Health food stores alone take in annual revenues of about £3 billion according to Hoovers, a Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. These are stores that sell nutrition supplements, weight loss products, and sports nutrition products just to name a few. However, many other types of opportunities exist if you're going to open a health store, such as nutrition consulting and even health membership clubs.
Decide what type of health store that you want to operate. Consider if there is a specific niche of the health industry for which you have a passion. For example, nutrition counselling, yoga training, alternative health and nutritional supplement stores, and gym membership clubs are all possible ideas for health stores.
Consider purchasing a health store franchise if you'd like a relatively quick solution to opening a health store. Franchise opportunities exist in a variety of health industry sectors; a couple examples are the GNC franchise and MuscleMax franches, which are both health supplement stores.
Write down and list all of the products and services that you want to sell when you open your health store. Search for health suppliers and manufacturers that offer wholesale prices to retailers. If opening a store selling health supplements, search for wholesale vitamins and minerals that you can buy. Look for suppliers that have the latest alternative health and weight loss products.
Alternatively, if you're starting a gym or health club then you'll need suppliers that offer wholesale fitness equipment or you'll need to contract directly with the manufacturer to obtain retail discounts.
Search for a place to house your health store. A home business selling health supplements can be operated from a small in-home office, but a more extensive business that requires space for customers and daily traffic will need a larger storefront. Check your local newspaper or contact realtors in your area to find opportunities concerning office or retail space for rent.
Create a name for your health store business and register a business entity with your state's secretary of state or tax department. For small businesses, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) will probably be sufficient, but other options include a Sole Proprietorship or Corporation.
Register your health store name with the Internal Revenue Service and obtain a federal tax ID number. This number will usually be needed when ordering from wholesale manufacturers and obtaining any applicable licenses.
Order all of your supplies and equipment to run your health store and set them up when they arrive. This should include products that you've decided to sell, any gym equipment, and also credit card terminals to accept credit card payments.
Create a business sign that will hang in front of your health store. A local printshop or business supply store should be able to help with the sign's design and creation.
Create a website that showcases your health products and services. Customer management tools can even be integrated into the website for your health store, such as e-commerce ordering of health and nutrition supplements or scheduling of nutrition consultations.
Advertise your business in local newspapers by writing a press release about the opening of your new health store. Consider placing advertisements on notice boards and in your local yellow pages phonebook to increase awareness of your health store.
Free resources for opening a health store or any business can be found on the U.S. Small Business Association's website.