A Bookkeeper is a fantastic business asset who does keep your financial data in a good state of health, giving you accurate and live information on how you business is doing and (using various management reporting) giving you an insight into where you want your business to go.
Very important stuff – but is that all?
They are not just there to fulfil an administrative role, albeit a very important one! Think of how many other businesses and individuals use your bookkeeper as well. Think about your bookkeeper as a business partner. Think about the networking opportunities that you have walking through your door.
Self employed bookkeepers have quite strict confidentiality agreements (a future topic here I think) but they are a free and informative source of possible clients, of possible business solutions and of possible new business directions.
A bookkeeper is quite rightly legally limited as to the type of business financial advice they can give. However, as their business is other peoples business, they can prove to be an important business contact as well.
Share some of your business dialogue with your bookkeeper and ask them to keep an eye, ear or sensory organ of your choice open for you. Maybe see if they can introduce you to potential client or supplier businesses.
Particularly for the small and medium sized business owner, who may not have the resources (time being one of the biggest and the one usually in short supply) to business network on a regular or in depth way.
Luck often favours the prepared, so use your bookkeeper as a business directory. Ask them to promote your business to their other clients and be prepared to listen to business recommendations from their other clients. That big contract or new business direction could easily be within reach.
I am a bookkeeper based in Glasgow, Scotland. I promote all of my clients, not just to other business clients but also to business and personal contacts. I always look for any opportunity to promote the business of my clients and I feel very strongly that this is almost as big a part of my remit to my clients as keeping their financial transactions accurate and up to date.