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by Colleen Benelli and Karen Harrison
First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Fall 2015
Building a successful Reiki Practice will require the effective use of success consciousness, marketing, technology, business organization and comprehension and self-healing. Equally important will be the harmonious integration of your spiritual resources into all your business activities. Reiki will help you listen to divine guidance in the application of these steps so that you will build a Reiki business that matches your heart intention. In this article, we present you with an overview of the steps you will need to create a successful 21st century Reiki business.
There are many benefits to owning your own business and also many challenges. By reading this article, you will be better prepared to decide if a Reiki business is what you really want. Then if the answer is “yes,” we hope that our lists of details and tips for all the areas you will need to consider will allow you to be successfully self-employed. We want to emphasize that building a business and implementing all its practices takes time. However, you do not have to have all of what you are about to read in place in order to begin your professional Reiki practice.
William Rand says that “definiteness of purpose, sustained over time always produces results; regardless of the obstacles, just keep going.(1) Success consciousness has to do with what you believe about your ability to succeed. The following are positive concepts that if focused on and accepted will help you develop a stronger level of success consciousness.(2) Reiki may help you develop others that will have personal meaning for you.
• I have all the resources I need to achieve my goals in life,or the ability to develop them.
• I use negative and positive experiences to heal and to grow.
• I continue to improve my current skills and learn new ones.
• There is enough for everyone, including myself.
• I am worthy.
• My Reiki business can successfully provide the services people need.
• I am a valuable Reiki resource for others.
• I am devoted and committed to my personal Reiki practice and apply my devotion and commitment to my Reiki business.
• I trust in the higher power to guide me.
• I am supportive of my clients and students and the entire Reiki community.
• I am willing to ask for help when I need it including from family and other Reiki practitioners.
• Love is my highest goal.
• I am grounded and practical.
Listen with Reiki to decide what kind of a Reiki practice is right for you. You may want to have a simple practice in which you offer Reiki to family and friends and a few others. This level of practice is fine if it feels right for you, and it is also a good place to start even if you are thinking you’d like to eventually develop a more professional practice in which you charge money. On the other hand you may want to have a Reiki business that can support you financially; if this the case, it is important that you regard your Reiki venture as a professional business that requires the application of business principles. This will include business basics such as a business plan, business type, operating income, bookkeeping, checking account, business supplies, taxes, computer, computer software, internet connection, phone, and more.(3)
Deciding if you want your business to be part-time or full-time is an important decision to make. Starting part-time is a good idea if you need your current job to supply you with an income while you develop your Reiki business. Then after you’ve been operating part-time for a while you could decide to develop it further, quit your current job and go full-time. If you are not currently employed and have a nest egg or other source of income, you could launch into the development of a full-time business right away. Once you’ve decided on part-time or full-time, decide on the number of clients and/or students you’d like to see per week or per month and choose a date that you’d like to achieve this goal by. Then develop a plan to achieve your goal and follow it.(4)
Building a successful Reiki business will take an investment of time and money. You will need to figure out how much money you need to start your business and to keep it going until it begins to generate enough money to pay its bills and provide you with the level of profit you need.(5)
If you plan to have a part- or full-time Reiki business, it is important to consider membership in a professional Reiki membership organization. The code of ethics and standards of practice a membership association requires you to follow will give you recognition as a qualified practitioner and teacher and will make it easier for you to attract clients and students. In addition, being listed on their membership list, the use of a professionally created brochure, the ability to purchase insurance at a discounted rate, use of forms, teaching manuals and class outlines, articles on how to develop and operate a successful Reiki business, class certificates and association with thousands of other Reiki professionals through a membership blog make professional membership an important part of your success plan.(6)
If you choose to start your business in your home, check with your city and/or home association officials to find out the rules and regulations for a home business and if it is allowed. Will you be able to provide a quiet environment for sessions at your home? If you have pets, how will you handle clients with allergies? If you rent space, will you sub-lease or rent a space of your own? You might also consider working out of someone’s office on a split of income basis.(7)
In a professional Reiki business, you will want to document each treatment in a client’s file, kept in a locked cabinet. You can copy the Reiki Client Information Form and the Reiki Documentation Form in the Free Downloads section of the ICRT website.(8)
As a business owner, it is important to obtain professional liability insurance. The professional liability insurance offered through the Reiki Membership Association covers both sessions and classes and includes professional liability coverage, general liability coverage (slip and fall) and insurance protection for the building where you’re giving sessions or teaching.(9) If your business is located in your home, you can also contact your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance agent to obtain a policy for a home business.
