Jana is an 'amateur everything' when it comes to space, nature and science. She loves exploring mysteries, both classic and new.
A Business Like Any Other
Esoteric ventures may appear easier than other self-employment opportunities. The truth? A tarot business must be managed like any other business. Before you hang that “Open For Business” sign, here are a few things to consider.
- Some areas have tax laws for any home business, tarot readings included.
- You'll need a sound financial strategy and business plan, working hours, and products.
- The competition is stiff and the best way to succeed is by building a loyal client base. This takes time, nurture and good service.
- Your tarot business also needs a great marketing strategy.
Are You Ready?
Many tarot readers make the jump before they are ready. This means that they accept clients before they can do readings without consulting tarot material, lacking the proper business tools or strategy, dealing with clients incorrectly or not having an idea of how much (hours and money) they are willing to invest.
To be fair, new professionals can and do sell readings (even when they wing things). But few beginners manage to do the one thing that makes a tarot business truly successful and that is to get clients to return for a second or even third reading.
Let's end this section with some good news. Regardless of who you are, you can make the necessary preparations for a successful tarot business. With a little patience and experience, you can flourish in a very rewarding career.
The Components of a Tarot Business
- Study your craft regularly.
- At least one deck of tarot cards.
- Your office.
- Your clients.
- A business plan.
- Financial records.
- Products or services.
- Promotion and marketing.
Just as writers have their corners, home bakeries have their kitchens and inventors blow stuff up in the basement, a tarot reader needs their own special place. Where you build your nest depends on the business you will conduct. Will it be online, via email or in person? Let's peek at each in turn and you can decide which suits your home, finances and personality the best. Remember, you can even combine them to get more clients.
Many tarot readers don't like meeting clients in person. That is fine because some clients do not want to meet you. Certain people prefer to "visit" a reader anonymously. The stigma that sometimes slaps readers also makes clients fear what their families and friends might think when they seek help from the esoteric community.
In such cases, customers desire the more confidential phone or email reading. If you are fine with conducting business over the phone, there's a catch. Email readings can be time-controlled but a chatty client won't hang up the phone despite paying for only an hour. You could be dealing with a sponger or somebody who lost track of time. But with other appointments waiting, things could get uncomfortable as you need to end the call. Your next client won't be impressed when they call at the appointed time and the line is engaged.
Then there are those who want email readings because let's face it, it is cheaper. A client accepts responsibility for the phone call, an additional expense that falls away when the reading lands in their inbox. Email readings also allow readers more time to properly assess the spread.
Meeting Clients Face-To-Face
Readers who enjoy face-to-face meetings have an interesting time. At fairs, parties and the home office, their palms get crossed with silver.
The safest kind of personal encounter is, ironically, to remain online and use live video chat. Additionally, this is a great way to build a global client base. Somebody on a tiny island somewhere can use your services as easily as a person in the same town as you.
But if you dream of a tarot room in your home, where people sit down for a reading, it comes with special rewards and challenges. Visitors will receive a more intimate experience with the craft, see that you really are reading the cards and they can even view your other products. However, be safety conscious. Letting a stranger into your home is a dangerous thing to do. For this reason, many Tarot readers are moving their business online or into the open (parties, fairs).
Choose a room that resonates with your business. Make it themed or beautiful because you will be spending a lot of time there. A peaceful, uncluttered haven will make you more productive than running a business from the kitchen table. Make sure you have all the equipment you need, including a phone, Internet connection, cards and that all-important kettle for some tea!
When They Come Knocking
Clients are not merely people with wallets. They are complex individuals with real issues and expectations. Be prepared for all types of personalities, backgrounds and beliefs. Not every customer will be a walk in the park. Many are prejudiced, unreasonable or needy. Some will be downright rude. You will also encounter scam artists angling for free readings.
Clients represent the most important factor of your venture. Here are the best tips for better customer care.
1. Mind Your Boundaries
To avoid misunderstandings, inform potential clients of what they can expect when they purchase a reading. For example, how long a session lasts, the price and how they will receive the product. Draw a picture, so to speak, with clear boundaries.
