It’s the Perfect Time to Work on Your Business. Here Are 5 Ways.
If you’re like many RDs, you’re bearing down and working “on” your business these days—not just “in” it.
This is important. In fact, short of getting online and helping clients, there’s nothing better you could be doing right now.
Yes, you have to be realistic about how uncertainty can affect your business. But not at the expense of “keeping on keeping on.”
Because regardless of how you feel about the daily barrage of “doom and gloom” news, people still need RDs. Which means you should do what you can to be right in the mix.
(For the record, at STRING we’re preparing just the same as everyone else—although we remain firmly optimistic that, together, your business and ours are going to get through this just fine.)
Millions of people are using their unexpected break from regular work to spend more time with family, focus on hobbies that fell to the wayside long ago, and yes—work on their businesses to make sure they get through this turmoil.
As a nutrition professional, you want to be one of the ones whose practice not only survives this period of transition but thrives. And if you use this time wisely, you can help your practice grow—both now and in the future.
Here are five things you can do right now to help you work on your business.
Conduct Focused Interviews
One of the best things to be doing right now is learning more about your clients. And considering they now likely have as much “accidental spare time” as you do, consider getting on the phone and talking to them about their needs.
If you need help, look online for information about conducting focused interviews.
But don’t worry so much about making sales. Just try to connect with current and potential customers to see what’s on their minds, and what nutritional and educational interests they have.
Find out “where they are” mentally and what help they need that they’re not getting. And seek to understand what their pain points are, and what might motivate them to ask for a registered dietitian’s help.
These kinds of calls will show your clients that you care about their opinions and want to improve your practice to accommodate their needs and preferences.
But you’ll also glean valuable insights into your customers’ point of view.
For example, you might get an idea about which online courses to offer for ongoing nutrition education, which teaching or counseling techniques are most effective for the majority of your clients, or even which keywords to use within future pieces of SEO-driven content.
You also want to identify areas of strength and areas of opportunity within your practice – and viewing things from the customer’s perspective can help you to achieve that goal.
Develop or Refine Your Ideal Customer Persona
The importance of using an ideal customer persona as a guideline for making business decisions can’t be overstated. If you have an accurate, detailed profile of your “perfect client,” it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Why? Because you won’t expend precious energy chasing after low-value clients—those who won’t pay, can’t pay, or will make your life miserable.
If you don’t already have at least one or two ideal customer personas for your practice, then make creating them a priority. And if you already do, use this time to analyze and refine them.
No doubt you have a good idea of which clients pay well, and which clients are easy to work with. Use that knowledge to help you find other clients that fit the same bill.
Evaluate Your Current Business Objectives
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “When a person doesn’t know which harbor they’re making for, no wind is the right wind.”
Which wind is filling your sails? If you don’t know, then consider using extra time to evaluate your business goals.
First of all, think about the direction you want to take your practice—then see if it’s actually going that way. Think about your motivations, and consider the current state of your practice.
Ask yourself questions such as these:
- What are my personal and business goals? Am I currently working towards them?
- What are some of the successes that I’ve seen within my practice? How did I achieve them?
- What are some of the strengths of my practice? For example, do I have a strong core of customers? Is my marketing strategy yielding a high ROI? Are my online offerings successfully engaging clients?
- What opportunities for improvement do I see? How can I make adjustments to embrace these opportunities?
Reviewing your current goals carefully and considering how you plan to achieve them is not a waste of time. In fact, it’s precisely the opposite. An honest assessment of your goals may help you to make long-overdue changes and refocus on the more essential aspects of your work.
Analyze Your USP
As a nutrition professional, you have invested years of study into the science of developing and maintaining bodily health. You have a unique skill set, and you offer extraordinary value to your clients.
Nevertheless, you also need to think in terms of differentiation: how do you stand out as different from your competitors?
This is where your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) comes into the picture. During this period of transition, it’s natural to think about what it is that makes your practice special.
Is it your warm and friendly manner when interacting with customers? Is it the way you explain complicated nutritional concepts in clear and understandable terms? Is it the wealth of educational resources that you provide for your clients?
Once you determine what it is—above all else—that separates you from the crowd, leverage that USP in your content and advertising.
With a clear USP in place, your brand will have a better chance of growing and attracting a loyal following.
Research Your Competition
Conducting some research on your main competitors may help you to put your own USP into focus.
For instance, you can learn several things by merely visiting a competitor’s website, such as:
- Their core marketing message
- The target client they are trying to attract
- Their brand voice and positioning strategy
By analyzing the intersection of the consumer perspective with your business objectives—and then your business objectives with the competitive landscape—you can see where your practice fits in (why are you relevant?) and how it stands out (why are you different?).
Granted, implementing these five tips may not come naturally, even when you have some extra time on your hands. But that’s OK—any progress you can make in these areas will help you in the long run.
And if you get stuck, reach out to us at STRING Marketing. We’d be happy to connect and see if we can help.