Start a Wellness Business For Under $500
Want to discover how to start and run a small wellness business for a year for under $500? Here are the things you need to get started.
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Have you ever thought about starting a wellness business but you weren't sure what to do?
Boy, can I relate.
I am only just now finally getting the hang of this entrepreneurship thing. At this point, I might even be more passionate about entrepreneurship than wellness.
Well, let's just call it a tie.
Anyway, you probably want to know how to start a wellness business, because you're thinking of giving it a go.
What if I told you that you could start a wellness business (or any kind of online business) and keep it running for less than $500 per year? A lot less even depending on what kind of wellness business you want to start.
You can. I did it. I do it. And I'm going to tell you how I did it.
Here are the exact things you need to do:
1. Create your wellness business website with your unique domain name
I don't know about you, but I don't know anything about how to code. However, I do know how to use a mouse and type. And these days you can create a business website with zero coding experience.
There are a few different websites you can get where you just drag and drop your content on the page. I forget what they all are. I've tried most of them and I'm pretty happy with what I chose: Weebly.
I recommend starting with a free Weebly website. You can build your whole website free, just by dragging and dropping stuff onto the page. It's super easy.
This entire website that you're on right now was built in Weebly. Not bad, eh?
Starting Cost: Free
Then you only start paying when you've chosen your domain name.
You can buy domain names at inexpensive places but again, I'm not an expert so I just bought my domain name from Weebly after I made my website. I think we only had like 10 pages back then. Now we have hundreds of pages.
Cost: ~$20 per year.
If you are planning to start a wellness business that delivers coaching, consulting, counseling, or other services that you will deliver in person, then this is all you really need to start your wellness business.
And selling some kind of wellness service is the easiest way to get started. Because when people get to know you and your wellness business, they are more likely to want to work with you.
This is exactly how I got started. And I've done extremely well. Check out my "consulting page" as an example. This was one of the first pages I made on my website. It's a lot prettier now than it used to be, but this was all I needed to get started.
And it's all you need.
2. Learn how to "prospect" customers for your wellness business
You can prospect in person, by phone, or online. By "prospect", I just mean get to know your potential customers and let them get to know what you can do for them.
When I started, I went to meetups to meet people in person. This was probably the most effective approach, but it was super time consuming. So then I started prospecting by phone or email or Skype.
Cost: Free (to get started)
3. Boost credibility for your wellness business with a branded email address
I cheaped out for a long time after starting my wellness business. I kept using my Gmail email for maybe a year, but eventually it started to look tacky.
When I bought an email address branded with my website name, my wellness business started to look a lot more credible. (People thought it was a whole big operation even though it was just me and a few contractors).
I was able to buy my email address from Weebly and it's linked right to my website. And I even can create a bunch of aliases so I know what each message is about.
For example, I have an email for "contact" and for "consulting" and one with my name. I handle each of these emails differently.
Cost: $70 per year. (This keeps going up lately)
4. Decide if your wellness business will sell physical products
At some point, I decided that I wanted to sell wellness products as part of my wellness business. Much of my consulting work focuses on helping other wellness businesses make digital products and programs, so yeah, I like making products :-).
Anyway, if you want to make and sell products, you'll need to use e-commerce tools.
An easy way to get started with selling physical products or subscriptions is with Paypal. Paypal is totally free for businesses but they charge something like 3% from everything you sell.
I think Square charges about the same. So I use both and let my customers choose at checkout on my Weebly website.
You can create products and descriptions anywhere on your website and just add Paypal buttons.
Cost: 3% of sales (I think)
5. Decide if your wellness business will sell digital products
In addition to Paypal buttons, I use Weebly's integrated store because it auto-delivers e-books, digital programs, downloads, and other digital products.
I'm not really sure if this is the best choice, but when I looked into alternatives, it looked challenging to integrate other options into my website (remember, I don't know how to code).
I also hear good things about Shopify, but I haven't used it myself. I chose not to because it can end up costing you a lot of money to use the fancy features.
Cost: Weebly business ~$250 per year; Shopify (varies)
6. Start collecting customer emails for your wellness business
Oh man, have I messed up this whole email collecting thing. At first I tried collecting too many emails on too many lists. Then I never had enough info or time to stay in contact with everyone.
When people just sit there on your list, they forget who you are, and the whole thing is pointless.
So, start with 1 email list.
I started my email list with Mailchimp. I used Mailchimp for free for years because my email list grew slowly at first. I spend most of my time consulting, so I just let emails collect on their own.
On Mailchimp you can auto-collect emails from your website and then just send a group message to everyone at once, which makes it easy.
If you join my email list you'll see how mine works. But you can also easily embed signup forms directly on your webpage.
Over the last few years, I've learned that I suck at keeping in touch with people regularly, so now I pay for Mailchimp so I can set up automated emails. Then I just set them all up and they go out regularly.
Cost: Free up to 2000 subscribers (I think). I buy credits and pay a fraction of a cent per email.
7. Start creating content that represents your wellness business
Blogging is tricky for selling wellness products and services, but it's good to have at least some content on your website so people know what your wellness business is about.
So create at least a little bit of content. Some articles, some videos, some pictures, something. or grab our Business Growth Toolkit and publish our wellness content on your website.
And when you're doing this, make sure your articles are beautiful and professional. You can go to Pixabay.com for free commercial use images.
I seriously could spend all day looking at their pictures to find ones for my wellness business. I love them!
When making videos, I use screencast-o-matic to make screen recordings. Also free since they put their logo in the corner. Logo-free, it's only $15 per year (which is pretty cheap).
8. Tell more people about your wellness business
I tend not to enjoy social media. So I use Hootsuite. With Hootsuite you can just write out a couple of quick notes and it blasts it across all your social media platforms.
I'm not yet sure whether using Hootusite is worth my time or money. But I'll keep at it a bit longer and test it out.
Update: I stopped using Hootsuite as I wasn't getting very many new readers or customers from social media.
Cost: ~$120 per year.
Well, what do you think? Are you ready to start a wellness business?
If so, check out our our Business Growth Toolkit to get some great tools that make starting a wellness business super easy.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.