Q. I am always giving unbiased relationship advise to my friends and came up with the ideal of having a web-based business on relationship counseling. I am curious to know if a license is required if patrons are informed that the advise is for entertainment purposes only. Do you know of any success/failure stories?
Thank you for your help.
Advice by Tammy Harrison
Sounds like an interesting proposal — online counseling. I am not aware of any national laws that require that you get a license for web-based counseling, but I am not an attorney. I recommend that you check with your legal representative first.
The main thing you should be concerned about is the disclaimer you put on your site about such, which again, you should consult an attorney to have it written up. Liability for your opinion would be the thing that is most important.
You will need to find out from your attorney and subsequently from your insurance agent, how to best protect you from such liabilities. For instance, what if you give advice (albeit for entertainment purposes) to someone and they do a crime and then said it was brought about by the advice you gave? That is the type of liability issues that you need to understand and protect yourself from.
As you start thinking of creating your online relationship counseling business, I suggest you think about some of the key questions to succeed in this online business:
- What will you offer?
- Who will be your target market?
- How will you create your website? What features and functionality will it have?
- How are you going to market your online business?
- How much startup capital will you need and how are you going to raise the money to start the business?
Another important consideration is whether you will monetize your online relationship counseling business or not, and how. I suppose you’d like for this venture to at least earn money for you to help pay for your web hosting and other fees. Some of the other sites I see earn money through:
- Offering paid programs, which could include CDs, tele-seminars, workbook, email and phone support
- Downloadable ebooks
- Selling books
- Live online counseling through video or phone conference call
- Paid membership to online learning
But, we have business counseling, tarot card counseling and the likes on the internet! Why not your help, too??!!
Tammy Harrison is a successful home-based working mom for over five years. She holds a degree from Mizzou in Consumer Economics. Her business focuses on Marketing and Creativity for Small Businesses as well as numerous other small businesses.