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14 Steps to Building Your Sleep Consultancy Business

Are you passionate about helping families improve their sleep but feel completely overwhelmed by the idea of turning this passion into a profitable business? If you’re nodding yes, then you’re in the perfect place. Today, I’m breaking down the exact steps you need to take to transform your desire to help families with sleep into a thriving and impactful business.

Yes, my goal is to save you the hassle of wondering what to do – and importantly in what order to focus on doing these tasks. So, by the end of this article, you’ll have the roadmap to launch your career as a sleep consultant.

If you’d prefer a video format, watch the video version below.

Step 1: Naming your business

Choosing the right name for your sleep consulting business might feel overwhelming, but I’m here to simplify it for you. There are generally three approaches you can take: descriptive, abstract, or personal. Let’s break these down:

1. Descriptive Names: These are straightforward and tell your clients exactly what you do. For example, ‘Better Sleep Solutions’ clearly indicates that your business focuses on improving sleep. This is perfect if you want immediate clarity and a name that resonates with SEO, making you more searchable for those in need.

2. Abstract Names: These can be more unique and memorable. Think of ‘Apple’—it’s simple, friendly, and now synonymous with innovation. An abstract name doesn’t limit your services to sleep consulting alone, which is ideal if you plan to expand your offerings in the future. However, remember that it might require more marketing effort to associate the name with your sleep consulting services.

3. Personal Names: Using your own name, like ‘Emma Dewey Sleep Consulting,’ adds a personal touch and can help build a deep level of trust with your clients. This approach can be especially powerful if you have a personal story or journey related to sleep that you share with your clients. It’s also great for building a personal brand alongside your business.

Once you have chosen your name for your sleep coaching business I recommend trademarking it, because that protects your brand from being used without your permission and helps maintain your unique identity in the marketplace. And of course, each country has its own rules and costs, so you’ll need to do a little homework here to ensure everything’s buttoned up legally.

Step 2: Picking A Domain Name

Typically, the easiest domain to secure is your own name. So if your business is named after you, you might choose something straightforward like ‘EmmaDewey.com’ or go a bit more descriptive with ‘EmmaDeweySleepConsulting.com’.

If you have a more abstract or descriptive business name, you’ll want to reflect that in your domain. However, try to avoid using hyphens and numbers because they can lead to typos and are generally harder for users to remember. And basically keeping to letters makes your domain name clear and effective.

Before finalizing your choice, you want to check if the domain is available and look for any existing trademarks to avoid legal issues and ensure that the name you want isn’t already in use within a similar industry.

And you also want to consider buying similar domains as well—like if I secured ‘EmmaDewey.com’, I might also grab ‘EmmaDewey.co.uk’. Because this will prevents mix-ups and can protect your brand by capturing potential traffic from common misspellings or variations of your domain.”

Step 3: Setting Up Your Social Media

Next up, let’s dive into where your ideal clients spend their time—social media. And to effectively reach and connect with them, you’ll want a presence on platforms where they’re most active. Are they scrolling through Instagram? Maybe they are on Facebook – they are probably on both. 

Remember, if your preferred social media handle is taken don’t worry, it’s really not a big deal. Just try adding an underscore or dash. What really matters is the content you post. That’s what will truly connect you to your community. And if they feel connected to you they will find you. 

Step 4: Business Email and Calendar

You will want a way to connect with people, so you’ll need an email address, and also you’ll want a calendar because you’ll be booking discovery calls and client calls. I recommend G Suite because you can streamline your communication and scheduling. And what that looks like in practice is that someone books a discovery call by clicking on a calendar link, say with Calendly, which syncs directly to your calendar, blocking off time automatically. that process is also repeated for your actual consultations too and making the whole scheduling of appointments super easy, simple, and professional. 

Step 5: Contracts, Terms, and Insurance 

Establishing clear expectations and robust legal boundaries is foundational to your client relationships. From session durations to follow-up support, ensuring clarity is paramount. Therefore, every critical detail, from payment handling to privacy protection and liability management, must be clearly outlined. Avoid the temptation to copy contracts; instead, consider utilizing templates from reputable sources or seeking assistance from legal professionals to ensure the solidity of your agreements.

Additionally, obtaining insurance, particularly professional indemnity and public liability insurance, is imperative, especially when providing professional advice or conducting consultations in clients’ homes. Cyber fraud insurance is also advisable for online consultations, safeguarding against potential data breaches or cyber threats.

