This series addresses the logistics of starting, maintaining, and succeeding at owning a spiritual practice whether you are a psychic or a healer.
Readings and healings (going forward I will refer to as sessions), are just as powerful and accurate remotely. Especially during and after the experience of Covid-19, we are seeing an influx of sessions held over the internet and FaceTime. Zoom is a popular option whereas the practitioner sends her client a link that can be used over any device where FaceTime is strictly for Apple devices. It is feasible to have a remote practice only, however, there is the element of warm personal interaction that many seek. In fact, I had both established and new clients that waited for the stay-at-home order to lift to see me in-person. Some clients hold the belief system that an accurate and powerful session only happens in-person. As a practitioner, you can give energetic examples to support the remote session. For instance, the sun’s light is 93 million miles away, yet its energy reaches us without question. However, you may never convince them! Eventually, you will have to address where to create space for your practice.
Here is an interesting fact – did you know that Google only recognizes a brick-and-mortar building? This means that you can use your home as a business address but if you share space with other practitioners or sublet space, your business name will get lost in the mix. Google recognizes ONE business for an address. (Google does recognize various suites at the same address, however.) As an example, if you sublet space from an active practitioner, your clients will see the lessor’s business name, Google reviews, and Google map. The person subletting will not be found. It is as if you do not exist. Google is a powerful ally but can be problematic if you do not know the nuances. This is subject matter for another blog so stick with me!
Generally speaking, there are four options available: space in your home, renting space as your own, subletting space from an established practitioner or being the feature in a retail space.
Using your home can be highly beneficial especially if you are watching your expenses. Rent is typically the largest expense on your income statement (aka profit and loss statement) and may be the biggest determining factor whether to use your home. However, there are many drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of working out of your home to see clients in-person/questions you may want to ponder:
- No expense
- If a dedicated space, qualified home office expenses for rent, mortgage, utilities, and insurance based on square footage (see IRS regulations), so this could reduce your income tax
- Layout of home needs to be conducive to privacy; the session room should be on the main floor near the entrance. The bathroom should also be close. As a rule, you do not want your client walking through your home.
- Home needs to be clean, especially the session room and bathroom. However, if the layout of the house is not favorable, the client may see your kitchen. Is it tidy?
- Home needs to be clutter free, otherwise energy flow is hampered.
- Where will the client wait if they arrive early or if you see clients back-to-back? You may need a sign on the front door that asks them to stay in their car.
- Is your entrance way and walkway free of ice and snow?
- Do you have pets? Many people have animal allergies. This can be a big problem.
- If you have pets, hopefully they are hypoallergenic. Will the pet sit still, or will the pet sit in the window and bark non-stop at passersby? Are your pets friendly?
- Do you have family members home during session? Keep in mind, incredibly private information comes up and the client may be ill at ease if they are worried about someone listening. You will want it quiet, too. May need to schedule when no one home.
- If you are well known or a female, you may not want to share your address if you are concerned about weirdos. This can make it almost impossible to market. It may be wise to have cameras on the house.
Renting your own private space can be very empowering but expensive. I have seen practitioners rent out an entire building before they are established; the doors closed within months. This is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Here are pros and cons/questions to ask:
- Expensive, this is a fixed cost and will only increase over time
- Fabulous for Google and SEO (search engine optimization), Google reviews, Google maps, and any other listings that require an address such as Thumbtack or Yelp. (These also have drawbacks).
- Gives the greatest amount of flexibility
- Parking may be free and available to all, but ask the question before signing a lease
- Is there a waiting room? Do you share it with others or is it yours exclusively?
- Do you have your own bathroom? If not, where is it?
- Will the landlord remove snow and handle ice?
- Does the building keep specific hours? If so, what are they?
- Do you need to provide insurance? It is a good idea, regardless of the landlord’s requirements.
- What kind of heating and cooling?
- Is there a kitchen or kitchenette? How about a refrigerator? It is nice to provide water during energy work or a long reading.
- What do the neighbors do around your suite? Are they quiet? Once I had a space where the tenants liked to talk in the hallway to one another and it infringed on sessions.
Subletting a shared space with other practitioners is more cost effective than flying solo, however there can be drawbacks:
- Less expensive then having your own dedicated space.
- There needs to be a master schedule, available to all practitioners to see, when the room is available. If it is just you and the established practitioner, you need to ask permission to see if the time slot is available to you.
- Without a master schedule, a room can get double booked—I’ve seen it happen and it looks very unprofessional.
- It is likely one person will take precedence over the bookings; it will be the person whose name is on the lease. This is also the person most at risk so this is a fair arrangement. If it’s only you and the established practitioner, be sure to ask when they most often do NOT use the space.
- Unless there is a shared business where all practitioners fall under the same umbrella with the same opportunities at being found you will likely get lost on Google. What does this mean? A collaboration of healers who get equal exposure on the website, but truly, this is exceedingly rare.
- The responsibilities of sharing a space such as garbage disposal, cleaning, and maintaining need to be discussed. Make all expectations clear especially if your name is on the lease. This usually gets shared if the lessee frequents the space, otherwise, it falls to the main person.
- Are you selling products and leaving them out? Consider the trust factor and whether you are comfortable with this arrangement with your peers and with clients who may be yours or your peers.
- Layout, parking lot, snow removal and details as listed above need to be considered.
- There can be fierce competition amongst other psychics and healers so be sure your modalities are very different. If you tend to be competitive or get the vibe that the other(s) are competitive, this may be a poor idea!
Featured in a Retail Space—this is the scenario where you are working out of a retail shop, perhaps a metaphysical storefront or a yoga studio
- Can be a great way to start a practice; costs are usually low with a limited risk.
- Usually the budding practitioner discusses the arrangement with the retail shop owner. It often looks something like this: the practitioner charges whatever rate he/she feels is fair, the shop owner takes a cut such as 20% – 30%, the shop owner advertises the practitioner, and often but not always, the shop owner handles the collection of the fees and give the practitioner his or her cut at the end of the day. The collection of fees is important in case you do not have a chip device to collect credit card information. Many sales can be lost if this is not an option.
- May likely give more exposure through the retail store due to a larger following than the practitioner could have gained on his/her own.
- Advertising through the shop may be through email blasts and certainly through social media. Sometimes the shops have signage. Make sure they do their part.
- Downside may include a less than private space
- Once I recall working out of a metaphysical shop and the owner was out. She had a helper who thought it was acceptable to play Rock (and a little on the loud side) while I was doing readings! Needless to say, that was a deal-breaker.
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Thanks for reading!