Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alyssa Cellini, Founder of My Custom Cleanse, located in Hoboken, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My Custom Cleanse was the first online customizing food + supplement program by Nutritionists. Created in 2014 with the intent to minimize our private practice waitlist. Our customizing methods are unique and based on trend analysis after thousands of patients. Customers fill out our questionnaire, linked to my algorithms, and they get a unique food plan telling them WHEN/WHAT/HOW MUCH to eat at specific times. The algorithm works, but I personally analyze and edit 100% of cleanse orders to be confident it will work for them. We also include a supplement combo based on their Sx. the supplement combo is meant to address imbalances that would hinder metabolic pathways if left as-is. The same supplements wouldn't work for everyone, and the synergy of certain supplements changes the outcome- so CUSTOM is key. The majority of our customers are women between 30-50 years old, they want to lose 10-15lbs, and the most common Sx I see are constipation, dull headaches, and not sleeping through the night. Exercise varies widely, from people who don't do anything to those who work out 6x a week. The plan is 15 days, but our customers love that it's real food, and they can continue the food plan far beyond their intended 15 days. They learn what their IDEAL food combinations are and what timing is ideal for THEIR unique body.
Tell us about yourself
I have wanted to be a weight-loss doctor since middle age school. It wasn't until I was 21 and prepping for the MCATS that a mentor talked me out of med school as I didn't "need the MD" to do what I had dreamed of. I worked under a brilliant mentor who exposed me to vast amounts of cases, seminars, research, and hands-on consulting training. Trend analysis leads me to develop my own methods, theories, and body-comp-analysis equations. Fast-forward 5 years, my own practice demand was wild (6+months wait for an appt), so to minimize the wait time for eager clients, I created many algorithms meant to imitate how I customized a food plan (Q&A) and what Q&A made me choose certain supplement recommendations- this is how I created MY CUSTOM CLEANSE. I still have my busy practice, and the wait list is still over 6 months, but I am happy to be able to provide everyone with an alternative without the wait and for much less money.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Pivoting when things get messy (lost office in Hurricane Sandy, partnership dissolution, and COVID shutdowns) and coming out with a better business than before the mess- this makes me very proud. Additionally, client/customer retention makes me very grateful.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There is no actual time off (maternity leave, vacation, sick days). You have to find and make up that time ASAP. You have to make overhead before you pay yourself, so every illness, vacation, or unplanned closure is literally costing you money.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
STARTING a business takes more time than you will anticipate, so make sure you have that time available, and you're willing to give it 12 hours/day.
RUNNING a company: Under-Promise & Over-Deliver. Emotions are based on expectations. You will keep happy customers when you deliver early or better-than-expected results.
GROWING: Keep stats on your milestones and evaluate your overhead at least once a quarter. Pivoting is required to grow.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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