Do you want to start a corporate wellness program? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a corporate wellness program business with NO money and no experience plus a sample corporate wellness program business plan template. Starting a corporate wellness program requires being innovative and inventive as it doesn’t have to involve having on-site gyms or in-house personal trainers.

Either small or big companies, starting a corporate wellness program will be determinant on what the goals and objectives of the business as regards having healthy employees are. More and more companies are slowly becoming aware of the fact that having healthy employees meant higher productivity as these employees tend to show up at work more and visit the doctors less.

Those companies who do not intend to have on-site gyms can usually have in place vending machines that stock healthier snacks, pedometers, offer physical or mental contests, as well as offer health-risk assessments.

What Does It Take to Start a Corporate Wellness Program Successfully?

Before starting this kind of business, you would need to have a well-thought out business plan. Your business plan should show potential clients what the mission and philosophy of your wellness program as regards helping improve the overall health and wellness of their employees are.

Your clients should also be able to see the financial benefits your wellness program will save their company and exactly how much the saving will translate to. This means that they you would need to present hard facts such as data and statistics as regards the benefits the company would get from using your wellness program for their employees.

This would require you to also have a package that comes with different options such as prices and levels, so that the companies can on their own determine what packages they should go for depending on their budget.

This means that you would need to carry out a thorough research as regards what would need to be included in your package and what incentives needs to be added to each package so as to keep companies interested, and know exactly what they would be saving in health costs. This might require you to know what insurance plans they have so as to help you determine what exactly you would be saving them.

24 Steps to Starting a Corporate Wellness Program

1. Understand the Industry

The corporate wellness business is one that is characterized by a low level concentration of market share. The business is one that often provides a combination of educational, organizational, and environmental activities that is usually designed to be conducive to employers and employees.

It brings in yearly revenue of $8 billion, and it is projected to have a five yearly growth of 4.8% from 2011 to 2016 that will bring in $12.1 billion by 2022. There are about 549 corporate wellness businesses in the united states.

Interesting Statistics About the Industry

As at 2016, there were at least four corporate wellness companies that accounted for less than 15% of the industry revenue. The corporate wellness industry is a highly fragmented one, and this can be due to the fact that most of these companies all offer niche services. Also, most companies usually offer services to public or non-profit organizations.

The growth in the industry can be attributed to the fact that most employers have purchased services that will help screen and identify health risks of the employees and intervention services that will help promote lifestyle choices that are healthy. The demand is also fueled by the high return on investment that the businesses expect to benefit from the wellness program.

Most fitness facility operators can benefit from the growth explosion in the wellness industry especially as 79% of companies who are into lifestyle management programs usually provide counseling on weight and nutrition; while 72% offer fitness-related services.

According to IBISWorld, the nutrition and weight management companies account for about 17.4% revenue for the industry as a whole, while companies offering fitness-related services account for revenue of about 15.9%.

Also, a recent study conducted by the Fidelity Investments as well as the National Business Group on Health found that employers are now paying their employees an average of $693 as an incentive to participate in the wellness programs. This is an increase from the $430 paid five years ago; this has led to 47% of employees participating in the wellness program that is offered by their employers.

According to a survey data, most wellness programs usually have exercise incorporated in their programs. Sometimes though assessing the positive impact of corporate wellness programs on the health and productivity of employees might be difficult because even though some employers testify to seeing positive results, the rest have said they do not know what impact the wellness program has on their return on investment.

In summary, 92% of large companies offer corporate wellness programs to their employees, and most of the targeted behaviors by wellness businesses are usually exercise, smoking, as well as weight loss. However, those who participate in the program are usually less than 20% out of all the eligible ones.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those that require the services of a corporate wellness program are usually eligible employees in private companies either large or small. The employees could be of any level and are not usually tied to a specific rank. Others include employees working in non-profit organizations as well as those working in the public sector.

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

As regards the niches within the corporate wellness industry, there are many companies offering different services that are different from other wellness businesses. There are also others who offer wellness related services. Some of the areas of specialization in the corporate wellness program include;

  • Health risk assessments
  • Massage therapy
  • Gyms
  • Health fairs
  • Chiropractic and acupuncture services
  • Food health
  • Weight loss

These areas of specialization mentioned may not be easily offered by one company regardless of their size. However, bigger companies have an advantage over the smaller companies in that they can afford to offer more services than what smaller companies can offer to clients.

