Monday, February 22, 2016

Expanding wellness businesses

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     There is a great and growing interest in health and healthy living. Wellness therapies have exploded in recent years. 

     Therapists face special problems when it comes to the business end of their operation. Too many work alone. Individuals offer therapeutic massage, marriage and nutritional counseling, reflexology, yoga, meditation, and other therapies.

     Instead of several people coming together to create a small business, therapists are frequently one person businesses. The market, while growing, can be thin and clients few.

     Example: Joyce's specialty is reflexology. Over time she developed a client base passionate about her services. She traveled to them. To get her own office, Joyce partnered with Ella, who specialized in deep tissue massage. Together, they leased a large space--they were planning ahead. Then they attracted a life counselor and a nutritionist to join them. Next, they added yoga--one expert who had a following of individuals. Soon the business had grown to the point they needed a receptionist to schedule appointments. Recently, Joyce and Ella have talked with a practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu about joining the wellness center.

     Establishing a bigger wellness center is one way therapists can grow. By bringing together several  specialists, a wellness center can attract more attention and clients than one therapist acting alone. There is a definite spillover effect as well--clients talk to one another and a social media presence spreads the word around. 

     Example: Stan is a chiropractor. He, too, needed to attract more clients. He did not want to expand into a wellness center. Instead, he brings in other experts talking about their specialties. The events are open to the public. A nutritionist talks about healthy eating and fields questions from the audience. At another session, a hypnotherapist helps people stop smoking. Later, an expert in Chinese herbal medicine talks about treating ailments without pills. These experts do not practice at Stan's place, but the other experts get referrals--as does Stan for his chiropractic. 

     If you are a therapist, you might benefit from partnering with other therapists to create a wellness center. Or, like the chiropractor, you might turn your place into a healthy living information and education center. 

     Whatever you do, keep you long term plan firmly in mind. That great marketplace awaits, but don't venture out into unknown territory without a firm plan.   

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