Creating a vision
What is your goal? What problem in the world are you trying to solve? Is it the obesity crisis? Is it just teaching patients/clients about nutrition and living a better lifestyle? Once you know what it is you are trying to do, you can really start to envision all that you will need to prepare for your business operation; the services, tools and the resources. As you identify the vision of your business, your first step is to create a vision statement that envisions the overall goals. Next step is to create a mission statement that best describes the purpose of your practice and lastly, create a value statement that conveys the characteristics and qualities that you want to be identified with.
Identifying what you are best at doing
- What are you passionate about?
Why did you get into the weight loss industry? Have you been an empathetic person your whole life? Have you been active in fitness for many years? Has obesity affected you or someone you care about? Do you like to train or teach? To be successful in weight management, you need to be passionate about a healthy lifestyle. Can you help people if you are unhealthy, overweight, stopping at fast food stores before, during and after work hours? Not a chance. You and your staff need to practice what you preach, or you will not be successful at gaining the trust and confidence from those seeking weight loss help.
- What will you be best at doing day to day?
No matter what your passion, you will need to figure out what you are best at doing day to day. If you are not the best at problem solving, influencing others, getting patients/clients to follow your instructions and commit to a healthier lifestyle then there is really no way to run a successful practice. Adherence is a major factor in a weight management program, so you must be able to influence a patient/client or they will not adhere to your program or make their weight loss goals. If you or your staff do not have an influential personality, hire others who do.
- How will your practice be best at generating revenue?
Passion means nothing if you do not have the financial ability to turn a profit. Do you have some experience in business and/or clinic operations? You will need to be well versed in budgeting, operating expenses, revenue for-casting and expected volume. Having a well-run clinic requires a combination of connecting parts, the clinical part where the physician and nutrition/behavioral counselors come into play and the retail part where patients/clients can purchase their supplements and meal plans. Most effective programs run for at least 4 weeks and must be competitively priced but not cheap. The typical patient will be coming in for the initial evaluation, weekly weigh-ins, nutrition counseling, and supplements and that requires some serious spending. Just offering the weight loss part of the business without the retail is not enough to run a successful, lucrative practice. What makes a practice successful and lucrative? Patient or client success. And that requires having a hub of qualified professionals, effective programs and a variety of retail products.
- How will you establish a budget for time and money involved in the day to day operation?
You’ll need to decide when you will be in service, what tasks need to be completed and who on your staff is going to do what in the practice. What is the budget for getting into the market? Someone wise once mentioned that a budget is like fuel gauge, it will determine how fast and far you can go. Basically the steps to establishing a business budget will go something like this: Research costs, project revenues, figure out gross profit margins, create a 12-month cash flow projection, adjust for unreliable payers, adjust for seasonality, adjust for economic and industry trends, decide how to spend, discuss costs with suppliers, discuss expenditures with appointed people, prioritize investment, create contingency plan, plan budget reviews and insure your practice.
Creating a marketing plan
Your practice must have a well-designed marketing plan. Your marketing plan lets your target market know who you are, what services your practice offers and how you can help them.
- Referrals are the most important marketing tool in weight management. Patients who were successful in your program, tell others about the exceptional experience they had at your practice. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising.
- Put together some health, wellness, weight loss webinars and presentations and present at schools, civic groups, corporations and other organizations.
- If you are not great at presentations, consider hiring a speech coach. You need to get comfortable speaking in front of large groups.
- Get good at social media and email marketing real fast. There are no better platforms to advertise your business than social media and email marketing platforms. And, this is not something you can tinker with on occasion. You must stay committed in posting content several times a day on various social media platforms and at least 2-3 times per week for email marketing. If you aren’t willing to put in the time or effort needed, then hire someone who can do it for you. It’s really that important in this millennial dominated market.
- If you don’t have a high-quality website, it is very important that you put a lot of emphasis in developing a top quality, interactive and mobile friendly website. Look for a top-rated web designer/developer and don’t try to do this yourself or cut corners by trying to find the cheapest developer you can find on line. A website that is well designed and developed with search engine optimization will help your practice to attract and keep your audience engaged. It will also serve as your information hub that helps explain your vision, commitment and values as well as explain your programs, services and products.
So, there you have it. A good, sound vision, passion for what you do best and a well thought out marketing plan are the action steps necessary for your practice success.
To learn more about running a successful weight management practice, access our resource partner, Karol Clark, Weight Loss Practice Builder. Find out more about our products, plans and clinic operations support by calling 1-800-395-8931.
Sources: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/hedgehog-concept.htm; Chiropractic Economics/Student DC – New practitioner – Actions steps to Create Practice Success. 11/29/18; www.verywellhealth.com/strategicplanningformedicaloffice https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/choosing-a-safe-successful-weight-loss-program 13 Steps to Create a Budget for Your Business https://www.hiscox.com/blog/13-steps-create budgetyourbusiness?_vsrefdom=p.3.c.23174&medium=tsa&gclid=Cj0KCQiAxs3gBRDGARIsAO4tqq1HI3_RhwE72fEqUi8GklfhjDmuZmpSN85iP7qjLQrgLwyLrwgGjr0aAhz2EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds t
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