Finding Bookkeeping Clients

Discussion in 'Accounts & Finance' started by bookkeeperbasingstoke, Apr 16, 2008.

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  1. bookkeeperbasingstoke

    bookkeeperbasingstoke UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hello everyone. My name is Sarah and I have recently set up my Bookkeeping business based in Basingstoke. I have one potential client but I am finding it hard to generate new business. I have advertised on Gumtree and I have sponsored a local charity which means I will get some advertising at a local charity do in May which will involve the local papers, and local TV. I really could like to chat to someone who has experience of getting new client business who can perhaps give me some tips and pointers. I am QBE and have worked for local firms for over 25 years but as I am a new business working out of my office at home it's becoming apparent that I need some advice on where I need to go from here. I have a website and I am in the process of joining the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.

    Thank you

    Sarah
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: bookkeeperbasingstoke Member since: Apr 16, 2008
    #1
  2. Fernhurst Solutions Ltd

    Fernhurst Solutions Ltd UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    Hiya Sarah ..... welcome to the forum. This is a subject that comes up quite often and imo the general conclusion is that there is no magic solution - i wish there was, trust me!!

    Have you tried writing to local accountants who might be interested in sub-contracting work?

    Have you contacted mailing list companies who provided details of new businesses to the area?
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: Fernhurst Solutions Ltd Member since: Jul 18, 2007
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  3. wood1e2

    wood1e2 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    What about local Chamber of Commerce, do they have network meetings? making sure your website is number one on search engines for basingstoke bookkeeper/ing etc.

    maybe pay for an email campaign, offer discounts to companies just starting up. they post you their invoices and you keep the books, then send back the invoices with a Pre-paid envelope, for the next load of invoicing etc. Or deliver them.
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: wood1e2 Member since: May 2, 2007
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  4. Ozzy

    Ozzy Quite simply, me. Full Member - Verified Business

    3,401 157
    Hi Sarah,
    Some immediate things that come to mind which I hope would be of help.

    As Andrew mentioned, make contact with as many of the accountants in your area that you can. In my experience nearly all of them outsource bookkeeping work because it is more cost effective for them to do that, and it provides a better service to their end client - plus makes teh accountants life easier if their clients books are maintained well.
    Network at events mainly aimed at small businesses, such as the FSB events and Chamber of Commerce events. These will serve you well not only for small business owners, but also many accountants attend these events.
    Finally, contact company formation agents to see if they may be interested in promoting your services to newly incorporated companies.

    I hope this is of help,
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: Ozzy Member since: Feb 9, 2003
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  5. Fernhurst Solutions Ltd

    Fernhurst Solutions Ltd UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    I like the last sentence ..... so would you be willing to do that?
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: Fernhurst Solutions Ltd Member since: Jul 18, 2007
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  6. Ozzy

    Ozzy Quite simply, me. Full Member - Verified Business

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    In principle, yes, if I didn't already also own a bookkeeping company :) which is why I mentioned it because if I didn't then I would.
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: Ozzy Member since: Feb 9, 2003
    #6
  7. Fernhurst Solutions Ltd

    Fernhurst Solutions Ltd UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    so if you received any company formations in the blackburn area you couldn't contact me? :)
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: Fernhurst Solutions Ltd Member since: Jul 18, 2007
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  8. Ozzy

    Ozzy Quite simply, me. Full Member - Verified Business

    3,401 157
    I'm going to drop you a line "offline" because of the setup I have it is not that straight forward, but as per conversations with other people I'm not closing the door. :D
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: Ozzy Member since: Feb 9, 2003
    #8
  9. DavidT

    DavidT UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    914 113
    Ozzy's suggestion is certainly a good one... but don't limit it to formation agents!

    Consider solicitors, graphic & web designers, accountants and so on... think of those that work with new business and build a relationship with them where you might also pass business their way.

    Building your name and reputation is valuable and networking is probably more powerful than sending out unsolicited material. Make everone you know aware that you are looking for new bookkeeping business.

    David Toohey
    The Accountants Circle
    Accountancy & Bookkeeping Forums | Accountant & Bookkeeper Blogs | Accounting Templates | Find Me an Accountant
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: DavidT Member since: Aug 16, 2007
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  10. DFL

    DFL UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1,026 332
    Some good advice on here already and I would reiterate the strategic alliances (bakns, printers, accountants, co formation agents, enterprise agencies, business link etc etc) as well as networking, networking, networking. Try some business breakfast meetings, women in business meetings etc.

    I would also recommend a polished webiste - what is yours, perhaps we can view and feedback.

    Then flyer drops, scour the local papers for opportunities, let everyone and their dog know what you are doing and ask for referrals.

    Another option would be to target by sector, ie choose a sector and go after it, ie builders, plumbers, IT contractors, shops, etc.

    Lastly consider getting the Yellow Pages and working through it by cold calling, not an option I personally favour but it works. Rather than charging straight in offering bookkeeping, ask potential clients how many hours they are using by doing their books - how do they value their time, what can they be doing in that time etc. That approach gives people something to think about. Obviously you will get a negative response 99 times out of 100 but if you make 1000 calls then its a high chance of 10 new clients.

    Once you get the clients in and provide exceptional service the word of mouth will soon follow and you will find that you do not need to spend as much time marketing.
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: DFL Member since: Aug 21, 2007
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  11. Philip Hoyle

    Philip Hoyle UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,227 1,083
    Have a look at www.ahoythere.com which is a type of matching service between service providers and consumers - there may be someone registered on that site wanting a book-keeper in your area.
     
    Posted: Apr 16, 2008 By: Philip Hoyle Member since: Apr 3, 2007
    #11
  12. bookkeeperbasingstoke

    bookkeeperbasingstoke UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    Well what can I say other than thank you all so much for your wonderful advice. You have all been so kind and have given me some fantastic ideas. I have already started to implement some of your ideas and have already got one potential client who I am meeting tomorrow!
    I may contact some of you privately to discuss your ideas further if that is okay?

    Sarah x
     
    Posted: Apr 17, 2008 By: bookkeeperbasingstoke Member since: Apr 16, 2008
    #12
  13. Rienne

    Rienne UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    400 27
    Sarah

    Have you heard of BNI? It is a breakfast networking group which meets once a week and will be attended by other small businesses which are your target market. I can't imagine you would not get business out of it, yours is the ideal kind of
    business which is suited to BNI. The link is http://www.bni-europe.com/uk/


    rgds
    Jeff
     
    Posted: Apr 19, 2008 By: Rienne Member since: Oct 1, 2007
    #13
  14. DFL

    DFL UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Excellent news. Feel free to PM.


     
    Posted: Apr 19, 2008 By: DFL Member since: Aug 21, 2007
    #14
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