The Level of Competition in the Industry

If you are starting a corporate wellness business, it doesn’t mean you will start your business differently from those who run other businesses. Depending on what your packages are, you might need to get equipment and or; design software that will help push your business to the fore front; this might require capital and a great deal of financial resources as well as investment of time.

In this industry, it is usually easier for bigger corporate wellness businesses to compete for jobs than the new or smaller wellness companies. The advantage of the big companies is due to the fact that most of their corporate wellness programs have not only undergone several researches but also have their programs tested and trusted by client companies; which leaves new wellness companies with almost no easy means of entering into the industry.

However, new or smaller companies would also need to come up with unique, attractive and affordable programs so as to be able to get their fair share of the market.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

In the corporate wellness industry, there are usually companies that can help improve the health and wellness of employees better than others; these kind of companies usually become brands and are mostly preferred by most employers since they are the best in what they do.

The wellness industry is like any other business, and while some companies may be known locally in their areas or regions, others are well-known brands nationally. Some of the well-known brands in the corporate wellness industry in the United States include;

  • Marino Wellness
  • Wellness Corporate Solutions
  • Kinema Fitness
  • Total Wellness Health
  • Fitbit
  • Provant Health
  • Marathon Health
Economic Analysis

When starting your corporate wellness program business, it is important that you understand what exactly you would be offering your clients so that you might have leverage over the other businesses already in the market. Since this is a business that is dependent on the economy, there might be less demand for such services when there is a slump in the economy especially in companies that do not see the benefit they are deriving from subscribing for a corporate wellness program.

However, an economic boost will see more companies signing up for such programs especially if they know it helps their employees’ productivity wise. Even though some start-ups operate from home, depending on the services offered; still, location is also important if you intend to start this business.

Not all businesses can afford to have the programs in their place which might probably be due to limited space, which means that your own space would need to be close by so that employees do not spend too much time getting to your place as this would defeat the purpose of increasing productivity.

Since there is stiff competition in this industry from the existing wellness companies, you should ensure that your rates are neither too high to chase away clients, nor too low to barely cover your overhead and other operating costs.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

Starting your business from scratch affords you the opportunity of drafting out the strategies that would suit your business and the environment you are operating in. it also allows you to modify these strategies and build your customer base yourself.

However, you might need to start on a small scale if you want to start from the scratch as this would enable you to correct any mistakes you might make easily than you would have if you were running a large scale business.

Buying a franchise can be a cheaper option for you especially if you are not keen on acquiring customers yourself, drafting strategies, or handling paperwork. The advantage of a franchise is that you can learn the ropes of the business while someone else is in charge of handling your obstacles and challenges.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

Like every business out there, you are going to face challenges and threats while trying to run your business. The business is highly dependent on the state of the economy, as a poor economy will see fewer companies buying wellness programs for their employees.

Another challenge might be the arrival of a competitor who has better incentives and packages for clients. Challenges and threats cannot be avoided in a business, and so as an entrepreneur, you must be willing to make your business work by optimizing every opportunity that comes your way.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

The decision of a legal entity is very import for any entrepreneur, as it would include you needing to assess the risks and costs involved in choosing the legal structure; as well as getting professional advice and guidance from professional advisers.

Even though most usually start their businesses by being sole proprietors; if you intend to be taken seriously by companies, then you would need to incorporate your business; so as to protect yourself from personal liability.

Incorporation is usually the process where you form a separate legal entity for the purpose of running your business. Incorporation helps in keeping your assets and liabilities separate from that of the corporation.

Depending on the advice you get from professionals in this field, you can choose to form a general corporation and elect a Sub-chapter C status when you incorporate. This will allow you obtain funding from lenders such as banks easily. However, most businesses always prefer to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) as it is regarded to be more flexible with lots of advantages for small and medium scale businesses.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

It is really important to have a very attractive name for your business. This is very vital so that you can pull some good clients to your business. Here are some catchy names to consider;

  • Valufit Wellness Program
  • Healthy Employees Wellness Program
  • Mentally fit wellness program
  • Johnson corporate wellness program
  • Mentorit corporate wellness

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

Every business needs insurance policies so that they are protected from paying for liabilities from their own pockets. However, to pick the best insurance for your business, you would need to talk with professionals who would guide you on the best policies that are basic to go for.

