8 Things You Need to Start a Wellness Business
Want to discover how to start and run a small wellness business for a year for under $500? Here are the things to 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. (Note: this is an affiliate link)
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.
You can check out my home page as an example. This is built entirely on Weebly (http://www.berkeleywellbeing.com)
Starting Cost: Free
Then you only start paying when you've chosen your domain name.
You can buy domain names at inexpensive places but I'm not totally sure how to use a domain name purchased elsewhere so I just bought my domain name from Weebly once my website was built.
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 the first page 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 the potential customer and let them get to know what you can do for them.
When I started, I prospected 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. Now I'm exploring ways to get to know more people in less time by using Cheers.ws.
Cheers lets you create business events to answer questions and create "show and tells" to help people get to know more about your wellness business.
You could even create an interactive online course if you want to. Then you can get to know multiple prospects at the same time!
Here's a short tutorial I made on how to use Cheers to make a course for your wellness business.
I like it because I like knowing that I have a social and interactive place where my peeps can get know me and get to know each other.
Want to come chat about how to boost wellness, create wellness products, or start a wellness business? Then click here to check out my Cheers Virtual Office.
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 addresses 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: $49 per year.
4. Decide if your wellness business will sell physical products
At some point, I decided that I wanted to sell wellness products with my wellness business. I'm actually a wellness product development consultant, 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.
(If you start looking around, you'll see this is a pretty good deal).
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 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 them into my website. Because I don't know how to code, I just stuck with Weebly. It's worked just fine.
I also hear good things about Shopify (Note: this is an affiliate link), 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.
As soon as you're sure that your products will sell, I think Shopify becomes a better choice because of all the features. I'll probably switch over someday.
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. You can join my email list if you like. I won't email you all the time, because really, who has time for that?
Anyway, I started my email list with Mailchimp (Note: this is an affiliate link). I used Mailchimp for free for years because my email list grew slowly. 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 Mailchimp to automatically send my emails.
Cost: Free up to 2000 subscribers (I think). I pay $25 per month for automation.
7. Start creating content that represents your wellness business
Blogging is tricky for selling wellness products and services, but I really enjoy it. And 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.
And when you're doing this, you really want your posts to be beautiful and professional. That's why I use 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 though so I'll probably pay for it one of these days.
8. Tell more people about your wellness business
I tend not to enjoy social media, so to engage with people on social media, 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.
Cost: ~$120 per year.
Well, what do you think? Are you going to start a wellness business? If so, check out our purpose-driven business program.
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.