Many Reiki practitioners we have spoken with over the years revealed a fear and distaste of technology, preferring a high touch, low-tech approach. While this mindset is understandable, it is not helpful in this day of rapidly advancing technological changes. It is important to embrace technology to help you market your Reiki business, provide convenience to your clients and students and save you time. If you have fears or resistance to technology, send Reiki to that issue to heal it so you can benefit from all that technology has to offer.
As soon as you begin your business, it is important to create a website. Your clients and students can search for you on the web, read about you and your services, see a picture of you and decide if they want to work with you. William Rand says, “The web is such an integral part of society now that if you don’t have a website, most people will think you’re not serious about your business.”(10) If possible, make your domain name and business name the same for consistency. (11) Listen to your Reiki guidance to create a business name and a matching email address that is easy to remember and spell and reflects what you have to offer. Your website should include a description of your Reiki sessions and classes, a biography and photo, articles you have written, and a method to collect email addresses of potential clients and students and contact information.(12)
Consider hiring a professional webmaster so that your website looks professional. Look at websites that you admire and then contact the webmaster or search on sites like Linkedin for the right professional.(13) Remember, the impression people get from your website is the impression they will have of you, so make sure it looks attractive, is well organized and provides useful and easy to understand information.
It is very helpful and you will get more clients and students if your website has online registration and payment for sessions and classes. You can still process registrations over the phone for any who desire to do so. There are basically two options for online registration: you can add a shopping cart or a link to an online registration program like EventSpot by Constant Contact (14) to your website that will collect the registration and payment for you. Online registration programs give registrants the option to pay by credit card, PayPal, check, or cash, and you can manually enter those who register over the phone. For Reiki session credit card payments, you can choose a merchant that has a card reader that you can attach to your smart phone to process payments.
Marketing is simply the term describing the methods you use to communicate and promote your Reiki services to the public. Marketing can be a lot of fun and creative. Let Reiki and your heart intention guide you with inspiring ideas.
Here are some questions to consider for your marketing decisions:
• Who are your customers?
• What problems are they trying to solve?
• What services do you provide that they need?
Branding gives you the opportunity to communicate your business identity to the public. Good branding must be uniform throughout all your advertising media and include the design of your website, logo, business cards, flyers, brochures, newsletters, social media pages, etc. Branding also takes into account the design elements of your business name, logo, tagline, color choices, images and written content.(15)
1. Listed below are several important branding guidelines.
2. Express your authentic self.
3. Be consistent.
4. Be transparent.
5. Be professional.
6. Deliver on your brand promises.(16)
Marketing your services – What Reiki services do you offer and how will you communicate your services to your customers? Your marketing materials need to include your hours, prices, scope of practice and the services you offer to your clients as well as your photo.
Time for Marketing – Do you schedule a specific amount of time each month for promoting your business? You will need to establish work hours dedicated to marketing. Some of your marketing ideas may take years to accomplish or to see results. A common rule of thumb in marketing is that it takes customers eight exposures to marketing before they will consider reacting.
Investment – Do you have the financial ability to invest in marketing your Reiki business? “If you want to have a successful business, you must operate it in a professional way. All successful businesses spend time and money on promotion. In fact, in many areas of business, advertising and promotion are the largest and most important expenses.”17
Community Outreach – How are you reaching out? Become a resource for Reiki in your community. Offer Reiki circles, give presentations, provide Reiki sessions in hospitals or clinics, talk and meet with other Reiki practitioners and participate in supporting other Reiki communities through social networking.
Creating content about Reiki is now one of the most current methods of marketing. Consider writing for local publications and magazines like Reiki News Magazine ,18 writing a blog, making short YouTube videos and offering podcasts. Decide what you like to do the most and just begin doing it. Ask Reiki what it wants you to write about.
Social Networking – Are you using social networking to promote your business?
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube are still the top social networking sites online. Use it as another way to create and participate in community building. It promotes your Reiki business through the example of resource services tha you provide.
Do you send newsletters, announcements, promotions, reminders to groups of people?
