Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Get Your Finances in Order

Alright, so it seems like the research in opening a business is endless...that's because it is. Research is a never ending educational journey in which you can keep improving your business. But in the middle of researching your market, competition, and location...you need to start researching something additional. This should not take as much time or effort as the rest but it is just as important.

Financial research includes finding yourself an accountant who will help you keep your finances in order. In my initial search I asked an accountant I had heard good things about to sit and talk to show him what I would need. In our first meeting I had five basic questions that I wanted to know about his business. I found that he kept insisting that we would have to book an hour consultation that he would charge me $60.00 for because he can't just "give this stuff away for free." I was almost insulted. I was trying to find out if I could bring him business and he wanted to charge me for just that.

So instead, I called around and found the name of another accountant that was well known and gave him a call. Over the phone he was more than willing to answer all of my questions and also give me advice on some software and accounting books I should be looking at. I ended up going with him. His willingness to share his knowledge without knowing if I would be a regular customer was encouraging. He ended up getting all of my business and still does. He is my go-to accountant and I recommend him to everyone. In the end he will end up making money on my loyalty due to the fact that he did not try to get money out of me before I knew if we would make a good team.

You can also do this by asking local businesses who they use or could recommend for accountants. If they seem willing to work with you and answer some of your questions then give them a try. One important thing about accountants is the ability to trust them. If you feel comfortable with them then it's good to go with that. Also, look at how many local clients they have.

Some great recommendations he gave me were...
Accounting Books: Dome brand accounting books available at Staples (He also took the time to show me how to keep good track inside of the book and answer my questions...ask your accountant to do the same.)
Accounting Software: Quickbooks...it's fairly easy to use and can keep track of so many things for you.

Until next time...I'll be Designer Dreaming.