11 Things You Should Know BEFORE You Become the Resident Reader at your Local Metaphysical Shop
Hey ho Palmistry Pro! If you’ve done your homework and decided to start your own business (see my post on 14 Things You Should Know before starting your biz here) you may be itching to get a gig as the “resident reader” at your local metaphysical shop.
If you’re lucky enough to have a metaphysical shop in your area, being a resident reader can be a wonderful way to build a clientele, fine-tune your readings and even network with others in complementary professions. Every shop has its own vibe and quirks so it’s a good idea to do your homework before you settle in to the comfy back reading room. To make it easier for you to decide if the shop is a fit for you, here are 11 questions to answer before you commit.
- What’s the pay structure? It’s not awkward to have the money talk up front. The person who owns the shop is a business owner and you are a business owner too. Presumably you both want to deliver outstanding service to clients but if you don’t both want to make money, you’ll be back working for someone else in short order. The most common pay structure I’ve seen on the East Coast of the US include a 60/40 breakdown and a shop standard for reading rates. (you get the 60%, the shop gets 40%).
- What kind of insurance, if any, does the shop require? This is not a universal request but some shops will ask you to prove that you cover liability insurance that covers you in case an angry customer comes back blaming you and the shop for her bad financial investment or something similar. I’m not an insurance agent but we do have several recommendations about insurance coverage in the Profitable Palmist Private Group on Facebook.
- What special events will you be required to attend? Often shops have anniversary parties, holiday events and psychic fairs that are part of their marketing effort to build their customer base and show customer appreciation and they like their readers to be present. Find out before you sign on what those events are and if they conflict with any of your family traditions or trips.
- What’s the pay scale for special events? Many shops pay a lower fee for your readings at psychic fairs and events because they are charging special pricing for their customers. Usually your readings will be 10-15 minutes in length and you will be given a flat fee for the number of readings done at the event. Make sure this is a fit for you financially, especially if you’ll be missing out on New Year’s Eve with your honey to be there!
- How will they market your readings and what are you expected to do to bring in customers? Will you be writing a column for their website or newsletter? Does the shop do reader introductions to their loyal customers? What’s your responsibility for bringing people into the shop during your reading hours.
- Will you have a set schedule or by appointment only? Some shops want you to come in every third Tuesday regardless if they have bookings or not. Make sure you are cool with sitting in the shop when it’s slow and do your best to build up word of mouth to avoid feeling bored and underutilized! If you work by appointment only find out how far in advance they require appointments to be made and
- What’s their policy on no-shows? If the shop collects a deposit at the time an appointment is made, there is less likelihood of no-shows! If they have a deposit and the client doesn’t show, what percentage of the deposit do you get?
- Is the shop the kind of place your favorite type of clients would hang out? Spend some time looking around at the shop and getting to know their products and other services. Is what you see a match to your general way of working in the world? We all have a personal style or “vibe” and making sure that yours gels with the shop is an important factor.
- Do you feel like you want to tell the shop owner how to run his/her place? Sometimes you can tell that a shop has a ton of potential and your little helper heart just wants to jump in and assist in marketing, recommending products or other services. While it’s really nice of you to genuinely want to help, it’s important to remember that it’s not your shop. If you’re not asked, don’t meddle.
- Is this shop in a neighborhood or location that feels good to you and your perfect people? If you have to drive 40 miles each way to get to the shop, it may or may not be the best fit for you. Same goes if it’s in a strip mall surrounded by hamburger joints if you’re a vegetarian. Just make sure you and your perfect people find it worth your while to head out there!
- Is this shop going to be in business for the long haul? I know, you’re a palm-reader, not a psychic! Still, use your best judgment to decide if this shop owner is in the business for quick cash or to build a sustainable community mainstay.
Alright! Now you’re ready to decide whether or not being the resident reader at your local metaphysical shop is a perfect fit for you!
If you’ve had a reading by a professionally certified hand analyst, you know it changed your life! When that happens it’s natural that you want to go deeper into the process that so changed your life.
