[Guest Post] How ‘Good Old Paper’ is Putting the Brakes On Your Nutrition Business
This is a guest post by Diego Sanchez over at NutriAdmin – an innovative startup offering client management software for nutritionists
My work at NutriAdmin means that I talk to nutritionists & dietitians on a regular basis. One of the things that strikes me the most about their work is the insane amount of time they need to spend with paperwork.
If you are a nutritionist yourself, you probably understand what I mean. There are all those reports and meal plans to write, appointments to arrange, client data to keep track of… the list goes on.
The problem many health coaches and nutrition business owners experience with paperwork more often than not lies in inefficient processes. Fortunately, there are ways to automate your admin tasks by using software. In fact, this is one of the keys to growing your nutrition business...
How paperwork is strangling your nutrition business
By hosting interviews with a number of nutritional therapists, I was able to gather data on what a ’normal’ day looks like. And the results are nothing short of astounding.
The majority of nutrition professionals I spoke to spend up to 3 hours a day on paperwork alone – this is as much as they spend talking to & working with actual clients!
Spending that much time on paperwork can severely limit the growth & profitability of any business. This is because paperwork does not generate any income on its own. Only marketing and the resultant clients create revenue.
You may see paperwork as a necessary evil but the truth of the matter is that it isn’t simple a bitter pill you need to swallow. Instead it’s absolutely possible to automate your paperwork, thereby freeing up a lot of your time. If you are spending excessive time with paperwork, I urge you to take action.
The reason you spend so much time on paperwork
The most common reason is also the simplest: It started as a habit, and it stuck.
Most nutritionists managing their own practice typically start with a small client base, then grow little by little over time.
At first, it’s convenient to do all the paperwork by hand. If you only have a handful of clients, you probably don’t need to automate all the data management and logistics of your practice.
However, as your client base expands, paperwork can become a real bottleneck to growth. If you don’t act on it, your growth will stagnate.
Every nutritionist I have spoken to wants to do less paperwork, and more nutrition-related activities. Not only this will bring better cash-flow to their businesses, but it’s simply more fun.
Ask yourself, did you start a nutrition business to follow your passion and improve lives, or were you motivated by the prospect of spending half a day filling forms and dealing with admin tasks?
Paperwork automation as a key to growing your nutrition business
I’ve managed to talk to some nutritionists that have all their paperwork automated by using software or systems. Their typical day looks fantastic!
It’s really quite simple. Automating paperwork allows nutritionists to have more time for marketing (i.e. getting more clients). The extra time spent on marketing results in more clients coming for consultations
Automating paperwork gets you more clients, and more of the work you like doing – whilst eliminating many of the most boring, draining activities from your daily routine.
Here is a comparison on how some of your routine tasks change when you switch from doing paperwork by hand to automating it.
|Task||With Manual Paperwork||With Automated Paperwork|
|Appointments||You send an email suggesting some dates. Your client comes back saying she cannot make it. There are 12 emails exchanged until a date is agreed. Then, she forgets about the appointment because she didn’t get a reminder and you have to re-schedule and start all over again.||You click a button|
|Meal plans||You spend 30 minutes writing a meal plan, 30 more minutes going to many different websites to pull nutritional data from, and yet another 30 formatting your document so that it looks nice.||You click a button|
|Questionnaires||You send an email attachment to your client. He says he cannot open it in his phone. You copy paste the content of your questionnaire into a plan email. Your client forgets to fill it in and you have to spend extra time during the consultation to do it yourself. Finally, you have to copy the data manually into your client records archive||You click a button|
A nutritionist software system can do the following with the click of a button:
- Send an email to a client
- Send reminders when the client forgets to take required actions
- Do all the formatting and presenting of data automatically
- Integrate your calendar, client records, and other data automatically
- Generate a meal plan based on parameters such as macronutrients, diet being followed etc. Doing all the nutritional data calculations seamlessly.
How to automate paperwork in your nutrition practice
There are many approaches you can take for automating admin tasks in your nutrition practice.
Some nutritionists build their own systems by duct-taping excel spreadsheets, Gmail plugins, and a myriad of utilities into a ‘Franken-system’ of sorts. While this approach can help, it’s not an optimal solution due to the inconvenience of having to use multiple tools to achieve a single goal.
Other nutritionists opt for using generic health industry software packages. This can work, though often you will pay for features intended for professionals outside of nutrition, such as cardiologists, physical therapists, or opticians.
I believe that the best option is using specialised software for nutritionists. This is because you will get the industry-specific features & functionality you need (such as professional meal plans) for the lowest possible price while avoiding the clutter of unnecessary features often included in more generic software.
It was that exact need that led us to develop Nutriadmin. We spoke to hundreds of nutritionists and asked them what major pains they were facing in the day-to-day running of their practices. Time and again the answer was “paperwork”.
Our software can help you automate your client data management, appointments, meal plans, questionnaires, reports, and more. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or are aware that paperwork has the potential to limit your future business growth, why not sign up for a free trial to discover how NutriAdmin can help.
Paperwork often takes up far too much time of your valuable time in your nutrition business. Time which could be better spent on marketing your business & treating the people you care so much about.
The number one reason paperwork is time consuming is because it’s being managed manually – as opposed to automatically via software. This is fine when you are just starting out your nutrition practice, but becomes problematic as your client base grows.
Automating your paperwork via a centralised system like NutriAdmin will liberate more of your day, allowing you to spend it with clients and marketing.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
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Meet the face behind the keyboard
- Co-founder of NutriAdmin
- Reformed Banker
- Passionate about systems