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how to write a nutrition consulting business plan

How to Write A Nutrition Business Plan (2021 Guide)

Writing a nutrition business plan is the essential first step towards taking full control of your career and becoming your own boss.

Despite what you might think, putting a sports nutrition business plan together isn’t actually that difficult. In fact, the hardest thing about this process is knowing where to start!

At OriGym, we know that it can be really overwhelming when you first sit down and stare at the blank page that will eventually become your business plan so we’ve put this guide together, covering:

Before we jump in, if you’re not already qualified as a nutritionist, you can enquire about our Level 4 Nutrition for Sport course here. Already qualified? Check out our range of personal trainer courses to see how you can expand the services that your business offers.

Otherwise, download the OriGym course prospectus for more information!

 

Become a Qualified Nutrition Coach!

Enquire to study a Level 4 Advanced Nutrition for Sport course with OriGym

What is A Nutrition Business Plan?

online nutrition business plan image

Very soon we’ll share our nutrition business plan sample, but first, we thought we would quickly cover a couple of common questions. So firstly, what is a business plan?

Here’s a definition from Entrepreneur:

“A business plan is a written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement.”

With that in mind, you might be wondering why you need a nutrition consulting business plan. Well, Entrepreneur go on to explain that:

“A business plan is also a road map that provides direction so a business can plan its future and helps it avoid bumps in the road.”

Outside of helping you to plan the direction of your business, there are a number of reasons why you should write a business plan.

Probably the most well known reason for writing a business plan is to secure a business loan from a bank or private investor. 

A business plan also acts as a great tool for reminding you of your overall strategy and core business goals, allowing you to think objectively and guiding you through any important decisions.

Additionally, a good nutrition business plan acts as a great point of reference when it comes to taking on and training new staff. Having the business strategy in front of you ensures that everybody from owners to employees is aware of the company ethos and following the same steps to success.

What Kind of Nutrition Business Could I Start? 

nutrition business plan image

Before you get started with your business plan, it's best to get an idea of the kind of business that you want to run.

Seeing as you’re here, it's safe to assume that you’re interested in starting a nutrition business, but even within the area of nutrition, there are tons of potential career paths to choose from.

You could become a sports nutritionist, start an online coaching or meal prep business, or set up your own nutrition consulting practice - the options are endless!

The huge range of directions that your career could go in is something that we have considered throughout our guide to ensure that we can help you to write a brilliant business plan, whichever area of nutrition business you choose.

Unsure of the kind of nutrition business you would like to start? We have tons of useful resources: 

Step 1: Carry Out Market Research

nutrition business plan sample graphic

Whether you want help with a sports nutrition business plan or you’re looking at setting up an online business, your first step should be to carry out market research.

Good market research will uncover crucial information about your competitors, your potential customers, and the kind of business that there is demand for in your area. 

According to QuestionPro:

“Market research is defined as the process of evaluating the feasibility of a new product or service, through research conducted directly with potential consumers. This method allows organizations or businesses to discover their target market, collect and document opinions and make informed decisions.”

Whilst you might already have an idea of the kind of business you want to run, market research will give you a better idea of whether there is demand for that kind of business, who your target market will be, and what you need to do to stand out among competing businesses. 

There are multiple ways that you can perform your own market research (otherwise known as primary market research) and a couple of methods of secondary market research, too.

Some effective approaches to primary market research include:

      • Surveys and Questionnaires
      • Focus Groups
      • Mystery Shops

Surveys and Questionnaires

nutritionist business plan graphic

Surveys are a really popular method of primary market research as they are easy to distribute, inexpensive, and time efficient.

Surveys (and questionnaires) allow you to reach a large demographic of people and as a result, collect a lot of data. This research method allows you to ask open and close-ended questions, which enables you to collect both quantitative and qualitative data.

Relevant to your nutrition consulting business plan, you could ask potential customers whether they currently use nutrition services, and if so, what they like or dislike about the services that they currently use. 

Don't forget to download your FREE Food Diary for Your Clients:

Focus Groups

An effective but less cost effective way of conducting market research, focus groups allow a moderator (usually yourself or a business partner) to lead a conversation about your business or services with a group of potential consumers.

Prior to running your focus group, you should always write down some key points that you want to cover and outline exactly what it is that you are trying to find out. Without this, it can be very easy for the conversation to steer away from your objectives. 

Mystery Shops 

mystery shop for sports nutrition business plan

Carrying out mystery shops is probably the most effective method of finding out more about your competitors. 

When you first think about how to do a mystery shop, you probably picture yourself going into a physical store, asking a lot of questions, and maybe buying an item.

Whilst you can apply this to visiting a competitor's business as a ‘customer’, anybody wanting to write a business plan for an online nutrition business can also check out their competitors website and online presence, and make an enquiry with a similar business.

