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A Guide on Starting an Online Nutrition Business in the UK

Are you a certified nutrition professional or a nutrition coach looking to start your own online nutrition business? If yes, you are in the right place, as this complete guide will provide you with all the information you need to start your business.

Setting up an online nutrition business can be very rewarding and, at the same time, daunting, but with the right steps in place, you can become a success.

As an online nutrition business, you’ll spend your time helping people adopt healthier lifestyles and achieve their dietary objectives. Rather than seeing clients physically and being constrained to a particular location, an online business enables you to reach clients from all over the world, eliminating location barriers. This article will guide you on the steps you have to take to make money off your knowledge and services successfully. We will discuss everything from planning to branding, design, and marketing.

1. Plan Your Online Nutrition Business

Before you start your business, you need to have a plan stating the services you will be selling to your prospective clients. You need to consider the costs for starting a business, your target audience, marketing costs, business name, cost of services, maintenance costs, and others. Also, if you want your online nutrition business to be successful, your business plan must be unique, feasible, and brand-specific.

2. Determine Your Target Audience

Once you identify your target market, it will be easier for you to make other decisions like naming your business and determining which services to offer. The ideal client is one that is in desperate need of your services. You have to figure out the type of people you want to work with, whether athletes, overweight people, diabetic patients, mothers-to-be, or older people. Besides, when deciding who your ideal customers are, you need to consider multiple factors like gender, income level, age, and others.

When carrying out a market study, considering these factors will enable you to identify the specific demographics that need your services the most. This is not to say that you should not market your services to people in other demographics, but that you’ll need to expend more effort trying to attract your target clients.

3. Name Your Online Nutrition Business

Choosing the right name for your business can be very challenging and might be the most challenging step in this guide. This is because you need a business name before setting up branding, a website, and bank accounts. If you don’t have a name in mind, you can position your business name around the services you will offer or your target audience. Additionally, keep your business name short and simple.

You need to also consider the availability of the business name on the internet because if someone else already has your domain name before you, you might have to consider changing your name. But if you don’t mind using other domain endings apart from .com, you can stick with the name. The same process goes for social media accounts – you want your business name to be uniform across all channels, so you need to ensure the name is available on all social media platforms. Also, you need to check the UK’s registrar of companies, Companies House, to see if your proposed business name is available.

4. Create a Unique Brand

Your brand expresses what your business is, the services you offer and how committed you are to your clients. Understanding your business brand will enable you to make better business decisions and serve as the groundwork for marketing. Even though the nutrition industry is highly saturated, you can still create something unique that will have customers rushing to your business. You need to offer your clients something more than the basic things they can find out themselves. Besides, your brand should solve your customer’s nutritional problems in unique ways – you just have to go the extra mile.

5. Be Consistent with Your Services

Your business must be consistent in all the services you are offering. It doesn’t say good things about your brand when your services are inconsistent. For example, you cannot start offering both vegan and non-vegan recipes and then stop offering one of them. Doing this will only show your audience that you are inconsistent and not trustworthy. This is why it is vital to determine the services you will offer before you start your business and ensure that it aligns with your branding. Besides, if you want to switch your brand, it is crucial that you carry your audience along every step of the way so they don’t feel side-lined by any sudden changes.

6. Get Branding for Your Business

Once you’ve been able to narrow down what your business stands for, it’ll be easier to create the branding for your business. Branding encompasses everything from the business logo to colours, and it is essential that your branding is consistent across the board, whether it’s your website, social media, or company letterhead.

If you cannot afford a professional just yet to create the branding for your business, you can do it yourself. Different online sites allow you to combine pre-made graphics, shapes, and colours to design your own logo. Whether you designed your logo yourself or hired a professional, you can always edit your business branding.

7. Create a Website

Your business website is the most important aspect of your online nutrition business as it tells your prospective customers everything about your business. While website creation should be left for professionals, there are some basic elements that your website must-have. Your nutrition business website must be intuitive, clean, and easy to use. Customers should visit your website and want to purchase what you are selling – having a disorganized website will do the opposite.

If you want to create your website on your own, easy-to-use website builders like Wix require no coding knowledge. However, choosing the right platform to host your website is very important, and outlined below are a few factors to consider when choosing a hosting platform.

