Essential Owner Support for Nutrition Coaches

nutrition coaches
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Just like the Coaches at your facility, may differ in style and effectiveness; so do nutrition coaches.

There are nutrition coaches that are highly independent and can run the program with their eyes closed, and there are nutrition coaches at need consistent support at every turn. Regardless of the type of nutrition coach you have, a nutrition coach – and program – cannot be effective without the involvement of you as the facility owner.

So how involved are you? Let’s start with a self assessment. Do you know your numbers? Answer these questions:

  1. How much revenue does your nutrition program net monthly and annually?
  2. How many nutrition clients does your coach currently have?
  3. How many new clients started in the last month?
  4. How many clients were retained for longer than than months?

These questions just scratch the surface, but if you are unable to answer even one of the questions above, something needs to change.

As an owner, you want to empower the staff to build a strong, independent program within your facility, but you also need to know what is happening in order to ensure you provide the right tools for them to succeed.

Let’s look at some examples.

Example 1

You have a nutrition coach you believe is highly effective. They are reporting to you they have between three and five nutrition clients each month. However, it turns out their retention rate is 0%. All of their clients leave after the three-month commitment or even worse, they just meet for one consult. Your program will never grow and you will not be able to help your clients achieve long-term success without an ongoing accountability program.

We see this all the time with challenges. Gyms run nutrition challenges with 50 to 75 people. People see great results for a month and when the nutrition challenge ends, so does their healthy eating. Your clients will not make nutrition a priority if you don’t. It is vital to have a system for support long after your nutrition challenge is over.

Example 2

You have a nutrition coach that has a full schedule of clients, both new and ongoing. Suddenly, they are unable to do their job for two months and need you to take over. Could you do it without damaging the state of the program? Could someone seamlessly take in and provide support to the clients?

Even the most effective program needs the owner to have a pulse on what is happening. Here are just a few of the ways you should stay involved:

  1. Consistent structured meetings with your nutrition coach. These can happen more often in the first six months of the program, and less often as the program becomes more established. Do not go more than one month without meeting with your nutrition coach.
  2. Allow the nutrition coach to co-communicate with you the nutrition message to all of your Coaches. Help them develop the process and ensure everyone at your facility follows it. The nutrition coach alone cannot enforce a new process.
  3. Ensure the nutrition coach is sending emails, posting to social media, and updating your website consistently with nutrition blogs and recipes.
  4. You, as the owner, need to be involved with your program. Sign up as a nutrition client and lead by example that you are making nutrition a priority.
  5. Create a year-long plan with your nutrition coach. When will the challenges take place? How can you approach times of the year that are typically slow?
  6. Help your nutrition coach build partnerships with local businesses when they are ready.

While you may want someone to take the nutrition program and “run with it,” it is still your responsibility to provide guidance and support so they can succeed.

Take some time to evaluate yourself as the owner.

Building nutrition into a core offering in your business will allow you to reach more clients, help your current clients reach their goals faster and allow your business to be a leader in the fitness industry.

What are you doing to support the growth of your nutrition program?

Don’t miss Nicole Aucoin and Chris Cooper’s Gym Owner Mini Workshop at the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games. Register here.

​Nicole Aucoin is a registered dietitian and founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, CrossFit HSN, and HSN Mentoring. ​HSN Mentoring i​ s the largest nutrition-business mentoring program in the world. Helping over 2,000 gym owners and Coaches worldwide, HSN provides a turn-key solution to gym owners looking to take their nutrition program and offerings to the next level. Nicole has a podcast, G​ row Your Nutrition Business Podcast​, where each week she interviews fellow thought leaders in the community and provides actionable steps to help you build your business. Healthy Steps Nutrition is releasing a new stand-alone nutrition coaching course, which is a C​rossFit Preferred Course​, Basics of Nutrition Coaching, on August 18.