The number of online accounting courses is quite limited, and of those not many are particularly good, but Accounting for Everyone is one of the diamonds in the pack.
It was put together from over 12 years of research into the double-entry model and how it can be explained in a logical way (and trust me, it is not easy to condense 1,000+ page hard to understand text books into something ordinary humans can grasp).
So in 1998 the first edition of the book that transformed double-entry hit the shelves of Amazon: Accounting for Everyone.
Now in its sixth edition, Accounting for Everyone has helped over 12,000 students get to grips with the fundamentals in a way no other course on accounting and bookkeeping ever has.
And you can now get the whole 12 week online Accounting for Everyone course for an extremely low cost.
When you finish, there is an optional Basic Bookkeeping Certificate online exam you can take to show other people you know the basics.
You get access to all the modules immediately as well as the downloadable PDF version of the workbook and access to the online exam.
This includes the following modules:
You get to access the whole course immediately, so you can work as fast or slow as you like.
Plus you also get a downloadable version of the course workbook (150+ pages) including all the question and answer grids that enhance the Accounting for Everyone course.
And on top of that you get full access to our online Basic Bookkeeping Certification exam.
You can take this as many times as you like until you pass (unlike other courses!), but if you go through every week diligently you will have no problem passing the exam.
We show you simple memory methods not explained anywhere else on how to remember how to cope with debits and credits and getting them in the right order.
This one simple method alone has helped literally thousands of people pass their bookkeeping and accountancy exams.
So all you need to do now is decide when you want to start.
In part 1 of this guide we covered the basics. Part 2 introduced finding your first partners. Part 3 looked at your image and how you present that to prospective clients. This part focuses on how to get those clients.
By now you should have a good idea of how much to charge, how many clients you need in order to be completely independent, how partners can help you, and why your image, from your business name down to what you wear is absolutely vital. So, let’s put it all into practice and go win some clients.
But first a note of encouragement. Once you get a few clients on board, you will find that they start recommending you to other business people they meet. So although you need to get on the first rung, after that it should be plain sailing providing you follow the advice in these guides.
Here’s a great question: How many cars do you see driving around in your local area with a sign on the side or back that says ‘Local Bookkeeping Service…’? None right? So go to a sign maker and get some magnetic car stickers made. That way you can remove them whenever you need to (eg. if you sell the vehicle).
The message on the sign must be absolutely clear and simple. Since you will be displaying the sign in your local area you can use your business name ‘Jill Smith Bookkeeping Service’. It is absolutely vital you put your landline number on there too. The STD code also tells people you are local. You will also need a simple selling slogan. Eg. ‘Best Rates in Town’. It sounds corny, but if someone is looking for your service, they need reassurance they are making the right decision, and ‘best rates’ works. So you will end up with a 3 line ad:
The text must be legible at a distance. Do not use fancy fonts. Simple is best and works. Make sure your landline forwards calls to your mobile when you are out (or your partner is aware they will get calls if they are in).
Advertise in your local newspaper. There is usually a section for local services. You may see competitors in there, so all you need to do is study their ads and look for their weakness. If they offer ‘Established 1899’, make yours ‘Modern Fast and Friendly Service’. Or you could counter it with ‘Fully Accredited’ if they do not mention that. Look for what they have missed off and highlight it in your ad. You will find that these people only advertise occasionally (as you will also do in time yourself) because most clients come from recommendations.
After you advertise, contact that paper’s editorial staff and offer to write a piece on small business and how to succeed. Make it relevant to the readership. Do not ask for money, offer it free. It should be helpful to small businesses, not about bookkeeping. You are gaining trust with peices like this and gaining credibility as an expert. If you can get a regular spot, in 6 months, you will not be able to stop the stampede.
Produce a hand out. Drop them in letterboxes. Ask if your local library would accept them in their local services section. They will display them if there is value in the leaflet. Eg. ‘How to do your bookeeping’. Contact your local chamber of commerce. They may want you to join, but you do not have to. They are there to promote local businesses and you offer a service that will help local businesses. Explain that and they may help. Contact all local networking groups and attend their breakfast meetings. If you get the chance of a 5 minute speaking slot, grab it. All you need to say is that you are a local bookkeeping service, fully accredited and qualified and charge the best rates, come and see me afterwards. Once you have done that a few times, you will find it easy. It will also help with your confidence when meeting other business people in any context.
There are many more ways to promote yourself and your business, but follow the above as a starter and you should have no problem getting your business started and growing it rapidly.
In part 5 of this course we will look at how to keep your clients and meeting deadlines.
If you would like to understand a little more about bookkeeping, subscribe to our 12 week bookkeeping course.