Are you tired of having others set your schedule? Then working as an independent consultant might be your next career move! Cambridge Weight Plan consultant Lucy Lowe on how to get going and what she has learnt along the way.
– This client of mine lost four stone in just ten weeks. He was like, “I went to training and people didn’t recognize me, I used to be an XXL guy and all of a sudden I fit in size L pieces.” To make a noticeable change in a person’s life like that feels really good and gives me the motivation to keep going forward.
To make a noticeable change in a person’s life gives me the motivation to keep going forward.
We’re at Lucy Lowe’s home – and her private nutrition consultancy – in Yatton, a ten minute’s drive from Bristol city centre. It’s all very casual and we keep chatting while Lucy introduces the Cambridge Weight Plan and reveals how it changed her own life on multiple levels.
Working her way up
Lucy worked as a hairdresser for more than a decade running her own salon. About ten years ago she had a daughter and it was while recovering from the pregnancy that she struggled with losing weight. She decided to test the Cambridge Weight Plan.
– I worked my way up, followed all the steps and lost 4.5 stone.
During the loss Lucy realised that she wanted to learn more about weight loss to be able to give back and show others. So she decided to get fully into the Cambridge Weight Plan herself.
How to become a Cambridge consultant
To become a Cambridge consultant, you need to have done the plan for a minimum of two weeks. The Cambridge Weight Plan was created (not surprisingly) in Cambridge back in the 1950s and 60s as part of a research project in weight loss and obesity. It became known for its effectiveness and safety, and was spread across obesity clinics in Cambridge and London. In 1984, the commercial version The Cambridge Diet was launched in the UK.
The (daunting) first year
– Even though I had been running my own salon for many years, I found the first year as an independent consultant a bit daunting. It always is! But if you’re like me, always looking to learn new things and like to push yourself – you’ll sort it out.
How did you get your very first customers?
– I had one customer waiting before I qualified, one of my hair customers. Then other hair customers saw her weight loss and within a month after I started, I had seven clients, from recommendations, friends and my website. Today I have a steady 15 – 20 clients.
Lucy could also really use her sales skills from being a hairdresser and knew that there were no other Cambridge consultants in the direct area.
A social business
– 90% of my customers come from recommendations. I get a few from my website but recommendations are really everything in this business.
90% of my customers come from recommendations.
How is it being a nutrition consultant?
– It’s very varied, which is nice. You don’t get the same conversations every week.
Lucy laughs and admits that she doesn’t like doing the same thing over and over again.
Seasonality and mobile payments
– A weight plan consultant is very dependent on seasonality. Over Christmas and during the summer holidays, for obvious reasons, it’s normally very slow. But in August and February, everyone’s back. From a business perspective it’s important to keep that in mind and balance it out.
Lucy quickly realised that it’s key to make accepting payments as easy as possible. Especially because of all the low-calorie formula food products she offers as part of the plan.
When you have a small business, cash flow is king.
– When a client ticks for several products, sum quickly adds up and they normally don’t carry that much cash. Then the sale needs to happen immediately, which makes a portable card machine that’s quick and easy absolutely necessary.
– As a Cambridge consultant you’re never alone – to become one you have to get a sponsor. My sponsor has become my go-to lady. And if she can’t answer the question, I can always go to head office.
The most flexible kind of lifestyle
– I don’t think I could go and work for somebody else again. I’ve got so much flexibility. I have never had to put my daughter into daycare. Both my husband and I work hard but we enjoy our free time so much more than if we were employed.
The flexibility of having her own consultancy business outweighs the absence of sick-days and holiday, in Lucy’s opinion. Her call to others is simple and straightforward:
I get to help others while I’m the CEO of my own life.
– Just try it! If you try it and it doesn’t work, you can always go back to where you were. I’m happy to get to help others have a better lifestyle and be the CEO of my own life. And I love fully managing my own time, because time is probably the only thing you’ll never get back. We kind of have millionaire lifestyle without the bank balance.
Do you also work as an independent consultant? Sign up for Zettle and immediately accept payments from your customers – so you can focus on building your business and let someone else take care of the admin.