Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on April 5, 2022 Updated on November 23, 2023
$4,050 - $11,600
$58,500 - $130,000 p.a.
Time to build
$52,000 - $117,000 p.a.
People around the world are more health-conscious than ever and always looking for ways to boost wellness. Sometimes they need a helping hand, which is why the health coaching industry is booming, worth over $14 billion and expected to expand an impressive 80% by 2030. You could become a certified health coach, start your own health coaching business and help people live healthier lives while riding that market growth to a good living.
First, though, you’ll need to gain some entrepreneurial knowledge. Fortunately, this step-by-step guide provides all the know-how you need to launch a successful business and start building your health coaching empire.
Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.
Before we begin, it’s important to clarify what a health coach is. Health coaching involves offering advice in several different areas including nutrition, physical fitness goals, habit management, and wellness techniques like meditation or mindfulness. It may also include coaching on goal setting and problem solving, similar to a life coach.
Pros and cons
Starting a health coaching business has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you.
Do Something Valuable – Help people live healthier lives
Good Money – Make up to $200 per hour
Flexible – Run the business from home, set your own hours
Education Needed – For credibility purposes you need certification
Time – It will take time to build a reputation and client base
Average level of education – The average health coach has a bachelor’s degree.
Average age – The average health coach in the US is 42.2 years old.
How much does it cost to start a health coaching business?
Startup costs for a health coaching business range from $4,000 to $11,000. The largest expenses are for a website and training and certification.
You can complete a health coach training program and become a certified health coach through places like the Health Coach Institute. The program takes 6 months.
Setting up a business name and corporation
$150 - $200
Business licenses and permits
$100 - $300
Business cards and brochures
$200 - $300
$1,000 - $3,000
Training and certification
$2,500 - $7,500
$4,050 - $11,600
How much can you earn from a health coaching business?
Health coaching ranges from $50 to $200 per hour. When you’re first starting, if you’re certified you can probably charge $75. Your profit margin will be high, around 90%.
In your first year or two, you might work 15 hours per week, bringing in $58,500 in annual revenue. This would mean more than $52,000 in profit, assuming that 90% margin. As you ramp up your marketing and start to get referrals, you could raise your price to $100 and work 25 hours a week. With annual revenue of $130,000, you’d make a tidy profit of $117,000.
What barriers to entry are there?
There are a few barriers to entry for a health coaching business. Your biggest challenges will be:
The time and cost of health coaching certification
Acquiring customers in a competitive market
Related Business Ideas
If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
Now that you know what’s involved in starting a health coaching business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market.
Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.
Why? Identify an opportunity
Research health coaching businesses in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a business that offers integrative nutrition coaching, or a health coaching business that is also a life coaching business.
You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as nutrition coaching or overall wellness coaching.
This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.
What? Determine your products or services
You can offer a range of coaching services including:
Physical fitness coaching
Habit management coaching
Stress reduction coaching
Time management coaching
Overall wellness coaching
Corporate wellness coaching
How much should you charge for health coaching?
Prices for health coaching range from $50 to $200 per one-hour session. Check prices in your area to make sure you’re competitive. Your ongoing expenses will be very low, so you should aim for a profit margin of 90%.
Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Who? Identify your target market
Your target market will be very broad — basically anybody who’s interested in maintaining decent health and nutrition. You should spread out your marketing to include TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Where? Choose your business premises
In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you may need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.
When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:
Central location accessible via public transport
Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Step 3: Brainstorm a Health Coaching Business Name
Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:
Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better
Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
Including keywords, such as “health coaching” or “health and wellness”, boosts SEO
Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Healthy Habits Coaching” over “Heart Health Coaching”
Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these.
Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.
Step 4: Create a Health Coaching Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
Executive Summary: A concise summary outlining the core elements of the health coaching business, including its mission, goals, and key strategies.
Business Overview: An in-depth description of the health coaching business, covering its mission, vision, values, and the problem it aims to solve in the market.
Product and Services: Clear details about the health coaching services offered, emphasizing their unique features, benefits, and how they address the needs of the target audience.
Market Analysis: A comprehensive examination of the health and wellness industry, identifying trends, target demographics, and potential opportunities for the health coaching business.
Competitive Analysis: Evaluation of competitors in the health coaching sector, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and distinctive factors that set the business apart.
Sales and Marketing: Strategies for promoting the health coaching services, including target customer profiles, marketing channels, and sales tactics to attract and retain clients.
Management Team: Profiles of key individuals responsible for the health coaching business’s success, showcasing their expertise, roles, and contributions to the venture.
Operations Plan: Detailed insights into how the health coaching business will function on a day-to-day basis, covering logistics, technology, and processes to deliver effective coaching services.
Financial Plan: A comprehensive overview of the health coaching business’s financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, and budgeting for sustainable growth.
Appendix: Supplementary materials such as additional data, charts, or supporting documents that provide further context and information to strengthen the health coaching business plan.
If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.
Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business!
Choose where to register your company
Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to health coaching businesses.
If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.
Choose your business structure
Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your health coaching business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.
Here are the main options:
Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
Limited Liability Company(LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.
The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.
It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.
Step 7: Fund your Business
Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:
Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.
Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a health coaching business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits.
You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more.
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your health coaching business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.
Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.
