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Once you’ve completed your bookkeeping course, the next step may be to establish your own business as a bookkeeper. This is the dream for many individuals who have taken an online bookkeeping course or other accounting training and is often the main reason they took that training in the first place: they want to help others better manage their accounting and records and they want their own bookkeeping business.
However, the fact that you’ve taken bookkeeping courses is unlikely to lead clients to you on its own. You will need to market your business, find the right clients and create a dialogue with them so that they understand you are the right choice for them. While exploring your business brand and what it might look like to be in business are fun exercises, they are best left until after you’ve completed your online bookkeeping course or the bookkeeping course you’re taking in person. One step at a time, as the saying goes. If you have a great idea for your future business while involved in your studies, made a few notes so you can revisit it once you are ready to dive into building your business.
Branding your bookkeeping business isn’t always easy but it is usually fun and it will absolutely pay you back in helping you find the clients you want. Here are four steps to taking that online bookkeeping course and turning it into your own branded business:
Pick a niche – A lot of entrepreneurs have a hard time establishing a niche. They want to keep their pool of options as open as possible. For example. You might say that you want to provide bookkeeping services to anyone who needs them. Unfortunately, this doesn’t tell your future clients that you’re the right choice for them.
If you have an interest in the food and beverage industry, why not brand yourself as the “hospitality bookkeeper”? If you love the tax side of bookkeeping, you can specialize in that area. Picking a niche allows you to focus on the group you want to work with most and it tells people who the ideal client is for you. Then, if someone outside of that niche approaches you, of course you can always choose to help them as well.
Identify how you’re different – So many business say that they provide the best service. Unfortunately, with so many saying the same thing, it’s become a vanilla statement. No one hears it and they simply expect it. What you want to do with your business branding is explain how you are truly different. Do you come onsite and set things up with a new client in-person? Do you offer worksheets that define what they should be focused on? Do you have a background specific to their industry? Determine what makes you unique from your competitors.
Establish branding – Now for the fun part! Take some time to establish what your branding needs to communicate. Brand isn’t just your logo and your colour scheme. It includes your tagline, what you stand for as a company, the way you will present yourself at networking meetings and the content you include on your website. It’s the promise you make to your clients about your work and what you do.
When it comes to your brand, don’t strive for the next great tagline and certainly don’t think your brand should be the equal of a Bluetooth speaker, pet food or a car. Strive instead for honesty and a message that illustrates integrity and professionalism, consistency, how you’re different from the others and what makes you the right choice. Tell your story, explain your niche, talk about the ways you do business. Keep this messaging consistent as you continue to grow your business.
Networking – At last, it’s time to get out and tell the world about your business. You can explain what you do and how you do it. Hand out business cards you’re proud of to those who are interested and continue to hone your message.
Is it time to take your bookkeeping courses to the next level in your own business? You’ll want to be sure you’ve got your brand right to appeal to the clients you’re looking for.
Read our other blog: Why You Should Take an Online Bookkeeping Course