One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting my nutrition private practice back in 2006 was that I didn’t invest my money in the right ways. In fact, I spent way too much money on things that didn’t really matter and didn’t spend any money on the top 4 things that I’ve now learned do matter.
For example, I spent $2,500 on building a website that no longer exists. I paid a graphic designer to make me business cards I never used. I signed a clinic rental agreement before I had any clients.
Technology has dramatically changed over the last couple of years making it so much easier and cheaper for us to run a financially thriving health and wellness business with very little monthly expense. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t start up costs, even if you are 100% online.
Over the last decade of running my own business I’ve learned a lot of financial lessons and wasted thousands of dollars. If I had to start all over again from scratch I’d only invest money in 7 things.
Keep in mind this is my perspective and I run an online business (I still have private clients and produce annual live events too).
One of the biggest mistakes I made was not investing in a business coach or business mentor immediately. To be honest, I didn’t even know what “business coaching” was until 2011.
If you are like me then you want to buy speed and success. Once I figured out that I wasn’t just a ‘nutritionist’ but in fact a CEO running a company I knew I needed expert help. I had NO IDEA how to start-up and run a business, let alone navigate an online business.
By 2012, I had already grown my nutrition private practice business to maximum capacity. I had two small kids and wanted to make the switch and take my business online.
I wanted someone to guide me, to help me avoid making mistakes and to answer my questions quickly.
You want to find a business coach who has proven they have achieved the kind of success you desire. The business coach should have a LONG track record of working in the business you want to build.
In addition to demonstrating long lasting success, the business coach should also live a personal life that resonates with you.
My first business coaching investment was in 2012 and was $20,000.
Did I have $20,000? Absolutely not! I had 3 credit cards that I rotated the monthly payments on.
Why did I invest so much money?
I knew that I had to. I knew that if I wanted to build an online business and live the kind of life I wanted then I needed to work with that specific business coach.
This might sound unbelievable to you but the amount of money you invest in working with a business coach doesn’t matter.
The only thing that matters is your ability to take massive action, work outside your comfort zone, hustle and not make excuses.
If you are not ready to think and behave that way then any money you invest in a business coach will be a waste.
I knew I was ready to take massive action. I was ready to do whatever it was going to take, to work as smart and as hard as I needed to in order to create the business and life of my dreams.
TIP: Don’t be fooled into thinking the business coach is awesome just because they charge a high monthly fee.
Ask for references. I would never personally sign an ironclad business coaching agreement. I’ve been burned by one before and lost $6,000. If the business coach insists on signing an agreement I would walk away.
Business Coaching Or Mastermind Rates:
$500 to $2000 USD per month.
ActiveCampaign – Email Marketing Platform
I know it’s not good to have regrets… yet my one BIG regret is not starting my email list and learning how to email market while I was still in school. It makes me angry that students in health and wellness programs aren’t taught email marketing as part of their curriculum.
Whether you run an online or offline business YOU MUST LEARN THE ART & SCIENCE OF EMAIL MARKETING.
My recommended platform for email marketing is ActiveCampaign. I know there are a lot of other choices out there that are free but ActiveCampaign is a robust platform built for email marketing. Don’t go with free (Mailchimp) because you need the autoresponder features and the ability to connect apps to your email campaigns. It has much more functionality than it’s competitors and is the platform that will truly grow with you. It gives you much more control and better allows you to automate.
Is the money really in the list?
No, it’s not. You can have a big email list and not make any money from it. And there is a BIG difference between sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter and email marketing.
Learn how to email market. It will change your life!
ActiveCampaign Monthly Rates
$17 to $99 USD per month.
Click Funnels– Lead Capture & Online Marketing Platform
You don’t need to build a website right away if you invest in Click Funnels and I wouldn’t invest in a website right away… it’s not necessary.
Click Funnels is a ROBUST platform that offers you everything from email subscription (opt-in) pages to webinar sign up and replay pages to sales pages to blog post pages and lots more awesome marketing things in between.
The reason I love it so much is because it literally creates ALL the funnels I need in my business (and you know I LOVE funnels) so using Click Funnels makes my life way easier.
Here’s a short list of what my team uses Click Funnels for:
Email opt in pages for ALL lead magnets
Thank you pages
Webinar registration pages
Webinar replay pages
Webinar live streaming pages
Pop up boxes on my website
1-click opt ins from blogs and emails
Click Funnels Monthly Rates
$97 to $297 USD per month
Calendly – Online Schedule Platform
Even if you don’t have a single client yet I still recommend you investing in an online scheduling platform. The last thing you want to waste time on is coordinating schedules for client consults, client sessions or meetings. Plus it’s just not professional to be emailing back and forth trying to pick a time.
With your online scheduler you can create dedicated appointment calendars for each of the service offerings you have. You can also create a dedicated appointment calendar for meetings.
My online scheduler has proven invaluable to me and has saved me hours of time and energy.
TIP: Set your client session times and stick to them. If a client can’t accommodate your schedule then it’s likely they aren’t a right fit to work with you. Avoid scheduling client sessions based on the client’s availability; then you’ll feel like your clients run your business instead of the other way around.
Calendly Monthly Rates
$0 to $12 USD per user per month.
Facebook Ads & Facebook Ads Training Course
The number one question I get asked on a regular basis is “HOW DO I/WHERE DO I FIND CLIENTS?”
Your future clients are hanging out on Facebook and you will need to pay to acquire them. Posting great content on your business page won’t get you very far and is almost a waste of time if you aren’t running FB ads.
Like email marketing there is an art & science to using pay-per-clicks ads. Don’t try and figure it out on your own. You’ll waste too much money that way. Buy a CURRENT Facebook ads training course and learn how to buy traffic.
You should be running at least one Facebook ad constantly to your lead magnet.
Check out Facebook Ad Queen Lisa Stoops
Facebook Monthly Ad Budget
$5 to $10 USD per day ($150 to $300 per month)
If there were done-for-you programs when I first started my nutrition private practice I didn’t know about them. Buying a done-for-you program is awesome but don’t expect it to magically implement itself or magically acquire clients for you.
If you decide to buy a program take the time to customize it, learn it and actually implement it.
You only need ONE PROGRAM to start with! Too many health practitioners and health coaches buy multiple programs because they think they need to cater to all client requests.
Implementing more than one program at a time is like starting up two or three businesses at time. Choose a done-for-you program that you can quickly customize, implement and sell at a low barrier to entry price point (less than $500).
If you don’t have a done-for-you program yet CHECK THESE ONES OUT.
Done-For-You Program Rates
$97 to $1497 USD or CAD
Branding & Graphic Design
This is something I wouldn’t sink a lot of money into at the beginning either. Take time to figure out how you want your brand to look and feel before investing hundreds of dollars.
Once you settle on an ideal client, a niche market and how you want to present yourself to the world then it’s time to work directly with a graphic designer.
All you need to start is a colour palette, a logo and a couple fonts.
There are so many platforms where you can get this done quickly for under $300.
$300 to $500 USD
My advice is to wait to create a website until you a) have the funds to do so b) understand your position, brand and ideal client and c) until you have a solid lead capture system in place.
However, one thing you should do right away is buy your domain name – your name.com. Even if you decide to create a company name you should try and secure your name (as you want to use it in business) as your domain too.
In fact, you should try and secure all social media platforms as your name so that you can be congruent.
Right now you can get a domain and unlimited web hosting for $3.95/month with Bluehost.
Want even more tips on what to invest in and how to make your online business effective and efficient? Download the free guide for my favourite tech tools below.