Step 6: Banks and Taking Payments

To facilitate seamless and secure payment processing for potential customers, prioritize setting up a straightforward payment system. Popular online payment methods like Stripe or PayPal offer convenient options, with Stripe being preferred for its excellent customer service and lower fees. With these platforms, customers can easily make payments, and the payment processor deducts a small fee, simplifying the transaction process.

Step 7: Financial Management and Record-Keeping

Confession time: when I first started—and for longer, than I’d like to admit—I was that person who’d say, ‘I don’t do numbers,’ or I’d just gloss over them, thinking they weren’t that important as long as I wasn’t in the red. But here’s a crucial insight—knowing your numbers removes uncertainty and sharpens your focus on the key areas for growth and sustainability in your business.

So, what numbers am I talking about? Things like knowing which activities yield certain results, how many partners you need to contact to secure a collaboration, and from those collaborations, on average how many of those will convert into clients. For example, out of every 10 people you collaborate with, you work out that on average you get about 3 clients referred to you, and from those 3 people, it may be that you secure 1 client. So that allows you to do the maths, and multiply the activities you need to be doing to secure 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 clients a month. 

Knowing your numbers also helps you to pinpoint your break-even point—knowing when you’re making a profit and why you need to do that. Well, that helps you set the price of your services, and it helps you make strategic decisions to ensure your business is profitable and financially viable.

In our Holistic Sleep Coaching Program, we make this process super simple. We teach our grads how to track calls, partnerships, marketing activities, and a lot more, which is so important, and often overlooked. At a very basic level, you’ll want a way to monitor your fixed and variable costs, as well as other expenses. This might include costs like software, travel, etc., and income from different service packages. Or, you could opt for an online accounting platform like QuickBooks or FreeAgent. These platforms are great because they link directly to your bank and automate the tracking of your expenses and income, so you don’t have to manually input data.

But the key is to start with something straightforward that you’ll actually use. The simpler it is at the beginning, the better you can integrate it into your routine without feeling overwhelmed.

Step 8: Record Keeping

Effective record keeping does more than just keep you organized—it’s crucial for legal compliance, safeguarding your client’s confidentiality, and adhering to regulations like GDPR. It’s about making sure every piece of client information is securely managed and easily accessible.

When it comes to streamlining your record-keeping process: I recommend using a digital Cloud Storage system. Platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox are perfect for creating a structured folder system. Organize everything by year, month, and client to keep things tidy. For instance, you might save a Google Doc with a client’s notes and their personalized sleep plan right in their specific folder. But we also need a bird’s eye view of our entire operation, and that’s where a good project management system kicks in.

Step 9: Implementing a Project Management System

I highly recommend using a tool like Trello as your project management system, it’s super user-friendly. Basically, you can set up a board for each client or project, with lists to track every phase of their journey—from the initial consultation to ongoing progress, and right through to completion. You can also link all essential documents, like sleep diaries and session notes directly from Google Drive to each client’s Trello card. This setup not only makes information readily accessible but also helps you monitor exactly where each client is in their process.

On top of that Trello isn’t just for client management; it’s also perfect for organizing other business activities like your marketing activities. So I think this is a really cool tool, that gives you a great 30,000-foot view of everything going on in your business. 

Step 10: Data Protection and Compliance

It’s important to be vigilant about how you handle your client’s data. So you want to be clear about how long you retain client data and ensure it is only kept as long as necessary. If you’re based in the UK, familiarize yourself with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO’s) guidelines and ensure you’re registered with them as required. For those outside the UK, it’s important to understand and comply with the data protection laws specific to your country or any international laws applicable when dealing with clients from other countries. By integrating these tools and practices into your workflow, you ensure everything is secure, streamlined, and accessible—freeing you up to focus more on what you do best: helping families get the rest they need.

