We're about to enter the busiest season for wellness professionals. Are you and your business ready to hit the ground running? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It's time to get those wheels in motion and prepare for your best year in business yet.
As entrepreneurs, we try a ton of different things to move our businesses forward. But not all of them work. That's why we've turned to some super inspiring entrepreneurs who are absolutely crushing it in the health and wellness space to ask them one simple but powerful question:
What was one thing you did this year that actually grew your business?
We've taken their answers and boiled them down into 8 things you can do to take your own business to the next level this year. So, let's dive in!
1. Team up with the right like-minded people.
When we asked Andrea what the best thing she did for her business this year was, she didn't have to think twice:
"The absolute best thing I did for my business this year was to recognize that I can achieve far more when I work with like minded people."
This year, Andrea teamed up with Susan Watson to create Nutrition Academy. Because Andrea and Susan shared similar online business models, they realized that they could accomplish far more if they worked together. "It’s been so synergistic" Andrea said. "I think we’ve done 10x what we could have done on our own by partnering up."
Andrea explained that her and Susan push and support one another. Instead of them both having to be the "jack of all trades", the pair is able to delegate work based on their strengths, and they support each other when one is struggling with a particular task. "By teaming up, we’ve really shown that dietitians work better together, and that we can support one another in business. Our teamwork has created an amazing community of health professionals that can come together, learn, and share information."
Andrea's story is proof that when you find the right people and combine forces, it can have a huge impact on your business.
2. Automate Client Booking
Nicole Osinga is a Registered Dietitian practicing in the Durham Region and founder of Osinga Nutrition. In addition to offering individual and group nutrition services, Nicole has also been featured in various media outlets including the Toronto Star, Huffington Post and Rogers TV.
Nicole told us that the #1 thing she's done this past year to move her business forward was investing in booking software. She explained that this drastically reduced her administration time and made it much easier for clients to see when she was available.
"I still welcome clients to email or call me, but for clients who have little time, this booking website has made it easier for both of us."
Investing in software for your business can seem like a big expense. But when it saves you time and allows you to book more appointments with ease, the right software can definitely help grow your business.
3. Increase the Length of Your Programs
Mandy King is a Vancouver-based Holistic Nutritionist and the founder of Healthy Eating and Living (HEAL). Mandy offers corporate wellness, online programs and private nutrition coaching.
Mandy told us that the best thing she did for her business this year was to increase the length of her programs.
"I changed my programs from single sessions to longer term programs. From a business perspective, this leads to more consistent income, but for the client, it also leads to a better success rate as you can help them adjust gradually to a new lifestyle, instead of radically changing everything at once."
Mandy found that helping her clients make small changes and keeping them accountable over time is what lead to positive, long-lasting results.
"You might feel nervous about asking someone to commit to a long-term program, but think about working with a personal trainer: You would never go to them once and expect results. You know that change is gradual. The same thing is true with nutrition."
Don't be afraid to ask your clients to commit. It will not only help move your business forward, but will also help get your client better results. A successful client is one of the most powerful sales and marketing tool your business can have.
4. Start Time Blocking
Stephanie Long is a Holistic Nutritionist based in Edmonton. She's also the co-founder of The Health Collective YEG, a collaborative workshop rental space for the health, wellness and creative community in Edmonton.
Stephanie told us that the best thing she did for her business this year was to start time blocking, which is a strategy for using time wisely and achieving greater productivity. She explained that time-blocking was super effective in helping her bring in new clientele and manage her time.
"I section off certain days to tackle certain tasks. Monday’s are for client meetings, Tuesday’s are for social media, Wednesday’s are for workshop prep, etc."
Stephanie told us that she used to be a chronic multi-tasker, but time blocking helped her stay focused on one task at a time and give her full attention to it. This strategy has helped her increase productivity and keeps her work-life balance strong.
To get started with time blocking, first identify your high priority tasks and then block out time for them on your calendar. During your blocked off times, work in a place where you can be productive and won't be interrupted.
5. Invest in Your Website
Lisa Forman is an international fitness and nutrition coach and a Canadian national fitness athlete. She specializes in full-body transformations, hormonal profiling, nutrition programming and personal training.
When we asked Lisa what she did this year to move her business forward, she told us it was investing in a professional website.
Lisa offers many services both in-person and online including holistic nutrition, personal training and fitness classes. She explained that upgrading her website has helped to educate and engage potential clients on all she has to offer. It has also helped her to feature success stories.
Just like software, investing in a website can seem like a big expense. But in a world where the first place someone goes to learn about you is Google, having a professional looking website that clearly outlines your qualifications, success stories and services is imperative.
6. Take Time Away to Recharge
Lori told us that the best thing she did for her business over the past year was actually to take time away from the business to dream, plan and craft a vision.
"I can get deep into 'doing'. There is always a to-do list. When I don't have time away from the computer and the business I start to lose myself and my mojo."
Lori explained that when she starts to feel stuck, she's learned that the best thing she can do is to take some time away, even if it is during the day when she "should" be working.
"I'll go to the spa, for a long walk or watch a movie. I do things that fill me up and spark creativity so that I can come back to the business with a renewed feeling of energy" Lori said.
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes taking some time away from your business is what you need to recharge those entrepreneurial batteries and actually move things forward.
7. Get Your Systems in Place
Ashley Sauvé is a Certified Nutritional Therapist and trained Wellness Chef based in Toronto. She's the team nutritionist at Higher Health Centre and our resident Meal Plan & Content Creator here at That Clean Life.
Ashley seems to be doing it all while still moving her business forward, so we asked her how she's doing it. Her answer? Getting systems in place.
Previously, Ashley was manually emailing intake forms, food journals, booking appointments, creating take-home consultation notes, meal plans and more using just Microsoft Office and Google Calendar. "I would have daily panic attacks just thinking about losing my laptop" she said.
To solve this problem, she invested in practice management software which allowed her to switch to online forms, book appointments online, and generate professional notes, reports and meal plans. These systems have helped save her a ton of time and provide a much more professional experience for her clients.
All her business data is now stored in the cloud so she can access it from any device and never has to worry about losing it.
"To anyone in a similar situation, with a desktop covered in folders, I highly recommend looking for and investing in good software to take your practise to the next level. At first I was scared of the costs, but all these things have paid for themselves in time saved to take on more clients or relax on a Sunday."
8. Just Do It
Christie Preston is a certified personal trainer and lululemon ambassador. She's also the creator of the incredible #bodsquad community and owner of BOD Studio, located in Toronto.
When we asked Christie what the best thing she did for her business this year was, her answer was simple yet extremely powerful: "I went for it".
After five years of humming and hawing over getting her own space, she finally took the plunge and signed a lease in January 2016.
Christie told us that finally taking the leap has improved her business in every way. It's given her a space to call her own – one where she can create the exact vibe, energy and classes that she's always dreamed of. This has also given Christie the opportunity to create a dream team of "Bodmakers" who are the best-of-the-best at what they do.
"My advice for entrepreneurs is you've got to go for it. And once you do, don't look back. There will be moments that you feel like you're starting all over again, and that's okay. Embrace the challenges as they come and take time to celebrate the little wins."