Accounting a career as an entrepreneur
Before you open, you need to know what kinds of services you will provide. This process is called finding your niche.
You might be excited to jump into your new accounting business with both feet. However, you need to realistically assess whether you can afford to start a full-time accounting business.
- Instead, you might choose to continue to work your day job but build your accounting business at night or on the weekends.
- If you are currently an accountant, then proceed cautiously. Your employer won’t like that you are setting up a new business as a competitor.
- If you are an experienced accountant, then think about the type of work you have enjoyed most. Do you want to work with businesses, individuals, non-profits, etc.? Do you know what type of work you don’t want to do?
- If you have no experience, then it might take you a while to find your niche. However, you can talk with accountants who are currently practicing to get a feel for what they do.
- Start by having a well-defined image of the ideal client you are seeking.
- Be strategic with networking activities so that you invest your time in groups where you are likely to meet quality prospects who fit your ideal client profile.
- Commit to being present at targeted events in the business community with enough consistency to develop a strong reputation and gain traction with prospects.
- Be precise with centers of influence as to the type of clients you can serve best and describe the businesses you can work with most effectively.
- Do not be uncomfortable asking for referrals from People.
- When introducing yourself and the firm, make the distinction about what differentiates you. Make it crystal-clear how the firm adds value for clients beyond the services you deliver.
- When connecting with prospects, do your best to get to know decision makers and influencers in the company.
- When you are at a fact-finding meeting with a prospect, never “wing it”; always be prepared. Conduct research about the organization; develop a list of important and relevant questions long before you walk through the door.
- When creating your meeting agenda, always start by listening. Once you have heard what really matters most, read between the lines before you respond.
- When you leave the meeting, agree on the next steps; do not leave without scheduling a date (accepted by all) to reconnect.