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Post Info TOPIC: Bookkeeping practice - advertising


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Bookkeeping practice - advertising


hi all

not sure if you recall my original thread some time ago about starting a new practice and I was given some fantastic advice and tips which Ive taken on board. Just to summarise, all my legal paperwork is approved and I am able to do bookkeeping work without my Acca pc.

My next question (which I thought would be easier to start a new post) is regarding advertising and where to even begin! My website is almost done but how do I even start advertising? Is flyers and business cards still popular?

ive heard of networking but apart from cpd which I mainly do online, the only networking I do is at mother and toddler playgroups ;) Any advice?

thank you all in advance. Have a lovely day.

Malloy



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Ally



Master Book-keeper

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Hi Ally
Your website is only any use to you if clients already know your name, unless you are prepared to do some SEO (or pay for SEM) - just something to keep in mind.

Ive never had a website, nor Facebook page (although I seemed to have clicked on Facebook for one ad am probably casuing more problems by not populating any info), not doen any external advertising and have had a full client book since almost day one. Lost some as Ive gone (managed out/other reasons) but always managed to replace them quickly. Key to me - recommendations.

So - ask at your mother and toddler playgroups for business and recommendations, although beware - at such you may end up with recommends for dog walkers and hairdressers (neither a 'sector' I would be touching with a bargepole) so make sure your message gets out as to your ideal client, you could well end up working for a great SME Limited due to those connections. Ask every new client you get for a recommendation - it soon builds up.

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Joanne

Winner of Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 & 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



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The golden rules :

1) Don't be disparaiging of other practices

2) Don't make unfounded claims of superiority of one's own services

3) keep it honest and in good taste


I had a website but the only time that people used it was to (1) steal bits of it for their own websites or (2) existing clients looking up my contact details because looking me up in their email took too much effort.

Shaun.

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Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Veteran Member

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Thanks both. Totally agree its all about recommendations but selling myself to begin with is my issue! Definitely need to improve upon my confidence in that respect.

Yes - will try the baby groups.
I know Acca do cpd events in my area so should start attending although wasnt sure if I would be allowed seeing as Im not an ACCA approved in terms of my Pc. But a good way to meet people I guess.

Thanks again!

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Ally



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Out of curiosity why would you not take on dog walkers or hairdressers ? (So I am fully prepared!)

and me typing my name as malloy is clearly a typI! Ha



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Ally



Master Book-keeper

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lol I wondered who Malloy was!!!!!!

Cash businesses
often try not to put all through the books! More HMRC investigations! Large staff turnover (so payroll a mare)! Often disorganised. Generally have no clue about the real world.
Partly for this reason I now also avoid cafes/restaurants (have looked after several in the past. Never DogW or HairD though)

I dont consider D/W as real businesses. I know there are probably a few who do, but thats just my opinion.

Much prefer proper entrepreneurial types. They appreciate you more - you are not an added cost burden and they appreciate the advice you give them (and you can make more with added services)





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Joanne

Winner of Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 & 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



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Early on an established practice advised me never take on a web designer business. They think that its a real business but it isn't and they are totally uncontrollable.

There's me, cocky new boy thinking. What does this accountant know. They haven't had me looking after them yet, and idiot that I was I took on a web design company.

Everything that I had been told was absolutly spot on. Seems a business that any and every millenial thinks that they can do and that they are going to be silicone valley billionairs by the time they're thirty.

They think that they are above doing documentation, or giving you ALL of the banks statements, from all of their accounts (Yep, they will try to get one over on you!).

In some ways maybe its a right of passage to have a client like that where you think that you can fix them and the more that you get sucked into their business the more that you lose track of this just not being right.

Was actually the first cleint that I dumped. And I did get a very well deserved "Told you so" from the accountant who had initially warned me about Web Design businesses.


Lol, I'm with Joanne on Dog Walkers... Thats like calling a paper round a business.

And talking about things that are not a business. One we had on here a couple of years back that I would have walked right back out the door was a foster carer... How is that a business!



