Start a relationship coaching business by following these 10 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.
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 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 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 Relationship Coaching 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 relationship coaching 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.
Open net-30 accounts
When it comes to establishing your business credit, net-30 vendors are considered the way to go. The term "net-30," which is popular among vendors, refers to a business credit arrangement where the company pays the vendor within 30 days of receiving goods or services.
Net-30 credit terms are often used for businesses that need to obtain inventory quickly but do not have the cash on hand.
Besides establishing business relationships with vendors, net-30 credit accounts get reported to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our guide on the best net-30 vendors so you can start building business credit now, so you never have to worry about cash flow in the future. Keep in mind that poor cash flow is the #1 reason businesses fail!
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.
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 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: 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.
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.
Recommended: Find the best phone system for your business; check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2021.
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.
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 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.