Just as with a focus group, any mystery shop should start with a breakdown of exactly what you want to find out. The best approach to a mystery shop is to create a simple form made up of everything you want to know.

Some general topics you might include on that form include: 

      • Pricing 
      • Customer experience
      • Location
      • Standard of their website
      • Any additional services or products they offer
      • Whether they have a niche 

Step 2: Do A SWOT Analysis

online nutrition business plan

Once you have carried out some primary market research, you should have a better idea of who your competitors are (or who they will be once you start your nutrition business).  

With this in mind, a great next step is to carry out a SWOT Analysis. 

Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is a really useful tool to use as part of your business planning as it can help you to plan the position of your business in a market, and assess how your business compares to its competitors. 

Keeping the findings of your primary research in mind, and by carrying out some secondary market research (such as looking at online reviews), you can use a SWOT analysis to investigate your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats

With this information clearly displayed in a SWOT Analysis, you can then identify potential areas of improvement based on your weaknesses and threats, plus you can use the strengths and opportunities sections to pinpoint aspects of your business to capitalize on. 

Why not check out our recent blog post weighing up the pros and cons of being a nutritionist

Step 3: Define Your Nutrition Business

At this point, you should have carried out sufficient research to have a good idea of the kind of business you want to set up, the demand for that business, your target market, and your competitors.

With all of these things in mind, the final step before writing up your nutrition business plan, is to define your business. Unsure how to go about this? Consider the following 5 criteria:

#1 What Products & Services Are You Going to Offer?

nutritionist business plan

It only makes sense that the first thing to consider when defining your business, is the products and services that you want to offer.

Obviously if you’re here searching for advice on writing a business plan for a nutrition business, then it's safe to assume that you are going to offer nutrition services.

However, when it comes to writing up your business plan, it won’t be enough to include that you want to offer ‘nutrition services’.

Instead, you need to think about exactly what services you will offer. For example, if you want to start a nutrition business offering affordable nutrition plans to amatuer athletes, then you need to outline exactly what that specific service will include.

You should also list all of the additional products that you will offer alongside your nutrition services. If you aren't currently planning on selling nutrition products as part of your business, then you really should consider it!

Selling products that you know your target market will buy is a sure fire way to maximise your income for a relatively small amount of effort. Products such as pre workout supplements or BCAA tablets are convenient to store and easy to sell when put in front of the right customer.

Since you can only physically write so many specialised nutrition plans in one day, selling products alongside your services is one of few ways that you can maximise your income without hiring other nutritionists or bumping up your prices.

Want to offer personal training services as part of a sports nutrition business plan? Check out these recommended posts:

#2 Where Will You Be Located?

nutrition consulting business plan image

At this point, you should have a rough idea about where you want your business to be located. Decided that you want to set up an online business? You can skip this step or have a read of our guide to getting traffic to your fitness business website.  

The location of your business is something that will affect your business in a range of ways, and so it's something that you should seriously consider before putting your nutrition business plan together.

Not only will the location of your business impact your finances, for example a busy and visible city centre location will naturally be a more expensive option, but the location of your business can also impact the kind of customers that you attract. 

If you have a specific target market in mind, then it's worth considering this as part of your search for the perfect location. For example, if your target demographic is young amateuer athletes, then you might want to look for a location close to a University or a popular training facility. 

Some other factors to take into account in your search for the perfect location include whether the venue is visible, accessible, and if it has room to expand should you need it!

#3 Will You Have A Niche?

niche for sports nutrition business plan

A niche is something that you should have considered when deciding on the products and services that you are going to offer. However, having a niche is so important, we thought it was worth its own section. 

Having a niche gives your business a clear objective and enables you to market yourself as a specialist in one particular area. This reduces the amount of direct competition you have and allows your business to stand out. 

Rather than trying to cater to everybody, becoming a qualified nutritionist with a niche allows you to choose one specific area of nutrition or one individual demographic, and become the best in the business. 

Referring back to this niche when you write the business plan for your nutrition business is something that will show potential investors that have applied the findings of your market research and that you are focused on making your business a success. 

#4 How Are You Going to Position Your Business? 

nutrition consulting business plan graphic

‘Positioning your business’ refers to the process of deciding how you want your business to be perceived by your target market through strategic marketing.

Here’s a simple definition from MagePlaza:

“Simply put, positioning in marketing is a strategic process that involves creating an identity/ image of the brand or product within the target customers’ minds.”

Market positioning determines how individuals perceive your business and how they view your business in comparison to your competitors. There are a range of factors that can influence business positioning, but the main influences are price and quality.

MagePlaza explain that:

“Pricing is an essential factor that impacts the decisions of most customers. Companies with the lowest-priced products at a reasonable level of quality usually win in many product areas.”

For example, choosing to charge low prices for your products and services is a way of positioning your business as an ‘affordable’ or ‘budget option’.

