How to Grow Your Wellness Business
The wellness industry is booming, and many budding entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the opportunities to start their own businesses.
If you are a wellness practitioner, then you know this means more competition, and more to think about when it comes to growing your business.
Here’s how to approach growing your business, and some practical steps you can take today so you can spend more time on your area of expertise, and less time worrying about how to keep up.
The Industry at a Glance
There is money to be made in the wellness industry right now, but building a stable business means that you need to understand how the industry works and where you fit in.
First, it is important to realize what has changed about how consumers view wellness. This needs to go beyond fads, delving into the external and internal motivations that drive people to want to better themselves.
In a recent report, researchers at McKinsey found that consumers view wellness through a broader, more sophisticated lens that accounts for physical and mental health along with fitness and nutrition.
In addition, consumers are expected to increase their purchases of wellness products and services over the next year.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for many to address long-standing concerns about their physical and mental health, and this renewed interest is expected to carry on as consumers experiment with new methods.
Although it is true that rising costs of living can cut into consumer wellness spending, people are also starting to view wellness as a necessity – not a luxury. Wellness lovers are sticking to their favorite practices, and even branching out to new ones.
However, this also means that the wellness industry is becoming more crowded for service providers.
It is increasingly hard to stand out. Building a customer base doesn’t just mean being good at your job and relying on referrals and traditional advertising.
Practitioners also need to have a solid web presence, leverage social media, and develop a brand that stands out from the competition. These are the key wellness business growth strategies we will be discussing in this article.
Your Wellness Business
This guide is ideal for practitioners who have already taken the steps to get their business off the ground.
This means your business already has the necessary licensing and equipment, and you already have a small customer base to expand on.
The ever-growing wellness industry is expanding to include more types of practitioners every day. Your business may be one of those listed below (although this isn’t an exhaustive list):
- Massage Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Personal Trainers
- Structural Body Workers (Rolfing)
- Ayurvedic Practitioners
- Meditation instructors
- Reiki healers
- Biofeedback instructors
- Wellness coaches
- Yoga instructors
In addition, wellness practitioners with a growing business often face similar challenges, like outgrowing their space, building a professional network, and finding the time and resources to market their business.
If this sounds like your business, then it’s time to move on to the next steps toward growth.
Building a Brand Strategy
As a business owner, you have probably heard about how much planning is needed before you get started.
For many entrepreneurs, this comes in the form of a business plan. If you were looking to secure business loans or other funding, this was likely a necessity.
However, no bank will request a brand strategy before they give you a loan. However, this is extremely important in an industry where aesthetics and social media presence matter almost as much as the service you are providing.
So what exactly is a brand strategy? It is a document that helps a business identify how to get in front of potential customers, and the messaging those potential customers will take in about your brand.
Typically, a brand strategy includes elements like:
- A brand discovery, which outlines the mission, vision, and core values
- Target profiles of your ideal customers
- The tone, voice, and positioning of your brand
It’s understandable if you read this and think “Wait, I’m a business owner with almost no free time on my hands. How am I supposed to get all of this information together?”
The good news is, a brand strategy usually comes after you have already started your business, and can be considered adjustable as you grow your customer base and learn more about what kind of messaging you want to put out into the world.
There are several lower-involvement ways you can build your brand strategy. You can hire a branding consultant or agency to do it for you, or use a free/cheap toolkit or template from a reputable online source to build it yourself.
It may seem like a lot of work, but a brand strategy is essential for the growth of your business. Either you can do it now, when you have the ability to shape your brand into something you choose, or later, when you will need to change existing perceptions.
Boost Your Visibility
Getting your brand in front of new customers can be the bane of a small business owner’s existence.
There are so many different aspects to consider, like SEO, social media, traditional advertising, local business directories, and much more.
Everything costs money, and it isn’t always clear which of these methods deserves the majority of your advertising budget.
So where do you begin?
Well, to get the best results for your money, social media is an important place to start.
The reason we suggest this is because traditional advertising is expensive, and SEO (search engine optimization) takes time to see results, and is very competitive for practitioners in most wellness spaces.
Instagram and Facebook are the only channels that are completely necessary for the wellness industry. Once you have set up your business account and posted content that shows what your business provides, then you can start to integrate a strategy for finding new customers into the mix. There are a few effective ways for small wellness businesses to do this.
- Draw new followers to your account: Once you label your account as a “business” on Instagram and Facebook, it will instantly become much harder for your content to be seen. Use a strategy like a giveaway or contest to encourage your existing followers to share your profile, and aim to get your follower account above 100 so your business looks established.
- Explore paid advertising: For a relatively small monthly budget, you can put your brand in front of locals who have certain interests. Play around with advertising on major social media platforms, but don’t expect it to drive results right away. Part of advertising on social media is like advertising on a billboard – it makes more people aware of your existence.
- Hire out your social media: Explore low-cost offerings from local digital agencies who can handle your social accounts. This will free up more time for you to run your business, and will help you become more familiar with what kind of results to expect.
Develop Your Professional Network
When you are starting your wellness business, it is easy to view other wellness brands and practitioners solely as the competition.
These are the businesses that will gladly take your customers if you slip up, and will guard the strategies that led to their success.
However, it is important to view the people who run these businesses through a separate lens. This is your professional network, and you will need to leverage it to stay on top of trends and find out what really drives customers in your market.
There are a few ways to go about this. It is useful to attend local networking events and skill-boosting workshops.
Sure, these events can be awkward, especially for introverted business owners. But this is why it’s important to go in with a plan of who you want to meet and how to approach them about their business’s success.
Another strategy you can use is to explore adjacent networks in the wellness industry.
A massage therapist can gain insights from other massage therapists, but also from structural body workers, Reiki practitioners, and even dieticians. Their customers will be very similar to yours in terms of what motivates them and what gets their attention.
This kind of cross-field network building can be extremely valuable, and that’s without the risk of trying to build relationships with your competitors.
The Power of a Collective
So, how do you meet people from these similar fields of work? Sure, networking events and mixers can work –but what if you could be a part of a community of wellness practitioners who connect to build skills and share resources?
That’s what Symmetry Collective is all about. It is a collective for health and wellness practitioners offering rental spaces for a wide range of practices.
Not only do you get the benefits of a community, but also the amenities and well-curated space to do what you do best.
Symmetry Collective is currently accepting wellness practitioners. To learn more about how you can connect with like-minded business owners and use our resources to grow your business, get in touch with us.