Starting your own accounting or small tax practice promises to be one of the most rewarding professional challenges that you might ever decide to take on. As long as you are prepared for the initial long hours and hard work that it takes to build a business from the ground up, you'll have the chance to make a real positive difference in your life and the lives of those people you serve.
There are many details to owning your own practice, from picking out office furniture to attracting and keeping clients, that go along with the start of any small business. Here are a few tips that can help you as you get your own practice up and running.
Hire the Right Team for You
Employees are the foundation of any successful small business. It's a good idea when hiring employees to select people who share a similar work ethic and values as you. Because your business is small, that implies that you'll be working closely with people. Choosing people with great education and experience will mean little to you if they have abrasive personalities and constantly undermine your goals and vision.
Good traits to look for in a potential employee, besides the aforementioned strong work ethic, are energy, passion, and a willingness to learn and adapt. The critical part of finding the right person for the job is to have a substantial pool of talent to draw from. This will allow you to take your time and be picky about who you bring on. The best way, without a doubt, to locate good talent is to advertise on one or more of the online job boards. Employers have had excellent luck with sites like Gumtree.
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If you are approaching opening your own practice after having worked for a large firm, one huge difference that you'll have to cope with is the lack of a thriving client base to begin with. As a business owner, it is down to you to set aside the funds for a marketing campaign as well as making all of the arrangements, i.e. hiring marketers, designers and copywriters. If you plan to bootstrap your own marketing in the beginning in order to save on costs, then prepare to deal with the learning curve involved in writing good copy that sells.
Positive word of mouth advertising can make or break a small business in the beginning. Be sure to wow your clients with fantastic service and they will show their appreciation by getting the word out about you.
Decide Early What Clients to Work With
There are at least two reasons why you want to decide what type of clients you want to do business with. The first reason is because this is your business and if you want it to succeed you are going to have to love it. Nothing will kill your passion for your work faster than having to deal with an endless string of the wrong types of clients who turn your business into a form of torture for you.
The second reason why it's important for you to know who you want as your customers ties back into your marketing. If you know who you want to work with, you can tailor your marketing to attract that specific person -- while very carefully making sure that you repel those who you know would not be right for you. It can be difficult to overcome the mindset that you need to market to everyone, but in the long run, you'll be happier and more successful if you build your business by serving the type of clients that you love.