I have been an accountant for the past fifteen years, working at a big firm. Now, I want to start my own business. I feel ready in the sense that I am confident in my abilities. However, money concerns come to mind. I have a family and don’t want to risk not being able to support them. I have heard that starting an Accounting firm takes a lot of money. How do I get funding to open my own business?
-Calculating in Denver
Dear Calculating in Denver,
First, congratulations on wanting to go the entrepreneurial route. I am glad that you are trying to launch in the right manner and thinking ahead. I am not sure where you heard that an accounting firm takes a lot of money, but I know many accountants who started their practice with a few hundred in their pocket. For beginners, I would focus on establishing your own clientele and reputation. You don’t need to start a full fledge firm with secretaries and expensive copy machines. Start slow and build up your practice. Check out this article on three ways to raise funding. So, my first piece of advice to you is to examine how much money it would actually take. You may be pleasntly surprised. Secondly, focus on marketing your services. You don’t need a huge marketing budget. Leverage the internet to market your services for free and start getting the word out through family members and friends. Here is an idea-you can host a small party (chips and dip) for all your acquaintances and make an official announcement. Be sure to give out business cards at the party and ask them to spread the word. Most people (especially if they like you) are happy to help. You just have to ask. Third, get the family involved. This is especially true if you have kids. Explain your plan to them and let them help out. A strong support system is a must when launching your own business. If you want to start your own business, go ahead and give it your all. Start small, build up your reputation, market to your friends and family, and create a strong support system. Best of Luck and Work Smart!