Unlike traditional career paths and climbing a corporate ladder, being a wellness entrepreneur doesn’t come with a handbook or action plan. In school, you learn all about health and nothing about business. It can be a long process of trial and error to figure out what’s worth your time, energy, and financial investments.
Too often we see practitioners with amazing potential get discouraged and give up. They feel lost, stuck, and aren’t sure where they should be focusing their attention when it comes to their business.
There are four major stages of building a nutrition business. While everyone will spend a different amount of time in each phase, today we are sharing a basic roadmap of what you should be focusing on in each phase to maximize success.
Stage 1: Getting Started
I have both good news and bad news about the first phase of building your nutrition business. The good news is that it’s the easiest, most fun, and doesn’t have to last too long.
The bad news is that 80% of failed nutrition businesses fail in this phase.
When you are starting out, you need to focus first and foremost on getting things done. This is not a time to chase perfection or try to conquer your imposter syndrome. This is a time for hard work, making commitments, putting your head down and just doing it. Overthinking is your worst enemy in this phase.
During the Getting Started Stage, focus on getting these five things done:
- Choose a niche and stick to it. This will differentiate you from everyone else in the industry and help guide your decisions.
- Create a lead magnet related to your niche. You’ll need this to attract clients, so prioritize it above anything else.
- Start writing a weekly newsletter to stay in touch with your leads.
- Start giving free talks. Connect with every possible business you can and try to arrange a free talk. The more people you get in front of, the more clients you will start booking. Aim to give at least one free talk per month.
- Start running free challenges. Host a 3 to 5-day challenge to introduce people to you and your services. Promote your free challenge at your free talks and through your email list. (The goal will be to convert participants into paying clients.)
Stage 2: Building
You know you’re officially in the building stage when you are consistently booking new clients and your lead magnet, newsletter, and structure for getting new clients through free talks and challenges are all well established.
Chances are you are booking one-on-one clients for intake and follow-up sessions. Now it’s time to build and introduce a high-end program targeted to your niche market.
High-end programs are important because they can guide your marketing decisions. You always know what you’re selling and you can keep your clients focused and successful.
Check out our guide to structuring your high-end nutrition program.
At this stage, you now have everything you need to create a high-end program because you've spent time learning all about the problems of your one-on-one clients. Now all you have to do is roll the solutions into one magical program! You can even start testing elements of the program on the clients you’re currently working with and ask for feedback.
Throughout the Building Stage, your focus is on:
- Becoming known as an expert in your niche through free talks, blogging, guest blogging, etc.
- Working with more of your ideal clients and running them through your specific program.
- Increasing the number of people who register for your high-end program until it reaches a point where you are supporting yourself.
Stage 3: Growing
You’ve entered the growth stage when you have a successful practice, a full schedule, and you’re ready to take things to the next level.
During this stage, your priority is to impact more lives and create more freedom in your schedule by introducing something that allows you to reach more people and generate additional income without a huge time investment.
Launching a group version of your high-end program will help you grow your business without booking more one-on-one clients. Your group program can run concurrent with your one-on-one clients, let you impact more lives, and allow you to reduce the number of hours you see clients if you’re starting to feel burnt out.
You can run your group program in-person or online. If you’re getting ready to launch a group program, make sure you avoid making these common mistakes.
Throughout the Growing Stage, your focus is on:
- Reaching more people with your message and services.
- Working with clients beyond the one-on-one setting.
Stage 4: Scaling
The final phase of building a nutrition business is scaling it to reach as many people as possible.
Once you have a busy practice with plenty of new clients and you have "graduated" many happy customers that have formed a community around your brand, you can look at adding a subscription service to your business for recurring revenue. A subscription service increases the lifetime value of your clients.
The best way to determine what content should be included in a subscription service is to ask your graduated clients what they’d like to see from you and then build it. You can create a membership website using Wordpress plug-ins, hire someone to build it for you, or find a platform that integrates with your current website.
Take your time and validate your idea before investing time in it. Ensure that your subscription service offers a solution that your community is willing to pay for.
As you move from one stage to the next, you will find that you are spending less time working in your business, and more time working on your business!
Leave us a comment to let us know what stage you're in, and tell us: what is the one thing you will be focusing on over the next while to get you to the next stage?
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