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4 Keys to Successfully Starting Your Own Firm

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The Great Resignation isn't just about people leaving their jobs to find a new boss to work for. Many are also striking out on their own, and this includes bookkeepers. Here, one expert offers her top four tips to help you succeed in your entrepreneurial venture.

Aug 1st 2022
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Some people just work better on their own and enjoy the flexibility of being their own boss. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a rise in the number of self-employed workers, with 16 million people now placing themselves in this category in the United States. Across all industries, professionals have seen the benefits of becoming entrepreneurs. 

But breaking away from “corporate” can be daunting. Many businesses fail within their first year, and 70 percent do not make it to their 10th birthday. Is there a secret ingredient in order to be the 30 percent that makes it beyond one decade? Plus, how can you ensure you’re not just a surviving business, but thriving? And where is that opportunity for bookkeepers?

Whether you are a confirmed business of one or have dreams of managing a team, there are a few foundational steps that play a key role in determining your long-term success. And it’s absolutely doable. 

When you’re ready to take the leap, here’s how to successfully go out on your own.

1. Choose joy. It seems easy enough, but if you’ve made it this far, then you are looking for more joy in your life that you aren’t getting from your current position. Congratulations! It takes nerve to realize - and act - on a solo venture. So dive in 100 percent. Joy is the secret sauce of successful entrepreneurship. Those who are most successful are loving their careers, not punching in for the job.

2. Prioritize values. Companies of all sizes often promote their mission, vision and values, and now it’s your turn. These statements are excellent exercises in figuring out your company’s professional purpose and the type of work you want to do. What does your brand stand for? Your values should play into every aspect of your business - from the way you build your strategic plan to the types of clients you take on.

3. Set goals. Beyond the qualitative aspects of business formulation, there are numbers you must calculate. Do some accounting to determine what you need to bill per month for expenses. Then, think about the customers, clients and sales you’ll need each month to match, or better yet, exceed those expenses. Small business owners tend to put their salary last on the chopping block; however, this is a mistake. In fact, budget for it, then add 10 percent on top for cushion. Be realistic with your calculations and set actionable goals for building your business.

4. Build your business. There are infinite ways to learn from other entrepreneurs online, including articles across AccountingWEB and other news sites. You can also watch YouTube videos and research information that can help you succeed. Offline, look for ways to participate in mentorship by joining an association. Professional groups instantly connect you with future business connections, both partners and prospects alike. Another way to build your business is by aligning with a professional franchise. For example, at Breakaway Bookkeeping + Advising, bookkeepers and advisors work for themselves, not by themselves, meaning there are multiple ways to come together as a cohort to troubleshoot client problems but each advisor is themselves an independent business owner. 

If you are ready to go out on your own, I encourage you to do so! While 70 percent of businesses do not make it to year ten, if you lay the groundwork now, you can #BeTheThirty percent that makes it to double digits. Take the leap. Here’s to your success!