How to Start a Wellness Business—5 Things to Consider

A wellness venture lets you help people achieve their health goals while securing the freedom that comes with being your own boss, so how to start a wellness business is a common question. 

The wellness industry in North America is currently experiencing unprecedented growth. According to Statista, the industry market size in the United States exceeded $23 billion in revenue in 2022 alone. 

As more people seek to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, the demand for wellness-focused products and services will continue to increase. This means that now is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to capitalize on a thriving market and make a meaningful impact on the lives of others in their community. 

But before you launch your wellness venture, you need to consider five key factors that will lay the foundation for a sustainable business.

Let’s get straight into them. 

1. Decide What Type of Wellness Business to Start

The wellness industry offers multiple niches for your entrepreneurial spirit. If you’re passionate about helping others reach their wellness goals, consider becoming a wellness coach. You will guide individuals in achieving a balanced and fulfilling life by focusing on aspects like stress management, healthy habits, and personal development.

Similarly, if you’re fueled by a passion for healthy eating, a nutrition-based business might be a good idea. You could become a registered dietitian and offer personalized meal plans and dietary advice, or launch a service focused on healthy cooking classes or meal prep solutions.

Then there’s the fitness niche. You could become a personal trainer and offer customized workout routines. Or you could open a boutique fitness studio specializing in a specific type of exercise like Pilates or barre classes.

Wellness retreats are also a growing trend in the industry. These businesses provide immersive experiences that combine elements of relaxation, self-care, and personal growth. Retreat offerings can include yoga, meditation, spa treatments, and educational workshops.

Additionally, you could consider starting a wellness business that falls under the allied healthcare category. These businesses offer therapeutic services and treatments that address specific physical needs. If you are a licensed massage therapist, physical therapist, or occupational therapist, your expertise positions you perfectly to establish an allied healthcare-based wellness business. 

These are just a few examples—you have many more options. You just need to identify your unique strengths, passions, and the needs of your target market to determine what type of wellness business you want to start. 

2. Decide if You Want to Be Mobile or Brick-And-Mortar

Once you’ve chosen your niche, the next step is to decide on your business model—mobile or brick-and-mortar. This decision will significantly impact your startup costs and daily operations. 

Starting a mobile wellness business provides flexibility and convenience. For example, if you decide to start a mobile massage business, you can provide services at clients’ homes, offices, or events. The mobile approach will attract clients who prefer the comfort and privacy of receiving services in their own space. 

Being mobile also allows you to reach a wider geographic area and serve clients who may not have easy access to traditional wellness services.

At the same time, running a mobile business comes with challenges. Scheduling logistics, transportation costs, and the need to carry equipment from one location to another are a few examples.

Brick-and-mortar businesses, on the other hand, have a dedicated space where you can build brand identity and cultivate a loyal clientele. Having a fixed location allows you to offer additional amenities or retail products and use a wider range of equipment. A yoga studio, for example, benefits from having a dedicated space with specialized equipment and a specific ambiance. 

However, such businesses require a significant upfront investment in terms of leasing or purchasing a space, interior design, utilities, and ongoing maintenance costs. You will also need to consider factors such as foot traffic, competition in the area, and the market demand for wellness services in your location.

3. Financial Planning Is Key

You will need to bear the upfront cost that comes with starting a wellness business, so remember to plan out your finances well in advance. 

Make sure you understand the costs associated with establishing a wellness business, such as permits, licenses, equipment, marketing materials, and any necessary rental space. Also, factor in ongoing operational expenses mortgage payments, utilities, and insurance.

Depending on your financial status, you may use personal savings, loans from banks or credit unions, or seek investment from angel investors or venture capitalists. Research each option thoroughly to understand the terms and conditions. 

You want to be realistic when estimating both your income and expenses. Don’t underestimate your startup costs and overestimate initial revenue.

4. Cater to Your Target Audience

To run a successful wellness business, you’ll need to understand who your audience is and what they need. Consider factors like age, gender, income level, lifestyle, and specific health or wellness concerns to come up with an ideal customer profile. 

Your branding should reflect the values and preferences of your target audience. Choose colors, fonts, imagery, and messaging that resonate with them. Make sure your branding communicates the benefits of your services and why they’re the right choice for your audience.

When it comes to pricing, consider what your target audience is willing and able to pay so you can grow your business. It’s a good idea to conduct market research to understand the price range for similar wellness services in your area. 

5. Attend to Legal Considerations and Paperwork

Before you welcome your first wellness client, it’s important to get your ducks in a row legally. The three considerations to keep in mind here are business structure, hiring staff, and licensing.

When it comes to business structure, a sole proprietorship is the simplest business setup, where you and your business are considered one and the same. It’s easy to start but you’re personally liable for any debts or lawsuits. 

Then comes a limited liability company (LLC), which is a popular choice for many wellness businesses. It protects your personal assets from business liabilities, meaning if someone sues your business, your house (for example) wouldn’t be at risk.

Next up is hiring staff. Your staff can either be your employees or independent contractors. Here’s how they differ:

  • Employees: If you control their schedule, provide benefits, and direct their work, they’re your employees and you’ll handle payroll taxes for them.
  • Independent Contractors: They set their own hours and have their own equipment. You won’t withhold taxes for them, but they’ll need to file their own.

Finally, depending on the services you offer, you might need licenses and permits. For example, massage therapists need massage licenses, while acupuncturists require acupuncture licenses. You’ll likely also need a business license. It is a general permit required to operate most businesses. Check with your local authorities for details.

How to Start a Wellness Business—A Summary

The wellness industry is booming and it’s a fantastic time to be a part of it. Start by deciding the niche you want to operate in and whether you want to remain mobile or establish a brick-and-mortar establishment.

Next, think about how you’re going to fund your business and the expected initial revenue you think you can generate.

Finally, cater your branding and messaging to your target audience and make sure you understand the legal aspects of starting a wellness business.

Have more questions about how to start a wellness business? Ask away in the comments!

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