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Starting up a new practice

I am an ACA qualified accountant and have worked in practice for over 10 years. I  would like to build up a small portfolio of clients that I could look after in the evenings and weekends. The services that I will be offering include book keeping, VAT Returns, payroll, management and statutory accounts, tax returns and tax advice etc.

How can I best advertise my services to the local community?


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By David2e
21st Apr 2010 10:35

Networking and tell people

It may depend on the clients you want to target, but rather than traditional advertising you'll probably find it more effective to network locally.

This can be local networking events, but also getting involved in the community and what's happening.  Connecting to businesses in your area will quickly see you being introduced to others they are connected with.

Also let people know you are in business. Friends, family, local businesses... tell them what you are doing and open up discussions.

There's really a wealth of ideas here and elsewhere on the web as it's a common question to ask.

David Toohey
The Accountants Circle

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By Anonymous
21st Apr 2010 10:52

Clear it with your employer first.

You do not want to be sacked in this climate.

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By Anonymous
21st Apr 2010 13:17

Search AccWeb

As David suggested, this type of question gets asked very regularly on here.

In addition to what has already been said, I would also make it clear to your clients that you have a full time job, so your communication with them may be limited/restricted, rather than not mention it and risk upsetting them - they may want prompt replies, or meetings during the day.




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21st Apr 2010 20:33

Starting out

Good points already made to check with your employer and also advise clients that you are working so not immediately contactable.

Working with small firms this should not be a problem, if the clients are managed properly. 

The main challenge that you will have is juggling full time employment with building and servicing a client base.  With that in mind if I were you I would be very selective of who I would take on as a client.  You have the luxury of being able to do that as you do not need the revenue, and your overheads are very low.  You do not want to be in a position where you are a busy fool, and your employment and your quality of life suffer.  Presume you have thought of all this anyway but worth spelling out just in case.

With regards to your original question, agree with David that networking is a very succesful method.  It can take time but its time wisely invested.

Some other ways, try speaking to as many potential introducers in your area as possible such as bank managers, local Business Link branch, other professionals.  Use the web, advertise in local trade magazines, go to local business events.

Best of luck.


Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - For accountants and bookkeepers











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22nd Apr 2010 13:35


As someone who has fairly recently set up their own business, I do recommend setting up a website (even a very basic one) and linking it to the various online directories.  Most of these directories offer a free link.

If you search around on the internet you can find companies who will build a basic website for not a lot of money - or even free (see for example).

I did not find 'normal' advertising worked at all for my business.

Other direct advertising such as leaflets through doors may generate a little interest - I have not tried this yet but am considering it - either targetting businesses, or a general residential leaflet campaign, or both.

Other than that I am afraid it has to be word-of-mouth - if you think about how you go about finding a professional, I would first ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations, failing that I would do a google search on t'internet and check out websites, then try to find reviews of the companies.

Good luck - I hope we are not in the same area and I am giving advice to the direct competition!


DFL Accountants Ltd

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