Cancellation Policy for a Wellness Business (+ Template)

Dec 6, 2023

✍️ Author: Sinead O'Connor


As a wellness business owner or practitioner, you’re not just offering services; you’re also managing time, resources, and client expectations. A clear and fair cancellation policy is crucial in maintaining a harmonious balance between accommodating client needs and safeguarding yourself and your business needs.

Join us to take a deeper look at why and how to set up a cancellation policy in your wellness business. 

Table of Contents:

Do You Really Need a Cancellation Policy?

A cancellation policy isn’t just a bunch of rules – it’s a two-way street built on mutual respect. It’s a formal recognition that your services and time are valuable, not just to you but to your clients and others waiting for their turn.

A well-written policy lets you communicate some key values:

  1. Respecting Time and Service: You highlight the value of your time and commitment to providing excellent service.
  2. Setting Realistic Expectations: It establishes realistic expectations, aligning client actions with your business needs.
  3. Mutual Respect for Time: The policy underscores mutual respect for time, ensuring that you honor your clients’ schedules as they should yours.
  4. Organizational Efficiency: It reflects the organized nature of your business, possibly indicating a waitlist and high demand for your services.

Your policy should be a friendly handshake agreement to make sure that if plans need to change, everyone’s treated fairly. It’s about keeping things cool and professional for everyone involved.

How Does a Cancellation Policy Support Your Business? 

Once you have that cancellation policy in place, each client understands what is expected of them. When we don’t have these expectations clearly laid out, clients might believe that you are ‘easy-going’ or don’t mind no-shows.

Once someone knows they can cancel without penalty, they will likely do it again — even if they’re well-intended — because you have basically told them that it’s not important to you. 

By having a policy in place:

  • You show respect for your own business
  • You can recoup losses as well if you create a waiting list
  • Clients also see that your business is successful and organized

Human nature also dictates that we don’t like to pay for things that we don’t receive, so putting a financial penalty in place for missed bookings incentivizes clients to keep their appointments or cancel in good time. 

How to Design Your Cancellation Policy

Your cancellation terms need to be specific to your own business. You need to decide what is acceptable for you and for your clients. Here are some guidelines:

  • Consider how much prep time you put into your bookings, and when does this start? That may determine how far in advance clients need to cancel. 
  • What is the likelihood that the appointment will be re-booked? Usually, a couple of hours is too short notice for this. Would a 24-hour cancellation period feel reasonable? Or is that not enough?
  • You might have different levels of cancellation
    • For a full refund, cancel with 48 hours’ notice.
    • For a partial refund – cancel with 24 hours notice
    • Same-day cancellation or no-show could mean no refund 
  • Are there any exceptions to your cancellation policy? For example, since COVID, short-term cancellations due to illness have become more common. 
  • Many businesses let clients slide by without paying a fee for their first no-show, and fees are incurred for each offense thereafter.

Implementing Your Cancellation Policy

Implementing the policy can feel somewhat uncomfortable when you are the sole proprietor, here are some ways you can make the policy clear and minimize the chance of misunderstandings (and no-shows): 


  • State the policy clearly when clients sign up. This could be in an email that goes out with the booking confirmation and receipt, or detailed in your offering description – or both.
  • Post the policy on your website in a physical location so that if someone needs to cancel and is trying to find your terms, they can easily find them.
  • If your policy is new to your existing business, have clients acknowledge that they understand it, and have read it. You can do this by emailing it to your clients and asking for a reply.
  • You can post it to a client-only social media group, asking them to acknowledge it with a response in the comments.
  • If you teach in a physical space, post the cancellation policy somewhere visible, like the front desk.
  • Talk about it during class or appointments.

Need Help Creating a Cancellation Policy for Your Wellness Business?

Download our template to get a jump start!

Explore OfferingTree’s Blog for More Wellness Business Tips

Cancellations will inevitably happen. The key part of a cancellation policy is standing by it. Don’t shy away from talking about it, or from implementing it with a client that doesn’t observe the policy. 

OfferingTree has made cancellations much easier in your business. With our cancellation feature, you can choose a policy that suits your business. We have three levels of cancellation varying between automatic refunds to a credit card when the client cancels (and you set the time frame for that cancellation window) all the way to ‘No Automatic Refunds’ which means they need to contact you to cancel. Let us know what you think of this feature in the comments below!

Have you joined our Facebook user group yet? If you are an OfferingTree user, we have a community of help, discussion, and advice in our user group right here.


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