Starting a successful business of any kind can be a daunting task. However, if you have the mindset of an entrepreneur and the right set of skills and experience, it just might be something worth pursuing. As an accountant, you know that the market is ripe and there are very few, if any, businesses that don’t need help with keeping their finances in order. There is also a huge market for accountants who specialize in individual financial advice, especially in terms of taxes. Are you considering opening your own accounting firm? These tips should help you determine the best course forward.
1. Buying an Active Accounting Firm May Be Your Best Choice
Even if you have several years of experience, starting an accounting firm from the ground up may not be your wisest choice. It can take more than two years to even break even before realizing a profit when starting a new business, so perhaps buying an accounting firm listed for sale may be your best opportunity for quick success. You can find accounting firms listed for sale by Poe Group Advisors who also offer resources on Seamless Succession. The whole purpose of buying an accounting firm already in operation is to bypass that startup waiting phase but walking into a going concern will take strategy as well.
2. Consider Working in the Cloud
If you aren’t exactly sold on moving to a new location, there is nothing to say that you cannot buy an existing accounting practice with the goal of transitioning most of your services to the cloud. Owning and operating a cloud-based accounting firm offers greater chances for success due to a much broader reach for new clientele. You may find that while most of the current clientele is happy to work with new owners, there may be some who are reluctant to change. These few would likely choose another local firm rather than working with an unknown in their area. Even if you were to keep the entire clientele of the previous owner, who wouldn’t benefit by growing their client base?
3. Make It a Team Effort
Whether you bring staff with you or choose to work with staff already on the payroll of the firm you intend to buy, always make it a team effort. This is especially important during the early days when there is much to do transitioning a going concern to your business model. Learn to delegate tasks because you can’t be everywhere at once, and if you don’t already have an office manager, now would be a good time to hire one. As an accountant, you know what an arduous task it is reconciling financials and it will be so much more time-consuming when looking through the financials of hundreds of clients. With a team in place, the workload could be divided up, making it easier for you to oversee the entire process.
So, it seems that the choice you need to make at this time is whether you want to start a brand-new firm or take over an existing firm that comes with a ready-made client base. The choice is yours but unless you are willing to relocate, working in the cloud might be your very best option.