How do you get started with business advisory services? Do you know what the most valuable part of your bookkeeping business is?
You have the experience and expertise to help your clients grow and flourish. So why limit yourself to just the standard bookkeeping tasks?
We’re here to tell you that you’re ready to start an advisory service. Chances are you already provide support and advice free of charge! If you’re not sure how to get started in business advisory, don’t worry. With over 40 years combined experience at Pure Bookkeeping we can help you get you started.
What Is A Business Advisory Service?
If you have a strong understanding of your client’s business and the environment it operates in, trends within the market, enjoy solving problems and of course maintaining great relationships, then you’re well on your way to a future in advisory! For this reason, bookkeepers are well placed to offer a variety of business advisory services.
Here are some examples of business advisory services you may want to consider:
- business plans and goal setting
- basic financial modelling
- growth and profitability strategies
- regular management meetings
- exit strategies and succession planning
Business advisory services will add value to your clients. As a result, it may just increase the value of your practice. Follow the steps in Measuring the Value of your Bookkeeping Business to keep track of the impact these services have on your bottom line.
Say No To The Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome is the feeling that you’re not qualified to do your job. More often than not we don’t think we are experienced enough to step into an advisory role, but let’s do a little reality check.
Do your clients call you for advice on:
- programs to use
- completing forms for grants or loans
- general business advice
- how to train their staff
- what financial reports mean
- troubleshooting software issues
- reviewing their systems and processes
- steps to help them achieve their goals
- or anything else outside of your bookkeeping tasks?
Then you are advising!
If you’re not feeling confident, then let’s start working towards it. Speaking from a place of experience is powerful. So in order to build up to being an advisor, implement your own advice on your own business.
Start With What You Know
One of the most common mistakes when starting out in an advisory role is to take on too much. The reality is you can’t be an expert on everything and you will burn yourself out.
Let’s keep it simple, ask yourself what you can offer. When you start thinking through this, consider these factors:
- What am I really good at?
- What industry (or industries) am I most familiar with?
- Where do my interests lie?
- What areas am I least confident in?
When starting in advisory, start with the parts of business you know well. Be realistic about your capabilities and know when to guide your clients to other services better equipped to help them.
When it comes to business advisory services, setting boundaries can sometimes seem like the hardest part. Here are three key steps to ensure you are setting yourself up for success:
- Set the cost of your services. We recommend charging a higher rate than your bookkeeping services.
- Create boundaries: what does the client need to do for you to get started? When can they expect responses back? What are the hours of availability?
- Set expectations upfront – give both yourself and your potential clients the best chance of success by outlining and agreeing on expectations from both parties to avoid any confusion down the road.
If your client calls you up and asks for advice it’s tempting to want to help them! Gently let them know that you’d gladly be able to help them, however, they need to book in a time with you.
Building up your bookkeeping business can be a long but ultimately fulfilling journey. There is so much potential and many ways for bookkeeping businesses to grow and expand, so don’t hold back. Be confident in what you know and start from there. From there you can start to stretch yourself and push outside of your comfort zone once in a while. Chances are you are already providing an advisory service, you just need to set firm boundaries.
If you are looking to take the next step with your business, please reach out! Our team at Pure Bookkeeping would love to talk about your business strategy and what we can do to help your move into business advisory a resounding success. A complimentary strategy session is available to all Calxa members, all you have to do is book your preferred session time.
About the Author
Katrina Aarsman is a mentor, author, entrepreneur and CEO of Pure Bookkeeping. With more than 25 years of experience within the bookkeeping and financial services industries, Katrina’s passion has always been to help bookkeepers grow successful and profitable businesses. Katrina’s skills and experience lend her to a variety of specialist fields, including business automation, business growth, and workflow management. You will find Katrina as host to the Power Hour every week over at The Successful Bookkeeper Australia.
One of the areas Katrina is most passionate about is in Advisory and has recently built an Advisory course to share her knowledge with bookkeepers so that they can truly empower small business owners around their finances.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Katrina is a mother to three, including one gorgeous fur baby named Daisy.