It can be challenging finding customers; you’re going to have to spend a little money and a lot of time promoting your bookkeeping business.
There are a few steps you should consider to help get your business up and running:
- If you are out and about a lot with clients use a mobile phone number
- If you cannot guarantee always being able to answer the phone, sign up with a telephone answering service so they can answer your phone when you’re not around. It gives your business a professional image and is far better than an answer machine message when prospective customers call you up.
- You don’t need a web site, but it can help you win business. There are lots of companies that will set up a web site for you from as little as £100. Your web site should work as a ‘shop front’ for your business, encouraging prospective customers to give you a ring. Choose a web domain name that matches what potential customers will search for on Google rather than a business name. If you’re running your business in Manchester, then calling your website bookkeeping-Manchester will get you far more sales leads.
- Get listings in directories including yell, scoot and touch local.
- Set up Google my Business; this allows your bookkeeping business listing on Google Maps. It is an excellent way of finding new customers, as many people use Google, and your business will be listed in the local area.
- Get yourself some professionally printed business cards and postcards to advertise your services (click here for details of where to get these printed free). The postcards can be placed in shop windows, or used as mailshots directly to your target customers.
- Facebook is an excellent tool for finding customers. Set up a business page and post to local Facebook Groups. It is important to keep posting to your Facebook page. Invite friends and family to like the page.
- Linkedin – set up your profile and add details of the business.
- Twitter, it doesn’t take long to set up an account and post regular updates. Some local groups run networking hours and will retweet your messages.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get your name around.
Introduce yourself to local accountancy firms to see if they have any work available.
Post an advertisement for your services on Gumtree. It is a much-underused resource: it’s free, and it can generate a lot of business. Within days, you may find a well worded Gumtree advertisement will place your business on the front page of Google when prospective customers search.
You will need to refresh your ad every few days, but it is well worth it: it will be one of your best online sales lead generators you will get.
Finding customers – Get out and start networking!
One way of finding customers is to start meeting other business owners and managers. There are lots of business clubs and groups all around the country and going along to meetings and meeting other businessmen and women is a good way of finding prospects.
Business Link and local Chambers of Commerce will both run regional meetings, but you will also find Facebook groups will run their networking meetings in most areas of the country.
Finding Customers – How to Sell to Clients
You are an expert in your field – bookkeeping. The chances are, you’re not a trained salesperson. Yet, to make your business a success, you are going to need to be able to sell.
One of the best ways I have found to take on new clients is to research their business. If they are a company, check the details on companies house. Look at their website for anything unusual. If they are a specialist business, do some research on the bookkeeping methods that may help.
There are countless books and training courses you can go on to perfect the art of selling, but the chances are that most of these are far too in-depth for the level of sales that you will be taking on.
There are other ways of finding customers, but these are the techniques that we use. Good luck with gaining new clients.
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