You have been working in the field of manual therapy, whether as a massage therapist, chiropractor, manual osteopath and you have decided to branch out and start your own business. Or you recently passed your exams and graduated, but no one taught what to do afterwards.
If you have been thinking about starting your own practice in the Health & Wellness industry, here are some helpful questions to consider.
#1 What’s Your Goal?
First and foremost, what is your goal? Ask yourself, why do I want to start my own practice?
Is your goal more freedom, time with family, clients, money, happiness... Do you assume owning a business will reduce stress. You might have the re-think that last one.
Identify why you are doing it. Once you have determined your goal, write it down. If you don’t know why you are doing something, exactly why, you won’t know what you need to achieve your goals. Make it measurable for example:
“I want to make $120K net per year and have 2 days off to spend with my family per week. I want to achieve this in the next 2 years.”
In order to create success in your business, know your goals.
#2 Do You Have the Resources?
Do you have a savings, line or credit or external support to cover your expenses? In other words, is your spouse working in order to support your dream?
Consider what your fixed expenses will be, these expenses cost the same every month, for example rent, equipment lease, management salaries and cost of advertising. Will you be hiring a office manager, will you be hiring subcontractors? Do some research. Determine variable costs of running a wellness business, these costs fluctuate depending on level of volume or production, such as clinical supplies, cost of travel, sales commission and contract workers.
If you are not familiar with financial indicators and how to analyse reports you may want to consider a meeting with Private Business Consultant.
#3 Do You Know Your Target? Determine Your Specialization
Let's put it this way you need to know who your target is, where they are located, how to get their attention and how to get them to purchase your products/services. Pre-planning, researching and defining your target will put you one step ahead of the game.
Become crystal clear who your target will be.
Don’t know where to start, try conducting a SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis can be used as a strategic planning method to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in business startup. Identify the objectives/goals of the your new business venture and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective.
#4 What is Your Value Proposition? Build Your Brand
Once you know your target group and your services, define the gains & pains associated with your customer. If your products & services can increase the gains and decrease the pains - you are in business! You can use the value proposition canvas by Alex Osterwalder, to further profile and define your customers. See video here
#5 Last but Not Least, Do You Know How to Do Marketing? (if not, hire someone)
Before starting a business, consider all the avenues needed to reach your ideal target market, set aside a budget for marketing and advertising. If you think once you open the doors, customers will be lined up outside, you’re may want to think twice. So unless you’re located in Times Square, you will need to put some serious effort into promoting your business.
Approaches include and not limited to designing a website full of information, open houses, direct mail, email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and more. Upworks.com has a abundance of freelance marketers all over the world that help.
If you are considering starting your practice, you should be willing to learn more and invest your time learning marketing approaches in depth. If you don't have the time and you're busy treating patients and making their lives better, simply hire someone.
Starting your own practice can be scary, challenging and exciting. For new graduates, it always best to work for someone for a few years to get an understanding of the flow running a wellness center. But if you have been in the business for many years and want to branch out, consider doing some research before jumping in.
Author: Sara R. MA., HBA.
Marketing Director @iBody Academy