"I'm setting up my own nutrition business!" If you have ever considered this here's what you need to know.
The first thing that comes to your mind is that you need to set up a website, create an Instagram account, spread the word, find a place for your consults if they are not online. There is a LOT to consider, and it's natural to think about these things first as they are the ones you are not keen at.
So your nutrition business is all set up, and you are ready to start taking in new clients. With time, your client base starts growing, and now you find yourself needing to take control because you need to get organised, keep track of your clients' progress as well as check up on them, without compromising your "me time", and that is becoming much harder.
Can you relate? Then you definitely need to consider a meal planning or a nutrition analysis software for your business or private practice.
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Why is nutrition software important for dietitians and nutritionists?
During academic years and nutrition education, we are taught all the process of counselling patients: managing, assessing, evaluating and monitoring.
We are taught the physiology and biochemistry of the human body and its relation with nutrients available in foods. You also learn how to create meal plans, analyse the client's nutrient needs and their progress.
Great! Now let's put that into daily practice, where you want to see as many clients as possible, without compromising the nutritional care you give them. Doing everything by hand, like you are taught to, is just not doable.
That is why nutrition software can help with all the repetitive tasks, yet crucial, of a nutrition appointment. Allowing you to really understand the client and achieve better results with them.
What to consider when searching for nutrition software
Now let's go back a bit when you were considering all the tools you need to set up your practice. In addition to all the marketing tools, you also need to think about:
- A platform to help you with Customer Relationship Management (CRM);
- A place to store all your clients' files which is compliant with all the data protection requirements, such as an Electronic Medical Record (EMR);
- A platform to easily create and update meal plans, nutritional recommendations and recipes;
- A place to check all the foods available and their nutritional value, such as food composition databases;
- A messaging platform to allow you to get in touch with your clients and check on them.
- Social proof - Knowing what other professionals who have done this search before thinking about the options available might be a great way to get started. Make sure to always look for reviews and testimonials when considering nutrition software.
I know you naming several software solutions online that allow you to do this for free. Even though, during a 30-60 minute appointment, it is hard to switch up from one tool to another.
What features actually matter in nutrition software?
Appointment scheduling - You need to have all the info of your clients at hand to know your daily appointments. More importantly, if there is any spot that can be filled with one last minute booking, with your calendar organised you will be able to see an extra client;
Automated calculations - Repetitive tasks are what make self-working professionals less productive. If you want to see as many clients as possible, you need to outsource some tasks such as calculations for BMR, DEE, body fat percentage and so on for you is a great way to save time;
Food composition databases - Ensure the software you choose has integrated the latest version of the validated food composition databases by certified entities and for your population;
Nutritional and dietary assessment - It is essential to know, without taking to much of your time, if the meal plan is compliant with nutritional requirements, make sure the software you choose can provide you DRVs of macro and micronutrients personalised to each client.;
Customisation - For the sake of your business, it is important that your name, logo, and branding get stuck on your clients head. For that is important that all the information you deliver for them has your "touch" to it;
Meal plan creation - Creating meal plans can be extremely time-consuming for professionals and the ability to create or import one while the client is still on the consultation is key for compliance;
Mobile app to improve compliance - This feature should be your secret weapon for standing out. Look for software which offers solutions to communicate and keep track of clients' progress;
Security - Yours and your clients' data is the most valuable information your whole business possess. Thus you must make sure that it's kept safe. Working with a GDPR compliant platform is step one in setting up your business. Check here what GDPR implies for dietitians and nutritionists.
How nutrition software can make you a better dietitian or nutritionist
A recent systematic review has been published on the effectiveness of individualised nutrition care delivered by a dietitian and even though the intervention of a dietitian make a small but significant difference in weight control further research is needed.
It has also been shown that using interactive tools with clients has improved retention rates and thus, outcomes.
Despite this, most mobile apps lack the supervision of health care professionals and evidence-based interventions, and that is why it is crucial that professionals start tackling this market as well.
Nutrition software end goal is how to help dietitians and nutritionists be more organised, achieve better results with clients and be able to track their progress. All of this while decreasing daily workload and reduce time wasted on repetitive tasks.
Here a few additional tools you can benefit from when purchasing a nutrition software solution:
Recipe creation tool - Yes, if you want to stand out and retain more clients you need to keep them motivated, a great way to do it offering them brand new recipes to spice up (literally) meal plans.
Website creation - As not everyone is very techy and since in freelance having a place where clients can find you and know a bit about you beforehand, having a website pre-done for you is definitely a plus.
Templates generator - This will be your superpower as a nutrition professional. Having the ability to create several templates that can be later adapted to each client, with a few clicks will allow you to have time to focus more on them.
Customer support and user-friendly platform - Working with software which is easy to use is crucial, even though, having the constant help of professionals who have developed it is also a big plus.
Web-based - Being able to take your business anywhere is really important. Since one of the great benefits of working for yourself is the time and place flexibility. It is important that your software allows you to take your practice anywhere and provides you with regular updates and improvements, which only a web-based platform can offer.
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Having a nutrition software to assist the growth of your nutrition business or private practice is crucial, not only for you as a freelance professional but also for your clients to see the value in your service and pricing.
Nutrium is the most up-to-date nutrition software for professionals with a mobile app to focus on clients' progress