My First 30 Days Working For Myself

Now that I have started a business, what do I do next? I would love to spend the summer with the wife and kids, but need to earn $3,000 in May.

The summer is typically a slower season for accountants. I have chosen to specialize in school audits since they have a year end of 6/30 and tax. If I get clients, that will keep me busy into December. From there, tax season should hold me over.

I will also look for PT contract work, start a janitorial company with my brother-in-law and whatever else comes my way.  My goal is to contact 2 prospects daily for janitorial service and 3 schools every day.

RESULTS:

In my first week of self-employment, I agreed to purchase an interest in an accounting firm. The morning before I was going to finalize the purchase, the seller got cold feet and wanted me to work for the firm a year instead and renegotiate the purchase after a year. Needless to say, I was heartbroken that it fell apart.

My contacts for the first 30 days included 22 emails to companies advertising the cleaning service. As part of the emails, I mentioned that I was trying to grow my other business. None wanted the cleaning service, but one was interested in help with bookkeeping. Unfortunately, I sent her to the company I was buying in to. So I lost a potential client along with the opportunity. I also failed to market any services for a week since I was going to be with a different company.

I sent 44 emails to local companies offering to help with accounting needs on a part-time or temporary basis. I also sent 5 letters to those I could not find an email for. I did not get many responses from these, most just “nothing current” or “will keep your Resume on file for a year.”

I sent 102 emails advertising audit services.  The problem with audits is that they only go out for bid every 3 to 5 years. I got 2 request for proposals from my emails, so not a terrible return. One is a small Fiduciary Fund audit, which I bid less than $10K on. It would take me about 100 hours during July and August. I am finishing the proposal next week for the other. That one will take over 300 hours and I will bid close to $30K.

If I get both audits, I will have enough work through the year between audits, taxes and the one cleaning account my brother-in-law had setup before leaving my job to pay my bills. I feel good about the smaller audit, but not as much about the larger audit.

I have also been speaking with a consulting firm with 8 offices across the United States about doing temporary accounting and consulting engagements. They are currently considering me for a position that will take me out of town for two months.

It will take a bit to get the ball rolling, but I have no choice but to keep plugging away.

What have you done in your first 30 days of starting a business?

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