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How to Start an IV Hydration Business

How to Start an IV Hydration Business

Intravenous (IV) hydration therapy is a medical treatment that addresses many common day-to-day ailments. It is also a treatment that is growing in popularity for more casual uses. For example, IV hydration lounges and bars offer spa-like IV treatments that alleviate hangovers and flu symptoms.

If you have a medical background and want to create a restorative environment that offers spa-like treatments, then an IV hydration therapy business may be the perfect endeavor.

Business Description

IV hydration businesses can be mobile operations or businesses with a permanent physical location. For example, a mobile IV hydration business travels to a client’s site or events and venues. On the other hand, IV hydration lounges or bars have a permanent location, much like a spa or salon.

At an IV hydration center, a medical professional puts in an arm catheter to deliver fluids loaded with vitamins, minerals, and in some cases, medications. The IV solutions target a wide range of symptoms. IV hydration businesses offer services priced individually, or they may sell monthly or yearly memberships.

Some of the common reasons that individuals opt for IV hydration therapy include

  • hangovers
  • colds or the flu
  • weight loss
  • drowsiness
  • immune support
  • stress relief
  • exercise recovery

Industry Summary

The United States has approximately 626 IV hydration businesses that generate $2 billion annually. Further, IV hydration manufacturing has grown over the last five years alone by 1.4% each year. 

Both hospitals and IV hydration therapy businesses consistently have patients and will likely continue to have an ongoing rotation of clients. As a result, IV hydration centers and manufacturing are industries that are expected to grow.

Related Industries

Medical Scrubs
Supplement Company

Industry Trends

While the IV hydration industry has expanded, IV hydration businesses have encountered growth and challenges.

Growth—focus on health and wellness. 

Health and wellness are prominent focuses in the U.S. And as such, businesses offering health opportunities draw interest and are of value. IV hydration businesses have experienced this growth, especially as people become more aware of and benefit from the service.

Challenge—competition. 

However, IV hydration businesses face competition, mainly since the costs to start an IV hydration business can be low. Mobile IV hydration units have minimal start-up costs, making them easy to begin. In addition to the low barrier of entry, the rising demand for IV hydration therapy has contributed to increased competition among IV hydration businesses.

IV hydration businesses also face competition for supplies. Hospitals are the primary source of IV hydration and place a heavy demand on IV supplies and solutions. Further, demands on supplies drive up the price, which makes the supplies more challenging to acquire, especially when businesses strive to keep expenditures low.

As the wellness trend continues to develop, even more pressure will be placed on IV hydration manufacturers, making it challenging to get the solutions needed to administer their services.

Target Market

Up-and-coming IV hydration businesses need a good marketing plan that helps drive awareness and bring in customers. A successful marketing plan begins with knowing your target market. Some key markets for IV hydration businesses include adults, athletes, and wellness-oriented businesses.

Adults. One of the most recognizable uses for IV hydration therapy is to alleviate hangover symptoms. Adults would be the target market for this use. Other expected benefits of IV hydration include overall wellness, such as stress relief, weight loss, and recovery from traveling, colds, and fatigue.

Athletes. IV hydration therapy is beneficial for athletes, particularly on a recovery day. So, marketing near or inside gyms or training centers is another important market. Additionally, having a mobile booth at athletic conventions or competitions is another great way to market to athletes.

Wellness-oriented businesses. Many businesses, like workplaces, gyms, event centers, and conventions, offer wellness programs. Lining up contracts with wellness-oriented organizations generates income, reputation, and awareness.

Partygoers. If you’re located in an area with a lot of nightlife, you may find that partygoers are some of your best customers. After a night of drinking, many people will look for an IV hydration service to help them recover the next morning.

Checklist for Starting an IV Hydration Business

If you’re interested in starting your own IV hydration business, there are a few things you’ll want to do in order to get started. Check out our list of steps below.

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

A business plan is an essential first step for any business.

The process of developing a business plan for an IV hydration business can help you to clarify your business goals, strategies, competitive analysis, and timeline of when things need to be completed. It can also help you to identify potential challenges and opportunities.

A well-written business plan can be used to obtain a loan or to attract investors and partners. Not only will a bank require you to have one, but multiple studies have shown that a business plan helps increase the odds of starting a successful business.

Related: How to write a business plan

Step 2: Name the Business

There are a few things to consider when coming up with a name for your IV hydration business. Not only does the name have to resonate with your customers, but it also has to be available to use.

You’ll want a name that is memorable and easy to pronounce, and reflects the quality of your services, while appealing to your target market.

Finding the perfect name for a business can be challenging.

Related: Tips on naming a business

Step 3: Form a Business Entity

A business entity (also referred to as a legal structure) refers to how a business is legally organized to operate. There are four primary business structures to choose from, which include the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each type of entity has its own pros and cons, such as liability exposure, costs, and administrative requirements.

When deciding on which business entity is best for a IV hydration business, it normally comes down to the sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Company.

A partnership opens the owners up to unnecessary personal liability because if a partner does something to get the business sued, or runs off with cash from the business, the other partners are personally liable to repay.
 
