Bookkeeper

Startup Costs: $2,000 - $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? Yes

If you have a knack for numbers, consider setting up a bookkeeping or accounting service to help other businesses big and small keep their financial records in order as they grow. Number-crunching could add up to big bucks on a full-time or part-time basis.

While not a requirement, most accountants have an educational background in finance and earn bachelor's degrees. And if you decide you want to become a certified public accountant (CPA), there is an exam that you have to take and pass. When just starting out, you can operate your business from a home office. There are also a number of accounting software platforms that you can acquaint yourself with. As your reputation and business grows, in addition to providing tailored financial advice to your clients, you could offer workshops and training sessions, webinars or write a blog about best financial practices.

Related: Get the No.1 Guide to Starting Your Own Business

How much money can you make as a bookkeeper?

The median salary for a bookkeeper is $45,560, according to US News and World Report. ZipRecruiter notes that many bookkeepers earn between  $25-35 a hour, depending on location and experience. 

What’s the most important thing to know about this business?

“As a fiduciary, I’m obligated to act in your best interest. I’m going to tell you how much risk you can afford to take. That’s my job. Your job is to tell me what you want to achieve in life: when you want to buy your house, when you want to retire. My job is to do my level best to get you there.” - Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder Ellevest 

Getting started

While bookkeepers aren't required to have the education degree or credentials of a CPA, getting a professional certification will aid in your skills and also build trust with potential customers. Many accounting software platforms, such as QuickBooks, have online certification options.

After certification, you'll need to set up your business structure (LLC or S-Corp, for example) and invest in professional liability insurance, to protect yourself from a wide variety of risks, including legal action if an error is made in managing a client's books. 

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