There are plenty of ways to innovate or to tap into new opportunities for your health and wellness business. Innovation can generally find its way through several areas: new markets, new trends, new products or services, new communication channels, new methods of distribution, new technology, new business models… to name but a few.
Those health and wellness entrepreneurs that are able to stay on top of innovation will no doubt have a competitive advantage over their peers. Let’s go over a few area’s of innovation and teach you how you can identify new ideas or implement techniques yourself in order re-think your health and wellness business.
- Market-wise: reach out to new or emerging markets.
50 years and older population: rarely entrepreneurs in the health and wellness sector have had such an untapped opportunity to target a substantial, influential, and important part of the population. Babyboomers are aging and as their proportion rapidly grows, so are their health needs.
Workplace market: employee dissatisfaction and thus increased health care costs for companies are opening the doors for targeted workplace health and wellness program to keep employees healthy. Studies demonstrate that those employees being able to maintain a good health, manifest higher productivity and lower absenteeism rates at work. Practical examples of workplace health and wellness services include: setting up after-work exercise programs (e.g. fitness, running, hiking clubs); contests (e.g., soccer teams, volleyball teams); lunch hour meditation or yoga programs; and walking or biking challenges.
Social Responsibility: Give some to get some. Think about how you can help others around the world, too. Partner up with a higher cause, and organise or donate a part, structurally or once only, of your health and wellness programs, to give back to society.
- Trend-wise: respond to current trends in society
Traditionally our medical system is oriented towards sickness rather than health, and treatment rather than prevention. Let us fix people before they are sick, rather than treating them after developing a condition. This huge ‘healthy living’ gap holds many opportunities for new and meaningful health and wellness services.
Rise in chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease offer possibilities to translate reducing those risks into targeted health and wellness offerings. Help people work hard to avoid or reduce the impact of lifestyle diseases.
Combatting loneliness.The World Health Organization rates loneliness as a higher health risk than lifelong smoking. There is an chance here for health and wellness solutions to help overcome the barriers and provide social engagement. Staying engaged with family, friends and the community is vital to healthy living, and has several physical, behavioural and emotional benefits as well.
Life changing events, such as divorce or family member death, often trigger emotional stress. Well-designed health and wellness initiatives can help people experience less high stress levels and ultimately help them lead a healthier, happier life.
- Product or service-wise:
Re-think the format in which you are putting your service to market. Instead of offering your expertise, sell your tools, your resources or incentives to help others to be fit, eat healthy, manage their time, finances and stress, and enjoy an overall healthy life balance.
Apply motivational tactics to improve the results of your health and wellness programs. Recently, a wellness research (a study implemented by Maritz) to test the power of incentives, choice, and social interaction on behaviours related to physical exercise. According to the research, when rewards, social support, and choice were used as part of a wellness program, one in three participants lost weight, one in two reported more energy, and 60% reported some other health benefit.
Online challenge to a race, or let others cheer you on online.
Online service to measure, track, and analyze your health and wellness data.
Share and compare stats on social media.
Tools allowing users to track their daily activity, making it possible to see how much you’ve moved forward.
Health and wellness technology can help consumers take more of an active role in their level of wellness and fitness.
Online client community and peer-to-peer support: initiate digital communities for people with similar health conditions to share experience and find support.
Co-create or crowdsource your program, your recipe book or your “get healthy” course… online.
Read more about how tech can be influencing the health and wellness industry in my next blog post.