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Meet Dr. Geri Williams – How Has COVID-19 Impacted Weight Loss Companies? An Interview With Ideal You

Today we have selected Dr. Geri Williams to take her interview. She is the CEO at IdealYou.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

We’re doing better! 2020 was certainly a challenging year for us and many local businesses, but we’ve been able to rebound in 2021, and we just opened two new locations this year. We now have health facilities in Livonia and Lansing, so it’s been an exciting year.

We’re looking forward to being able to help more people in communities we previously weren’t able to help.

Tell us more about Ideal You. What Is The Ideal You Program?

To my knowledge, there is no other weight loss program out there like Ideal You. It truly is a unique program. Ideal You doesn’t offer a diet because diets generally don’t work based on research and historical dataInstead, we focus on helping individuals lose weight naturally by re-balancing the body. We’ve found that when the body is properly balanced, your metabolism can function better.

So, Ideal You is a complete lifestyle change because we focus on all factors influencing how the body functions. We work on improving sleep, staying hydrated, eating the right foods, and eating at the right time. Our members can still eat the foods they love. It’s how and when they eat them that matters more. Ideal You is a natural and healthy way to lose weight.

There are no shots or synthetic powder smoothies. Our members eat real food with ingredients they buy at the grocery store. Typically, individuals can lose up to 40lbs during our 40-day program if they have that weight to lose. 

What has Ideal You done to innovate and remain competitive?

Last year we started offering program discounts to universities. That initiative has brought in university staff members and students, so that’s been a great program. We’ve also tested offering couples discounts and discounts for those looking to lose weight before a wedding. These programs have helped get people interested in taking the next step and starting to lose weight. 

How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you Coping?

We’re based out of Michigan. Initially, when the pandemic hit, our state regulations were some of the most restrictive in the country. In-person offices were shut down, and we could no longer have clients come in for initial consultations or check-ins after starting the program. Fortunately, before the beginning of 2020, we invested in a new CRM with the ability to host remote video appointments.

Transitioning to remote consultations didn’t take long. We did have to adjust to shipping equipment like weighing scales to clients. Fortunately, we’ve been allowed to see clients in-office again this whole year, and things have run much smoother in 2021. 

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

We did have to make some very difficult decisions. When COVID-19 first hit, we had to furlough two of our sales staff. When we switched to virtual consultations, we also found that the rate of people not showing up for the consultation was higher. Our conversion rate for getting people to sign up for the program also took a dip. I think many people were still in the process of learning to adapt to video calls last year.

We had many clients request phone calls because they couldn’t figure out how to join video meetings. We’re hoping it will get easier to sell and host meetings online with clients as time progresses. 

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

As I previously mentioned, we had just set up a CRM before COVID-19, which has been incredibly helpful in running operations smoothly. We’re using Zoho as our CRM, and we’re very happy with it. We developed a health quiz for our website, and that has been a great tool for people to use. We get a lot of interaction with our online quiz. We’ve also started producing more videos for YouTube and other social media channels to help get our brand out there online. 

How do you plan to stay in the game?

We’ve built a well-recognized brand here in Michigan, thanks to our TV and radio ads. We’re working on getting social media marketing to work to not rely on traditional advertising. We are also looking to expand out of Michigan. We plan to launch a location in Ohio next year. Eventually, we want to re-launch remote services so that we can service clients across the country. 

Any final thoughts or closing remarks?

Your health is incredibly important, and if you need to make improvements, it’s better to do so now instead of waiting. You don’t have to embark on a weight loss journey alone. We’re here for you, and we can help. Having a team behind you can keep you focused and engaged so that you’re able to lose a life-changing amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time. 

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