The 2 Biggest Limitations of Freelance Bookkeepers

Do you feel like you're being held back from building your business and your income as quickly as you might want?

Actually, there are several hurdles successful freelance bookkeepers must typically overcome, but most of these obstacles can be traced back to two main areas:

  • Not enough clients (or sales)
  • Not enough time (or capacity)

One of the most common questions I hear from new and even seasoned self-employed bookkeepers is, “How can I find more clients?

Why would a freelance bookkeeper lack clients? Every business on the planet needs bookkeeping done, right? And many of them don't have the time or the expertise in-house to do it themselves. The demand for bookkeepers SHOULD be quite high!

And the truth is – the demand is very high.

Part of the problem is that bookkeepers are not necessarily self-promoters. And unless potential clients know that you exist, they can't hire you! That's why marketing your services is so important. But that's usually not something we relish.

Many seasoned freelance bookkeepers will tell you that clients come naturally from word-of-mouth referrals. And it's true! It's because, as we've all heard, good help is hard to find… including the finding of a good bookkeeper. If you're good at what you do, the word will get passed around and new clients will find you.

But there's a problem. How do you get your first few clients so they can get the referrals rolling?… or what if your referrals have slowed down and you need more clients NOW?

Answer:  You need to market yourself. You need to attract potential clients who are a good fit for the services you have to offer.

Like it or not, the reality is, if you're running a REAL business – even if it's a business of one – you will need to do some marketing to stay in control of how many clients you have at any given time and to maintain and grow your cash flow.

There are easy marketing methods, however, that are well suited even for freelance bookkeepers who are shy. (More on that soon)

Lack of Time and Capacity

Why would a freelance bookkeeper lack time?

For the simple reason that when you sell a service, it takes time to get the job done (as opposed to selling a product that is limited only by supply). Your capacity is limited by availability of adequate production time.

Since there is also a level of expertise needed to provide accurate bookkeeping services, your capacity is further limited by the amount of available skill.

Typical Solutions

When availability is the problem, most businesses will seek to hire additional staff.

  • SIDE NOTE: By the way, the problem of availability is the very reason your clients hire YOU!

For the freelance bookkeeper, you can choose one of two basic solutions:

1.  Get help – hire staff or subcontract to other freelancers

2.  Become more exclusive or specialize – raising your rates, specializing in a particular area of bookkeeping or specific industry, and turning away potential clients who do not fit your ideal client profile.

One option is not better than the other. Your choice will depend upon the primary goals for your business.

But there are new variations on how you can implement these choices that may have a huge impact on the success and growth of your business.

Technology and New Solutions

The Internet is adding some exciting new twists to conquering the limitations of both attracting new clients and available capacity to get the work done.

In fact, it is actually opening up ways to helps us attract an unlimited number of clients, as well as ways to work far more efficiently!

Building a virtual bookkeeping business – that is, providing your bookkeeping services to clients regardless of location because it is all done through the Internet – is an ideal way to find and service many more clients than those in your local area. (Although you can also work for local clients on a virtual basis)

Because the geographical limitation is removed by working online, you can also have greater access to a virtual staff and/or colleagues with whom you can collaborate to take on more clients than you might otherwise serve offline.

All of this adds up to far greater earning potential.

These developments are very exciting! We are now at an important time period where we can truly be of service to many more clients and quickly grow our own businesses at the same time. There is even more good news about the benefits of adding a virtual bookkeeping component to your business.

So that's why I'm doing a FREE webinar LIVE on Thursday, October 21 at 8:00 PM (Eastern Time) to share with you what I've been doing with my own business, as well as the other “virtual” opportunities that are now available to all of us.

If you could use more clients or are frustrated with not being able to get enough billable work done in a day, then I think you will really find the information in my new webinar invaluable.

Find out more HERE.

How about you? Have you ventured into the world of Virtual Bookkeeping yet?



Freelance bookkeeper, trainer and consultant who works with internet savvy business owners and bookkeeping professionals to maximize cash flow and build true win-win relationships.

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2 Responses to “The 2 Biggest Limitations of Freelance Bookkeepers”

  • d.r. on March 19, 2011

    is there a way you can charge to see that prior webinar?

    • Gabrielle on April 18, 2011

      Hi D.R.,

      If you area a subscriber (box at top right of the page), you will receive notifications of new and on-demand webinars. 🙂

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