3 Reasons to Niche Your Bookkeeping Service

Sep 24, 2023
Should you niche your bookkeeping business?

When you're first becoming a bookkeeper and starting your business you may wonder if you should niche your bookkeeping services.

Niching your services just means you are "specializing" in a particular industry, or a particular type of service. For example, you may decide you want to do bookkeeping for salons and spas. Or maybe non-profits. Or service-based businesses.

Or, you may decide you want to specialize in QuickBooks training to business owners, or cash flow forecasting.

As you can see, there are lots of opportunities to niche your bookkeeping service.

But should you?

Recently, I was talking with a woman based here in Denver who runs a busy bookkeeping business. She was looking to hire a second staff person to help her with the workload.

I asked her if she specialized in certain industries or types of businesses. I was actually a little surprised when she said, "nope, I do books for any type of business."

Clearly being a generalist is working for her.

But, personally, I think having a niche can really help you when you are growing your business.

Here are a few benefits to specializing in a particular niche when starting a bookkeeping business (or any service business for that matter):

You Can Target Your Marketing Efforts

If you start out as a generalist (no niche or specialty), then you are throwing a wide net out to anyone and everyone for business.

Yes, you may catch a few clients this way, but are they going to be good clients? And how are you going to differentiate yourself from the many other bookkeepers out there?

I would recommend taking some time to think about the type of businesses you want to work with and the type of people as well.

You can also start by ruling out what you don't want to do. Not sure how to handle bookkeeping for companies that manufacture overseas or that require job costing? Then you can rule out certain retail businesses and perhaps construction businesses.

Love helping service providers lower costs? Then start with service-based businesses.

That still leaves lots of opportunities to niche even more if you like. Salons, landscaping businesses, realtors, coaches, etc.

You don't have to know your ideal niche from the start, but having a general idea will help you avoid the businesses you don't want to work with and attract the ones you do.

So how do you attract the right businesses?

Once you have an idea of the niche you'd like to go after, start networking with people in that industry through local meet-ups, Facebook groups, blogs, etc.

Ask and listen.

What are the pain points these business owners are dealing with when it comes to their business and bookkeeping needs. Find solutions for those pain points.

Remember,  you don't want to go out and start selling your services to those people in a pushy way. Be helpful to them.

Be more powerful than "I'm a bookkeeper". No, you are a problem-solving business rockstar that helps xyz niche be more profitable.

By having a target market or ideal client in mind, it makes marketing your services SO much easier!

Start thinking about your ideal client.

Charge Higher Prices

Specializing in a certain industry gives you an advantage over general bookkeepers.

The advantage? You will get to know that industry really well.

While general bookkeeping concepts are the same throughout all businesses, each industry does have it's own nuances. Every time you take on a client in a different industry you'll have a bit of a learning curve on how that business operates.

By knowing an industry and the common pain points the owners experience, you will develop a well-rounded knowledge of that industry that gives you a strong USP and will make you an even better bookkeeper for your clients.

In other words, you are a specialist.  And yes, being a specialist will allow you to charge higher prices. Win win, right!

Remember, you are going to be a valuable asset as a specialist. Starting thinking of yourself that way.

Instead of saying "I'm a bookkeeper.", say "I specialize in helping online service professionals increase their bottom line."

Way more powerful. It's also a good conversation starter...

Start thinking about your "I specialize in..." statement.

Referrals! Referrals! Referrals!

Hanging out in a particular niche opens the door for lots of referrals!

Business owners go to industry conferences and network with other business owners. They share resources all the time.

Ask for that referral! It will most likely become your #1 way of getting clients once you are up and running with your bookkeeping business.

And make sure you create a referral program in your business. Give a simple gift and thank you card for each person who sends you a new client.

I have given Starbucks cards as thank you gifts. I've also given pretty journals. It's up to you!

Just be sure and make an effort to thank anyone who sends you a client. You'd be surprised at how many people don't do this!

The other huge benefit of focusing on a niche is that you can find what I call, a SPI, Single Point of Influence. I made up this name, so I'm kind of fond of it :).

A SPI is someone who works with lots of people in your niche.

For example, when I started my virtual assistant business a few years back, I reached out to a former business coach to let her know about my new business. She coaches new coaches. So guess what? Within two weeks she had referred several new clients to me!

She was my SPI. Single Point of Influence. I only had to contact one person to get four new clients.

Let's go back to the salon example. Say you want to work with salons. Can you find coaches that work with salon owners and get to know them?

Sure you can!

Or look for social media companies that work with your desired industry and get to know them. You'll get more referral bang for your buck using this method.

Start thinking about some SPI's in your desired industry. 

Should You Niche?

Personally, I think niching your bookkeeping service is a good idea. But you may not yet know which industry is ideal for you, and that's okay!

Don't spin your wheels trying to find a niche if you have no idea. Get out there and start getting clients.

By working with different clients you will learn what businesses you like and don't like.

But...if you do have an idea for a particular niche, then I suggest specializing in that area and going for it! You have the benefits of the points above to propel you and grow your business!

By all means, just get started

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