Four Top Tips For A Wellness Startup

At the beginning of 2017, researchers at the Global Wellness Institute reported that the growth of the wellness industry “appears unstoppable”. This multi-trillion global market has exhibited a resilience and success which has Wellness startupeluded other industries, and with trends indicating that young consumers are more health-conscious than ever before, it seems there’s no better time to launch a wellness startup.

Carving out a niche in the world of wellness with your own startup will be a challenge, but one with the potential to provide huge rewards. Big names in the wellness industry such as Deliciously Ella and the Hemsley Sisters have demonstrated how you can build a huge brand with nothing but a blog and a Instagram account, and these early pioneers have turned healthy living from a uninspiring obligation to major fashion trend.

So if you’re entering the wellness industry, what are the most important things to consider? Having built a global wellness brand from scratch, I can speak from experience. Here then are my four top tips for any budding wellness startup.

Be aware of trends

Regularly assess how wellness (and in particular the sector you wish to operate in, whether that’s fitness, cookery or alternative medicine) is being presented in the media. Cultural commentators, creatives, columnists and journalists – they can all reflect and influence nuances in public feeling. This helps you become aware of any changes you need to consider, or even backlashes you have to defend against. If the tide of opinion turns against a particular facet of wellness, preempting this change could be very valuable.

For example, mindfulness meditation has dominated cultural conversation for the past few years, guided by major media voices such as Arianna Huffington. This means that any meditation practitioner creating a startup would have to be aware that it’s that particular technique their potential customers will be most aware of. There’s also been a backlash against the once fashionable term “clean-eating”, and while nutrition-based wellness is as popular as ever, anyone in this industry now has to consider the bad press now attached to this phrase.

Cement your knowledge

Those in the wellness industry need to know the science behind their techniques, and be able to speak confidently should their knowledge ever be challenged. Hazy science will get shot down, and in certain factions of the wellness industry there’s a real danger of being branded as a snake-oil salesman, even if you have good intentions.

I’m navigating the process of writing my first book as we speak, and the burden of proof is immense. Rightly so – many of the people who seek out wellness and alternative lifestyle stips do so because they have health issues. But be aware that you have this responsibility, and don’t leave anything to chance. Your own sincerity and belief in your product will of course shine through, but make sure anything that can’t be proven conclusively is always qualified with a disclaimer.

Perfect your brand visuals

Wellness is an extremely aspirational market. There aren’t many of us who don’t daydream about being the fittest we’ve ever been, with a great energy-boosting diet and yoga-induced peace of mind. This means that rather just selling the benefits of your product, you have to construct and sell a vision of an entire lifestyle – the one which will be built around the proposition you are offering.

The Internet and modern marketplace means that you won’t only be competing with fellow businesses, but also bloggers and Instagram stars – an intimidating number of which know how to use beautiful photographs, tone of voice and design to seduce audiences into their own perception of wellness. Without a similarly competent and comprehensive brand, your startup runs the risk of getting lost in the crowd.

Don’t be shy about your goals

Whether you teach meditation, advise people on their diet or run a retreat, the chances are you aim to help people. This altruistic impulse, however, shouldn’t make you feel guilty about an ambition to run a successful business.

It’s an issue for many people in the wellness sector that they become ashamed of the desire to make a profit, and as there is never any end to how much you can give in order to help people, there’s also a chance of burnout. The mechanisms of running a business, such as costings, profit and marketing, do not detract from the purity of your intentions. There’s never any need to be apologetic about having goals.

About Will Williams

Will Williams is a teacher and entrepreneur who founded the meditation centre Beeja Meditation London, specialising in a form of Vedic meditation. They have worked with the BBC, Tripadvisor, American Express and other leading brands to implement corporate wellbeing programs, helping companies reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.