Start a hypnotherapy business by following these 9 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your hypnotherapy business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
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 are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a hypnotherapy business?
The startup expenses for a hypnotherapy business are manageable, with the biggest expense being office space’s cost. Regus has some day office space for $300, but this is the low end of the price range. A dedicated office space available to you 24/7 can cost as much as $900 per month or more.
Other marketing expenses include building a website, purchasing marketing materials, and advertising. World-famous hypnotist Igor Ledochowski has lots of tips on how to operate a low-cost hypnotherapy practice. For example, Igor uses an intake form and uses it as a session agreement (contract) to get paid upfront. Igor also makes session recordings, from a smartphone app, and sells those to his clients for an added amount. Igor also sells packages of sessions over a single session to ensure he’s booked solid with clients.
Business owners who have limited funds can lower the cost of operating a hypnotherapy practice by starting out of their house at first. After saving up, they can transition to a rented office space. The other expenses are minimal, especially if business owners keep things simple.
What are the ongoing expenses for a hypnotherapy business?
A hypnotherapy business’s ongoing expenses are minimal. They include regular advertising, ongoing marketing expenses, and the monthly office rent for making bookings.
Who is the target market?
A hypnotherapy business’s most steady work usually comes from smoking cessation clients, so smokers wishing to stop and people with other habits are a good target market to focus on initially. As a business grows, business owners can add other services, like weight loss hypnosis, pain management hypnosis, stress reduction hypnosis, and so many more.
How does a hypnotherapy business make money?
A hypnotherapy business makes money by charging clients a fixed rate per session. It usually takes 4-6 sessions to help a client stop smoking. Fees are usually charged per session.
How much can you charge customers?
The going rate for hypnotherapy varies but is reported to be $75 per session, although this may vary some by location. A well established and credible hypnotist receives up to $250 per booking for a 45-minute hypnosis session.
How much profit can a hypnotherapy business make?
A successful hypnotherapy business can bring in sizable revenue. In just one day, a business owner could have ten 45-minute bookings. At a rate of $75 per hour, income from this day would be $750. Even working just weekends, a hypnotherapy business could make $1,500 per week.
A booking rate of $250 per hour is exceptional but shows how much the most successful hypnotherapists can earn.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Hypnotherapy business owners have found many ways to diversify and increase revenue. Igor Ledochowski has written books, has numerous training courses, and does live hypnotherapy training for aspiring hypnotherapists. Other methods include offering hypnosis downloads for sale and selling “skypnosis” sessions (online bookings).
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 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.
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 hypnotherapy 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!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
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.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
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.
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 a hypnotherapy business 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.
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.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
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.
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.
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How to promote & market a hypnotherapy business
One of the most effective ways to promote a hypnotherapy business is through local advertising and word of mouth. Hypnotherapy practices are excellent businesses for helping people to quickly find solutions to personal problems they may be facing. Hypnotherapy is a relaxing experience for the client, and often the guided relaxation alone and time spent discussing their issue is hugely helpful.
These two side benefits are especially well-suited for a practitioner who exhibits a sense of calm and peacefulness in their advertisements.
How to keep customers coming back
Business owners can set themselves apart from other hypnotherapists by developing a truly unique hypnotherapy approach and brand. A strong backstory and engaging personality will leave memorable impressions.
Importantly, a hypnotherapist doesn’t have to be a traditional direct hypnotist commanding the hypnotee to do what they say (although some people may need a more direct approach). For example, a hypnotherapist may be able to connect better with a client by giving them indirect or “permissive” suggestions. If that indirect approach works, almost any conversation is viable for hypnotizing and helping the subject. The positive experience you give the hypnotic subject and the success they have with your hypnosis sessions will be the two key factors determining whether or not they come back to you and refer business to you.
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.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
Start A Hypnotherapy Business In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
Anyone who enjoys hypnotizing others and helping people overcome personal hurdles may like running a hypnotherapy business. Much of the work involves talking to people in a private office setting.
While big-name trainers like Igor Ledochowski dominate the industry, anyone with a desire to hypnotize others and help them can also start this type of business. There are challenges for any new business owner who enters the multiple-therapy-dominated industry, but several hypnotists are having success. Hypnotherapists don’t take insurance like so many other psychotherapeutic workers. However, the rate that a hypnotist charges is much less, and the time needed to help the client is much faster, so this is one reason hypnotists can excel in this profession.
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 a hypnotherapy business?
Attending a hypnosis session involves much more than simply showing up for the booked time. A hypnotist must prep themselves, drive to the location, and meet the client (going over an intake form) before the session starts. After going through the intake form, learning what the client’s desired outcome happens to be, the next phase is to start the hypnosis session. This involves having the client relax through a guided meditation, then providing some hypnotic suggestions to the subject, and then bringing them out of hypnosis.
Once the session is finished, the hypnotherapist has the client wait until the client has fully resumed consciousness while talking them through how the session went. After seeing clients, the hypnotist files away their notes and goes home.
On a fully booked day or weekend, hypnotherapists might do all of this multiple times. Igor Ledochowski, perhaps the world’s most successful hypnotherapist, did up to twenty sessions in a single day, seeing hundreds of clients.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful hypnotherapy business?
Working as a hypnotherapist is more than simply hypnotizing people or relaxing them with a smooth voice. Business owners need to cultivate a hypnotherapist character with their own professional dynamics, personality, and a willingness to want to help people. General hypnosis experience helps with this, as does hypnotherapy-specific experiences.
To get general hypnotherapy training, business owners can enroll in a program and attend classes in person or online. Many hypnosis schools, online courses, and trainers have great programs, and in-person programs are often preferable to online classes as you get feedback from a live person helping you.
For hypnotherapy-specific tips, there are several resources to consult. Igor Ledochowski has an in-person training program, and various hypnosis schools, like Igor’s, sometimes offer regular classes for hypnotherapy enthusiasts. Additionally, Igor’s hypnotherapy books and training courses have helpful tips.
Along with learning hypnosis proficiently, hypnotherapists must be savvy business people. Hypnotherapists are not only hypnotizing people, but they must also educate the public about hypnosis and sometimes be an advocate for the profession. Moreover, the work is done from the office, which requires creating an environment conducive for doing hypnosis (i.e., a calm and peaceful place).
What is the growth potential for a hypnotherapy business?
Most hypnotherapy businesses remain small businesses because they usually consist of one person seeing clients in a local vicinity. When the time is right, business owners might increase their fees or seek more high-profile clients to grow their business. This strategy has proved successful for Steve G. Jones, who makes appearances around the world, and has hypnotized many famous people, like the original actor who played Superman.
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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.
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 a hypnotherapy business?
Working part- or full-time at a hypnosis training center, hypnotherapy practice, or for a stage hypnotist can help get a hypnotherapy business off the ground. Experience in these settings will help business owners become more comfortable interacting with the public and networking with others in the field to bring in some clients.
How and when to build a team
Many hypnotherapy business owners don’t hire employees unless they need an administrative assistant to help manage inquiries, bookings, and other such arrangements. Some business owners make contracts with professional office spaces, like Regus, where a dedicated receptionist will take your calls and pass along messages to you, so your clients have a high-quality image of you. This is usually done once a hypnotherapist is a little more established and has a good number of clients they’re working with already.