Start a public speaking instruction 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 public speaking instruction 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 public speaking instruction business?
The cost of opening this business is very low. This is because it is possible to start your business from home. You may conduct classes and workshops where clients already are, including at their jobs (corporate speaking workshops can be very popular) and their homes. You may also be able to work with local colleges and libraries to conduct classes and workshops at those places.
With that in mind, you can effectively open your business for $3,000 or less. You should spend around $500 to have a professionally designed website. Spend most of the remaining money on newspaper and radio ads for your business, and don't forget to save some to print out professional business cards you can hand to prospective clients.
What are the ongoing expenses for a public speaking instruction business?
If you are working from home, this job has very few ongoing expenses. You must pay for gasoline to travel from one location to another, and you may periodically invest in additional advertising via radio and newspaper. However, when starting out, you have no expensive lease, no extra utilities, no employees to pay, and no special equipment you must purchase. All of this dramatically reduces your overhead.
Who is the target market?
Some of your best clients will be those in their late 20's or early 30's. This audience is likeliest to have increased speaking responsibilities as part of recent promotions or new jobs but also be worried since they have not done much public speaking since college. This makes them see the value of your classes.
How does a public speaking instruction business make money?
A public speaking instruction business makes money by charging clients for workshops and ongoing lessons in public speaking.
How much can you charge customers?
How much you can charge clients depends on your area, your competition, and the exact format of the lesson. Some instructors, for instance, charge $300 for eight four-hour lessons. This provides great value to students, but only offers value to the instructor if you have enough students signed up. Some experienced instructors charge as much as $995 for an intensive, two-day course. Others establish a flat, hourly rate, such as $25 to $30 an hour per person. When pricing, one thing to keep in mind is competition, both from other public speaking instructors and the cost of taking a speech class at the local college or university.
How much profit can a public speaking instruction business make?
How much profit you can make depends on how you charge clients, how much you charge clients, and how many clients you have. If you see twenty clients a week for fifty weeks of the year for four hours a week and $25 an hour, for instance, you will make $100,000 a year. Your first year is less likely to be this profitable, though increased community awareness should lead to increased revenue each year.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Try a business model that encourages multiple sessions that clients pay for upfront. Be sure to include client testimonials on your website and social media pages so that future clients can see how you have helped others. Finally, don't be afraid to charge more as your business becomes more established and you have a portfolio of demonstrated results.
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 Public Speaking Instruction 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 public speaking instruction 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 public speaking instruction 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.
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.
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 public speaking instruction business
Consider offering short, free workshops at libraries and community college campuses that help demonstrate your value. Make sure you have a social media presence so that your business is visible via mobile devices. Try to build a relationship with Human Resources departments so that they can refer you to prospective clients who want to improve their public speaking to get a promotion or new job.
How to keep customers coming back
Between your website, advertising, and social media presence (as well as traditional networking in your community), it should be easy to attract customers. In order to retain them, make sure every lesson ties to the real world in tangible ways. When they see how being a better communicator can help with everything from getting a promotion to improving their love life, they will keep coming back.
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 Public Speaking Instruction 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?
This job is great for those who are good at public speaking. Former teachers do well in this job due to their experience writing and conducting lectures. Writers are also good at this job because part of good speech instruction is knowing which words will have certain effects on certain audiences.
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 public speaking instruction business?
Your daily activities include preparing and delivering instruction to clients about how to improve their public speaking. You may also spend time communicating with existing clients and potential clients that have contacted you. You may spend time driving to where clients are and spend downtime both researching public speaking strategies and advertising your business.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful public speaking instruction business?
If it has been a long time, try to take a speech class or two at your local community college to brush up on skills. Sit down with local business managers and ask them what speaking skills they wish their workers had so you can incorporate these into lessons. Finally, make sure to do as much of your own public speaking as you can to build up your own skills and develop stories you can share with students.
What is the growth potential for a public speaking instruction business?
The growth potential of this job is modest. The need for public speaking instruction grows as the businesses requiring these skills grow, and jobs such as “sales representative” (which requires ample speaking) are expected to grow by seven percent between 2014 and 2024.
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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 public speaking instruction business?
Consider specializing in a certain field such as “corporate leadership.” This can net you ongoing business from multiple corporations in training their executives to improve communication. Take the time to interview speech professors about their teaching strategies and what they have learned. Finally, don't be afraid to start slow and do this as a side business long enough for you to establish your brand within the community.
How and when to build a team
Most public speaking instruction businesses start as solo practices. However, if you build a steady stream of clients and can no longer personally fit them into your schedule, you should take on a partner or build a small team to deliver workshops and lessons.