The corporation can be a good choice to minimize liability risk because it separates the business assets from the owner’s assets. If the corporation is sued or certain business debts can’t be paid back, the owners aren’t personally responsible to repay them. The downside to the corporation is that it is more complicated than all the other entities and requires more administration than the LLC. If you plan on raising a lot of investment though, the corporation is usually the better choice.

That leaves the sole proprietorship and LLC.

The sole proprietorship is the least expensive and easiest entity to start which is appealing. The downside is that the owner is personally liable should anything happen to the business, which is an important consideration. The LLC offers the ability to operate as a sole proprietorship with the liability protection of a corporation. Depending on the state, the cost to form an LLC runs from $40 – $500, which is pretty inexpensive for protecting the owners from business-related lawsuits and certain debts.

Related: Guide to forming your LLC
 

Forming an LLC sounds complicated and expensive, but using an entity formation service guides you through the process so you know it was done right.


Some popular LLC formation services include:


IncFile - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

IncAuthority - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent the first year!

ZenBusiness - $49 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

Step 4: Select Your Location

Deciding on a location for an iv hydration business will go back to your business model. If you plan to have a mobile service, the location isn’t obviously as important as it is for a therapy clinic.

If you opt for a fixed clinic, the location should be guided by the target market. For example, a business located in a tourist area that markets to people rehydrating after partying too much will be different from an IV hydration business that is focusing on people who are wanting to improve their health and wellness.

Step 5: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Like any business, an IV hydration business owner will likely need to obtain a variety of business licenses and permits in order to operate.  

Specific to IV hydration businesses, each state has different requirements since you will be administering injections. In general, most states require nurses to have their LPN or RN, a Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) or certification in IV therapy, and have supervised clinical practice. Many states also require RNs to be under the supervision of a licensed physician.

In addition, there will be general requirements that will also vary by location, such as a business license, sales tax license, and Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Related: Common business licenses, permits, and registrations by state

Step 6: Find Financing

Coming up with a good business idea and having the skills to run it are one thing, but getting the funding to start an IV hydration business is another.  Fortunately, the cost to start a new IV hydration business can be relatively low if going mobile but can go much higher in a clinical location. Regardless if funding is needed, obtaining funding to start a business can be difficult.  Banks are typically going to want the borrower to have good credit and be able to invest 15-25% of their money towards the total start-up costs.

Related: Finding the money to start a business

Step 7: Open a Business Bank Account

Keeping your small business and personal finances in separate bank accounts is important to track the income and expenses of your business and identify trends.
 
Many banks offer free business checking accounts, so be sure to find a cost-effective option for your business.

Step 8: Get your Marketing Plan in Place

When it comes to marketing a new IV hydration business, the most important thing is knowing your target audience and creating a brand that stands out from the competition.

To do this, you need to focus on what makes your business unique and what needs your target market has that are not being met by other businesses. Once you have a clear brand identity, you can develop a marketing strategy to help you reach your target customers.

There are a number of ways to market a new business, and will vary depending on the target market, but some of the most effective include posting on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, online advertising, word-of-mouth marketing, and creating informative blog posts and articles.

Related: Low-cost ideas to market a new business

Every business is going to need a logo. Make a professional logo in no time with the free logo makers from BrandCrowd and Canva.

Step 9: Get Business Insurance

When starting a new business, it’s important to make sure you have the right insurance in place to protect you from any potential legal liabilities and financial losses that could occur.

For a business providing IV hydration services, there are a few key types of insurance you should consider.

First, you’ll need general liability insurance to protect against any accidents or injuries that occur on your premises. You should also consider product liability insurance, as this will cover any damages that occur as a result of using your products. Finally, it’s also a good idea to have professional liability insurance, as this will cover any mistakes or errors made by your staff.

By considering these key types of insurance, you can help ensure your business is protected from any potential risks.

Related: Types of insurance your business may need

Step 10: Hire Employees

A business that provides intravenous (IV) hydration therapy will need a few key types of employees in order to function properly, especially registered nurses (RNs) to administer the IV treatments. In addition to RNs, businesses may also hire medical assistants (MAs) to help with patient care. MAs may be responsible for taking vital signs, administering oral medications, and providing pre and post-treatment care.

Finally, office staff will be needed to greet patients, and handle scheduling, billing, and other administrative tasks.

Related: Hiring your first employee

Step 11: Set up an Accounting System

A good accounting system in place will help a business to keep track of its finances and make sure that it is compliant with taxation laws.

There are a few different types of accounting systems that an IV hydration business could use, so it is important to choose one that will suit the specific needs of the business. One option is to use a generic cloud-based accounting system, which allows businesses to access their financial data from anywhere. Another option is to use specific software for medical practices that also incorporates insurance billing and scheduling.

Whichever type of system is used, it is important to make sure that it is able to track all of the relevant financial information for the business.

