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7 Often Overlooked Behaviors That May Be Sabotaging the Success of Your Weight Loss Practice

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7 Often Overlooked Behaviors That May Be Sabotaging the Success of Your Weight Loss Practice

— By Karol Clark, MSN, RN

Amidst the daily operations of a busy weight loss provider, it can be easy to overlook certain behaviors that may be sabotaging the ultimate growth and prosperity of your practice.

As a successful weight loss provider, you are great at helping your patients identify and effectively overcome the saboteurs in their life holding them back from attaining their goals. Yet, just as important is identifying and minimizing the effect of known or unknown sabotage behaviors in your business.

It’s no secret; running a successful weight loss clinic can be fraught with challenges. In fact, despite your best efforts, just keeping up with the day-to-day operations can be overwhelming. This may leave you feeling like you are on a hamster wheel instead of experiencing progress towards your business goals. As a result, months — and even years — can go by, leaving you in a “status quo” condition that creates frustration and concern.

Yet, once you identify what may be holding you back, it creates the clarity and freedom to identify exactly what you need to do and take the necessary actions to make it happen. As you see things improving, this gives you the motivation to continue making advances in your business – similar to the momentum your patients feel as they experience their scale and non-scale victories.

Below are seven commonly overlooked sabotage behaviors that can negatively impact the success of your weight loss practice:

  1. Knowingly or unknowingly, you may be the saboteur. This is more common than many may believe. It shows up as a lack of a clearly communicated vision, fear of failure, fear of success, perfectionism, indecision, flight of ideas and/or lack of follow-through. Recognizing and addressing such ineffective behaviors is an essential first step. By cultivating self-awareness, identifying specific issues, seeking guidance and setting clear goals, you can effect necessary change. Embracing a growth mindset and commitment for improvement is very beneficial as well.
  2. Your team may be sabotaging your best efforts. This shows up as turf wars, lack of teamwork, team turnover, and poor communication of the many benefits of your program and weight loss products, fear of sharing ideas or openly sharing their opinions, and undermining your efforts or the efforts of other team members. Dealing with such behavior requires a proactive approach. Actions that are proven helpful include identifying root causes of the behavior, fostering open communication, addressing individual work performance, setting clear expectations, and promoting a positive work culture. As you know, teamwork is essential for business success.
  3. Having a short-term focus of making it through the day while constantly putting out fires. This prevents you from creating and implementing a strategic plan that includes team input. It also prevents you from effectively communicating your plan so everyone understands their role in facilitating consistent patient success and practice profitability. If you are experiencing chaos or the need to put out fires all day long, the best place to start is clarifying team roles and setting effective systems into place — starting with the area creating the most frustration.
  4. Lack of adaptability. When you lack adaptability, you typically prefer the “status quo” to avoid necessary and often difficult decisions and changes. The “status quo” can be a very comfortable place to be for your team, but in all likelihood, it is not where you want to remain. In order to evolve your business, you must be open to the conversations and decisions that will propel you forward instead of remaining comfortable.
  5. Lack of metrics and team accountability. This prevents you from ensuring you are on the path to success. It often causes blurred lines of communication, inability to clearly monitor progress towards your goals, ineffective delegation, and lack of ownership when it comes to necessary initiatives. When you and your team track the key metrics for what you want to improve such as new consults, new patients, profitability, patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and/or your marketing return on investment, you heighten all efforts to improve that specific metric. Your team is more likely to take ownership and share creative ways to attain your goals.
  6. Minimal focus on the patient experience. While effective patient care is essential, your overall patient experience plays a vital role in the success of your practice. Neglecting to prioritize patient communication and satisfaction can result in poor reviews, reduced patient retention and fewer patient referrals. It is important to create a welcoming and supportive environment, ongoing support, and feedback to ensure you are exceeding patient expectations.
  7. Ineffective or inconsistent personalized marketing efforts. When your onsite and online marketing efforts are not tailored towards the wants and needs of the ideal weight loss patients you want to serve, the results can definitely sabotage you and your business. Such results can be attracting the wrong clientele, poor customer engagement, wasted time and financial resources, poor practice image or reputation, and a missed opportunity to showcase your expertise and positive patient outcomes. You can remedy such a situation by listening to the needs and wants of your patients, creating relevant content and resources that addresses such wants and needs, showcasing your expertise and positive patient outcomes, and delivering a consistent and personalized experience across all internal and external marketing channels. Effective personalized marketing can significantly enhance customer engagement, boost your brand loyalty and drive continued business growth.

Bottom line: It is not uncommon to find one or more of these sabotage behaviors at play in any weight loss practice. However, it is essential for you to recognize potential business sabotage behaviors that may be plaguing the growth or success of your weight loss practice. Once identified, you can set into motion corrective action(s) and monitor your progress. If there are many issues affecting your practice, start with one and move forward from there. As you address such issues, it is common for you and your team to feel a sense of relief. You will also likely experience a heightened ability and desire to continuously make improvements. In fact, once you experience progress, it is not uncommon to ask yourself, “Why did I wait so long?”

About the Author: Karol Clark, MSN, RN, is a best-selling author who has a passion for helping physicians integrate effective, profitable weight loss services and retail sales into their practice while improving patient outcomes and enjoying the journey along the way. Her use of non-traditional (easy to implement) medical marketing strategies, along with her dedication to a positive ROI makes her a uniquely different and sought-after weight loss business consultant. Karol is the CEO of Weight Loss Practice Builder and the exclusive membership program for weight loss practitioners, She has more than 20 years of experience working with surgical and medical weight loss physicians and their teams helping them simplify creation of a profitable and enjoyable bariatric practice.

About Robard: For 45 years, Robard Corporation’s medical obesity treatment programs and nutrition 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, email us at, or call (800) 222-9201.

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