On the other hand, you could position yourself as a high-end or ‘premium’ business by charging above average prices - just bare in mind that you will need to maintain a certain level of quality to justify this pricing!

Want to know how much you can earn in this industry? Read all about the sports nutritionist salary here.

#5 What Is Your Business Name and Brand Aesthetic? 

how to write an online nutrition business plan

The final stage of defining your business? You need to choose a business name and a brand ‘aesthetic’. 

Naming your business is a really big deal, especially as in most cases, it will be the first thing that members of your target market see or hear about you. First impressions are important, so taking the time to choose a good name is essential! 

No matter how short it may be, your business name can say a lot about your brand and what you do. A good name should imply a little bit about your business and your company ethos. For example, if you want to come across as relaxed, friendly, or approachable, then you might choose a fun name or a play on words.

Some other great tips for choosing a good nutrition business name include:

      • Ensure that the name is not difficult to spell
      • Do a thorough search to ensure the name isn’t already used
      • Check that the domain name is available (especially for an online business!)
      • Avoid choosing a niche name that might cause confusion if you expand your business 

Want more advice on this topic? When we’re done here, check out our guide to choosing a great fitness business name!

 

Become a Qualified Nutrition Coach!

Enquire to study a Level 4 Advanced Nutrition for Sport course with OriGym

Once you’ve decided on a business name, the next step is choosing a brand aesthetic. When we talk about aesthetics, we’re referring to the way that you portray your brand visually, for example, through your logo, the appearance of your website, and the content you create.

Just like your business name, this can say a lot about your business and it can affect how you are perceived by your target market.

sports nutrition business plan graphic

Revive Social explain:

“A brand aesthetic refers to the visual look or appearance of your content. It helps establish a mood, tone, or style and demonstrates your personality. Creating a brand aesthetic is a way of aligning your marketing channels to ensure consistency. According to research, consistent branding can increase revenue by 23 percent. ”

When designing a brand aesthetic, one of the most important steps is to choose a colour scheme. Colours are closely linked with emotions, and they can often symbolise a variety of meanings. 

For example, the colour red is often associated with intense emotions, such as love and hate. Meanwhile, the colour green is associated with the emotion of jealousy, but can also symbolise nature, new beginnings, and good luck.

This is definitely something that you should keep in mind when creating an aesthetic for your nutrition brand. 

Building a vegan only nutrition service? A green colour scheme could be a good choice! Or maybe you want to market yourself as a feel-good brand? Bright, vibrant, and light colours such as pink, yellow, orange, and lilac can all make people associate feelings of happiness and positive mood with your business. 

Step 4: Write A Nutrition Business Plan

nutrition business plan

By now you should know everything that you need to do prior to writing your business plan. With the results of your market research, SWOT analysis, and defining your brand in mind, the fourth and final step is writing your business plan. 

We know that this process is daunting, and so we are going to breakdown what to include in each section of this document, using the following nutrition business plan sample:

      1. Executive Summary
      2. Company Summary
      3. Market Analysis
      4. Marketing Strategy
      5. Sales Strategy
      6. Financial Summary 

#1 Executive Summary

nutritionist business plan graphic

Every business plan should start with a good executive summary that introduces the business and outlines the overall aims, goals, and values of the business. 

Within this section, you should discuss the kind of business that you are planning on starting. For example, this is where you should explain if you are writing a sports nutrition business plan, and if so where you plan on opening your business.

Your executive summary should be clear, concise, yet informative. Probably the most difficult part of writing up this section is keeping it short whilst ensuring that somebody can read your executive summary and gain a good overview of your business. 

#2 Company Summary

how to write a nutrition consulting business plan

The answer is in the title here, a good company summary should sum-up everything that a banker or investor needs to know about your business, for example, your company ethos, proposed market position, and your niche.

This section should start by quickly stating the type of business you want to start, followed by the details of all of the products and services that you plan on offering.

You should draw on the findings from your market research to explain what makes your business unique from your competitors and address any gaps in the industry that you plan to fill.

Use the points in our ‘defining your business’ section to ensure that you cover every relevant aspect of your business.

You should discuss where your business will be located, and why you have chosen that particular venue. In the same way, if you have decided to open an online based nutrition, you should discuss your reasons for that choice. 

It’s also a good idea to talk about any staff you plan to hire, who they will be, what level of qualification they will hold, and what their roles will be. Similarly, you should also discuss your own expertise, such as your qualifications, how much experience you have, and any plans for professional development.

#3 Market Analysis

Within your ‘Market Analysis’ section, you should discuss the market research that you have carried out, how you went about it, what you found, and how that has influenced the plans for your business. 

If you identified a specific niche based on something that you believed is missing in your area, then discuss that gap in the market, and explain how you plan on dominating that particular area of nutrition. 

