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Some tarot readers work exclusively online, others have their own shop front. Some set up booths at festivals, fairs, and private parties, while more are beginning to do readings live using Skype or on the phone. You might work part-time or full-time as your reputation grows.
Who is this business right for?
If you have developed your experience and knowledge through years of reading cards for your friends and acquaintances, and spend lots of time studying tarot, it might be time to start charging for the readings that everybody is begging you to do.
What happens during a typical day at a tarot reading business?
If you are working at this business full-time, you might be:
- Completing readings for your scheduled clients
- Working your social media contacts to promote your business
- Marketing private tarot reading parties or line-up booths at psychic fairs
- Balancing your books
- Establishing and maintaining a website that accepts payment for remote readings
- Taking phone calls and complete readings for these pop-up clients
- Creating a Standard of Business that gives clients clearly defined expectations with regards to your readings
What is the target market?
Your best client will be the person who needs guidance on a consistent basis, so that they schedule weekly or monthly readings. Tarot parties can provide excellent income for a few short hours, but are difficult to line up. You will find clients from all walks of life and income levels. You simply need to find those with an open mind, ready to accept the wisdom provided to them.
How does a tarot reading business make money?
Reading at a fair or walk-ins are often offered at a flat rate for a small spread. More in-depth readings requiring multiple spreads will charge by the hour. Your reputation and your clientele will determine just how much or how little you are able to charge. There is very little overhead, so the more readings you do, the more money you will make.
What is the growth potential for a tarot reading business?
Many readers run their business as a sideline. If you are able to cultivate a client base of wealthy and avid customers, you might be able to operate your business on a full-time basis. Should you have a knack for befriending other readers, it may be possible to expand into a Dial-a-Tarot business with multiple readers fulfilling requested readings over the phone.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful tarot reading business?
Unlike many other product and even service based businesses, a tarot reading business relies heavily upon the charisma of the reader. Putting aside the pleasant demeanor, you will need to:
- Be fully fluent in the interpretation of the Tarot and be able to complete readings without consulting any kind of book
- Have a compassionate and instinctive nature
- Complete readings that allow the customer to walk away with new insight to a situation or confidence in themselves
- Knowledge of organic marketing techniques--word-of-mouth will be a major means of promotion
- Basic accounting skills
- Be able to turn away a customer that only brings negative vibes to the table
What are the costs involved in opening a tarot reading business?
Here's the good news! This is a business you can kickstart for very little capital. You will have years of experience under your belt. You will need a computer, phone, internet connection, a good deck of cards that speak to you, and a mobile tent/table set up for parties and fairs. You will also want a good web site. About $5,000 should get you going. If you end up expanding into hiring other readers, the costs related with a phone system will add a few thousand more to the setup.
What are the steps to start a tarot reading business?
Once you're ready to start your tarot reading business, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:
- Plan your business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even.
- Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your tarot reading business is sued.
- Register for taxes. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
- Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your tarot reading business keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers.
- 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.
- 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.
- Get business insurance. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
- 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.
- Establish a 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.
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Where can I 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.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a tarot reading business?
You need customers before you can get choosy about them. Think about investing in a small storefront in a high-traffic area like at the beach, downtown shopping area, or even at the mall where you can service many people over a short period to start building your local reputation. You may have to offer free readings online in order to break into the niche community of readers who charge for readings.
How to promote & market a tarot reading business
You will need to print flyers and business cards that you can leave with people and businesses. It's your job to plaster your neighborhood with your name. Join Facebook groups and interact with other Tarot readers. Offer free readings on all social media platforms to make your business part of the online conversation. Ask for reviews and for referrals from all your clients.
Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.
How to keep customers coming back
Your first customers will come to you out of curiosity. In the early days you will want to welcome all comers who want a reading for emotional support or for sheer entertainment. When you give useful and accurate readings that help them in their daily lives, they will tell their friends, which will result in return business for you.
How and when to build a team
Unless you become the Tarot Reader for the Stars, you may never need or want a team. If you create a 1-800 type of business that supports multiple readers, you will want to make sure that you all share similar energy and a common commitment to your customers' satisfaction. Disagreements among readers are toxic to a clear atmosphere that supports good readings.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a tarot 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 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.
Maintain Personal Asset Protection
Don’t think that just forming an LLC, or any other type of business, will save your personal assets in case of a lawsuit or other matter by itself.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Two of the simplest steps that will protect your business, and yourself, are to:
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.
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.
How much can you charge customers?
You can earn a very respectable living if working full-time. A quick 15-minute reading that you do for walk-ins at the fair can earn $20 each. For more in-depth readings ordered by regular clients, you can charge $60 to $80 per hour. If you have broken into the wealthy clientele, some celebrities pay up to $500 per hour for their personal tarot reader.
What are the ongoing expenses for a tarot reading business?
Your largest costs will be marketing, some basic accounting and even travel. Your cards won't put a huge dent in your budget. You will want to update your website on a regular basis to keep it current and relevant.
How much profit can a tarot reading business make?
Your startup tarot business can see an income of about $25,000 the first year. As your client base grows, so will your profits. Some readers report six figure incomes, but those are the exception to the norm.
How can you make your business more profitable?
As time goes by, you will be able to stop doing those $20 quickie readings at the fair, opting for the more profitable in-depth ones paid for by wealthier clients.