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5 Steps for Setting Yourself Up for Success - Marketing Your Freelance Bookkeeping Business Lisa Patrick

Many people decide to become freelancer bookkeepers, as a full-time job, or as a way to supplement a current job. If you have decided to start a freelance bookkeeping business, you will be in charge of getting and keeping clients, marketing yourself and promoting your business.

You need to do some work ahead of time to determine who you are, what you’re offering, why you’re unique, and how potential clients can benefit from your services.

1. Study the market and your competition

Do your homework and find out what the next-best thing is doing. Put in the time and money to research your competition; you could find opportunities to define your competitive advantage.

2. Determine your target market

Identify who your ideal client is. What services do they require? Your business must solve your ideal client’s problems. Also, if you have existing clients, listen to them about what they like and what they don't like. Determining your target market will allow you to modify your business accordingly. For instance, you may prefer to work with clients from a specific industry or who bring in a certain level of revenues each year. You need to know who you’re marketing to.

3. Develop your product

Successful business owners focus on what they enjoy doing and are good at. What bookkeeping services do you want to provide? There may be an opportunity to distinguish yourself by how you deliver your services. For example, consulting over the Internet, face-to-face, on the phone, through webinars, etc. As well, you might serve a unique software application that could distinguish you and give you a competitive advantage. Think about what deserves your marketing spotlight.

4. Set a price

Find out what the median hourly wage is and position yourself accordingly. Be prepared to negotiate a fee and you can always increase your rates once you are established.

5. Start promoting and solicit clients

There are endless marketing opportunities so figure out your target market and where you’ll find them. You could approach small local businesses, post ads in your local paper, advertise on the Internet. You should represent yourself on the web with a website—a good website—that makes you look professional and brands yourself well. Social media can be overwhelming so be aware of what social avenues exist but don't feel obliged to participate on every platform. By focusing your attention where it matters, you can make the most of social media without getting lost in the many possibilities.


What to do with your inactive company - no revenue but want to keep it active! Lisa Patrick

The company you own has not been active or generating any revenue, but you want to keep the company live with the province and compliant with the federal government - there are some things you need to know.

Ensure that you:

File any GST/HST and Corporate tax returns with zeros
Renew the corporate name registration at the province (annual return)
 
If you maintain your minute book with a lawyer, obtain a copy of some of the forms in the minute book to keep on hand or leave with your tax accountant.
The copies will ensure you always have an alternate location to obtain the documents.

the form list is below:
certificate of incorporation
articles of incorporation
confirmation by the province of who the directors and the shareholders are.
resolution of the directors to issue shares
resolution of the shareholders
 
Links to information that may assist you.
federal tax return
T2SHORT - The T2 Short Return - For Eligible Corporations <http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2short/README.html>
Annual Returns - Corporations Canada <http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cd-dgc.nsf/eng/cs02544.html>
 
GST/HST
GST/HST - GST/HST returns <http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/gst-tps/bspsbch/rtrns/menu-eng.html>
 
Alberta website with forms
Service Alberta: Forms - Extra-provincial Registrations <http://www.servicealberta.ca/842.cfm>
including annual registration http://www.servicealberta.ca/pdf/Forms/REG3062.pdf
British Columbia
Corporate Registry – BC Registry Services <http://www.bcregistryservices.gov.bc.ca/bcreg/corppg/tilma/tilmafaq.page>
Manitoba
Province of Manitoba | Companies Office <http://www.companiesoffice.gov.mb.ca/formandfeechanges.html>
New Brunswick
SNB - Corporate Registry - What's New? <
http://www.snb.ca/e/6000/6606e.asp>
Newfoundland
Registry Forms | Service NL <http://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/forms/files/index.html>
Northwest Territories
NWT - Corporate Registry <http://www.justice.gov.nt.ca/CorporateRegistry/CR_BCA.shtml>
Nunavut
Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti · Business Registration <http://nni.gov.nu.ca/regmain>
Ontario
Corporations Information Act Annual Returns - Government of Ontario (Canada) - Ontario.ca <http://www.ontario.ca/en/business/STEL02_163191.html>
Prince Edward Island
Register my Company to do Business on P.E.I. <
http://www.gov.pe.ca/jps/index.php3?number=14981&lang=E>
Quebec
Revenu Québec - File Them Together: The Annual or Current Updating Declaration and the Income Tax Return - Income Tax - Businesses <http://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/entreprise/impot/societes/declaration/jumelage.aspx>
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Publications Centre <http://www.publications.gov.sk.ca/>
Yukon
Corporate Affairs - Government of Yukon <http://www.community.gov.yk.ca/corp/corpforms.html>
 

Darlene Lafond R.P.A.


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