Etiquette training gives lessons to people of all ages on the proper way to conduct oneself in a variety of settings, especially in the professional world. Etiquette can cover how to act in both international and domestic settings, from a formal dinner in Japan to a debutante ball in Georgia. As globalization becomes more common, these types of lessons can be invaluable for many companies and professionals. Etiquette trainers may give online lessons or in-person lessons, depending of their budget and location. The instructions may be anything from cell phone etiquette for teenagers to the best way to send a thank you letter after a job interview.
Learn how to start your own Etiquette Training Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
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Start an etiquette training business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Etiquette Training Business
- Form your Etiquette Training Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Etiquette Training Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Etiquette Training Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Etiquette Training Business
- Get Etiquette Training Business Insurance
- Define your Etiquette Training Business Brand
- Create your Etiquette Training Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
We have put together this simple guide to starting your etiquette training business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What will you name your business?
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Etiquette Training Business Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
What are the costs involved in opening an etiquette training business?
If you're doing everything online, the costs will be minimal. You can get started with just your computer, a professional website, and an advertising budget. If you choose to conduct business in person, you’ll need to rent space to conduct your lessons in. You may also need a small business license, which can range in price based on where you are. Owners will typically need to budget practice events as well so students can show off their skills in a real-life situation. This may involve renting out a formal banquet hall and hiring caterers. You should also invest in an excellent website, or potentially even print media (flyers, etc) to get the word out about the new business.
What are the ongoing expenses for an etiquette training business?
The expense can climb quickly, depending on the types of events you offer. Here are some examples of ongoing expenses your business might have:
- Rental/leasing costs for the space
- Marketing/website upkeep
- Office software
- Fine food, linens, and glasses for formal dinners
- Staff salaries
- Handouts/booklets for students
- Teaching materials to certify instructors
- Ongoing etiquette training
Who is the target market?
Typically the people you’re looking for will be in the professional world, attending college, or families who want their children to learn proper manners. Technically, this could be anyone, but you'll find typically find the most demand with the more affluent members of society. You should also offer a way for interested parties to obtain their own formal certification as well.
How does an etiquette training business make money?
These businesses make money by charging people for lessons, or for charging event fees which also includes the instruction. Etiquette training can be marketed to colleges, families, businesses, and individuals. You may also want to consider opening up a franchise branch from an established company, such as The Etiquette School of Singapore.
How much can you charge customers?
This is a specialty area, so your prices will likely reflect the need for the skill in the area. Schools for children may charge about $6,000 per child for a 6-month course. Business lessons may run a company about $1,000 per person, depending on the level of instruction. Online courses will typically be much less, or around $500 for a comprehensive course. Check on the competition’s prices before setting those of your own.
How much profit can an etiquette training business make?
Etiquette training businesses can make quite a bit of profit, so long as they have enough clients. If you have 20 children take a class at $6,000 per person and you spend $3,000 per person on salary and supplies, that's still $60,000 profit for 6 months. The good news is that most etiquette trainers will only need to spend for formal events that have already been scheduled and paid for.
How can you make your business more profitable?
The best way to make a business more profitable is to expand the definition of etiquette. From online and video communications to how to dress, there are a number of questions people have that need to be answered. Each situation may have its own particular quirks, so these answers won’t be readily found online. Market your services as one-of-a-kind, and constantly be on the lookout for the next medium of communication!
Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your etiquette training business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate an etiquette training business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. For more information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office.
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
FInd out what types of insurance your Etiquette Training Business needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Etiquette Training Business.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market an etiquette training business
You’ll be marketing to very different types of people, so you need to keep that in mind. One group may want their kids to learn the best ways to interact with peers and adults. One group will want to further their professional career. Another may just want to avoid embarrassing themselves at a particular event. You can either stay flexible, and cater to different types of people, or you can pick a particular group and aggressively target them with your marketing. Colleges and businesses are two major groups that may need a steady stream of lessons if you’re planning to only target one group.
How to keep customers coming back
Either conduct a stellar online lesson for people to see on your website, or offer to do mini-lessons to major corporations or for affluent parents. The best way to attract customers is to give them a real taste of how you can transform their presentation skills whenever they have an interaction. For those looking for ways to better themselves, there will be an instant connection to your services.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
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Is this Business Right For You?
This business is good for someone who understands how and why we use formal behavior to signify the meaning of certain events. An instructor can be successful though even if they only specify in one event, such as teaching Americans how to eat continental style. To really exceed and expand the business, entrepreneurs should have a background and interest in their chosen field to give the best possible advice and instruction to their students.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at an etiquette training business?
Owners may have the following agenda for their day.
- Marketing etiquette to groups or individual clients
- Maintaining an up-to-date website
- Creating lesson plans for each class
- Coordinating and planning formal practice events
- Ongoing education about new customs or changes to business etiquette
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful etiquette training business?
You don't necessarily need a formal training certificate to open this business, but it may help your credibility when trying to attract talent and clients. Being personable will help you build an etiquette workshop or training business, as you’ll likely be doing some of the teaching. You’ll also need to have a real eye for detail, and a love of coaching people to help them find their best selves. Owners also need to be willing to adjust their seminars based on client wishes and demands. Parents may be much more interested in teaching their children what they can and can't post online to maintain their reputation, so you may need to offer more specialty courses and single classes.
What is the growth potential for an etiquette training business?
It is highly depends on where you’re located, but the need is out there. You can also offer online programs to expand your services further if there is little interest in your own community. Most companies or colleges do not need a full-time etiquette trainer, so you need to find a variety of clients to hit your revenue goals.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting an etiquette training business?
You should be willing to do some free classes for businesses and families so they can get a sense of the value you can bring into their lives. Because most people will eventually go on an interview or attend a fancy wedding, there are ways to market this service to practically everyone. For companies in particular, they need to hear the specific ROI if they choose to take one of your classes. For example, a business is likely to close more deals if they make a good enough impression on a potential partner or client.
Contact local competitors to learn more about the courses they offer and consider marketing services that are different. Plan out your lesson times and instructions before you start attracting clients, though be ready to make changes if need be.
How and when to build a team
You should likely wait to build up a team until you have a steady base of clients, and a distinct need for more help. Choose people based on both their knowledge level, interest, and people skills.