Small Business Tax Center
Small Business Ideas, Grants &
Plans to Start & Run a Business:

Small Business Grants
CyberSchmooz
Network in Cyberschmooz Community Ask Questions Questions and Answers Share Tips Small Business Ideas List Your Business Business Advice from Idea Cafe Experts Coffee Talk with Experts Starting A Business Business Plan Biz Planning | Sample Plans Small Business Ideas Idea Name Your Biz Name Plan Your Biz Plan Financing $ Starting a Business Do It! Running your Business Marketing Tips Promotional Merchandise Marketing Tips Marketing | Sales | Customers Human Resources HR | Employees | Contractors Legal Forms & Tax Information Legal | Biz Forms Managing a Business Managing | Operations
Financing Resources Financing Your Business E Commerce & Webhosting eCommerce Take Out Info Trade Publications FREE Trade Publications Business Books Biz Books Your Own Business Small Business News Small Biz News Gen X Biz Gen X Biz Work at Home Work @ Home Business Information The Fridge - Biz Info on Ice Destress Send Awards Send Awards & Greetings Yoga At Your Desk Yoga @ Your Desk Fun Guide Guide to Find FUN Online About Idea Cafe Press Idea Cafe has received Idea Cafe in the News Idea Cafe's Kudos Kudos for Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy Contact Idea Cafe Contact Idea Cafe Link to Idea Cafe Link to/from Idea Cafe Join Idea Cafe
Search Idea Cafe Site Directory Site Map SMARTpages.com Find a Business, Person, or
    Directions at SMARTpages
Online directory to business resources Biz Web Guide



Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

color business bar

The Biz Question

After many years of office experience I have decided to have my own home based business. I purchased a bookkeeping program and now I need a name and what to charge for the service. I am also trained on a PageMaker and may incorporate that into the business. I'm very close to marketing myself but any help or input from anyone familiar with this would be greatly appreciated.

Answer from our Guest Expert Mark Bower of Aberdeen Mobile Home Repair

So you're thinking of jumping into the world of self-employment? It's a pretty exciting step! Are you ready?

Get Your Ducks In a Row

Hopefully, before you take that leap, you'll have some prospective contacts lined up ready to give you some initial business. If not, then a very sound marketing plan -- complete with info on how you'll find those start-up customers -- is a savvy, start-up chore. (More on that later.)

What's In a Name?

First, choose a name that really lets people know your business. For example, Academy Bookkeeping or Bookkeeping Plus. Don't use a name like Zachary & Associates or Ralph and Sons. These type of names say nothing about you or your biz. Personally, I like to use names that begin with the first letters of the alphabet; on the other hand, I also despise names like "A1..." or "Ace..." or "AAA..." As they say, "A name says it all!" Roll up your sleeves and get creative with a catchy biz name for a bookkeeping service.

Then get those biz cards printed up as soon as possible. Don't be bashful! Give 'em out like candy!

The Price Is Right

Many new biz owners underestimate pricing their services. They feel that since they're earning $10 per hour at their jobs, it'd be okay to charge $10 an hour in their new business. Wrong! As a rule of thumb, you'll want to charge roughly double your current income to maintain the same earnings, assuming you get 40 billable hours of work a week. So if you wish to earn $10 an hour, then charge your customers at least $20 an hour. The extra $10 will help cover your overhead, taxes and basic benefits.

I recommend small biz owners charge no less than $25 an hour for services rendered. If you can't charge at least that much, then why go into business? Of course, check-out what your competition is charging and try to stay in line with that.

Find Your Piece of the Marketing Pie

In the beginning, you may find it difficult to locate customers who need a full service bookkeeper, such as yourself. Many small businesses prefer to do much of the bookkeeping themselves. Don't be discouraged! Rather, look at it as an opportunity to develop a market niche.

Several months ago here at Idea Cafe, a person like you had a dream of starting a bookkeeping biz. She had one great idea for a market niche. She knew that many small businesses preferred to do much of their own bookkeeping on their computer. However, she also discovered that those same businesses weren't very comfortable in setting-up their accounting software. Ta Da! In steps her biz!

The same can be said for closing-out and starting the next year. When I last heard from her, she was developing a marketing plan towards helping small businesses who preferred to do their own bookkeeping, but wouldn't mind a little extra help when it came to year-end duties. Plus, she was always a phone call away if anyone had a question or problem throughout the year.

Get Those referrals

Most of your sales will come from referrals and good ole word-of-mouth. Start that ball rolling by knocking on doors. To back that effort up, place a small classified ad under the service experts section of your local newspaper, and get yourself listed in the Yellow Pages. Beyond that, I wouldn't spend much more on advertising. See what develops with your hands-on marketing efforts first.

As I've said before, when you first start your business, being a salesperson will be your main occupation -- bookkeeper will be your second.

Good luck!

Mark

Have a biz question of your own? Go post it in CyberSchmooz

Meet the Experts

Google      

Small Business Tax CenterIdea Cafe HomeSign UpBiz Grant CenterCyberSchmoozCoffee Talk with ExpertsPeople in Biz ProfilesStarting Your BizBiz PlanningRunning Your BizFREE Trade PublicationsMarketingFinancing Your BizHuman ResourcesLegal & Biz FormsManaging Your BizeCommerceYou and Your BizGen XWork@HomeThe FridgeDe-StressSend an AwardSend an eGreetingYoga @ Your DeskWeb GuideIdea Cafe in the NewsAbout Idea CafeAdvertise on Idea CafeContact UsPrivacy PolicySite MapSmall Biz News

Copyright 1995-2017, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.

DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.

TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business™, CyberSchmooz™, and BizCafe™.