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.