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5 Tips for Starting Up an Accounting Practice

1. Bounce-backability

The temptation to get discouraged is real when new ideas fail or a potentially significant new client rejects your proposal. Stay positive and develop the ability to dust yourself off and move on. Learn from past disappointments fast and you’ll succeed in the long run.

2. Time management

As an accountant, you are partly a salesman of your time. The reality, however, is that not all time spent on business activities is recoverable from clients. With time as a limited resource, it is imperative that you manage your time with the utmost efficiency, strategically balancing time spent on billable (revenue generation) and non-billable (creating systems for revenue generation) activities. Your business depends on this. 

3. Networking

Networking should be considered a necessary tool for growing your business throughout its lifetime, but even more so in the early days. Relationships built today might not lead to immediate business opportunities tomorrow, but it will make key industry players aware of your existence which often leads to long-term business opportunities down the line. Be ready to pitch your brand in any situation and carry your details with you at all times.

4. Managing cash flow

The lifeblood of any small business is cash flow and subsequently the management thereof. Make an effort to stay as lean as possible for as long as possible. Increase spending on infrastructure as necessitated by growth in clients and generally cut spending on “nice to haves”. If you can hold meetings in your clients’ offices during the start-up phase, avoid buying a plot in the newest office park – however nice the view is.

5. Personal touch

Keep things professional, but never cold. Get to know your clients. This is your competitive advantage over the bigger firms. Create a family environment that your staff and clients really want to be part of. Key to getting this right? Effective communication.