The first port of call if you have no practical bookkeeping experience at all is to ask around friends and family. I know plenty of bookkeepers who have cut their teeth on a family business or offered some free support to a charity close to their heart in order to get your first basic bookkeeping experience.
"If you have exhausted all those options then join bookkeeping forums and groups on Facebook!"
Look out for those who are posting about being busy and needing to subcontract work out. It can be a chicken and egg situation with needing experience and being able to help out a busy practice, but they may be able to allow you to do some of the simpler data entry or checking jobs to get familiar with the software until you are ready to take on clients of your own.
The next step is to get out and look for your own clients within the general business community. The best way to meet people is to go networking. I have tried a few groups over time, and with current restrictions, many groups are now available online. Ask around your peers and see which groups they have found works for them and get booked on and give them a go. Pre-Covid, in the old face to face networking days, I did a post about Business Networking in Milton Keynes with links to local groups and many of these still exist, but are currently in a virtual format.
My favourites to attend are Business Buzz and 4Networking. You can visit either for £5 or £6 respectively and the best way to find the right group for you is to go along and just see which suits you and your character.
There are more formal groups and relaxed groups, groups that only allow one bookkeeper per group and groups (my preference) which allows anyone to go along. Bear in mind that when I grew my business I found more work by connecting with other bookkeepers with us passing work between ourselves than I ever have had from the general business community.
I only half-joked with one of the ladies I support about finding old bookkeepers and make friends with them, as they will want to retire at some point and will need someone they trust to hand over their bookkeeping jobs to.
"This is how I found some of my nicest clients!"
If you feel you would like more hands-on support and advice with getting started building your own bookkeeping business, or you need help with a bookkeeping issue or with Xero or Sage50c software then do get in touch -
Sometimes, just talking through a problem is all you need to do to find a solution.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01604 217365 and let's see how I can help you.
Alison loves bookkeeping and supporting bookkeepers. She has been helping clients to be better bookkeepers in Sage 50 for over 24 years and has been Xero Accredited in accounts and payroll for a number of years too.
She specialises in a very unique hand-holding method of training, helping bookkeepers and business owners to use their accounts software as and when they need support in setting up and producing their invoices, reports and financial information.
Alison combines her role at Silicon Bullet with her Forever Living network marketing businesses and is often to be seen at business networking meetings as she likes to keep busy.
You know what they say: if you want something done well ask a busy person!
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