Tarot Reflections is looking for a couple of regular contributors to this column. The intent of this column is to provide quick tips to readers who are in process of transitioning to a professional reading business or are new business owners. Some of the topics will also be good refreshers for those already established in their Tarot businesses.
One of my favorite reference books as a business professional is Christine Jette's Professional Tarot: The Business of Reading, Consulting & Teaching (Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN 2003).
Rather than give you a book review, I'd like to just highlight her chapter on Bookkeeping 101, as money is an important topic in any business venture. Jette discusses the difference between collecting reading fees and "making money." Basically, she reminds us that it is not enough to simply have revenue, but we must keep our costs in mind to realize true profit. "For example, it is great that you made $200 reading the cards today, but if your $500 office rent is due tomorrow, you did not 'make money.'" (p. 97)
Pretty straightforward advice, and, as simple as it is, you can never be reminded of this enough when in business for yourself. There is always some new deck to buy, or some new software, or table decoration for your reading space. Keeping a firm handle on what you need versus what you want in designing and building your unique Tarot business will help you control expenses in the beginning. Try writing up a wish list and incorporating it in a short-term and long-term plan, keeping the expenses as goals to be achieved and rewards for your success.
Bookkeeping in and of itself is no longer as complicated as it once was. There are several easy bookkeeping programs to help you keep track of your income and expenses, even generating reports for you on where your best source of revenue comes from, or what area of your business is the highest cost. If you don't want to spend money on software, a simple $15 ledger is fine. You can reach out to accounting students at your local college, if you like, for help in starting your business finance tracking. They'd likely be willing to help you in exchange for a reading.
Jette's book goes into more detail on this and several important topics, such as marketing, legalities, price-setting and more. And, once this column is up and running, you'll find additional resources right here!