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Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Expert

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I'll take Shaun's recommendation against web design businesses* and raise it to any kind of marketing company whatsoever! Absolute nightmares; they really do think they're above the law, and that anything related to accounts is no better than something they stepped in.

* I suppose, technically, I do a bit of that myself occasionally, but that doesn't count! ;)

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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

(I only came here looking for fellow apiarists...)



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Ha thats awesome! I would honestly walk away from anyone who classes a paper round as a business. I had one when I was 12 and enough said ;)

Will try the networking. I have recently moved so planning to try the local businesses near me. I am just hoping one business takes me on and that is how weird of mouth begins (if o do a good job I mean)

Thanks again guys!

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Ally



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Hi Ally

Have you checked if there are any business networking groups locally. Many hold coffee mornings or meet up in local cafes/ tea rooms. I live quite rurally and we have (WIRE) Women in Rural Enterprise. Local councils are often also a source of contact. I would have a google and see what you can find. I have found these to be very friendly and helpful and while not always getting direct business, sometimes making a friend leads to introductions to actual business and it can often just help to have support in the early days.

I also believe that it is mostly through recommendations that you get decent business. Is it worth doing a volunteer role and offering your services as treasurer to the Mums & Tots groups?People then get to know what you do and you can be sure among the parents there will be some businesses desperate for help. Although, best to approach this with caution or you can soon end up with more unpaid work than business. I've lost count of the number of Treasurer roles I hold!

Best of luck

Valerie

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Hi Valerie.
Thank you for your reply. I had not actually thought of coffee mornings so thats one to consider.
I will have to accept that this wont be an overnight success :) but slow and steady will hopefully produce some good results.
Thanks again. Have a lovely evening.

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Ally



Newbie

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Hi,

I hope you are doing well. I am a newbie. Please could you guide how you started the practice without being fully ACCA qualified ? I have 6 papers left and I have no jobs since the start of this year but I do have enough experience so I have been thinking about starting my own practice. So any advice would be much much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.



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BMM


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Mom and a new business wrote:

Hi,

I hope you are doing well. I am a newbie. Please could you guide how you started the practice without being fully ACCA qualified ? I have 6 papers left and I have no jobs since the start of this year but I do have enough experience so I have been thinking about starting my own practice. So any advice would be much much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


You cannot. Its against ACCA rules. Get exams 1st. Get practice experience signed off. Then apply for certificate to practice. Before you ask, no you cannot practice under another professional body, nor HMRC. Unless you quite ACCA. This has been covered on this site a trillion times.

(7mins)



-- Edited by BMM on Sunday 18th of October 2020 12:10:59 PM

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Hi,

I really tried to have a bookkeeping practice whilst I was still training towards ACCA. A record of my striggles to keep clients and remain within regulation 8 are still burried in old posts on here. But, eventually you just draw the conclusion that nobody actually wants a bookkeeper, they want a cheaper accountant and as an ACCA trainee you cannot offer the srvices that they want.

For larger clients bookkeeping can be working almost as data entry which is not what you have trained for and I certainly couldn't bring myself to do that.

For smaller cleints they do not want to pay for a bookkeeper and and accountant and they cannot see the difference between the two... Actually, for that matter nor can the ICB or IAB neither of whom stop at trial balance as they know that the target demogrphic of their members services does not stop where the accountancy bodies see bookkeeping stopping.

As stated by BMM above the fact that one is allowed to offer services up to trial balance isn't viable. Even the most well meaning clients will ask questions about what they should do and then you have two issues. First you can't advise them and also you cannot stop them even though you know that what they are on occassion doing is commercial suicide.

Its a sad fact but as jobs dry up so credit management jobs increase with companies increasingly desperate to chase debt so it's worth looking at credit control roles to bury yourself in during training. A good credit control department you don't just chase debt but unravel why there is an issue which invariably is down to misunderstandings. It doesn't breach ACCA rules and the experience can help gain a greater understanding of various businesses which helps with those last few exams.

Good luck and sorry its not being more positive about the effect regulation 8 will have upo your aspirations,

All the best,

Shaun.


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Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.

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