Running a wellness business can be hard. It seems like there are always a million things competing for your attention, and an endless list of ideas of where you could invest your time. It’s easy to get so caught up in marketing and tactics to get new clients, that you forget to provide an incredible experience to the clients you already have.

This is a big mistake and here is why: Without providing the right tools to execute on the advice you are giving, you can leave a client feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and hopeless. Bridging the gap between your recommendations and your client taking action requires resources and support. You need to identify the obstacles your client will face in advance, and provide them with tools to overcome them and be successful. 

When you do this right, you will turn your clients into successful raving fans, which are the most powerful sales and marketing tool you can have!  

One of the resources and services you can offer to accomplish this is meal planning. Instead of giving your client a basic list of foods to eat + foods to avoid, and expecting them to figure out the rest on their own, a meal plan gives them so much more value and guidance. Meal planning helps you develop a comprehensive plan for your client so that they can start executing on your advice immediately and feel empowered to achieve their goals. 

Creating a great meal plan requires some thought. Here are six simple steps to follow to ensure that you are building plans that will help your clients achieve success while also having fun along the way. 

#1. Conduct a meal planning assessment 

The first step to creating a meal plan your client will love is to conduct a meal planning assessment. If you don’t take the time to understand your client’s lifestyle, food preferences and goals, you risk creating them a meal plan they won’t use. 

Here are some general questions you might want to ask: 

  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Which foods do you like? Which foods do you dislike?
  • How much time do you have to cook?
  • Do you prefer to prepare food in advance, or at meal time?
  • What’s your typical grocery budget?
  • Do you have any cultural food preferences?
  • What are your health goals?

For a more in-depth look at creating a meal planning assessment, see here.

Once you have your meal planning assessment done, you will have the information you need to create an awesome meal plan for your client. 

#2. Create a meal plan that is realistic and fun 

Determine the length and format of your meal plan. For length, I often recommend starting with a 7-day meal plan, which is easy-to-follow, not too overwhelming and can be built upon at your next appointment. 

For length, determine which meals you’d like to include on the plan. Consider breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. 

Once you have the length and format decided, you can create a meal planner template. We like to lay it out like a calendar with the meal types on the left hand axis, and the days of the week along the top. Here is an example: 

Now that you have a meal planner template, you can start plugging in the meals! This is where you will want to refer back to your meal planning assessment, and be sure to consider your client’s foods preferences, lifestyle and goals. 

Try to choose meals that are:

  • Simple with minimal time and ingredients
  • Can be packed up and taken with your client when they are on-the-go
  • Create leftovers 

#3. Add an itemized grocery list 

Once you have your meal plan made, you can create your grocery list. A list will save your client a ton of time and money, and will help them get started right away, as opposed to them trying to figure out what they need themselves.

Organize the ingredients on your grocery list under headings. Ensure these headings are listed in order, according to how a standard grocery store is laid out. For example: list “Fruits” first, followed by “Vegetables”, followed by “Meat, Cheese & Fish”. By formatting the list this way, your client can easily work through the store in order and save time from backtracking. 

Tip: Ensure you include quantities on your grocery list, to prevent your client from buying more of the ingredient than they actually need. 

#4. Develop a prep guide

A prep guide is a resource you can provide your client that tells them how to follow the meal plan. It shows them what they can prepare in advance and helps keep them organized and on track. 

At That Clean Life, we like to lay our prep guides out into daily tasks. For example: in the morning we will instruct them to prepare their breakfast and pack their lunch and snacks if they are on-the-go, and at night, we will instruct them to prepare their dinner, and pack up the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. 

#5. Bundle it all together

Once you have your prep guide finished, you can bundle all the components together! You can combine the meal plan, recipes, grocery list and prep guide in a PDF or document. 

Ensure your bundle looks nice and professional. Keep the font type and formatting consistent throughout. 

#6. Follow-up and make adjustments 

Congratulations! You’ve now completed a thorough meal planning assessment, built an incredible meal plan with recipes and a grocery list, outlined how to prep and sent it off to your client. Good work! 

Once your client has worked through the plan, take some time to follow-up with them to see how it went. Ask them what went well, what didn’t go well and what could be improved for next time. Remember that changing eating habits is hard, and a deeply personal experience. Your client will likely have hit some roadblocks while following the plan. Remind them that this is normal, and celebrate the small successes. 

Final Thoughts

Meal planning is a skill that gets easier with time. It is a high-value, high-reward service that has the potential to change lives. 

As your business grows, and you bring on new clients, you may find it difficult to offer customized meal plans. At this stage, you may want to consider using a meal planning tool like That Clean Life for Business, which will help you create beautiful, branded meal plans for your clients in minutes. 

Abigail Hopkins is the co-founder of That Clean Life for Business, a powerful platform that helps you create beautiful, branded and nutritionally balanced meal plans for your clients, without having to spend hours on it.