Define your target market and explain why you want this particular demographic to become your customers or ‘clients’. Discuss the details of this target market such as their age, gender, and level of affluence, and use the findings of your market analysis to justify your plans.  

#4 Marketing Strategy

MARKETING FOR ONINE NUTRITION BUSINESS PLAN

The next section of your nutritionist business plan should explain your marketing and sales strategies. 

Within this section, you should break down how you plan on getting the word out there about your business. 

Outline each and every marketing channel that you will utilise. That might include the social media platforms you plan on using, whether you will pay for Google Ads, and any promotional or referral strategies that you will use to facilitate word of mouth marketing. 

You can also refer back to the process of defining your business that we covered a little earlier, explaining how and why you chose that particular business name, brand image, and aesthetic.

As we covered when we discussed the marketing and positioning your business earlier, pricing is an important aspect of a marketing strategy as price affects how customers perceive your business and the value of your services. 

For that reason, it's important to discuss price as a part of your marketing strategy. Including a breakdown of your pricing structure and how much you will charge for each product and service is a good way of showing bankers or investors how you are using your prices to position and subsequently, market, your business. 

#5 Sales Strategy

image for nutrition consulting business plan

After outlining your marketing strategy, you should include a section discussing your planned approach to sales, including a detailed customer sales journey.

A customer sales journey should account for every step that an individual takes from finding your business, to enquiring, becoming a customer, and then a repeat or regular customer!

You should break down each step in detail, for example, by explaining the exact process you will carry out when an individual enquiries with your business. This could include a script to use on the phone, email templates, or a checklist of points to cover in an attempt to maximise the amount of profit you can generate from that individual. 

Not only will having a thorough customer sales journey within your business plan reflect well on your commitment to making your business a success, but it will also come in handy as a point of reference when training and explaining your processes to new members of staff.

Want to brush up on your sales and marketing skills? Check out OriGym’s REPs accredited business skills CPD course.

#6 Financial Summary 

How to write a sports nutrition business plan

The final section to include in your nutrition consulting business plan should be a summary of your funding and finances, including a sales forecast and details of your expected expenditure and predicted income.

Calculating your predicted income is actually a lot easier than it sounds. All you need to do is breakdown each source of income into individual sections. 

For example, you might have one section for each kind of nutrition programme that you offer, and others for each specific supplement or product you sell, such as energy vitamins or protein shakers

To calculate how much income you will generate from each source of income, write down the number of sales of that particular product or service that you expect to make over a set period of time.

Next, multiply that number by the price that you charge for that same product or service.

Carry out this multiplication for each product and service, and then add the results together to get your projected revenue for that period of time. 

Once you have calculated your projected revenue, you’ll need to complete your financial summary with a breakdown of your expected expenditure. This should include the costs of renting a venue, running a website, bills, staff costs, marketing budget, and your own wages.

You should also summarise your start up expenses, such as the costs associated with kitting out your venue and buying equipment.

Before You Go

By now, you should be feeling confident enough to get out there and do your market research, plan your business, and write up a great nutrition business plan!

If you don’t currently have a regulated nutrition qualification, then get your business off to the best start by enquiring about our Level 4 Advanced Nutrition course

Want to start thinking about how you can expand your nutrition business? Check out our Personal Training diploma here or download OriGym’s full prospectus for information on a range of health and fitness courses!

References

Business plan definition - entrepreneur small business encyclopedia. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/business-plan

Gremillion, A. (2020). How color impacts emotions and behaviors. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from: https://99designs.co.uk/blog/tips/how-color-impacts-emotions-and-behaviors/ 

Market research: Definition, methods, types and examples. (2019, September 06). Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://www.questionpro.com/blog/what-is-market-research/

Positioning in marketing: Definition, types, examples, benefits & how to. (n.d.). Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://www.mageplaza.com/blog/positioning-in-marketing.html

REVIVE SOCIAL. (2019). 6 tips for creating a social media Brand Aesthetic. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://revive.social/creating-social-brand-aesthetic/ 

 

Become a Qualified Nutrition Coach!

Enquire to study a Level 4 Advanced Nutrition for Sport course with OriGym

Written by Abbie Watkins

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Abbie on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Holding an MA Marketing Communications and Branding as well as a BSc Psychology from the University of Liverpool, Abbie’s experience encompasses the retail, hospitality and fitness industries. Since joining OriGym, she has become a qualified Personal Trainer and gone on to complete a specialist qualification in advanced Sports Nutrition. Abbie’s main focuses cover staying up to speed with YouTube fitness influencers, identifying successful and innovative content formats. She has contributed to various publications, including the Daily Express. Beyond OriGym, she describes herself as a ‘work-hard, play-hard’ type going on scenic runs and upbeat exercise classes, and often found on the front row of a Saturday morning spin class. 

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