8. Responsive Design

When choosing a platform for your website, you need to consider responsive design as you want your website to look good regardless of the device your customers are viewing it on. Choosing a platform with a responsive design will enable you to cater to more people since your website will look good on any device.

  • Scalability

You need to choose a platform that has room for scaling—one that comes with plenty of bandwidth and storage space. You do not want one that only allows a specific number of visitors per month, which will stifle your business growth.

  • Store Options

You need to consider a platform that has efficient store options, especially if you plan to sell other product types in the future. Considering this when choosing a platform will save you the stress of redesigning your website when you offer a new service.

8. Register Your Online Nutrition Business

Once you have a name, settled on branding colours, and gotten a website, the next step is to make your business legal. The first step to take when registering your business in the UK is choosing a business structure that would help you effectively manage your tax. Most entrepreneurs opt for the ‘private company limited by shares’ option, which would help them secure their personal assets if the business gets into financial trouble.

The next step is to register your business name; you choose a company formation package. Once you enter your company information, allocate company shares, and fill out all forms, you can submit everything to Companies House.

9. Gain Credibility

You need to acquire recognised qualifications before you start your online nutrition business, as this will increase your credibility amongst clients. Since this industry is largely self-regulated, there is no one qualification you must have, but there are recognised diplomas and degrees that will provide you with both training and legitimacy. Also, suppose you have a degree in science, you can publish your nutritional findings in scientific journals, as this will help increase your credibility and prove your knowledge is backed by science.

Another way to gain credibility is by getting professionals or doctors to verify you, which will convince prospective customers that you are legitimate. Nutrition is a scientific field, which is why your business must be credible. You should also be aware of the local regulations governing the type of nutrition advice you can give depending on the certifications or licenses you have.

10. Marketing Your Online Nutrition Business

There are multiple ways you can market your online nutrition business, and a number of them are outlined below.

  • Social Media

As a website is important for your business, setting up social media accounts is essential. This is because social media platforms can be used as lead generation magnets – you can find and market your target customers easily. Your social media username should correspond to your business name, and it should be consistent across all channels to enable customers to find you easily. You can use your social media platforms to educate your audience while leading them to your website. This way, prospective customers will visit your page for the education you offer and be converted to paying customers.

You do not have to have an account on all social media platforms – you can pick the ones that have the majority of your target audience and stick to them. You also need to research the best social platforms for your business to enable you to get the most out of them. Besides, you don’t have to post the same content across all your social networks.

  • Blogging

Blogging is one of the easiest ways to develop an audience for yourself. However, you need to be consistent with your blogging if you want to grow your audience and be able to market your services and products. Write on nutrition topics that you are passionate about, and this will position you as a field expert, enabling you to convert prospective customers to paying customers.

  • Email Marketing

Building your email list is very important for the growth of your business, and you can do this by using any email marketing software. You can market your business to potential and past customers by sending them short and educative newsletters. Besides, your newsletters should always have a clear call to action.

  • Guest Blogging

Guest blogging on sites with large followers is a good way to market your business. However, you need to ensure that the ROI is worth it before you guest blog on another person’s website.

  • Online Advertising

Online advertising is a great marketing technique to get more people to your business websites. You can use Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and other methods to achieve this. Also, you can optimise your website to ensure that your website is found when related terms are inputted in any search engine.

11. Set your Business Rates

You need to determine the services you will be offering and the rates. Will your rates be based on work hours or services rendered? Also, before you set your rates, you need to carry out research to ensure you are not undercharging or overcharging your clients.

12. Automate Client Billing

Setting up a payment system and automating your client billing will save you time and make it easy to track your income and monitor client payments. You can use the different billing software available, but carry out your research before you choose to find the one that works best for your needs.

14. Get Insurance For Your Business

Insurance is very important for anyone starting their online nutrition business. You need to ensure that you have professional indemnity insurance to protect yourself when a client tries to make a claim against you. If you don’t have this insurance, also referred to as medical malpractice insurance, you’ll be at risk of losing your business. Besides, insurance will protect you from claims that can damage your small business.