

    There are several ways to do so, but one of the most important ways is to create a Google business profile. Add the right information about your business on your profile. This will make you discoverable to prospects.