Related: Setting up the accounting for your business

The thought of accounting can be intimidating for a lot of new entrepreneurs. There are a number of ways of handling bookkeeping, from DIY to hiring a bookkeeper. These include:

- Pen and paper - Low expense, but difficult to track.
- Spreadsheet - Low expense, but easy to make errors.
- Accounting software - Medium expense, but owner typically inputs expenses. Some great accounting software programs include Freshbooks or Wave Accounting.
- Hire a bookkeeper - Higher expense, though very affordable at $100-$200 per month in most cases. A dedicated bookkeeper will probably save money because, in addition to handling all of the bookkeeping (so you can focus on the business), they also provide personalized tax advice and ensure the business is in compliance.

Find bookkeepers in your local area or use a service like 800Accountant.

How much does it cost to start an IV hydration business?

An IV hydration business can start small to keep costs low, such as a mobile operation, making it easy to start making money. Conversely, a permanent location, such as an IV hydration bar or lounge, will be costlier and may take more time to start. First, let’s look at some of the primary costs.

Business Formation. IV hydration businesses have a handful of formation costs. A few include:

Licenses & Permits – Each state has its own fee for applying for and acquiring the licensing to conduct business.

Insurance is essential to protect your business from financial losses resulting from liabilities or losses. Insurance rates are based on risk exposure and coverage, so call a few companies to compare rates.

Location – Starting as a mobile operation keeps costs low since making individual trips or setting up a booth saves money on a physical location. If you already have a vehicle to use, you may, in fact, have no location costs. However, if you purchase a vehicle or mobile medical unit, you should expect to pay around $45,000.

IV hydration lounges need a physical location like a storefront for clients to come in, sit down, and get treatment. Retail space usually charges by square foot per year and costs from $10 – $40 per square foot per year. Therefore, a 1,500-square-foot retail space at $10 per square foot would cost $15,000 yearly.

Supplies – Some supplies you may need to start your business include
IV supplies, such as syringes, needles, IV lines, IV poles
Furniture, such as chairs and desks

Medical equipment, such as monitors, thermometers, pulse sensors
The costs of supplies vary, but IV kits generally cost around $5 – $10 each. IV solutions differ depending on the ingredients but range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. For instance, a bag of plain saline solution can cost as low as $1 – $5 per unit.

Marketing – Budgeting money for marketing costs is a great way to invest in your own business. Advertising can happen in many ways, and the most cost-effective (free) method is to build up your social media presence. You can also purchase ads on social media platforms and online. Prices vary from less than $1 per click to over $5, depending on the platform.

Employees – Whether you own a mobile IV hydration unit or operate out of a physical location, you may choose to hire employees to expand your business. IV therapy nurses earn around $40 per hour on average. In addition, other employees, such as administrative assistants and accountants, make $18 and $23 per hour, respectively.

How profitable is an IV hydration business?

Generally, IV hydration businesses charge per service or by memberships, which renew monthly or annually. Services can cost from $100 ­– $400 and take approximately 40 minutes to an hour to complete. So, if you see one person each hour in an eight-hour workday, you would earn between $800 – $3,200 per day.

For example, let’s say that your supplies cost $15 ($10 for an IV kit and $5 for a saline solution), and you charge your client $100 for the service. After the visit is complete, you will have earned $85 in profit.

Are there grants to start an IV hydration business?

It’s extremely rare to find a grant to start an IV hydration business. If you search for business grants, you will come across a lot of scams and misinformation. Occasionally an organization will offer grants to start a business, however, be skeptical and don’t provide any sensitive personal information or pay money to get more information.

Legitimate federal grants can be found at Grants.gov, and you can check on your state’s economic development office to see if they have any grants available.

What skills are needed to run an IV hydration business?

From medical experience to accounting, an IV hydration business has several components that need attention. So, you (or your team) will need several essential skills to successfully run an IV hydration business.

Medical Experience. In some states, IV hydration businesses must be owned by a medical professional. Similarly, some states may not require that the owner is a medical professional but that medical practitioners administer the IV solutions. Both regulations about IV treatments and concern for customer safety make having medical background or experience essential.

Organization. Organization is essential: you will need to order IV solutions, manage appointments and employee schedules, take payments, and track accounting. You will need a high level of organization to manage each element. Even as a sole operator or owning a mobile IV hydration business, organizing your schedule keeps waste low and improves your business’s efficiency and ability to generate income.

Marketing. As IV hydration businesses are growing in popularity, marketing is essential to increase awareness of your business’s services. Marketing can be accomplished with a clear and professional website, a strong social media presence, or advertising. A marketing professional can help develop your marketing plan so that your dollars are spent effectively.

What is the NAICS code for an IV hydration business?

The NAICS code for an IV hydration business is 621498, which falls under All Other Outpatient Care Centers.

The NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) is a federal system to classify different types of businesses for the collection and reporting of statistical data.

Related: What is a NAICS code?

Final Thoughts

IV hydration businesses are lucrative business opportunities, especially when you can keep costs low, such as starting with a mobile unit and minimal employees. With the continued focus on health and wellness, niche health services like IV hydration therapy businesses will continue to have a positive outlook.

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