11 Jan Top Tips for Wellness Entreprenuers and Business Founders
By Sarah Orecchia, Founder Unbeelievable Health
The main thing I hear from any business founder or entrepreneur is that it always takes longer than you think to get your enterprise off the ground. Time is precious & flies by so it’s crucial to do planning & due diligence before you start, and as you go along, to avoid losing momentum, time or money. The great news is that the health & wellness industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world now and is worth nearly $4 trillion a year. But with the market becoming more crowded, it’s even more important to be able to stand out.
When I started my brand Unbeelievable Health I sought advice from a few people in the natural health industry including a friend who’d built a huge supplement brand who asked me, ‘what is your unique selling point? It’s not that CLEAR to me right now. What is your WOW factor?’. I knew, but people aren’t mind readers & it was not coming across in the branding, packaging or on the site. I then went to a woman I know who is a director at a top marketing & branding agency & she told me 3 months before we were to launch at The Natural and Organic Products show in London that our packaging was incredibly dull & needed to be completely changed. Aggh! We did it, along with making the ‘wow’ factor more noticeable. It was costly but they were right. I should have gotten expert opinions earlier! You must figure out how to create the ‘WOW factor’. Ask for help & feedback.
HERE I AM.
Whether you are an entrepreneur doing products or services, your website & social media will be your face to the world. Make sure it’s compelling, Engage with your followers, & make it a bit more about THEM. Always asking yourself- why would someone want to use your service or products or read your blog and social posts? Hopefully because you have knowledge & something unique that can help them, as well as appearing to be friendly, professional & trustworthy.
But how will you be unique & stand out from the crowd? The best way to get that across before you hopefully have lots of clients & readers telling everyone they know how wonderful you are, is through your website, blogging & writing articles, being active on social media & weaving it all together. It sounds simplistic but images are crucial. In the early days a top blogger we were working with told me straight up, ‘Sarah, Unbeelievable’s insta is slightly tragic, needs a cull, some of your pics are blurry, dark or just not interesting. People will unfollow you when they see stuff like that. Be more selective with what you post!’. It was harsh but I was grateful.
SHARING KNOWLEDGE & COMPELLING CONTENT.
Although you may know a lot about many different things, try to focus a bit more on what you are truly interested in and passionate about so you come across as specializing in those things. The links to this content can obviously then be shared on social media with hashtags, driving potential clients into your site. Bloggers do a great job of this, brands often less so. Try to get quotes from clients or customers – testimonials are great on a website or blog. No need to use full names if people want to stay private.
There’s always the temptation to price your services or products too low in the beginning to get people buying- which can work against you, too low low & people will think you are no good, you can always increase them as you become more well known but start somewhere in the middle & offer discounts or subscriptions (if relevant) which could be set up on standing order- a great way to help manage cash flow & to get steady, engaged clients as they’ve already paid. With products, both the COGs (cost of goods) & pricing are huge. Make sure you have a decent margin- factor in discounts, shipping, advertising, & marketing. Not to mention employees. You need a good cushion. Product pricing (& COGs if a product) must be absolutely water tight or you may find yourself working very hard for very little money.
Before you set up your blog or business, get the ball rolling on social media (if already on social, always keep working on growing your fan base). Build up relevant followers- a trick is to follow the people some of the top wellness, nutrition & fitness influencers in your area follow. Engage with people more. Build relationships. Don’t forget Linkedin! Marketing & advertising is everything in every business & social media is free, so take advantage!
DON’T FORGET E-NEWSLETTERS
Sending newsletters is also crucial. Once you are up and running, doing social media comps & giveaways for a free consultation, fitness session, products etc (maybe in collaboration with a brand or a cookbook writer) will help you gain followers & newsletter subscribers. Make sure you run these comps in your newsletter, on your blog/ site & on social. Aim to try to do at least one newsletter a month with a few seasonal tips, some health / fitness news & a maybe a recipe. Emails (subscribers) are a huge asset & you should always be trying to build up your fanbase!
Here are a few more tips to guide you in the early days-
Do the due diligence. Planning is crucial! Investigate others who seem to be doing well & look at their website & social media for ideas. Subscribe to their newsletters too! How much much money you will need? Will you keep working another job? What will your specialties be? How much will a website cost? Where will your practice rooms be? Can you share with some other nutritionists? This can be one of the biggest costs & hassles. Get feedback from others on different places.
Ask for guidance & advice. Most people will be flattered & will want to help. You don’t even need to know them- just contact them, a few may not respond but that’s fine. With the help of a few instrumental strangers in the industry & friends of friends, along with support from organisations who assist entrepreneurs & startups, I found all the help I needed. Several of those initial mentors I still remain in contact with.
Show me the money. Once you’ve ascertained that you have a viable plan, make sure you’ve got some savings & figure out how you will raise the money needed & how you will keep going. Starting a business always costs more than you think it & it takes longer than one expects to start making good money. Have a cushion to fall back on. Be patient.
Have a STORY! People want to know who’s behind a business. Stories resonate. I used to always get sick, run down & tired. I had always been keen on natural health & avoided prescription drugs when possible. I always dreamed of creating a targeted natural remedies brand as I felt that supplements could be really confusing. After speaking with numerous nutritionists, I noticed that bee superfoods kept getting recommended. I love bees & realized that no one was doing anything based on health from the hive (our supplements combine bee propolis (nature’s anti-biotic & anti viral) & bee pollen (our next products for anxiety & sleep include royal jelly), with nutrients which have proven benefits which are NOT usually found in a regular diet or multivitamin).
When I started, there was already a huge buzz building about the importance of bees and their decline so we also decided to donate a portion of proceeds to bee causes. Creating demand for sustainably sourced bee products encourages more people to keep bees (the number of beekeepers has been on a huge decline the last 50 years although this is picking up as bees & bee products are becoming trendier), and beekeeprs are crucial to honeybee colonies thriving.
Tell some stories on your site about what led you to do what you are doing & why you are passionate about it.
Outline plans & goals. Set out a road map. Write down your plans and goals with some sort of time frame & targets.
Branding! A KEY element of any business, whether products or services, is a memorable brand / image/ logo- so identity how you want to come across. What will your personality, look, values and message be? Find a designer you are on the same page with who can craft a great logo & website. Ensure your website portrays what you are all about & entices people to want to work with you. Always provide a thorough brief to the designer or you could end up with something that’s not your style & lose money & time.
Stay social, collaborate & be seen! The wellness sector is full of people who are keen to help each other, so network, volunteer to lecture or answer questions at events & collab with other people & brands in the industry. Share other people’s articles & posts- they will return to favour which helps raise everyone’s visibility. These days it’s about getting out there, collaborating, and sharing good content, which can be fun, rewarding & can lead to clients and doesn’t cost a lot of money!
Great London resource- British Library’s Business & IP Centre (lectures, classes, market research & MUCH more!)
Unbeelievable Health: http://www.unbeelievablehealth.co.uk