Today I want to talk to you about adding a nutritional retail store to your Bariatric Surgery or Bariatric Medical Practice. It’s something that physicians sometimes shy away from but it’s such an enhancement to your practice. It not only improves patient outcome, but it adds anywhere from 8 thousand dollars a month to 40,000 dollars a month or more to your revenue stream each and every month. It’s a great way to even out your revenue. It’s a great way to bring more revenue in in terms of profit sharing with a health system or amongst physicians. Those numbers I’m giving you are really just for solo practitioners. So, the sky is the limit if you have more than one physician in your practice. We see this as a reality. It’s quite exciting. The great thing about it is the physician doesn’t have to be the one who’s selling the products. A lot of the products just sell themselves over and over every month. The patients fall in love with them. That’s especially if you pick out those products that are unique to your practice, that they can’t get anywhere else, and are great tasting with the nutritional content you want for your patients. So I’m going to take you through three simple steps today for how you can create this in your own practice. I’ll start out with just a little bit of a scenario in a private physician office that we’ve seen revenue grow over the past few years to almost half a million dollars a year. As you can see from the graphic, this is a reality. This is something that could be very beneficial for your practice as well. Here are the steps on how to make this happen:
The first one is PLAN. The second is PROMOTE. The third is PROFIT.
Within that first planning period, that’s when you want to map out your profit map and look at how you want your profits to go. This involves mapping it out from a budgetary standpoint, and also making a product selection and determining your sales process.
The next step is to promote it. There’s off-line promotion through media and events at your office, online promotion through sales funnels, and doing an on-going promotion which is essential to customer engagement. That’s how you’re keeping your customers engaged with the practice and how you keep them coming through the door. By the way, for you bariatric surgeons out there, it’s a great way for you to have patients coming in and getting those date points you might be missing. As you know, as people get further out from surgery, there sometimes less likely to follow-up.
The third step, the profit, really focuses on return on investment (looking at your numbers), attaining your goals (if you have set goals, what are the goals that you’ve attained), and business multipliers (what are your growth strategies for how you’re going to continue to grow your retail store over the long haul).
So these are the three simple steps. Now I’m going to pull back and tell you about some specific products and some specific methodologies on how you can make this happen in your practice. Not everybody can start out with a full, robust store. You can start out in a closet by the front desk and grow it into taking up a whole office. Then have it grow into a full store front. That’s what we’ve used in a number of practices and it works really well.
The next item is product selection. These are your core offering. These are the things you’re going to offer in terms of your bars, shakes, vitamins, and that sort of thing. This does require physician involvement because you want to make sure that the products you’re promoting are ones you believe are the highest quality and that taste good. Your whole staff should be tasting them. If I was starting out from scratch, I would recommend these top three vendors: Robard, Healthwise, and Bariatrix. Their products sell really well. Some have better shakes and some have better bars. I don’t recommend going with one solo vendor for a few reasons. One is that a solo vendor doesn’t typically have the best tasting or the best quality across the board in terms of shakes, bars, and all the supplements. I do recommend going with more than one vendor. If you want to use your own private logo, a lot of them have a minimum dollar amount that you need to meet, so you might need to take that into consideration. Robard, Healthwise, and Bariatrix are my top three for products. Patients can’t get them somewhere else in terms of a retail store. People keep coming back because it tastes good, it works for them, and it makes their weight loss quicker. You can take a number of these products and turn it into sort of a “Jump Start.” You can actually pull people in to your whole program through that. We’ve created a number of those products and it works really, really well.
The third step is the sales process. What I mean is your whole system you’re using; what sort of soft wear, making sure staff is trained and understand the products, making sure they use the products. We actually recommend that you offer your products at cost to your employees so they can be trying everything and use them. It makes it so much easier to talk about them with your patients and to promote that. We start this before people even have surgery, and also at the beginning for any medical patients. A lot of times the Jump Start plan is one of those that you can pull people through the door, get them started, and have immediate results and wanting them to come back for more.
In terms of your soft wear, you can do it through something as simple as Quick Books. I like to use a product called Mind Body. It’s not very high cost and provides you the opportunity to e-commerce should you go that route. E-commerce is a little bit of a different conversation, but it’s something we can easily implement in physician offices, or you can do it yourself. Mind Body is a low cost month-to-month fee.
Promoting is so important. You’re off-line promotion is making sure that in your exam rooms and in the lobby you have ways to be promoting whatever your specials are that month, or products. In your store you want to have everything displayed in a very eye-catching manner. We provide physicians with monthly event ideas to pull people into their office. Your staff is very key to making this a success. You want to make sure you include them in this whole process from the very beginning. Your on-line promotion is very fun. You can promote your products to patients through some automated e-mail sequences. You can pull people in initially through some on-line promotion. You can also create a whole editorial calendar around this where you’re promoting typical things like hydration, the importance of protein, low carbohydrates, and more. Also you can do on-going blogs that lead back to your store. On-line promotion can be a lot of fun.
And the on-going promotion is your e-mail sequences that you’re sending out to your patients about your specials and the events that are going on in your store. It helps with that whole customer engagement and getting the feedback, and helping to keep them coming back and coming through the door.
Metrics, in terms of profit, you’re going to want to make sure you’re tracking (overall cost of goods sold), profit margin after you take out any special discounts that you have, and your staffing dedicated to your store to make sure you’re seeing a profit there. Make sure that the goals you set way back when you started your profit map you are meeting them or exceeding them. Then, put into place some growth strategies. Are you going to add some additional products? What’s working really well? What’s not working so well that you want to take off? How do you want to partner with anyone else in town in terms of your store? How do you want to grow that business with any other primary care physicians? There are lots of different growth strategies that you can put into place. The bottom line is, if you plan properly and promote properly, you’re going to see that profit. It’s just one of those things that happen, and it’s very exciting to see it as it grows. It’s something that can be implemented easier than most physicians think. It’s one of those things that I totally recommend for additional revenue stream for your business, but also as a way to help enhance your patient outcomes, increase that engagement with your patients, and have lot of along the way.
This is one of the Profit Engines that can be so robust and can just take off and take on a whole life of its own. It’s a way to attract new clients, a way to engage your clients, have that retention, and it’s really a great way to offer some special things that they can get in your office that maybe they can’t get somewhere else.
There’s a little bit more involved to this, but it can be implemented very quickly. If you want to talk further about that please give me a shout out. It’s email@example.com
If you go to the home page you can get some tip sheets on how to implement this as well and also some free resources. Reach out to me. I’d love to be of assistance if I can. In the meantime, thanks for all you do for your patients and staff. I hope you’re having a great day. Take care.