Step 11: Identify Your Niche and Get Known For Something

So now that we have the legal foundations in place and compliance sorted, it’s time to focus on attracting clients. Being visible is key, and that means being recognized for a specific expertise. Rather than trying to address all aspects of sleep for all parents, you want to consider honing in on a particular niche that truly excites you and matches your interests. Take, for example, one of our graduates from the holistic sleep coaching program, Isadora, who specializes in safe co-sleeping. This topic is not only close to her heart, but it’s also something she’s deeply familiar with from her own life, sharing her experiences and knowledge with her followers. This personal connection means her audience knows exactly what to expect from her consultations, courses, and guides, and even the social media algorithms recognize where to position her content—directly in front of parents passionate about this topic. Similarly, we have graduates who focus on supporting families with high-needs children, those who help families with multiples, and those who exclusively work with toddlers. The goal is to become so well-known in your niche that when someone mentions your name, there’s no question about who you serve and how you help them. Now Rome wasn’t built in a day, and at the beginning, you just want to get going, get clients, and practice with lots of families, but certainly when you get to a point where you feel confident – niching down will truly help you thrive. That leads me to step 12. 

Step 12: Know Everything About This Ideal Client 

You want to know your ideal client inside out and know where they are seeking help. So head to Facebook groups and forums. Then be of value, so provide insightful responses to questions they have about sleep. This is going to help you stand out, and be seen as an authority in what you do. 

You want to find professionals that serve a similar audience to you and connect them, find out where your ideal client hangs out offline. So to give you an example, if my ideal client is a career woman. 

  • LinkedIn would be a good social platform to engage them on as well as Instagram and Facebook. 
  • I’d find podcasts that are targeted at working parents 
  • I’d build relationships with insurance companies, career coaches, and other aligned professionals like IBCLCs. 
  • I live in London, so I’d locate the ‘corporate districts’ in London – that’s Canary Wharf and the city, so I’d reach out to professionals there that have a physical building – so osteopaths, GPs, personal trainers. 
  • I’d contact companies, specifically their wellness managers, and HR managers, and see about running keeping in touch days. 

I could go on. the opportunities are endless. 

You want to reach out to those people, set yourself a goal, figure out what to say, and be consistent, and you will see results. 

Step 13: Focus On Getting Your First 5 Clients 

Now why am I saying your first 5 clients, are not being booked out? It’s because at the start of running a business, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, the lists and goals can seem endless. And right now, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed about getting your first clients, you’re not alone. I get it—I’ve been there. So instead of focusing on the big hairy scary goal of having lots of clients, let’s break this down into manageable steps because that allows you to stack your chips, so stack your wins, and gain momentum. 

So at the start, you might consider volunteering your services initially with your first few clients, which will enable you to gather invaluable feedback and testimonials without the pressure of charging right away. And as you gain experience and validate your methods, you can start to charge for your services. And with each positive testimonial and satisfied client, you’ll find it easier to increase your rates and enhance your credibility. Remember, what I know to be true is that people buy from people they know, like and trust, so that’s the goal at the start – make it easy for people to start working with you. 

I dive much deeper into how you can secure your first five clients in my video HERE I highly recommend watching it. It’s packed with actionable tips, including how to transition from volunteering to charging, gathering testimonials, and scaling your practice. Remember, every successful consultant started exactly where you are right now, with 0 clients. You just need the passion, the drive, and a clear action plan. 

Step 14: Choosing Your Business Model

Firstly I recommend you start by looking at yourself. So what do you want your business your business to look like so it meets your goals? And those goals might be goals to have a business that works around your family, so you need to think about what that looks like. so when can you do consultations? 

You want to consider your financial goals – if your financial goal is to earn 15,000+ a month it’s unlikely you can do that just by running 1:2:1 consultations because there are unlikely to be enough hours in a day to see that many clients. But you might work towards creating a group coaching program where you can scale your service. Maybe that’s the longer-term plan. 

Maybe you love working in small groups, and you want to run corporate workshops or face-to-face workshops. Maybe it’s a mixture of all of those things. So an exercise I love our graduates to do right at the start of their journey is to really understand their goals, and then plot time in to review those goals. 

That then gives you a clear compass on what you should be working towards, and you can get much more granular planning of the activities you need to put in place to achieve those goals. But essentially there are so many ways you can run consultations from walking consultations, workshops, teaming up with aligned professionals and running clinics, to 1 to 1 sessions, and more scalable types of services from paid webinars, courses, or more in-depth models like coaching programs. So you want to understand from the start the type of business that will work for you to achieve your goals, and then of course you need to have your ideal client in mind, knowing how and when they are likely to want to access your services. 

Alright folks, those are my 14 steps to building a successful sleep consultancy service. I hope you found this helpful, and if you are ready to take your next step toward a fulfilling career as a sleep consultant, click the link below to book a personal call with us. We’d love to find out more about your goals, and see if we are a great fit to support you. 

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