5 Essential Ingredients for Running an Extremely Successful Weight Loss Practice
— By Karol Clark, MSN, RN
Building and running a successful weight loss practice doesn’t require fancy schemes or complicated strategies. It requires focus on the fundamentals that consistently create success.
Concentrating your attention and actions on the 5 fundamental ingredients outlined in this blog will help you create a sustainable and enjoyable weight loss practice that attracts and serves your ideal patients well. Coincidentally, these fundamental ingredients also create a higher degree of loyalty and overall satisfaction for your patients and your team.
Is it easy? No. Is it fast? Rarely. However, you already knew that running a successful business is not easy nor does it happen overnight. It requires patience and consistent effort. Fortunately, success leaves clues — in this case 5 essential ingredients — that will guide your path toward attaining your desired results faster with fewer unnecessary (and expensive) detours.
1. PLAN FOR PROVIDING VALUE TO YOUR IDEAL PATIENTS GUIDED BY YOUR CLEAR VISION
The first ingredient is a clear vision and actionable plan that will bring your vision to fruition. Unfortunately, you may want to skip this and instead focus on ‘what you were taught’ or ‘what everyone else is doing’ without regard to your inner voice that wants more or thinks differently. Or, you may focus solely on what you want instead of considering what your ideal patients actually want. This can make your progress much more difficult and far less fulfilling.
You will never go wrong when you focus on your vision for your ideal practice while defining your ideal patient and what they desire most. This guides your creation and delivery of the truly valuable services and products you and your team uniquely provide that attract patients to you. It should also deliver measurable results for them which create stability and growth for you. Couple this with outstanding customer service and you will find your journey to a lucrative weight loss practice becomes easier and faster than you ever imagined.
2. INTERNAL & EXTERNAL SUPPORT
Ingredient number one cannot be executed without support from your efficient team (that understands and supports your vision). Thus, the second ingredient is ongoing support from your internal and external team. Your internal support includes your team of motivated employees and your external support includes your team of business professionals such as your corporate attorney, accountant, business coach and/or webmaster.
3. EFFECTIVE SYSTEMS
Systemization creates calm out of chaos. Effective systems allow you to create predictable team performance, predictable patient outcomes, predictable profits and higher productivity. Systems help you avoid putting out fires all day long since you no longer have to continually figure out how to handle things on the fly. Instead, your team takes on more of a leadership role and is equipped to handle issues that arise according to your protocol. They only need to involve you for advanced problems that truly require your input. This makes delegation much easier as well.
For a successful weight loss practice, there are six areas in particular that require systemization. These include: Your Team; Your Care Coordination, Your Marketing; Your Finances; Your Revenue Streams and Your Tracking/Reporting. Whenever a practice is struggling or can’t grow beyond a certain goal, these are the systems we objectively evaluate, prioritize and modify as needed with a clear plan to get to the next level.
Above all, your systems create your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) — your training program for current and new employees to ensure a consistent experience for your patients. As an added bonus, they make ever-changing times easier to handle because you are no longer on the hamster wheel. Instead, you have greater stability and the ability to pause to think clearly and tweak rather than panic and start from scratch.
Building a successful weight loss practice is not for the faint of heart. “Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.”1
While your vision may be clear, the path to get there can feel insurmountable and unpredictable at times. One day all is going well and the next, everything seems to be in disarray (likely from one of the sources of stress outlined above). Your patients and your team rely on your resiliency and confidence that you can always ‘figure it out.’ When they trust you, they will also do everything they can to help the business not only survive, but thrive in times of trouble. You are really never alone, this is where having a great partner in business and/or life, a great business coach and loyal team can really make a difference.
5. PROFITABLE REVENUE STREAMS
A successful weight loss practice means nothing if there is no profit left at the end of the day. Unfortunately, this can happen more often than you think. Total revenue grows as planned. However, your primary expenses — overhead and payroll — can get out of hand and leave very little for owners, business partners and team profit-sharing accounts, bonuses and benefits.
A good way to avoid this is to diversify your revenue streams so that they are not reliant upon one person (i.e. the physician); are complementary to your primary revenue source; are desired by your patients; and tracked separately for overall profitability. A revenue stream that can work well for every weight loss practice is nutritional retail sales — especially when selected, marketed and sold as an important part of attaining the desired weight loss outcome. When you have more than one revenue stream, you can also package them together in a very enticing way for your patients demonstrating how — together — they enhance the patient’s desired outcome — often quicker than expected!
Each of these ingredients has been shown to effectively produce very successful weight loss practices. You may have a few (or all) of them working well in your practice. If so, congratulations! If you are just starting out or struggling a bit, these can guide your path to success — as well as greater peace of mind and enjoyment.
For 45 years, Robard Corporation’s medical obesity treatment programs and products have been utilized by physicians, surgeons and hospitals across the United States to successfully treat patients living with obesity. To learn more about us and how we can help your practice and patients, visit us online at www.Robard.com.