Business transparency is valued by customers. They will respect you for it. This applies to all fields of business. People prefer a service provider that makes the most information available to the public. This is doubly important in the Tarot industry where so many false readers exist. Even if you don't mean to be shady, having no defined business and product description could make people feel less trusting towards you.
2. Collect the Good Eggs
Every reader encounters rude clients. If you have a client who paid but treats you badly, remain professional and complete the reading to the best of your ability. Don't get upset or angry with them. But never accept that particular client again, even when business is slow. Additionally, don't engage or believe anyone who mocks your Tarot talent. There are haters out there.
Do not accept clients who insist that they will pay for the reading afterwards. They are outright scam artists. They'll take the reading and disappear. Some go as far as accusing the reader of being a scam artist because they ask for money upfront. Don't fall for this. It's an old tactic. In the Tarot community, it is the norm for clients to pay first.
Respect and nurture the good ones. Over time, your stable will grow and returning clients will provide you with a regular income. To build a base takes time, so be patient.
3. Never Freak Them Out
There are clients who are very superstitious. Some go as far as panicking that their cards will predict doom and death. Here's the truth. A Tarot reading can pick up on trouble but it always provide paths and choices a client can take in order to avoid something bad. Experienced readers are gentle with their clients' emotions and know how to explain and guide them through their options.
4. Give Them Their Money's Worth
Competition in the Tarot industry is stiff. There are thousands of readers who want to work from home. There are Tarot companies with hundreds of employees. As if competing against other readers isn't bad enough, you must face countless online bots that offer readings for free. Then there are real readers who do not charge for their services. Get the picture? You need to sweeten the deal to get clients.
Here is a simple recipe to help you survive the crazy crush. Quality readings + reasonable fees = a client base. Treat every client as if they are your only one. Satisfied clients tell others and word-of-mouth advertising is free and immensely powerful. However, never ask a client to do this for you. It's a little off-putting.
5. Provide Choices
Shop A sells one kind of milk—the white stuff we all know and love. But next door, shop B sells 19 additional flavours of milk, cheese and even the cow. It's safe to say that shop B will receive more shoppers. Similarly, readers who offer more than the standard spread looks more reputable and experienced.
You don't need to have a bunch of products available before starting your professional Tarot career. Two or three are enough. Offer speciality readings, such as a spread that predicts the next 12 months, go in-depth into relationships or a specific problem that the client is having. Consider a second service like palmistry, selling decks, giving Tarot lessons and so on. Make yourself available for parties or sell gift cards that people can gift to their esoteric-minded loved ones.
Every tarot business is different but they all require the same basic records.
- Advertising budget.
- Where you advertise.
- An informal study to see which outlets brings you the most clients.
- Sales records.
- Tax information (if necessary).
It will take time to refine a system that works for you but note everything you sell, buy or do in regard to your business.
Additional Tips for Success
- Promote yourself in the right places. Placing an ad in a magazine for garlic gardeners won't create a stampede to your door. But when you advertise in an esoteric magazine, those who are already interested will read it.
- If you want to use a pseudonym, avoid fantasy names. Clients gravitate towards realism. A name like Blue Astral Raven appears less reputable than a reader who simply calls himself John Jones.
- Do not leave your day job. Successful readers work long, hard months before their readings pay the bills and mortgage. Enter the tarot business with sober expectations.
- Don't feel overwhelmed. If you do, take a break from it all. Then go back and enjoy the fact that you are doing something you love. Yes, being an entrepreneur is hard but never lose sight of the soul-touching spark your home business gave you in the beginning.
- Draw up a business plan. View it as your business blueprint and include everything from your goals, aspirations, budget and business strategy. Review it every few months to see if you are still on track with your goals, and make the necessary adjustments if you are not.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Jana Louise Smit
Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on July 25, 2018:
Thank you, Liv! Good luck with your tarot business. It remains a very interesting occupation. :)
Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on October 25, 2017:
Thanks Holley, welcome to Hubpages! :)
Heidi Hendricks from Upstate New York on October 25, 2017:
Awesome article. Thank you!