1. What exactly will you do?
What style of firm do you intend? Will you try to start small and grow gradually? Alternatively, are you looking to expand quickly, maybe via merger into a larger firm?
2. Why are you setting up your own firm?
It is interesting to ponder and indeed to list, what you want to achieve, for yourself (and family) and clients. Have you discussed this with your immediate family, hopefully they are all committed to the idea and willing to assist you.
3. Where will you base your office?
These days many new sole practitioners set up to operate from home. The intention is to visit most clients. Alternatively, so as to keep fixed overheads low, some new sole practitioners arrange to sublet space from another accounting or legal firm.
4. When will you go it alone?
If you are planning to start you own firm very soon, presumably you will not yet have sufficient clients. Are you going to gradually phase out of your current employment position? Maybe you have some arrangements to do sub contract work for your current employer or for some other firm? That will provide you with regular cash flow. In some cases new practitioners have obtained part time lecturing or tutoring positions, so as to provide initial cash flow.
5. How will you operate?
This includes decisions about computers, software and cloud solutions. Some of the accounting applications can be quite expensive, however if you are sharing space with another firm, you may be able to use their applications.
6. Tell me about the work you will do
Are you going to take everything that comes in the door, or will you restrict yourself to certain types of work and/or size of clients? Some practitioners simultaneously build a general practice and beside that a niche area of work. The latter may cover a particular industry or specialist services, such as sophisticated budgeting and benchmarking.
Thea Foster – Added Value Corporation Pty Ltd, www.addedvalue.com.au
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