5 WAYS TO KICK START A WELLNESS BUSINESS

By Lauren Armes
PHOTO: HAYLEY FRANCIS PHOTOGRAPHY

This week we spoke to our good friend Lauren Armes on how to build a business in the booming wellbeing sector. She gave us her top tips on how to do this, and do it well! Enjoy!

Build a powerful network by delivering value.

Wellness is a very community-led industry; meaning that brands know brands, people know people, and there is a lot of collaboration going on behind the scenes. Finding your way into this community is easiest when you look at the value that you can offer, rather than focusing on what you can take from it.

Start with your own insights, strengths and experience, and then look at where current industry players could benefit from those. Next, get busy buying coffee for anyone who’ll meet you, attend industry networking events (like the Welltodo Founder Series), research the people behind the brands that inspire you and then make meaningful connections offline.

If you get a few no’s, don’t take it personally. Persist!

Carve out a niche by getting curious...

As wellness evolves as an industry… explore its various facets and how it is impacting food and drink, fitness, technology, travel, beauty and more! Where are the opportunities to innovate and can you spot the gaps? A great way of doing this is to compare the industry segment that you’re passionate about, with an industry that you already know very well. For example, are you in fashion PR? Is there an opportunity to specialise in wellness PR?

Elizabeth Gilbert (best-selling author of Big Magic), suggests that finding your passion starts with simply getting curious every single day. Get curious about what frustrates you, what fires you up, what sorts of things you think about all day long. Follow that curiosity and begin to join the dots. Again, persist. Your idea might not crystalise overnight, but it will over time.

Leverage the power of your personal brand.

People buy people which is why the Virgin brand has been so successful. It is synonymous with everything Richard Branson stands for – fun, adventure and fearlessness. You may not yet know what your big business idea is, but you can start by building ‘brand you’ – demonstrating your passion for the wellness lifestyle and building credibility with industry stakeholders from the get go. No matter what you decide to pursue, having a personal brand will be a powerful launching pad.

Your personal brand will evolve as you get even more curious and make connections both online and offline, as above. And whatever you decide to do, being a personal advocate of your own brand message will generate even more opportunities to spread it to the masses. So… start a blog, a social media channel, and create more content than you consume.

Don’t wait for certainty before starting.

For most of us, we feel we need to know what the big picture or end result will look like before we get started. For example, you’ve always wanted to open a healthy cafe but right now you have no idea how to find property, what it takes to design a menu, or where on earth to find an affordable branding agency that gets your idea!

But what can you do today that will propel you toward that goal even by an inch? Do you have a friend whose brother is a restaurateur and could spare you a 20 min chat? Is there a free business plan template you could download to help you structure your ideas? Can you spend £50 on a freelance designer via Upwork to mock-up a logo to get the creative process started? Author, Rob Bell, says ‘make the crap version first’.

Often it’s the terrible draft, the rickety mockup, or the practice run in your mum’s kitchen, that brings new levels of motivation to the idea, and the opportunity to start getting live feedback. Plus, doing something is better than doing nothing.

Understand who your ideal client is.

It is often said that the best business ideas are born out of frustration, which is why curiosity is key. Quite often you are also your own ideal client. Is there something that would improve your own wellness journey, which also appears to be missing from supermarket shelves or otherwise? What does solving that problem involve? Start the process of figuring it out.

Start talking about these problems with other people who also consume wellness products/services (or even people who don’t) to determine whether you’re onto something – and then get to work building a solution.

Lauren Armes is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, business mentor and success coach. She is also founder of Welltodo – an industry platform for the wellness industry.

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