William Rand says, “One of the most effective things you can do to promote your Reiki practice is develop an email list of those interested in Reiki.”(19) Emails are an easy way to stay connected to your Reiki students, clients and community. Services like Constant Contact and MailChimp provide easy ways to develop and send group emails. The cost is determined by how many emails you send; some are free for 500–1,000 contacts.
If you advertise in a publication or on a website, ask if you can write articles for the publication too. Flyers, business cards and brochures are still some of the old standards that work.
“Those who have experienced your work are the best people to promote you… Make friends with the chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, aroma therapists, medical doctors and other professionals in your area. This method can also open the possibility of being offered a job giving sessions at a clinic.”(20)
One of the biggest fears about starting a Reiki business is fear of marketing. The new business owner imagines that she will have to sell herself to her potential clients and students, thus fearing pressuring someone or being rejected. Instead, see your marketing efforts as providing information and service for the larger community rather than selling something.
Some people have fears of accepting money for spiritual work due to teachings or self-worth issues. If these feelings are present, they need to be healed, so send Reiki to the original cause of any unsupportive beliefs. Having a spiritual business that makes money is an excellent way to bring the values and energy of the spiritual world into the material world.(21)
Some people fear failure or success—often at the same time! Consider, is the fear a valid concern or our own inner issues surfacing? We may have voices in our head saying we aren’t good enough, we can’t support ourselves with a Reiki practice or that we should do what we are “supposed” to do rather than listen to the call of our heart. To heal your fears, accept them, send Reiki to the original cause of the fears, then listen for guidance about starting and operating a Reiki business.
Some students express a fear of practicing Reiki due to judgment from their family, friends or community that they regard as the “mainstream.” Yet, “the people who are involved with Reiki are everyday people trying to find a way to heal and contribute to the well-being of life on the earth.”(22) If you have loved ones who seem critical, start by healing any judgments you have about practicing Reiki, then send Reiki to the relationship to clear any conflict for the highest good of all concerned, recognizing that it is not necessary to push Reiki on anyone. You may find that they become supportive.
There will be “life cycles” that take place while building your business that may cause delays. These can be part of your spiritual journey. Keep listening and following divine guidance. Your Reiki business may start up quickly or take years of patient commitment. Remember that every step is part of your personal growth, healing and empowerment.
Whether our “to do” list seems fun and exciting or a bit intimidating, remember that you will be following through on the items on the list for years. The best advice that we have for you is to just begin at the beginning and keep going. Listen for guidance about each step, and then follow through with actions. It is the definiteness of purpose, sustained over time that will bring results.
(1) Conversation between William Rand and Colleen Benelli.
(2) Some of these concepts are adapted from the ICRT Center Philosophy.
(3) For blogs and courses: www.sba.gov
(4) William Lee Rand, “Create a Thriving Reiki Practice: Part I” in Developing Your Reiki Practice: An Anthology from Reiki News Magazine, Southfield, MI: Vision Publications, Inc., 2012, 11. To order an e-book or hard copy version, go to www.reikiwebstore.com/ProductPage.cfm?ProductID=608&CategoryID=2.
(5) Marianne Streich, “Starting a Reiki Practice – Business Basics” in Developing Your Reiki Practice, 35.
(6) See www.reikimembership.com
(7) Marianne Streich, “Starting a Reiki Practice – Business Basics” in Developing Your Reiki Practice, 35.
(10) William Lee Rand, “Create a Thriving Reiki Practice: Part II,” in Developing Your Reiki Practice, 15.
(12) “Create a Thriving Reiki Practice: Part II,” 15.
(15) Colleen Benelli, “Create your Business Identity,” Reiki News Magazine Summer 2015, 48.
(16) Ibid., 48.
(17) William Lee Rand, “Making the Most of Your RMA Membership,” www.reikimembership.com/Members/MakingTheMostRMAmembership.aspx
(18) Please see writer’s guidelines for Reiki News Magazine at https://www.reikiwebstore.com/DynamicPage.cfm?DynamicContentID=14
(19) Rand, “Create a Thriving Reiki Practice: Part II,” 15.
(21) Rand, “Create a Thriving Reiki Practice: Part I,” 10–11.
(22) Colleen Benelli, “Define Your Reiki Practice, Part I,” Reiki News Magazine Fall 2013, 66.