The sky's the limit for ICB member, Paul Bloor, as he takes on staff after just five months of trading.
ICB staff were delighted to receive this candid email from one of ICB's newest business startups earlier this month. If you have a story to tell, or wisdom to share, please get in touch via email@example.com
" I read through your newsletter on a monthly basis and have been inspired by the articles focusing on your Members of the Month. I feel compelled to share my story with you, in the hope that I can inspire others.
"5 months after starting my bookkeeping business, I've taken on staff and earn double my previous salary as a manager."
My name is Paul Bloor and I am 31 years of age. Up until last year I was in an employed role, working as part of a senior management team for a large supermarket chain. My work/life balance was non-existent due to me working in excess of 50 hours a week, all of which were unsociable hours.
I was always interested in numbers and accounting and was debating between a career as a bookkeeper or as a financial advisor. After reading through posts on ICB's forum, I decided what I wanted to do.
In September of last year I took the decision to enrol on a home study bookkeeping course, which allowed me to gain Associate Membership through ICB. It was a decision that I had made as a result of months of deliberation over what direction I wanted my future to take. Little did I know at the time that it was a decision that would change my life.
I had no prior experience in accounting apart from looking at profit and loss balance sheets while working in a managerial role in the retail industry. I studied for three months and managed to gain all of the qualifications that I required to be able to apply for my Practice Licence. The terminology included in the course for the Manual Level I in Basic Bookkeeping was a little daunting, though the better lifestyle at the end of the qualifications motivated me to work through it all.
I officially became self-employed in the January of this year and started to advertise my new business. I created a website and researched the best methods of marketing my practice. I used lots of free listing tools to advertise and within the first week of being 'live' I had managed to secure two interviews and my first client, a small group of children's day nurseries, who took up my offer of services that I could provide. I didn't get the jobs I had been interviewed for due to my lack of experience, but that first client was all I needed to get my business going.
|"ICB's reputation is a key factor in my clients choosing to take up my services - it's done so much for me."
It is always nerving when you get access to a set of accounts for the first time, however I picked up the processes very quickly and soon managed to mould them into my own. Also I was starting to benefit from flexible working times that allowed me to fit family commitments around them, without having an impact on my work.
Five months on and I have now proudly recruited another member for my team. We have a current portfolio of nine Limited Companies for which we provide bookkeeping services for, and are constantly expanding. Although the business is now running at full capacity, I still have the flexibility of working the hours that suit my family and me. I have now doubled the income I was earning as a manager and I now enjoy a good mix of working from home, along with visiting several clients on a weekly and monthly basis.
|"I can work the hours that suit my family
We have benefited heavily from having a strong online presence and through a number of marketing campaigns, and we are now starting to see client referrals provide us with even more business. I feel like the sky's the limit and have set my 12 month goal to achieving a practice consisting of at least four bookkeepers.
I would like to thank ICB for all of its support and guidance through the early stages of the business. The information that is available through your site and on the forum is invaluable. Most importantly, I believe that the reputation of ICB is one of the key factors in my clients choosing to take up my services. I would recommend that any individual thinking about becoming a Bookkeeper should strongly consider associating themselves with this Institute, as it has done so much for me.
I hope that you can make use of my story and that it motivates other individuals into taking the leap."