Holistic wellness businesses aim to treat the whole person rather than just providing a single treatment approach for health and wellness challenges. No matter how small or large your business is, you'll need to devise a business plan, particularly if you plan to seek a small business loan. Your business plan needs to address factors specific to your industry and provide a clear outline of how and why you will succeed.
Defining Holistic Wellness
There are dozens of ways to run a holistic wellness company. You might sell vitamins or skin care, or offer referrals to holistic medical professionals. If you're a doctor or other medical professional, you might offer medical services while adding a holistic approach. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what your business will and will not do, and clearly outline this in your business plan.
Market Research and Advertising
Before you start your business, determine how strong the demand is for your services. If you live in an area that embraces holistic wellness, you may be competing with many other businesses. Conversely, if the area you live in is relatively unfamiliar with holistic health, you may need to educate your customer base. Your market research should guide your advertising campaign. In a saturated market, you might highlight price, convenience or a beautiful setting. If there's a market void, though, you might emphasize the benefits of a holistic approach to health.
Legal and Health Challenges
It's illegal to practice medicine without a license, so if you're not a doctor, you'll need to ensure you don't present yourself as one. If you plan to use licensed professional such as nurses, dentists or nutritionists as part of your business, check the status of their licenses and ensure they're operating within the scope of practice allowed by their licensing boards. You'll also need to ensure the products you sell -- and the way you sell them -- are both legal. For example, you can't typically sell a trademarked product without a license from the manufacturer, and some holistic products are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Selecting a Location
Your business shouldn't just be convenient or attractive. It also needs to fit the image you plan to promote. If you want clients to feel like they're in a medical setting, for example, you can't run the business out of your house. No matter what location you choose, you'll need to research local and state licensing and zoning requirements. Many municipalities, for example, limit or prohibit home-based businesses, and health-oriented businesses may have to be inspected and licensed.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.