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How to be self-employed in the wellness industry

In this article, we discuss your first decision when considering a career in wellness - whether to find a job or be self-employed.

If you’re considering a career as an expert or practitioner in the wellness industry, then your first decision is whether to be self-employed or to take your expertise and apply it in an employed capacity, working for somebody else.

The benefits of being self-employed

The benefits of being self-employed are vast, some of which are summarised below:

  • You have the flexibility to decide on your own schedule, which might enable you to work around other responsibilities, like family, and take holidays when you choose
  • You have the freedom to choose where and how you work
  • You have the creative license to determine what type of work you do and with whom (i.e. your specialism and client niche, as previously discussed)
  • You can find enormous job satisfaction in being self-employed, because the more you work, the more your business grows – and you’re doing something that you enjoy doing
  • Your earning potential is higher because you get to decide the price, structure, and number of clients/projects you work on at any one time
  • There are certain tax efficiencies that you can discuss with an accountant or financial advisor

With all of these benefits in mind, you also need to consider whether you are suited to entrepreneurship, in that there are certain pressures and responsibilities that would otherwise be borne by an employer if you worked for somebody else.

These pressures include finding clients, running the operations side, and dealing with business administration.

Things to consider about being self-employed

You will need to consider that running a business as a self-employed practitioner might require significant time investment initially to get things set-up up and will require you to learn many other skills, like marketing, basic accounting, operations, and customer service.

When you’re both the business and the expert, you wear many different hats, which can, for many people, be overwhelming.

Helpful tips to get started

When considering setting up a business as a self-employed expert or practitioner, you might consider the following as helpful actions to get you started:

  • Find a local small-business accountant who can advise you on the basic set-up requirements for becoming self-employed, or utilise government agencies, where available, for free advice on how to get started
  • Ensure that you have the qualifications and expertise needed to confidently provide a service – and that you have developed enough experience in preparation, that you feel confident enough to sell yourself to clients
  • Assess the employee benefits that you might not have access to and take these into consideration, like when you’ll take holidays and how you’ll plan your time so that you can account for anything unexpected, like illness
  • Any financial implications of setting yourself up as self-employed (for example, if you’re an acupuncturist, you might need to invest in equipment like a clinical bed or rent a room in which to see clients, or if you’re going to be a Pilates instructor, you might need to buy equipment for your clients to use during sessions)
  • Identify any other tools (like booking software or payment processing equipment) that you might need in order to run a business successfully

Questions to ask yourself

There are many questions that you might ask yourself when considering becoming self-employed as a practitioner in the wellness industry.

You might consider your motivations or reasons for doing so, how it will fit with your lifestyle goals, where you need to upskill in areas of sales, marketing, or managing basic day-to-day business administration, and whether you have the right resources and support structures in place – especially in the early days when it can be challenging and a steep learning curve.

One thing is for sure, if you are passionate, determined, and willing to work hard and effectively, the fulfilment found in building a business in which you are helping others to feel well, is profound.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a practitioner in the wellness industry, check out the Welltodo online course, below.

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Becoming An Expert Or Practitioner In Wellness

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