A wellness center can encompass many areas of holistic, alternative and naturopathic medicine. Wellness centers are typically not associated with traditional medical clinics as their approaches vary, but this doesn't mean medical doctors neither endorse nor associate with wellness centers. Many wellness centers are associated with MDs. When opening a wellness center the owner should have some idea of what services and healing modalities they would like to offer their patients.
A wellness center should be operated like a business because it is one. The wellness center sells health and healing. Even if it is not for profit the center can benefit from the organization and planning most businesses engage in. Developing a business plan that outlines the necessary start-up financial information, goals and timelines for the business is the first step to creating an actionable plan to open the wellness center. The business plan should be a road map that includes every aspect of the business. The owner should use the business plan as a blueprint of how to build the center.
A wellness center is, at its core, defined by its people. The practitioners, doctors, healers and specialists all play important roles. Recruit top practitioners in their fields. All those working at the center should share similar beliefs and values toward healing. For example, if one staffer does not respect alternative medicine and the others all live by it, there could be tension. Attracting the best people means the facility should be tailored to their needs.
A facility well equipped with the latest technology and amenities will attract clients and staff. Having a shop that supplies patients with wellness products is convenient for patients and an extra income source. The facility should be in a highly visible area to encourage walk-in traffic. This will make marketing the business easier.
Registration and Insurance
The business must be registered with local, state and federal authorities for taxes. The wellness center should be registered as a corporation; this will limit the liability and exposure to legal risk. Obtain any licenses required by local authorities; these vary from city to city. The wellness center must have malpractice insurance. Consult a lawyer and an insurance expert to determine the best forms for patients to sign -- disclosure and legal. The business should also have disability insurance for workers, which can include employment insurance. The facility also needs business insurance; this will cover against fire and certain types of law suits (such as a person slipping on the side walk in front of the business.) A broker will go over the options that may pertain to a business in certain locations. For example, earthquake insurance may be ideal in Southern California, but flood insurance may not be necessary.
- SBA.gov: 5 Steps to Registering Your Business
- "Wellness Centers: A Guide for the Design Professional"; Joan Whaley Gallup; 1999