I know you already have a website, or at least a landing page, and you have your social media accounts, and probably have claimed your Google and Yelp listings. You might be wondering, “What’s the next step for my health & wellness business to grow?”

An Idea is Born

Emily Steele, founder of POP UP YOGA DSM

I’m so glad you asked because a few weeks ago I sat down with Emily Steele, entrepreneur, yoga instructor, president of FemCity Des Moines, and many other things to many people. About 4 years ago Emily became passionate about making yoga more accessible to people while displaying the different neighborhoods in the Des Moines metro area. She had worked in neighborhood revitalization, so she was familiar with neighborhoods the rest of us might drive past without noticing, as well as how income disparity prevents some people from attending yoga classes.  POP UP YOGA DSM was born!

POP UP YOGA DSM started small but developed a following. Emily added more instructors, classes, and sponsors. The outdoor summer classes not only showcase different locations around the metro, but also local businesses, as well as exposing students to a variety of instructors, who teach yoga classes in studios around the metro.

Fears Can’t Stand in the Way

Emily had the idea to create a program to educate other instructors about launching their own pop up yoga program but kept putting it off. Then she sat down with a friend who asked what was stopping her. She had all the skills and knowledge. Emily realized she wasn’t afraid of failure, she was afraid of success. That’s when she got over it and created an online, self-guided program on developing your own pop up yoga program, available here.

The Benefits

Why go through the effort of creating an online program like Emily did? Here are a few benefits you might realize:

  1. Gain more exposure for your business. Your health & wellness business is a personal service, which means you can only see so many clients/patients/students in a day. Providing an online service allows you to expand the reach of your business.
  2. Earn passive income. Broadening your audience also means you could increase your income. You do the work once by creating an online offering but continue to receive profits from it over time.
  3. Help others. Emily is a big believer in abundance principles, and rather than keeping the idea to herself, she created a program that allows others to create a similar one. Your unique experience and skills might benefit others as well, so why keep it to yourself?

Ask Your Network

Are you concerned you might not have the skills to take your business online? Talk to your network because I bet you know someone who can help you. And if you haven’t been networking as a business owner, I urge you to read my previous post on networking 101. By the way, networking is how I met Emily, and learned of our mutual love of yoga and entrepreneurship.


Keep in mind there might be legal issues related to taking your business online. Please contact me at regenoldlaw@gmail.com if you have any questions about your health & wellness business.


Have you been thinking about selling products in addition to providing health & wellness services? My business & marketing class sat down with Susan Bakken, LMT of Healistics in Des Moines, Iowa to discuss the retail side of her business. Susan and her son Chandler Bakken recently moved their business to a new location where they can now offer classes in addition to massage, energy work, and products for sale.

Retail 101

Below are some of Susan’s tips on retail after over two years in the business:

Retail with Integrity

Healistics is a family business, so how they present items for sale is a reflection on their business.

  1. Choose products you believe in. Susan sells books she often refers to, in addition to the essential oils and crystals she uses during sessions and educates students on during her classes. Remember to stay within your scope of practice when you’re selling retail items; Susan has additional training in aromatherapy and crystals. One place you might find wholesale products to sell is Frontier Coop.
  2. Obtain your retail permit. If you’re selling items, you must charge sales tax under Iowa law. Apply at the Department of Revenue for the permit and keep track of the sales tax you collect, so you can report it each quarter.

Creatively Display Retail

How and where you display retail items can have a big impact on whether an item sells.

  1. Make your space work for you. Do you have an empty corner where products could go? Even if you have a small space, use shelving to creatively display your items. Rearrange items if they’re not selling. A client won’t notice something that’s been sitting in the same spot for weeks.
  2. Have samples on hand. A product Healistics uses during bodywork sessions is Booda Butter. Clients love it, so after a session when a client asks what that was, Susan gives the client a small bag that
    Retail sample from Healistics

    contains a free sample of Booda Butter and hers and Chandler’s business cards. Of course, she also sells Booda Butter for when the client returns and wants her own tin. 

Evaluate After a Year

Susan suggests reevaluating after a year of retail. Was it worth it? She found that making her own products was too time consuming, which is why she switched to selling products made by others. It’s been a source of side income for her business and may be one for yours as well.

What are your retail questions or tips?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.