If you’re studying a course in reflexology (or considering it!), you may be thinking about setting up your own reflexology business after graduation. But where do you start? Well thankfully, there’s a wonderful amount of flexibility on offer for reflexologists, from deciding how and where you will work to choosing your own workload and hours – you can control your career.
But what are some of the first steps you’ll need to take in order to become a successful reflexologist? Check out the tips and tricks we’ve listed below.
Qualifications You Will Need
- To be qualified as a reflexologist in Australia and set up your own practice, you will need to complete a Certificate IV and a Diploma of Reflexology at an Australian Registered Training Organisation. These two qualifications have been designed to work together and complement one another in terms of both theory and practical experience
- It is also beneficial to register as a Professional at the Reflexology Association of Australia. This can boost your credibility and will allow your patients to claim rebates on your services.
Equipment & Materials
Starting up a reflexology business will involve purchasing equipment and supplies up front. This may include:
- A treatment table or reclining chair for your patients
- Rolling chair or stool for yourself
- Side tables that you can use to set up your supplies
- Smaller equipment items like bolsters, footrests, rollers, bowls and towels
- Treatment supplies such as lotions, balms, creams and ointments
- Charts or models which can be useful when explaining to patients how reflexology works
- Aromatherapy supplies such as oils and candles, as well as a music player (if you wish to create a specific mood or ambience during your sessions)
- Payment or invoicing/receipt supplies
Setting Yourself Up at Home – Practical Tips
Many reflexologists choose to set up their business and service clients in their own home. This means you’ll need to find a room which has an appropriate amount of space and access to additional facilities such as bathrooms. Check out some additional tips below.
- Working from your own home can be highly beneficial. It allows you to establish a dedicated and often intimate space and means that you don’t have to worry about running late to an appointment.
- When it comes to tax time, you should be able to claim back a portion of your home’s rent/mortgage and utility payments as business expenses.
- Although you won’t have to commute, working at home can impact your personal space. It also means that your home and work life will all be in the one spot, so make sure this will suit you.
- A home-based clinic may also affect your privacy and even your security, especially if you allow patients to use/share common areas and facilities (e.g. living areas and bathrooms).
Setting Yourself Up As a Mobile Business – Practical Tips
If creating a clinic in your home doesn’t suit you, then why not set yourself up as a ‘mobile’ reflexologist. This way you can treats clients in the comfort of their own homes while getting the opportunity to travel.
- If you’d rather not have patients in your own home, working on a mobile basis can be an excellent solution. It can also be beneficial for you if you prefer to be out and about.
- Servicing clients elsewhere can involve more coordination and could mean that you will only be able to take on a limited number of patients each day (due to travel times). Consider how this might impact your earnings before choosing this form of practice.
- Keep in mind that you’ll need a car big enough to accommodate your equipment, including tables, chairs and any other accessories you need to bring along.
- You should also consider how car and fuel costs will affect your bottom line and how much you will therefore need to charge your clients. While you can claim much of it back at tax time, it also means you have to outlay these expenses upfront
Getting an ABN
- Running a business in Australia means that you will need to register for an Australian Business Number. This can be done online and is free of charge.
- If you plan to operate your business on your own, you should register as a Sole Trader (for more info on business structures, go here).
Choosing a Business Name
- At this time, you should also think carefully about what you want to call your reflexology business. Will it be something like Jane Citizen Reflexology or Prized Pressure Reflexology?
- Try to choose a name that you think will define your brand and help you stand out from the crowd. Researching other businesses on the web can also spark some ideas while showing you who your competitors are.
Registering a Business Name
- Once you have your business name you will then need to register it with ASIC and pay a small fee. This will result in the name belonging to you and no one else.
- Note: If you are using only your first and last name as your business name (e.g. ‘Jane Citizen’) then you do not need to register it. However, if your business name will be something like Citizen Reflexology (i.e. you are using the word ‘reflexology’ or something else in your name) then you will need to register it with ASIC.
Insurance & Liability
- Protecting your business with Professional Indemnity Insurance is extremely important. Without this, you won’t be able to work or obtain membership at the RAoA.
- You should research insurance quotes thoroughly and seek advice about how much insurance your business will require. Ask yourself: what will and won’t I be covered for?
- Making an effort to familiarise yourself with the code of ethics, conduct and compliance can help you further understand when/where you may be liable.
Marketing Your Business
How will you market your reflexology business? How will potential patients find out more about you?
- Creating a website for your business is a great idea, and is often considered mandatory in today’s digital age. You could create the website yourself or invest in experts (designers, developers, copywriters) if you want a more professional-looking site.
- Remember that you can also market your reflexology business with the help of other materials and tools like flyers and brochures, ads (online or in print), business cards, blogs and social media pages.
- Don’t forget to network as much as you can too! Be it with friends, family, colleagues and/or potential patients – get out there. Networking with other practitioners can also be hugely advantageous since you can benefit from their referrals as well.
Reflexology is an exciting area of Complementary Health that involves working with pressure points on the hands, feet and ears to improve health, reduce anxiety and treat pain or injury.