A wellness center is an umbrella term for any place of business or practice that services one of the seven dimensions of wellness. Most commonly wellness centers cater toward physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellness.

Some wellness centers may operate as medical clinics and focus on maintaining good health, illness prevention and treatment for certain demographics. Family wellness centers typically cater to the entire family, versus a female wellness center that focuses more on the women’s care. These styles of wellness centers are typically run by licensed doctors and physicians who can legally provide medical care. They may work in conjunction with different wellness practitioners, but their primary focus is on medical care.

Another style of wellness center focuses more on emotional health and overall wellbeing. These wellness centers can often be found on college campuses or in a large corporation’s place of work. They focus heavily on emotional health by providing support, counseling and financial advice.

We are not going to focus on those style of wellness centers in this post. Instead we’re going to focus on the more common wellness centers: ones that cater toward physical and spiritual wellness via a large array of spa, beauty and wellness services. These styles of wellness centers typically involve one, or multiple, of the following services: spa and skincare, massage therapy, aromatherapy and acupuncture.

Did you know that thousands of people use ClassPass to schedule wellness appointments every day? List your wellness center on ClassPass for free and get your business in front of a new audience.

Do a Competitive Analysis: Scout Your Local Market for Competitors

Before beginning your new business venture make sure you analyze your local market. What are your competitors doing right and what do you think they are doing wrong?  How can you differentiate your center from the competition?  You’re almost always going to have competitors in some way, so make sure to pay attention to them! Don’t let competitors deter you from opening your business, but you do need to be conscious of them.

Consult with a Business Coach and Accountant

You will have startup costs associated with your new business. Unfortunately it’s not easy to walk into a bank and get a small business loan on the spot. Speak with an accountant early on to understand exactly what you need and what you can expect to pay for. Your accountant will be able to answer your financial questions and point you in the right direction of finding funding.

You should also speak with a business coach, or someone who has opened their own business. The life of an entrepreneur is glamorized, so make sure you’re not viewing it through rose colored glasses. Using a business coach, or finding your community, will be helpful for you as roadblocks arise. Lean on your support and ask as many questions as possible!

Build out Your Business Proposal

Once you understand the market and your financial obligations, it’s time to begin writing your business proposal. The five elements of a business proposal are your elevator pitch, what you are and what you’re selling, market research, the management team and any personnel and financial documents. This document will serve as a talking point should you speak to any investors. Make sure it is thorough, well researched and free of grammatical errors.

Create Your Branding & Marketing Strategy

You will need to answer questions that get at the heart of your business when writing your business proposal. These are going to drill down into the key heart of your business: your brand identity. Branding is more than just an Instagram profile, it’s the entire soul of your business. The things you’ll need to get started: a logo, a social media account and a simple website. Ideally you’ve also built out a messaging strategy and brand values, but those are the bare minimum.

You can move onto your marketing strategy once you have your brand identity outlined. Make sure to go back to your competitive anaylsis at this point! Ensure that you have a robust marketing strategy that uses digital strategies as well as traditional marketing strategies. We recommend you invest in a website and create a Google My Business account at the bare minimum.

File a Corporation & Apply for Local Permits

This is the legal step that takes your business from just an idea to a living, breathing business entity. Decide what type of business you’d like to be, whether that’s an LLC or an S corporation. Please consult with both your lawyer and an accountant prior to starting the paperwork. Legalzoom has great services if you’re looking to reduce fees.

There is also likely local permits and paperwork you need to complete in addition to filing. Make sure to speak with your local representatives so you don’t miss any steps. These will vary depending on your region.

Secure a Location

You can find a location now that the paperwork is completed! At this point you should have your startup capital in order, as well as completed any other paperwork. Aim to find the perfect location in a medium to high traffic area. Find the balance between the heart of downtown (with pricey rent) and the outskirts of town (with lower rent).

It’s also a great idea to get an inspection prior to signing any leases. If you plan on modifying the area layout you will also need additional city permits and architectural services.

Open Your Doors

And then you’re ready to open your doors! Best of luck in your new journey as an entrepreneur, it’s a special one.