Starting a nutrition business is extremely challenging. You need to establish your business structure, find your niche, and start getting nutrition clients. But one of the hardest parts of all is to determine how to price your nutrition consulting services.
This in-depth article will teach you how to price your consulting services when starting a nutrition business depending on your competition, your coaching style, your goals, and every other parameter that really matters!
Like in every other industry, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But this guide will give you the tools you need to determine what pricing structure will work best for you and your new nutrition business.
I don’t know about you, but when I was in holistic nutrition school I wasn’t taught how to price my packages for my nutrition consulting practice. I wasn’t even given the going rates in our field. When it came time to sit down and figure out my pricing, I was lost!
I didn’t want to price my services too high because I knew that people would shy away from the price tag. I was also shocked to learn that if I priced my services too low, people were going to think that I was inexperienced or that I wasn’t going to provide the best nutrition service possible. Obviously, people would think that I was under-selling myself.
At its most basic level, your pricing strategy should consider the following:
- Your operating expenses
- The costs involved
- The profit you would like to make
Knowing the tips below will help you come up with the optimal pricing strategy for your nutrition consulting service when starting a nutrition business. They will also allow you and your clients to get the most out of it from the very beginning.
Things to consider when pricing your nutrition services:
- Know your Competition
- Coaching vs One-time Service
- Know Your Costs and Salary Goals
- How to Pick the Best Pricing Model
- Testing Your Prices
Know Your Competition
I was never one for homework, but when dealing with business, it is absolutely crucial. Knowing what your competition is providing and at what price will help you set your consulting service rates effectively.
Maybe someone has a similar offer priced really low. But when you go through their reviews, you see that they provide horrible service. The second person you find is marketing themselves as “the best” in the business and charges double what the other person does. You do a quick search of their website and they have 10 different certifications and hundreds of positive reviews.
Consider what others are charging and you will have a price range to work with. To figure out where you should be on that spectrum think about these key aspects:
- Your skill level
- Your level of experience
- Your training/certifications
- Your reputation in the field/industry
- Your location
Making sure that you can explain the added value that you offer to potential clients is something you have to keep in mind. If you cannot justify it in your pricing then don’t include it.
Nutrition Coaching VS One-Time Services
Before I even dive into which pricing model would work best for you, you need to decide on a nutrition business model. In terms of nutritional consulting, that would mean thinking about whether you are looking to act as a coach with an on-going package or if you want to sell one-time packages. This is crucial in how you decide to price your offer.
I myself decided to go with package pricing in the beginning because I was working at a gym. However, once I met with more than a handful of clients, I felt like something was missing. I found that more often than not, I didn’t feel like I was providing them with the assistance that they really needed.
Knowing the information is not enough
Providing a client with information and the tools to better themselves is great. However, if they aren’t coming in with guns a-blazin’, ready to rock that plan, then they fall off the wagon which doesn’t benefit anyone. When this happened, I usually never heard from these clients again. Or once they did the 4-week plan, they weren’t wanting anything more from me.
I then decided to remodel my business to be more akin to a nutrition coaching program. Within that model, I would consult with a client once per week, either in person or over Skype for about 30 to 45 minutes. Each week, we worked on one (or two) small steps to help them get closer to their goals.
Most clients responded much better to this model. Each step was extremely actionable and practical and they knew exactly what they had to do that week to succeed. This also provided me with a recurring revenue model which allowed me to plan ahead.
So decide: do you want to coach people in a lifestyle change or do you just want to bang out plans for people, hoping that they will be motivated enough to stick to them? The choice is yours.
Know Your Costs and Salary Goals
Your main financial goal should be to bring in enough money to pay your bills and have something left to show at the end of the day. If you’re just scraping my, it just won’t be worth it in the long run.
Let’s say you already know that you need to make $45,000/year and only want to work 20 hours/week (1040 hours/per year – yes, please!). That works out to roughly $43.25 per hour.
