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Start a relationship coaching 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 relationship coaching business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
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 long it will take you to break even?
- 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 relationship coaching business?
Costs can be very low to start, and may only involve the renting of a small office space. Depending on your location, this could be as low as $400 (or less) a month. Most couples are willing to be counseled without a lot of material comforts. You can even conduct your business online or from your home to further reduce costs.
What are the ongoing expenses for a relationship coaching business?
Relationship coaches typically have the following expenses:
- Advertising materials
- Professional license renewal fees
- Commercial insurance (if in a physical space)
Who is the target market?
The target market can be literally anyone who wants to have a healthy romantic relationship. Single people benefit by identifying what they need, and what the roadblocks are to getting what they need. Couples can identify how better to cope with common strife that everyone encounters on a daily basis.
Or you may wish to only focus on a particular type of person when it comes to your coaching business, depending on your preferences. For example, divorced women over the age of 40, or professional couples who work very demanding schedules. This type of specific branding can help your target demographic if you're advertising yourself online because relationship coaching is a broad term that may unearth a number of irrelevant services.
How does a relationship coaching business make money?
Coaches make money by charging for their time, either by half hour, per hour, or per monthly package. In general, coaches are known for doing monthly packages because they're trying to get their clients to commit to a better lifestyle.
How much can you charge customers?
Relationship coaches charge anywhere from $50 an hour to more than $300 an hour. How much you charge is based on your reputation, results, and target demographic.
How much profit can a relationship coaching business make?
Relationship coaches can make plenty of profit, considering the overhead is exceptionally low. An online business may cost you as little as $20 a month or less for web hosting fees. With even just three clients a day, you could make about $130 an hour if you charge $50 an hour.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Relationship coaches may consider expanding their services to include couples retreats or group counseling to increase their profits. In addition to gaining you more clients, group counseling is also an excellent way to give people the coaching they need at a reduced price.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your relationship coaching business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC's, and DBA's.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Check out the Top Business Formation Services from our friends at StartupSavant.
You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.
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?.
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
- 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: Find the right bank for you, read our review of the Top 5 Banks for Your Small Business
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 relationship coaching business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
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 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.
Relationship coaching businesses should require clients to sign a services agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, service level expectations, and intellectual property ownership. Here is an example of one such services agreement.
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.
How to promote & market a relationship coaching business
You should be promoting yourself as a way for people to clarify any ongoing problems they may seen in their relationship. You should not promise results (because it’s ultimately up to the people to take your advice), but you should speak directly to people's need for a convenient solution.
For example, if you specialize in unmarried couples with kids, promote yourself as someone who understands their lifestyle. Your advertising should convey your ability to ensure that everyone in the relationship feels secure and supported. This can be done either online with an intuitive website and active blog, or through physical print ads in newspaper or flyers in popular places throughout the area you serve. Use real client testimonials whenever possible to back up your claims.
How to keep customers coming back
The best way to get customers coming back is to listen to them and respond directly to their needs. Your mannerisms and communication techniques need to instill confidence in clients that you understand how to coach them through this difficult time.
STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence
A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Start A Relationship Coaching 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 business is good for those with excellent listening skills, and for those who enjoy the idea of coaching other people through their problems. Entrepreneurs who start this business should want to promote a better understanding of why people do what they do, and how to better respond in stressful situations.
What happens during a typical day at a relationship coaching business?
A typical day may consist of the following in a relationship coaching business:
- Counseling clients
- Completing intake paperwork
- Advertising online/physical print
- Learning new coaching techniques
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful relationship coaching business?
In addition to having good people skills, you’ll also need either formal coaching experience, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D in a relevant field such as Psychology.
What is the growth potential for a relationship coaching business?
Growth potential is high when it comes to this service, due to the inherent human need for better relationships. The divorce rate for marriages is around 50%, and it's clear that many of those relationships can be saved with professional insight and a better approach to solving problems. Small slights and misunderstandings add up over the years, and can contribute to serious mental blocks when it comes to relating to the people we love. The growth potential stems from gaining the perspective necessary to let hurt feelings go and face tomorrow with realistic expectations.
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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 relationship coaching business?
One of the keys to success is differentiating yourself from a therapist. You are much more like a personal trainer for relationships than an analyst for the human mind. This can help those who are naturally averse to therapy see the value of your services. In addition, be open to the idea of connecting with clients either online through video chat or over the phone. While it does help to be able to be in the same room with the other person, it's not strictly necessary to establish a real bond with your clients. This is one of the best ways to open up your client base for a more profitable practice.
You should also be clear about what your services are. Never promise to save a marriage or to keep a family together. Have easy-to-understand contracts printed out for each client at the beginning of the session, and go over the basics with them before they sign.
How and when to build a team
Most relationship coaches operate their businesses themselves, but when demand grows, you may consider hiring equally qualified coaches to establish a presence and brand in a particular neighborhood.