Today, I have a very informative interview that I want to share with everyone. I’ve recently had the opportunity to interview Ben Robinson from Bookkeeper Business Launch. In this interview, Ben explains how you can become a bookkeeper and launch a profitable bookkeeping business from home.
Ben helps people by training them to become great bookkeepers and start their own bookkeeping business from home. The best part is that you don’t need a degree or any previous experience to start working from home as a bookkeeper!
Currently, Ben offers a FREE Online Course to help you decide if starting your own bookkeeping business is the right decision for you. So, let’s find out the details of this informative interview and see if this work-from-home career may be a possibility for you!
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Ben, please tell us about yourself.
I was a CPA and owned my own accounting and bookkeeping firms for 14 years. I ran my practice all wrong. I was miserable and had no life. I had a “rock bottom” moment and decided things had to change. I spent the next few years figuring out how to run a practice the right way. I ended up with a practice that I loved and that gave me the freedom to live the life I wanted. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to follow my passion for teaching and for helping others.
In my 14 years of practice, I had trained over 100 bookkeepers and I learned what separated the “ok” bookkeepers from the “great” bookkeepers. So, I sold my firm and created Bookkeeper Business Launch to help you become a great bookkeeper and create a thriving virtual bookkeeping business. One that will give you financial freedom and the ability to live the life of your dreams.
What is bookkeeping? Can you explain this in detail?
In simple terms, bookkeeping is the recording, storing and retrieving of the financial records for a company. Every business is required to keep accurate financial records. The responsibilities of a bookkeeper can vary depending on the complexity and size of a business. Generally, a bookkeeper is responsible for recording daily financial transactions (money going in and out of a business) and properly categorizing those transactions.
What is the difference between being a bookkeeper and an accountant?
These days, the line between a bookkeeper and an accountant is quite blurry. Most companies will hire a bookkeeper to do the day-to-day transactions and bring in an accountant for annual tax prep or audits. But bookkeepers are taking on so much more now. They are moving beyond number-crunching and data entry to reconciliation, preparation, review and presentation of financial reports. They are becoming a vital part of a company’s financial success.
What does it take to become a bookkeeper? Do you need any special skills?
I wouldn’t say that “anyone” can become a bookkeeper; you definitely need certain skills, but they are not what you may think and most can be taught. Surprisingly, “advanced math skills” are NOT necessary! In my free course, you find out the 7 character traits of a great bookkeeper, The two that can’t be taught are; #1 – an eye for detail. The accounting/bookkeeping software does all the math for you, but you need that eye for detail to be able to spot when something isn’t right) #2 – Having a Caring Personality. Believe it or not, bookkeeping is first and foremost a relationship business. The great bookkeepers truly care about their clients and the success of their client’s business. If you possess those two traits, then you can become a great bookkeeper if you get the right training.
How much money would a bookkeeper expect to earn after a year of starting?
I wish I could give you a dollar figure, but so much goes into your earning potential. The biggest factor is effort. This is not a get rich quick scheme or a magic pill. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into creating a successful business. I give you all the information and tools you need along with a step-by-step process. Many of my students and graduates are just looking for part time or supplemental income. Success for them may mean earning $1,000/month. Others are creating hugely successful businesses and replacing full-time jobs. No matter what income level you wish to attain, my team and I are always here to support you!
What is the advantage of starting a virtual bookkeeping business?
Freedom! With a virtual bookkeeping business, you fit your work around your life. You never have to compromise your family time, vacations or kid’s activities because you have to “go to work”. Work anywhere you want. Have a completely flexible schedule. If there’s internet, you can work.
How can a virtual bookkeeper obtain clients?
A full 50% of my course is dedicated to showing you how to get clients. After all, if you don’t have clients, you have a hobby, not a business! I give you a wide variety of marketing techniques to suit your style and fit any budget. I cover online and offline methods, social media, paid advertising, direct mail, the works! Many of my students get their first clients simply by word of mouth. They tell people they are starting a bookkeeping business and inevitably that person either needs a bookkeeper themselves or knows someone who does.
What are the start-up costs to open a virtual bookkeeping business? Also, how much does it cost to maintain it?
In the second class of my free course, I cover the tools needed and their costs in great detail. Spoiler alert – it’s one of the cheapest businesses to start. You can start it for as low as about $300 for total bootstrapping to about $700. The ongoing costs range from about $265-$600. Remember, you don’t need EVERYTHING all at once. Start with the basics and add the extras as you need them. For example, I recommend a good scanner, but in the beginning, you may only be scanning a few documents per month and any cheap scanner will do. If you find your scanning needs increasing as your business grows, THEN you buy a nice one.
Tell us about your course, what could someone expect to learn from this? Is it suitable for everyone?
If you meet the 7 criteria outlined in the first class of my free course, then bookkeeping is for you! The course is split about 50/50 between learning the bookkeeping skills and learning the business and marketing skills. We want you to be getting your business started while you are still learning the bookkeeping skills, so that once you’ve got the skills down, you are ready for your first client! One of my favorite aspects of the course is our amazing private Facebook community. We currently have over 2500 members all helping and encouraging each other. No question ever goes unanswered and you are never alone in your journey.
What advice would you give to someone that wants to become a bookkeeper and open their own bookkeeping business?
First, I would say, don’t let fear rule your life! Fear is what holds us back. I saw a great quote recently… “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right”. I want people to be excited about their life and their work. Second, I would say, take my free class 🙂 The 3 free classes will go into great detail about what it takes to start your own virtual bookkeeping business. By the end of those classes, you will know if starting your own bookkeeping business is the right decision for you.
As you can see, starting your own bookkeeping business from home could be a great option! I hope this interview was a great starting point for you to build your very own future profitable business from home!
Do you want to know if becoming a bookkeeper and starting your own bookkeeping business may be a great career for you?
Click here to learn more about Ben’s FREE course.