Stephanie Leonetti, Dr. Rebecca Cipriano and Nicole Tomlin
Credit: Gary Gellman | Gellman Images
Rebecca Cipriano thinks she has the secret to the age old problem of weight loss and she is building a successful business around it. That business, Pop Weight Loss, is aiming to solve the weight loss problems of so many people by customizing the process with a weight loss program personalized by a nutritionist. Since rebranding in 2012, Cipriano and her team have opened two locations and the company is looking to franchising to expand upon that number. BusinessNewsDaily spoke with Cipriano about her transition from doctor to entrepreneur and how she is trying to change the way people diet with Pop Weight Loss.
BusinessNewsDaily: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Rebecca Cipriano: The seed to become a doctor was planted when my maternal grandmother suffered a stroke and came to live with us when I was 12. Caretaking tasks like helping her bathe and dress came naturally to me, unlike my squeamish older sister. One day, while driving in Fair Lawn, N.J., my father turned to me and said I was smart and a caring person. He said I was terrific with my grandmother. He then said to me, 'why don’t you become a doctor?' And just like that, my career path was chosen.
BND: What did your parents do for a living?
RC: My dad is a psychologist and my mom was an occupational therapist who became a travel agent later in life. My parents have both lived long successful careers, and are both in their 80’s. Earlier this year I published a book with my dad called, Pop: Burst the Diet Bubble and Finally Lose Weight (Tiger Publishing LLC 2013).
BND: Can you talk a little about your businesses and how you got your start?
RC: I launched my weight loss company in 2008 and began franchising Pop Weight Loss in 2012. The business evolved from both personal and professional circumstances. I realized that with so many people struggling with weight there was not a company that made weight loss easy or personal or one that provided a nutrition education.
I realized that there was a significant need for a more organized weight loss program in the U.S. When doing my research, I found that most of the non-medical programs in the market were not very educational or nutritious. I wanted Pop Weight Loss to be nutrition education to reduce the obesity epidemic that is currently plaguing the men, women and children in America today.
BND: What's the best part of owning your own business?
RC: The stability of the business and having nutritionists and excellent staff members who are passionate about the business and are all working toward a common goal day in and day out. Franchising our business has also been a great step forward, because we are now going to make an impact locally, nationally, and someday, globally. Obesity is only getting worse in the U.S. and in the world. The Pop Weight Loss franchise is a business that is not only lucrative, but it helps people on a daily basis become healthier. When you enjoy what you are doing and you see positive results for your patients, it is highly motivating. This business makes an impact on people’s lives for the better, and it helps reverse medical problems like diabetes and hypertension, which feels like an incredible accomplishment.
BND: What's the biggest mistake you've made as an entrepreneur?
RC: The biggest mistake I’ve made as an entrepreneur is instilling too much trust in vendors. Assuming people are doing their job is something I had to learn the hard way; but, I now more hands on people working beside me and I know all the details of our business to ensure that our company’s money is being spent wisely. My recommendation for any new entrepreneur is to spend your money wisely, and if you don’t see results in a certain area, then change needs to happen, and make sure people are accountable with real results, and follow through on contracts promised.
BND: What was your main motivation in starting this business?
RC: To provide a lucrative business model for the weight loss industry. To change the weight loss path this country has taken and to bring it back to the nutritionists and professionals. My goal at Pop Weight Loss is to help men, women and children make a lifestyle change that will create long-term weight loss results.
BND: What previous experiences helped you in that journey?
RC: My husband and I started an OB/GYN practice prior to opening Pop Weight Loss. This helped significantly, because we already went through the trials and tribulations of starting a business. Expanding on something we already knew how to do also helped immensely.
BND: What was the biggest challenge you encountered and how did you overcome it?
RC: I was worried, as a physician, to sell weight loss to patients. It was a challenge because people see the importance of spending money on a gym membership, but with weight loss I thought it would be a little harder to sell the idea. Since opening my business in 2008 however, it’s been extremely successful and I’ve already helped thousands of patients lose thousands of pounds. Another struggle I had at first was to convince clients that their problems are not unique and that many people just like them have the very same issues. I’ve overcome this challenge by my staff and I really getting to know each of my clients so they will instill trust in us, and eventually they see the results they want to see.
BND: What is the best bit of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
RC: To listen to themselves and not to people who are too negative and don’t believe in their idea or their concept. If you feel passionately about a certain business, and you know you can be successful at it, you will find a way to make it work. Also seek advice from other successful people and learn what you can from your consultants. There are a lot of negative people who may not have your best interest or success in mind and the only thing that really matters is what you think – because you’re the one bringing your idea to life!