This past weekend I watched live streaming video of a photography class with Creative LIVE and Tamara Lackey. Photography is a huge passion of mine. When I am behind the camera, I am completely in that moment, it is a form of meditation. Part of this wonderful class was a section on business. What does it take to run a business? Short answer: A LOT!
FACT: If you are offering treatments and classes for a fee or exchange of goods you are indeed running or conducting a business. That is sometimes hard to think of. A Spiritual Business.
The business side of offering Reiki treatments and classes, is often neglected in classes. It also seems to be a hot button issue when it comes to the amount we charge for what we do. There are many thoughts and beliefs about just exactly how much we “should” charge. There are the thoughts of Reiki is free for all to access, so we should give away treatments and teaching for free. Others opt to charge minimal fees, and some charge more than the majority of us can pay. There are many things to consider when setting up shop. There are all the legalities you have to think about. Check with your state and maybe even a lawyer or small business office to help figure what you need to do to legally run your business. Things to think about: Taxes, business licenses, permits, insurance, certifications and I am sure there is more, much more. I should state this is just me offering my thoughts, and not meant to take the place of real legal advice. Just think about what I have to say and see if anything pops up for you that you hadn’t thought of. Comment here if you want to add something you feel is important. The idea of this is to get us thinking about the business side of things. In determining prices in the photography class they talked about so many things, I could not keep up. I do remember a few key points and they are relevent to any business. Factor in your cost of goods, time, marketing, products, travel expenses, insurance costs, rent, taxes, etc. when determining your prices. First and foremost you have to contemplate why you are doing this. How much of an income do you really need from this? Are you doing this freely from your heart? Can you and your family get by if you offer your services for free or under what it costs you to run the business side of things? Are you okay with a loss of investment at the end of the year? Does any of that even matter to you? What matters more, high volume of people and treatments and classes at a low price or a low volume of clients and students with a high price or somewhere in between? Are you planning on working at clients homes? Your home? Renting studio space? Will you charge travel fees? What will you do if someone wants to bring you into another town or state or country to teach? Do you want to offer discounts? If so, then when and how much? Will you sell products like books or meditation supplies? That brings with it a whole bunch of tax questions and legalities to figure out. Remember each state and even each city has different policies and it is up to you to find out what is yours, and any other places you may do business in.
This is a tricky topic not covered in most classes, but it is so very important to think about. Others things to consider are more personal, but affect your business. Like are you truly committed to your personal practice? My personal opinion on this is you HAVE to be, otherwise you are not giving clients and students the full benefit of the system. By personal practice I mean utilizing the 5 foundational elements of the system of Reiki. Not just putting your hands on your body somewhere and drifting off to sleep. Don’t get me wrong that is a wonderful way to fall asleep, something I do nightly. To truly practice the system and get the most out of it for your self, those around you and your clients and students you should be working with the 5 elements daily. Things brings your connection to the system so much closer and deeper allowing you to assist clients and students that much more. And for yourself above anything to further progress in your development and growth! Another thing you have to think about is how much time are you willing to put into your business, be realistic here. How much time do you really have to commit? Is there any personal situations that may interfere with you running your business. How will you work with that? What do you have in place if you are the sole care taker of your children and one gets sent home sick from school right before your next appointment or class? What if you homeschool, and there is suddenly a trip or activity your child wants to do more than anything and you have a class that day and time? What if you don’t have kids, but another family member or friend becomes ill or in need of your assistance and time or? Also think about furry friends and babies that depend on us and what you will have in place if they have an emergency. What if you become ill? It does happen whether you practice daily or not. Another personal thing to think about is personal support and encouragement from your life partner and family, either chosen or by birth. Is everyone on board with you? How will you deal with the fact that you may not teach as much as you had hoped for or give as many treatments as you want. Will you have patience and perseverance?
There are som many other things I know I have not covered, but I think this is a good starting off point to talk about the business side. I know I didn’t even touch on marketing or websites or brand building. Or even dealing with the fact that if you are offering treatments or classes that YES indeed you are running a business! PLEASE feel free to add your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, anything! I am sure I will be back with more about the business side of things. There is so much to cover!