Chanelle Retief’s story: how to reach success both in your nutrition business and personal life

Chanelle Retief works as a dietitian at NutriFundi, a dietetic-consultation company with a special interest in sports nutrition, gut-related problems, and weight-loss. At NutriFundi, each patient receives individual attention, treatment, and care. They base all their meal plans and nutritional advice on the most recent, up to date research and recommendations.

Not only a dietitian…

Chanelle is not only a dietitian. She is also a runner and a fitness enthusiast. She has successfully completed 5 Comrades Marathons and is currently training for her 6th one. She also wants to do an Ironman-event in the near future.

May her story inspire you to adopt a healthier, happier lifestyle. Are you ready? 🙂

1. Who or what inspired you to become a dietitian and how did you end up starting your business?

I always knew that I wanted to do something in the medical field. Initially, I thought I might want to be a medical doctor, and I thought I might switch my degree over after a year or two. But then I enjoyed studying dietetics so much, that I continued and then even did a master’s degree a few years later.

I have been working in a hospital for a few years after I qualified and I really loved it, but I don’t like sitting still – so I did some locum work. But then my boyfriend (now husband) told me that he thinks I should start my own practice. He has always had his own company, so I took his advice and like they say, the rest is history.

2. What were the challenges you’ve faced in growing your business and how did you overcome them?

In the beginning, I had my practice (NutriFundi) part-time, while I was still working in the hospital. I really battled to get time for everything in the beginning and also explaining to patients why I can only see them in the afternoons and on weekends.

3. How do you differentiate yourself in the market?

I believe that each and every person should have an individualized meal plan and not a one size fits all. I calculate every meal plan from scratch and individualize it for each client. I also see lots of sports and athletic patients, I am also a runner myself and I am married to a Crossfit coach. I did sports nutrition as a master’s subject, so I think this really helps as I can understand athletes 100%.
I also really like studying – thus I am always busy studying new things and learning new things.

4. What part of your business are you improving? (branding, clientele, technique, etc.)

I am currently busy improving my clientele as I joined forces with some very exciting companies so that I can offer different services at the practice. I also really need to take some time that I can go and introduce myself to the relevant referring individuals in my area. Previously I did not do this as I was always working after hours.
I also want to make some branded clothes for me to wear every day with some funny and cool nutrition slogans.
I really want to get into the wellness and corporate wellness scene a bit more.

5. What advice do you have for any new or upcoming dietitians?

Don’t be scared and don’t think there aren’t job opportunities for dietitians in South Africa – there are! You must just be willing to work hard.

6. How is Appointfix helping you?

I love Appointfix! The one thing it really helped me with is the number of cancellations and no-shows decreased dramatically. I also include the price of the next consultation in the SMS, thus making sure patients know what they need to pay and that they can’t tell me they didn’t know and will pay me later. I also like Appointfix, as I am sending out an SMS after each consult, thanking my patients for visiting me, but also including a link to a satisfaction survey and my Facebook page. I think that patients like to feel appreciated.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

Thank you, Chanelle for sharing your inspiring business and life story with us, and thanks for showing us that nothing’s impossible when you put love and passion in your work. 🙂

Diana is Marketing Specialist at Appointfix, an app helping professionals and small businesses easily schedule appointments and reduce client no-shows using automated text reminders. Feel free to drop her an email at diana.muresan@appointfix.com.