If you’re wondering whether to take the plunge and turn your passion for wellness into a business you couldn’t have chosen a better time. An irresistible combination of societal change and technological advances is creating unprecedented demand for professional health and wellness services beyond those provided by a stretched NHS. The figures are compelling: PWC research forecasts that consumer spend on wellness will grow by 20% by 2020 to reach a high of £12.4bn per year.

It’s a very tempting proposition to build a business around what you love and it’s one of the most satisfying ways that you can live an authentic, fulfilling life. For the best chance of success, it’s important to understand how this demand has developed, what consumers want from wellness practitioners and how your business will meet those desires to take your clients on a rewarding wellness journey.

Changing times in Wellness bring chances to innovate

Awareness of wellness has never been higher. Across all age groups more people are actively taking charge of their wellbeing and taking positive steps to explore and improve it. They are open-minded towards complementary healthcare options, but they are also discerning, looking for advice from qualified practitioners. At the same time, disruptive trends in technology, business models and workstyles are changing the way clients expect to consume services, creating a raft of opportunities for wellness practitioners.

The drivers for embracing wellness vary distinctly between age groups. Millennials and Generation Z, aged from 18-35, are actively seeking the lifestyle benefits of a broad range of wellness activities. They value high quality experiences over physical possessions and are willing to invest in their wellness journey if it speaks to the kind of life they want to live. Fully proficient with technology and fans of wearables and health tracking apps, they want practitioners who will engage with their digital ecosystem, providing an experience that goes beyond classes and appointments. Socialising through wellness is another key trend for this demographic, with the rise of phenomena such as sweat-working – networking while exercising – showing how this segment is changing they way it thinks about health and fitness.

For Generation X (aged 35-55), often preoccupied with raising families and/or holding senior career positions, health and wellness must fit in with busy lives. Growing recognition of the importance of work-life balance and better mental health awareness means these consumers recognise the value of wellness, but it needs to fit around other commitments.

Older generations are interested in lifetime health and looking for therapies that will help them to age well. They seek authoritative recommendations and evidence of benefits. They need support to start their wellness journey and can be deterred by not knowing where to go for initial advice.

Understanding these different priorities helps you tailor your business model to meet the needs of your target markets and differentiate yourself from competitors.

PWC’s research finds that all age groups are now receptive to non-traditional options for receiving healthcare and wellness services, so the road to innovation is wide open. Ask yourself whether you could deliver outside the conventional model to attract clients – could you introduce a social element or offer services outside usual hours to meet the needs of busy clients? How about finding unusual venues to create a different experience, or embracing the “pop-up” trend? Consider how you will engage digitally with clients to keep your services high on their radar.

Whether they’re tech-savvy millennials, busy Generation Xers or cautious older clients, all age groups want to be able to find quality wellness practitioners quickly and easily. This means that you can’t afford to be shy about marketing yourself. You need to get out among the communities where potential clients are looking for support on their wellness journey. By establishing your business as an authentic presence in respected communities that support wellness – like us here at The Oneness Movement – you can talk to receptive audiences as they explore their options.

Getting started has never been easier

The great news for new entrants to the wellness industry is that it has never been easier to set up a business. Creating an online presence is quick and easy and there are lots of accessible options for automating business process such as marketing, accounting and more. This means you can focus on what you love – providing fantastic experiences for clients – confident that you have a sound business infrastructure to back you up.

Starting a new business is challenging, daunting but above all exciting, especially when you’re pursuing your passion. By using all of the data that’s now available about the preferences of your potential clients and by taking advantage of the technology and communities that make running a business far simpler than it used to be, you can give yourself the very best chance of success. There has never been a better time to begin!