The area of bookkeeping can be very versatile, especially if you are interested in starting your own business. Businesses of every size and structure require resources to help manage their finances. If you possess the necessary qualifications and business-related skills, you are in a great place to look at setting up your own bookkeeping business.

Gain the right qualification

The first step you will need to take will be to complete the right bookkeeping and accounting qualification. Oxbridge offers an ICB Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping. If the Level 2 seems too much at this point, we also offer an Introduction to Bookkeeping course. In addition to teaching you all the knowledge and skills, you will need to become a bookkeeper, this distance learning course also allows you to become an affiliated member of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB). Being an ICB member means you will receive supervision through the Practice Licence scheme that all self-employed bookkeepers need to have in place to be able to operate. See our full list of our ICB Bookkeeping Courses.

Create a business plan

Once you have completed this course and have the necessary experience, you will then need to develop a business plan. This plan will allow you to put in place operational targets and financial planning. A good business plan will also allow you to monitor your business as it grows. You will need to determine if you should set up your bookkeeping business as a sole trader, limited liability company, or even in a partnership arrangement with another bookkeeper. You can discuss these options with a private business support service or government-run advisory service.

Choose your location

Running your own bookkeeping business is possible to do from your home. The costs associated with setting up this type of business are relatively low; providing you have the necessary ICT systems and software in place. You can, of course, choose to work out of an office if you wish to separate home and work and have a physical space for clients to go. However, this will drive up your overhead costs. If you intend to employ staff, you may also want to learn about ICB Payroll Management which will help you keep on top of your monthly employee outgoings.

Research the competition

If you are considering starting your own bookkeeping business, it is a good idea to assess your competition. This knowledge will help you determine current rates of pay and the range of services offered. Carrying out research into other services will also enable you to determine if there are any gaps in the market that could allow you to set yourself apart.

Assess availability

Another key aspect of planning your own bookkeeping business is to calculate your availability. This way, you can start to assess how best to structure your week. You will need to consider whether you wish to be available within normal working hours or to offer a more flexible service, which would mean potentially working less sociable hours. It is important also to factor in the time you need to take to manage and run your own business.

Find clients

The last step to take is to start to build your client base. At the beginning of any business venture, word-of-mouth is often the way to achieve this, so it is a good idea to start small but ensure you offer an excellent level of service. This way, your current clients will hopefully tell other people in their network about your business. You will also need to include a marketing strategy within your initial business plan.