That is what happened to me! I had a hand reading in the Spring and by the Fall I was enrolled in a year-long certification program to become a hand analyst. At the time I had only a few vague ideas about becoming a professional hand reader. While I’m so glad to do the work I do today, helping palmists and others like them build businesses using the code in their hands, there are still a number of things I wish I’d known before I hung out my shingle. Here they are.
- How patient are you? Building a palmistry business takes time and steady devotion. My first company was making a profit within 6 months and I had more than 10 years’ experience in corporate sales and marketing so I thought setting up and running a palmistry business would be a piece of cake. I spent a ton of time on things like logos and color schemes and jumping from one goal to another – this was time I should have spent focusing on one goal at a time.
- Who do you serve? Resist the urge to be everything to everybody. I know you’ve heard it a million times, but the easiest way to build your palmistry business is to focus, either on a specific clientele or specific results. The surest way to burn out and go broke is to try to help everyone who has hands. (Ask me how I know this.)
- What are you really offering? Clarify the features and benefits of your services so that you know what you want to offer and how you want to offer it.
- What are you willing to do? Decide what type of palmist you want to be. Do you want to make your money on the road doing fairs and wine shows? Would you rather work big corporate events and parties? Perhaps you want to focus on being the reader in a well-known local shop? You could also focus exclusively on one-to-one readings by phone or in person. While you don’t have to etch these decisions in stone, it’s a good idea to know what you want and don’t want to do to build your business and make money. I spend 80% of my work time doing one-to-one client work and mix up the other 20% with winery events and private parties. In the past I’ve worked at local shops and had some good and some bad experiences. (I’m working on a post on what you should know about becoming a “resident reader.”)
- How much is it worth? Determine your rates. Create your rate sheet and packages or offerings. Once you know how you want to deliver your services (see #5) you can begin to formulate rates, service offerings and packages that serve your preferred clients. Clarify your pricing for classes, workshops and other offerings if you intend to include them in your business.
- How much money do you need? Get up close and personal with your numbers. If you are the sole breadwinner for yourself and your family, spend a few hours up to your elbows in financial projections. Knowing how much money you HAVE to earn to pay your bills and still maintain your quality of life is important. This will help you set your rates, set your working hours and get your butt in gear to make it happen.
- Can you work double-duty? Don’t quit your day job, just yet. First, there is nothing wrong with having a day job or bridge job to make sure you and your family continues to have a roof over your heads. In fact, I applaud your foresight. Just make some clear contracts with yourself if you intend to quit that day job by a certain date. You can definitely run your palmistry business part-time, but you still need to treat it as a business for it to grow.
- What do you want your client’s to feel when they work with you? Create a new client welcome experience package. Have a system for interacting with new clients every step of the way. Include everything from introductory email responses to the actual packet you mail to clients prior to their session. Include your “rules of the road” from the very beginning so client’s know and understand your hours, your scheduling and your boundaries regarding payments and no-shows.
- How organized is your time? Invest in, or create a time management system that allows you to keep overwhelm at bay. This can include systemized emails, a time-scheduling software and a personal/business calendar or bullet journal that can help you stay on track.
- What kind of storage do you need? Decide how you’ll store hand prints. People will want to know what you do with their prints after they’re made. Have a system in place to keep their privacy safe. If you intend to use their prints for any reason, be sure to have a waiver in your welcome package that requests their approval.
- What’s your domain name? Set up your website and have a concrete content creation plan.
- How will you keep in touch with your peeps? Review and set up an email content delivery program (I use Mailchimp) for sending direct newsletters to your list.
- What content will you deliver? Start creating content that appeals to your desired client. Make a list of 24 topics that you can write about and start there. (this will give you enough for two articles in one year!)
- How social are you? Choose your primary social media platform. It’s best to pick a platform that you already use and like. If you use social media, show up consistently. If you aren’t ready to be consistent, it’s best that you don’t dabble. Resist the temptation to try to be everywhere on social media in the very beginning. This doesn’t work!
I know it can seem like a lot, but I promise you, addressing these topics BEFORE you decide to launch your business will help you organize and get traction in your marketplace much more quickly than if you simply jump in and “wing it.”