Practice Start Up

I am AAT Qualified and I am at the early stages of ACCA. I am currently working for a practice which is not ACCA Approved Learner and have a strong desire to start my own practice sooner rather than later.

I am considering the AAT Member In Practice route as I only intend to look after small businesses in my practice.  My question to you all is will I struggle to gain new clients with the AAT Member in Practice status???  

Thanks

Comments

Same boat last year...

morgani | | Permalink

I was in the same situation last year.

I hadn't realised the strict restrictions of the ACCA and this really didn't fit in with my plans.

My wife was running a small bookkeeping company and I felt that we could take things further by offering accountancy and taxation services to small businesses.  Practical experience is key and if you have this most of the small businesses have no concern at all.  I started full time in May 2009 with around 15 bookkeeping and payroll clients.  I now have around 125 clients most of which are small businesses at around 70k turnover.

It certainly has not been a restriction for me but I imagine if you decided to target larger companies then it may be.  If however as you state this is not your desire then things should be fine.

I do believe that you need to market your practice to be successful and this means knowing the clients you do and don't want and the way in which you will price and the services you offer.

I only offer fixed fees and may main point I have found with small businesses is that they can speak and meet with me where as at larger firms they have been left to phone conversations only.  My policy is simple pretty much the same fees with a much more personal service.

Saying all this you need to be comfortable with your qualification and being able to sell yourself and the professionalism of your services.  You also need to be happy with what you are giving up.  If you always desired to be a Chartered or Certified Accountant and that's what you want to be then will you be happy?  Think carefully as it may be hard to get back into employment if it doesn't work out.  Saying that be confident, know your target clients, know your USP's and pricing structure and things should develop nicely.

There are plenty of AAT only practices around and there are a few who contribute to the AAT Forums so feel free to ask over there as well.

Do feel free to send me a private message if you want to discuss things in more detail.

Best of luck

Thank you

rjh1983 | | Permalink

Thanks for your reply, I've found this very useful and encouraging.

How did you market your new practice? Have you ever attended networking events?

Google

morgani | | Permalink

I tried many different ways of marketing from simple parish magazine adverts, to mail shots, Yellow pages but the most successful has been investing in a local campaign on Google adwords.

You need to be able to commit to a good budget but a good localised campaign can have good rewards.

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