Through the Bordon Hub and our Wellness Suite (a bespoke therapy room available for hire) we have met many people who have changed career to become a holistic therapist.
The reasons for doing so are many and varied. Some people wanted to change their lifestyle, avoid the commute and 9-5 to do something for themselves. Others looked around for an alternative career and way of working that fits around other commitments like a young family. Many wanted to do something that has a positive impact on peoples' wellbeing.
What unites all of the holistic therapist we've met in Bordon is their passion for the treatments they offer. Most people I've spoken to have had a revelatory experience where they've discovered Reiki, reflexology, aromatherapy or massage to be really beneficial, and that's been the start of their journey to becoming a therapist.
Whatever your motivations for starting a holistic therapy business, there are a number of things you need to think about to give it the best chance of success. Here we share the key steps to start a holistic therapy business.
You may also find out business plan template useful. We've designed it specifically for people running wellness and therapy businesses so it asks you lots of really relevant questions to help you develop a robust business plan. Download a copy here today.
3 important first steps to set up a holistic therapy business in Bordon
1. Market research
The most important thing a new business needs to do is market research. If you're planning to work from home, as a mobile holistic therapist or from a therapy room like SiGNAL's , you must do some market research before launching your business.
It's essential to understand whether there's demand for your services, how much people will pay, what attracts (the majority of) them to holistic therapies, and whether your business is viable in that locality.
For example, if you plan to work as a mobile therapist you'll have to factor in the time and distances you'll have to travel between appointments. Fuel costs and other costs associated with running a vehicle will also need to be added into the equation.
Holistic therapists who want to work from home will have other factors to consider. They need to attract customers to their business from a radius around their home, they also need to have a suitable space to see customers which may involve some investment.
If you don't have the capital to invest in a therapy room at home, or want to work as a mobile therapist, have a look at our Wellness Suite as a great alternative.
While holistic therapies like Reiki, reflexology and different types of massage have been around for eons, they are still seen as being quite 'alternative' by many customers. It's therefore important to understand that not everyone in your target area and demographic understand the benefits of holistic therapies. That's why your branding is so important.
Through your market research you should have a good idea of what customers in your area are most likely to engage with. Are they interested in therapies for R&R or to treat themselves? Are they interested in therapies that will alleviate ailments or help them manage stress and other issues? If you plan to run your business in an area with an older, retired demographic you may find your most valuable customers are those who need therapies to manage health issues. Whereas if you want to attract young professionals, therapies for R&R or to reduce stress and overload might be more appropriate.
Customers are attracted to brands that share messages that resonate with them. By understanding your customer you can develop a holistic therapy brand that really appeals to them, not just in terms of the services you offer but also imagery and language you use in branding materials.
Another important factor with branding is that it also need to reflect your pricing. A flyer produced on a flimsy piece of paper using free stock imagery for a luxury service with a price tag to match, doesn't reflect the service and quality customers should expect. Whereas, on the other end of the scale an affordable treatment that is branded as being exclusive and high end could confuse your target customers.
If you're just starting up it's well worth speaking to a brand specialist about how to align your branding with your target customers and the services you offer.
3. Business know-how
No doubt you will have invested in training to become a holistic therapist. Accreditation with professional bodies builds trust with customers especially as you're operating in an unregulated industry.
However, there's more to running a holistic therapy business than having the right qualifications. While some courses do include some business know-how, such as having the right insurance, most don't teach you how to run a business.
If you're changing career to become a therapist you may have relevant transferrable skills that will help you with the day-to-day aspects of being a business owner. However, do you have all the skills you need to make a success of a business?
It's well worth not only investing in your professional qualifications but also in your business acumen to give yourself the best chance of making a good living as a therapist. There are various ways you can get this training such as online courses, have a look on Udemy or the Open University, Adult Ed, through the local council or with an independent provider like the Bordon Hub.
These 3 steps are just for starters! But if you explore these first you'll get a better understanding of what you need to do to be a successful holistic therapist, and next steps will start to fall into place.