Some entrepreneurs’ feel that they can pick any insurance they deem right for their business, however, ensure that you are educated on each policy if you want to skip going through an insurance agent or broker. This business is also one that requires you to liaise with your client’s insurance companies as you would need to work with them on some of your packages.

Some of the basic insurance covers that you would need to consider purchasing if you intend starting your own corporate wellness business in the United States of America includes;

  • Health Insurance
  • General Insurance
  • Liability Insurance
  • Hazard Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensatio

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

Except the services you would be offering has not been seen in the market before, if you are considering going into the corporate wellness business, you might not need to apply for intellectual property protection. However, some entrepreneurs apply for intellectual property protection for their company’s logo and brand statement; and except for these two factors most people are usually not bothered with securing an intellectual property protection.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

Yes, the corporate wellness business is one that thrives on having accredited certifications as this is usually necessary not to only boost your profile but to enable client companies have the confidence in your ability to meet up to their requirements.

If you intend starting a corporate wellness business, you must ensure that your certifications are up to date and that you also have the education and experience to be able to handle your clients’ various requirement. The corporate wellness business is a closely regulated one, and requires you to be on top of your game so that you do not run afoul of the laws.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

When starting the corporate wellness business, you would need some basic legal documents so that you can successfully operate your business without running afoul of the law in the United States of America. Some of the documents you would need to run your corporate wellness business include;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business Plan
  • Business License
  • Business Permit
  • Operating Agreement
  • Insurance Policy
  • Contract Document

13. Write a Business Plan

A business plan is a very vital piece of document needed by a start-up so as to help the business prepare for the hard task of starting a business. The business plan is a document that must convince the workplace management that your corporate wellness program is one that will give the company a positive financial impact.

The business plan has to also provide the management with enough information as well as incentive that will help in improving the health of the employees and increase productivity for the company. This is what writing a business plan for your corporate wellness business should achieve.

The essence of writing a business plan is not just to have a comprehensive document at hand but because the document is also needed to effectively help you run your business as the document is like a blue print that will guide the decisions and actions you take while starting or running the business.

The format with which a business plan is written is very important as it helps the reader not only make sense of what he or she is reading but also helps them to follow your plan. If your plan is well written, it would help convince the reader and help them decide if your corporate wellness business would be a feasible idea for them or not.

The key components that should be included in your corporate wellness business plan are as follows;

Executive summary and Company’s descriptions

This gives the reader an overview of what is contained in the whole business plan, such as what your goals and objectives are, what services your corporate wellness business intends to offer, the corporate culture of your company, your marketing strategies, your target market and why you are better than your competitors. It is also vital to state your company’s vision and your target market.

There are also other components that shouldn’t be missing from your business plan such as what your strategies for advertising and publicity are, your market analysis, financial projections for at least three years, SWOT analysis, start-up capital, and also how you intend to generate your capital.

Writing a business plan is not an easy task and most people prefer not to, but having a business plan is very vital if you intend for your business to turn out successfully and also be taken seriously by investors. If you however think writing a business plan might be an encumbrance to you, you could get a professional to write out one for you or you could go online and source for a business plan template that you can use as an aid to writing a professional one but with less stress.

14. Prepare a Detailed Cost Analysis

According to research and statistics, the cost of starting a corporate wellness business varies depending on the kind of services you are going to be offering your clients. The kind of equipment you will use depends totally on your services.

It is your decision to decide how much capital you intend to use in starting up your business, this means the capital can be low or high depending on what scale you intend to start your business. This can also affect what type of facility you intend to lease, as a bigger facility would mean you are offering more services, have more equipment and employees.

