According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, consulting is projected to be one of the fastest growing and highest-paying industries, with employment increasing 83 percent from 2008 to 2018. This should be welcome news if you are considering starting a health-consulting business. However, before you start your business, there are a series of steps you should take to help increase your chances of a successful endeavor.
Write a business plan. Include several important sections. Write your objectives, which describe what you hope to accomplish with your business. For example, "Gain 10 health-consulting clients by May 2012" or "Partner with local gyms to generate an additional $20,000 in health-consulting revenue." Describe your market, including demographic characteristics of the people you will be targeting with your health-consulting services and competitors in the health-consulting field. Outline how you will organize your health-consulting business. Communicate the legal structure of your business, whether or not you will have employees and how your management team will be structured. Describe the marketing strategies and tactics you will use to promote your health-consulting business.
Determine how you will finance your business. Create a list of all the things you will need to start, including any health licenses and training, office supplies and expenses, building costs, and exercise equipment. If you determine you don't have enough money to pay for all your start-up expenses, consider financing options like asking friends and family for a loan, business credit cards, small business loans, government grants or venture capital.
Obtain a federal tax identification number, also known as an "EIN." Apply for an EIN online or by contacting the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-4933.
Apply for state taxes. Each state has different requirements for registering new businesses, so check with your secretary of state to figure out your state's requirements.
Apply for any necessary business licenses. Some states require specific licenses for health consultants, depending on the type of services you offer. Use the free tool on the business.gov website to search for any licenses and permits applicable to your health-consulting business in your state.
Start marketing your health-consulting business. There's no "right" way to begin your marketing and promotional efforts. Experiment with several tactics and keep using the ones that work. Create a brochure and business card, and then pass them out to the managers and owners of local health-themed businesses and gyms. Develop a "fan" page for your health-consulting business on Facebook, and ask your friends to help spread the word for you. Develop an email marketing campaign, and send weekly health tips and specials you are offering.