You also need to determine your costs of running your holistic nutrition business. This might include the following:
- Website fees
- Banking fees
- Materials for promotion
- Cell phone
- Internet costs
- Accountant fees
Once you have figured out all your costs, add those to your hourly rate (from the calculation above) to get the minimum you should charge per hour. Let’s give you a theoretical example, just so we are clear.
I want to make $45k per year and I have $7200 in expenses each year.
45,000 + 7,200 = $52,200 / 1040 hours worked = $50 per hour and a minimum of 20 hours of work per week.
Your hourly rate depends on the factors below:
- Your industry
- How well you market yourself
- Your expertise level
- Your visibility in the industry or authority status
- Legitimate referrals and recommendations
- Your already-proven results
- How many clients you need
- What your competitors are charging
This gives you a basis of how much you need to charge for your packages, your flat rate fees or your ongoing coaching price. Consider the pricing models below to decide what is best when starting a nutrition business.
Pricing Models When Starting A Nutrition Business
There are a lot of different pricing models available when starting a consulting practice. I have listed below the few that I think are the most relevant to nutritionists.
Hourly Fee: Here you are simply exchanging your time for money. The upside is that your clients don’t need to commit any large sum of money up front for a package. However, once your schedule starts filling up, you will have a hard time scaling your business with this pricing strategy.
Group Coaching (set timeframe): This model is much more scalable than the hourly fee model. The upside for the client is that you can price your group coaching offer at a lower price point than individual consulting sessions. However you will need a larger influx of prospects to fill up your group(s) and bring in the same amount of money as you would with an individual coaching model.
Consulting Packaged Services (one-time): Nutrition consulting packages have the advantage of offering a lot of value to the client for a one-time payment. But don’t make the mistake of including too many time-consuming tasks for the lower priced packages. Carefully craft your packages to A) provide services that the clients will need and B) make enough profit on each package to make it worth your time. You are still trading your time for money!
If you wish to use this pricing model, I recommend that you setup 3 packages with price ranges comparable to this (Package 1: $100, Package 2: $300, Package 3: $950). Why this uneven distribution, you might think? When someone sees the package 3 option, they will use that as the reference point to compare the other packages to. $300 doesn’t look that expensive next to $950. And some people will always want the most expensive option, so you might as well have one available!
Individual Nutrition Coaching (ongoing): This model provides a big advantage from a business standpoint: you can plan your income ahead of time. You can set different parameters for new clients (e.g. “6 months commitment minimum”) and ensure a recurring revenue for your business. Your clients are also more likely to see results with this long term approach compared to a one-time consulting option. This model can include certain initial features (i.e. assessments, etc..) and then move to a weekly consult call/email to support your clients’ journey to better health.
Group Coaching + Individual Consulting (hybrid model): You can decide to combine any of the above options, but this hybrid model was always my favourite one. Here you will use a low ticket group coaching model to get people “in the door” and provide them with great value and community perks. Once they have bought into the process, you can up-sell them to an individualized consulting option to get them faster/better results.
How to Test your Nutrition Service Pricing
One of the best ways to test your pricing is to do a “limited time offer” on your nutrition services. Testing the pricing before starting a nutrition business will help you 1) confirm that there is a demand for what you have to offer and 2) get feedback from your early adopters and hopefully some testimonials that you can use to promote your offer. Having actionable feedback before you finalize your packages or pricing will let you make changes as necessary, so you know you are offering the best service out there for your holistic nutrition niche.
If you have access to a community that accurately represents your target audience (Facebook group, message board, etc…), take this opportunity to ask them what THEY would pay. Often times, this is the easiest way to determine if your pricing is right.
There is a lot to think about when setting your prices for a new nutrition business. But having all this information at your fingertips should go a long way in helping you set your prices confidently.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for what you are worth. If you’re slightly uncomfortable with how high you set your prices, this is usually a sign that they are right.
Question: What pricing model did YOU choose? What niche are you wanting to serve? Leave your comment below!
Lynne is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, meal prep mastermind, wife and mother of three. Lynne’s dreams and creativity have brought Holistic Nutrition Hub to fruition so that all Nutrition Practitioners can better help their clients and attain their business goals.