If you intend to start your own corporate wellness business in the United States of America, you would need to ensure that you have met most of these requirements in the items listed below so as to run your business successfully;

  • Incorporation fees would cost $850
  • Amount that will be needed to lease a facility for at least one year with space for storing fitness and other health equipment would cost $30,000
  • Cost for liability insurance, permits and license would be $2,000
  • Exercise and fitness equipment would cost $10,000
  • Cost of equipping the facility (computers, telephones, printers, filing cabinets) would be $2,000
  • Launching an official website would cost $500
  • Miscellaneous expenditure would cost $600

The report from the above detailed research and in-depth studies, one would need an average of $51,350 if you intend starting your corporate wellness business on a small scale in the United States of America.

If you intend starting the corporate wellness business on a medium scale in the United States of America, you will need at least $103,000. If you however want to start your corporate wellness business on a large scale in the United States of America, then you would need to have as much if not more than a capital of $200,000.

15. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

If you have a fantastic business plan but with no financial resources to use in starting or running the business, the business might fail even before it starts. This goes to show how important it is to have the required amount of money before starting your business. As an entrepreneur, you must be ready to source for capital for your business and must have strategies in place to help achieve this.

The first thing you need to have whilst sourcing for capital for your corporate wellness business is a comprehensive business plan. With a business plan, you can easily convince potential investors of how seriously you are taking your business.

No investor would listen to your business idea without seeing what plans you have in place to ensure that the business becomes a success. Also, the plan must not only be comprehensive enough but also be one that is workable as well; this means you must have carried out a thorough research before writing out your business plan.

As an entrepreneur, you have several options when it comes to raising capital for your corporate wellness business. Some of your options include;

  • Raising money from investors
  • Approaching the bank and applying for a loan
  • Sourcing for loans from family members and friends
  • Raising money via your personal savings
  • Sale of personal stocks and properties to raise money
  • Pitching your business idea to angel investors in return for capital

16. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

In choosing the location for your corporate wellness business, you would need to ensure that you are conveniently located in an area where there are enough corporate offices and businesses. It would not make so much sense to locate your business in an area that is highly residential as your targets are those within the working class segment. Locating your business in a residential area would hardly bring you the kind of clients that you desire for your business.

Another key thing to consider when choosing a location for your corporate wellness business is the kind of businesses in the area you intend to site your business. If it is in an area that has more fashion or jewelry houses, you will surely not get enough clients to even cover your overhead or meet up with daily expenses.

The truth is you will need to locate your business in a corporate area where there are offices that involve those who deal with much paperwork or are hunched over their computers; this would include financial houses, software companies, development companies, construction companies etc.

This does not however men that you should lease a huge or very expensive facility before starting your business. You need to factor in when you would start making money to pay for the facility before picking where you would locate the business. Also, the size of your facility would depend on the type of wellness services you intend to offer, as some services don’t require you having a big space.

If however, you intend to get a big facility, you would need to start your corporate wellness business on a medium or large scale, offer a lot of services and also have a handful of employees working for you.

17. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

Even though most of the equipment you will need to start your corporate wellness business can be gotten for fairly used, you will need to ensure that you get ones that are genuine so that they can last you for a long time. Getting fairly used equipment will help you save more than you would have if you were purchasing new ones.

You will need to source for a trusted vendor where you can get the genuine equipment either online or physically at local stores. Some of the equipment you would need if you intend to launch your corporate wellness business includes;

  • Pedometers
  • Healthy vending machines
  • Massage chairs
  • Stretch desks
  • Computer
  • Phones
  • Filing cabinets
  • Weight machines
  • Yoga blocks
  • Resistance bands
  • Treadmills

Depending on how you intend to start the corporate wellness business, you can lease a small office and use it. However, if you intend to handle bigger clients or to handle the government agencies, then you might need to get a bigger facility as your business would be run on a medium or large scale. However, since you will be handling corporate clients, this really isn’t a business you can run from home.

Regarding the number of people you would need to run your corporate wellness business successfully, it would vary depending on how big or small your business is. Less than five people can effectively run this business on a small scale.

If you however intend to run the corporate wellness business on a medium or large scale, you would need to employ at least five to ten people, and this includes a Manager, Marketing Executives, Trainers, Receptionist, and a Security Personnel.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

There isn’t much production process involved in a corporate wellness business especially as it is a service based business. The processes involve planning a wellness program, designing as well as ensuring that the program is implemented.

