In The News

Mon 5 Nov 2018

Taking Your Weight Management Business Online

Digital Technology
As people get busier, and people's waistlines continue to expand, we need to provide more flexible options. Providing online services as part of your weight management practice can help to reach more clients and provide them with time-efficient and cost-effective solutions

In today’s fast paced, high tech world it’s important for personal services such as weight management to offer online products and services. Weight management sessions, whether one-on-one or a group clinic, are ideal to be run online using forums such as Messenger Video, Facebook Video, Skype or any other video chat program. Adding online products and services to your business can add a new, and often lucrative, income stream to your business.

Whilst weight management is a considered to be quite a personal service, and many may argue that it can only best be delivered in a face to face environment, if we put ourselves in the shoes of our clients there are actually a number of benefits including:

  1. Giving opportunity to clients who are time-poor and could not otherwise make it to a face-to-face session at a clinic; we have to be conscious that it’s not just the time spent in session, but also the time to drive to and from the session, and find parking etc.
  2. Giving opportunity to clients who are embarrassed to be seen walking into a weight management practice, or for some, who are embarrassed to leave home. Particularly with heavily overweight or obese clients, this can be an issue that prevents them from seeking help in the first place.
  3. Being able to access services that are not always available in remote areas. Rural areas are quite often highly impacted by obesity and at the same time, do not necessarily have weight management practitioners in their area.

From a business perspective, offering online weight management programs opens up doors across the nation and even internationally, depending on how you market your business and, of course, where you want to market your business to.

The benefit of offering online weight management products or services is the flexibility it offers you in putting together a range of services to suit many varying budgets. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Use a program such as Vision6 or Aweber to create an autoresponder 12-week program that clients can enrol into, which then provides them with automated weekly videos, motivational strategies, recipes, meal plans etc. This is a basic package for those who are on low budgets but want basic assistance with their weight and health goals. This is also relatively easy to set up and a low cost ‘set and forget’ type product. You could also use this as a ‘value add’ with your existing face-to-face clients.
  • You could take the above one step further and purchase a membership ‘plug in’ for your website (for example, if you are using WordPress you could use a program such as Ultimate Member) and create different membership levels that access different levels of information. This provides members with options to suit their budget. You could create a basic membership such as the example above, a personalised program that requires questionnaires to be completed and a program designed; all the way through to memberships that include video consultations (either one-on-one or groups).

Creating a membership site gives you a great deal of flexibility but also enables you to provide content such as recipes, video tutorials, member forums and support groups to different levels of membership and enables you to even time them as part of a program; if you created a 12-week program then you can set this up to reveal only meal plan 1, plus tutorial 1 and recipes 1-10, for example, during week 1. Then you can time the rest of the content to be revealed as the weeks go by.

Whether you choose to run your business purely online, or use elements of online services to compliment your current products and services is entirely up to you. However, this is an important consideration to take when planning for your future business growth.

Online services are only going to continue to expand and as the obesity epidemic continues to worsen, more and more people need assistance. Providing online services will help your business to reach more clients and help more people to achieve their health, wellness and weight management goals.

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