Step 10: Get Business Insurance
Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.
Here are some types of insurance to consider:
General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.
As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business.
Essential software and tools
Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.
You may want to use industry-specific software, such as Healthie, HoneyBook, or better, to manage your bookings, schedule, invoicing, and payments.
If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.
Develop your website
Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.
You can create your own website using website builders. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.
They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.
For your health coaching business, the marketing strategy should focus on showcasing your expertise in wellness, the personalized approach you take with clients, and the transformative health and lifestyle benefits your coaching provides. Emphasize your success stories, unique coaching methods, and any specialties, such as nutrition, fitness, or stress management.
Professional Branding: Your branding should reflect health, vitality, and personal growth. This includes a professional logo, business cards, and a visually appealing website that aligns with your wellness philosophy.
Direct Outreach: Network with local gyms, wellness centers, and health food stores. Offer free workshops or seminars to introduce potential clients to your services.
Digital Presence and Online Marketing
Professional Website and SEO: Develop a website that showcases your services, client testimonials, and blog content. Optimize for SEO to rank for searches related to health coaching, wellness, and lifestyle improvement.
Social Media Engagement: Utilize platforms like Instagram for sharing health tips and client success stories, LinkedIn for professional networking, and Facebook for engaging with a broader audience.
Content Marketing and Engagement
Wellness Blog: Share informative articles about nutrition, exercise, mental health, and wellness tips. This helps establish your authority and expertise in the health and wellness field.
Email Newsletters: Keep your clients and prospects informed about new services, health tips, and success stories.
Webinars and Online Workshops: Host webinars on topics related to health and wellness, offering valuable information while showcasing your expertise.
Experiential and In-Person Engagements
Health and Wellness Workshops: Conduct workshops or seminars at local community centers, gyms, or health fairs to engage with potential clients and offer them a taste of your coaching style.
Participation in Local Events: Get involved in local health and wellness events, marathons, or charity events to increase visibility.
Collaborations and Community
Partnerships with Wellness Professionals: Collaborate with dietitians, personal trainers, or yoga instructors to offer comprehensive wellness packages.
Community Health Initiatives: Participate in or sponsor community health initiatives, aligning your brand with health promotion and community well-being.
Customer Relationship and Loyalty Programs
Referral Programs: Implement a referral program that rewards clients for referring friends and family.
Follow-Up Consultations: Offer follow-up consultations to past clients to review their health progress and suggest ongoing strategies.
Promotions and Advertising
Targeted Online Advertising: Use platforms like Google Ads and Facebook to target individuals interested in health improvement, wellness, and personal coaching.
Local Media and Influencer Collaborations: Partner with local influencers or bloggers in the wellness space to reach a broader audience.
Focus on USPs
Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your health coaching business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire.
Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your health coaching business could be:
Live better with guidance from a certified health coach
Nutrition coaching to get your health back on track
Health and wellness coaching to help you enjoy your life
You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a health coaching business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in coaching for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections.
The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in coaching. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership.
Step 12: Build Your Team
If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a health coaching business include:
Health Coaches – health coaching services
General Manager – scheduling, accounting
Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media
At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need.
Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.
Step 13: Run a Health Coaching Business – Start Making Money!
The health coaching market is growing rapidly, so it’s a good time to seize the opportunity and start your own health coaching business. You can become a certified health coach in only six months, and then get your business off the ground. Once you have some experience, you could earn up to $200 an hour, so there is good money to be made.
Now that you’ve received your business coaching, go ahead and get your health coaching training and be on the road to entrepreneurship!
Health Coaching Business FAQs
How do I market myself as a health coach?
To market yourself as a health coach, you can use various strategies such as networking with other professionals in the health and wellness industry, creating a strong online presence through social media and a professional website, offering free resources such as blog posts or webinars, attending health and wellness events, and getting referrals from satisfied clients.
How do I find clients for my health coaching business?
One effective approach is to offer free consultations or introductory sessions to potential clients to help them understand what you offer and how it can benefit them. You can also use social media, online directories, and word-of-mouth referrals to find potential clients.
How do I differentiate my health coaching business from competitors?
To differentiate your health coaching business from competitors, you can focus on a specific niche or specialization within the health and wellness industry. For example, you can specialize in weight loss, nutrition, or stress management. You can also offer unique coaching packages or programs that cater to the specific needs of your clients.
How do I handle and manage client accountability and motivation?
To handle and manage client accountability and motivation, you can establish clear goals and objectives with your clients and track their progress through regular check-ins and evaluations. You can also offer personalized feedback and support to help your clients stay motivated and accountable.
Can I start health coaching business on the side?
Yes, starting a health coaching business on the side is possible. However, it is important to be realistic about how much time and energy you can devote to the business while balancing other responsibilities. Starting small and gradually scaling up the business can help you manage your time and resources effectively.
How to Start a Health Coaching Business
Decide if the Business Is Right for You
Hone Your Idea
Brainstorm a Health Coaching Business Name
Create a Health Coaching Business Plan
Register Your Business
Register for Taxes
Fund your Business
Apply for Licenses/Permits
Open a Business Bank Account
Get Business Insurance
Prepare to Launch
Build Your Team
Run a Health Coaching Business - Start Making Money!
Health Coaching Business FAQs
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