However, apart from implementation, a review and a health risk assessment would need to be carried out, so that the necessary results – productivity in the work place – would be achieved.

18. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

Marketing is an essential part of any business, as it ensures that a business does not die off. Marketing ensures that revenue is generated for your business so that it not only grows but expands as well. This is why marketing strategies have to be well drafted out so that one does not throw away money using marketing avenues that will not help the business bring in revenue.

Every business no matter the scale needs marketing so as to be able to get more customers whilst also retaining their customers. This is due to the fact that no matter how good your business strategies are, you will never get all your target customers and will even lose some, as circumstances and the changing environment might cause clients to patronize your competition.

To market your corporate wellness business, you will need some strategies and tips which are listed below;

  • Ensure that your target companies know about your business by sending introductory letters with your designed programs to the management of these companies.
  • Ensure that your business is listed in online and offline directories
  • Create different packages with different prices attached so clients could pick what they prefer
  • Advertise your corporate wellness business in corporate magazines as well as fitness and other related magazines
  • Network with other professionals that could link you to corporate businesses
  • Use the social media to create awareness for your business and gain potential clients too
  • Promote your business via your official website
  • Ask your clients to help with referrals

19. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products

In getting the right price for your corporate wellness business, you would need to ensure that your prices are determined before you contact a company. There are certain factors that help in determining the right price such as how long you commute to your client’s workplace, the preparations, marketing and so many others.

It is essential that you do not under price yourself, but you would also need to know the going rates and charge your clients accordingly.

20. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

If you are a determined entrepreneur, then you are likely to thrive under competitive circumstances. Any business that isn’t well prepared for will crumble when it faces competition, but a business that is well thought out will evolve and bring out strategies that will help it handle competition better.

Part of surviving your competitors and beating them at their own game is to design your business in such a way that different classes of clients can afford whatever package that their budget would allow them to. You could ensure that your reward programs for employees rival those of your competitors.

Other competitive strategies that can be used in having an advantage over your competitors is in offering wellness related services.

21. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

Increasing customer retention is a necessary tool for any business that wants to have a healthy bottom-line. Every business loses customers at every point in time and any serious business would develop strategies to ensure that majority of their customers do not leave them for their competitors.

This might involve spending money so as to increase customer retention for your company. If your customers are aware of the personalized services they get from you, it would make it easier for them to stick to your company.

Another way at retaining customers is to ensure that your review assessments will help them become more productive at work and better satisfied with your services. Customer retention is very important and should be taken seriously.

22. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

Brand awareness strategies are needed by every business so as to help create a corporate identity that will project the business in a positive way. Some of the platforms which you will need to be able to boost your brand awareness business as well as create a corporate identity for your corporate wellness business are as follows:

  • Make use of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your business
  • Ensuring that your customers help with word of mouth advertisements
  • Promoting your corporate wellness business through your website
  • Advertising in relevant business and fitness magazines
  • Ensuring that your business is listed in online and offline directories
  • Ensuring that you keep employees motivated and challenged

23. Create a Suppliers/Distribution Network

If you intend to run this kind of business, you would need to be able to source for programs that will be of benefit to your client and its employees. This would mean carrying out a thorough research as regards the kind of programs that would be used.

Even though this is a service based business, wellness programs needs to be developed in cognizance with health and fitness professionals. This means you would need to be in a good relationship with certified experts, so that you can be given tips and advice that would help boost your business to make it better.

24. Tips for Running a Corporate Wellness Program Successfully

Running a corporate wellness program successfully would require you to take certain steps and processes. You would first need to determine the needs of both the employer and the employees. This means you would need to assess and understand their mindsets and challenges so as to be able to lay out the framework that would be suitable for the both parties.

These frameworks could include picking one or combining fitness classes, wellness workshops, as well as individual health assessments activities with mental activities.

Another way to successfully run this kind of business is to create a communication plan so that employees can be informed as regards the benefits the program is likely to give them, and also enable them look forward to the programs.

There is nothing more intended to ensure the program runs successfully than putting incentives in place to encourage the employees. This is because it is not usually easy for the employees to break off their old habits so as to develop new ones; so the incentives must be done in order to encourage long term participation.

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