From small town Old Forge, NY, Jill and Bill Morris are making big changes with Dr. G’s Weight Loss & Wellness franchise.
A former sales rep and more recently stay-at-home mom, Jill was first introduced when Bill’s brother discovered the brand while visiting his Florida beach home. Believing the franchise would be wonderful from a business standpoint, upon returning home to New Hartford, NY, he passed along his findings. For Jill who had experience with unsuccessful attempts at weight loss, this opportunity intrigued and excited her. Wasting no time, she began investigating the franchise.
“Immediately my feathers were in the air. I wanted to know how this program worked and what made it so great,” she explains.
“I quickly realized how the program was different from any other, and it all made complete sense to me. The next hurdle was does it work?”
Determined to test the program for themselves, Jill and Bill, the “serial dieters,” headed to the closest Dr. G’s location, which at the time was in New Jersey. After participating in the program for four months the couple lost a combined 90 pounds. “We were floored to see how easy it was,” Jill explains, adding, “We didn’t have any other choice but to open a franchise in New York.”
Deciding it was time to return the working world, Jill researched the brand from a franchise point of view. With an available market for the brand and obesity rates skyrocketing throughout the U.S., the Morris’ saw the opening to help people in their community. “I liked that Dr. G’s developed a program that made so much sense. Its philosophy is that ‘Not one size fits all,’ but instead it’s customized to help different people with different needs,” explains Jill. The couple also agreed that Bill’s connections as a real estate developer, owner of a local strip mall, and politically active individual within the community would serve as a great starting point to help people feel better about themselves.
Contacting Dr. G’s regarding their interest in investing with the brand, the Morris’ met with Charlotte Russell, CEO of Dr. G’s, and were approved to open a franchise. Attending two weeks of intense training in Fort Lauderdale, FL, this process covered everything from learning the business operations to hands on training in an existing location. A bit weary about reentering the sales world after being off the scene for 10 years, Jill’s skills proved to be intact as she scored six points higher than the company’s highest performing sales person on the training test. Appointed as Area Directors for New York State, the Morris’ opened their first location in Hartford, NY in October 2012.
Within their first eight months in business they hit their projected annual revenue, making them the number one franchise in the Dr. G’s system.
Opening their second location in Fayetteville, NY, in October 2013, the couple continues to see rapid success. “Never did we think that we would be instrumental in helping someone get their weight under control and get them off blood pressure medications. It’s incredible to see that we are helping save and change lives everyday, we never put that in the equation when we were buying our franchise,” says Jill. “Everyone is tired of quick fix diets, but Dr. G’s is a lifestyle change. We’re giving people selfesteem through an easy to use, easy to sell program.”
Key to their success is employing great staff in both locations. “Having compassionate people who can be warm and fuzzy and also sell is essential,” explains Jill, adding that all employees are also sent to Florida’s corporate headquarters for comprehensive training.
To those interested in franchising with Dr. G’s Jill says it’s a wonderful opportunity. “It’s work that sells itself with an up-and-coming franchise,” she says. “Now that the American Medical Association has declared obesity a disease, it brings our work to a new level and people are realizing that sometimes you need to be doctor supervised, have your levels checked, and enroll in a program to get to where you want to be.”
For patients the Dr. G’s process begins with visiting a location, filling out paperwork and meeting with a medical assistant. Next patients are measured and weighed, have their body mass index (BMI) taken, and complete the slimmer image process. A hit with patients, the slimmer image step involves taking a photo a patient on their first day of enrollment and asking them how much weight they wish to lose. Using specialty software, Dr. G’s staff is able to give patients a photo of themselves at their goal weight to take home for motivation.
“People love getting a visual of what they can achieve if they stick to the program, which itself is easy to follow. They also love that you’re not going to have everyone at the center clap if you’ve only lost a few pounds. We’re targeting losing eight to 15 pounds a month, and redraw blood work to check levels and reassess after three months,” she explains.
On the first day patients also watch a seven minute video during which Dr. Charles Goldsmith explains the program. Next, patients meet with a wellness coach and then the doctor to decide and prescribe whichever program is best for them based on their medical, personal, and financial needs. Each program includes a combination of medications and proprietary herbal supplements to reduce appetite and increase metabolism. These supplements are then shipped from Florida directly to patients’ homes. Dr. G’s minimum program enrollment is a three-month period, which could either include or be in addition to a month of maintenance. During the maintenance stage patients reduce their medication and come in for regular check-ups.
Married ten years this October, since joining the Dr. G’s team Jill says her family’s lives have been “unbelievable,” adding that over and above their unanticipated profits, the experience itself has been extremely rewarding. “To be able to personally be a part of healing people and change lives mentally and physically is unreal. We’re the answer to people getting off their blood pressure meds, we’re saving lives, and all the while running a profitable business. It’s amazing.”
Now when Jill isn’t busy being a Mom to three kids or working, she enjoys snow skiing, golfing, swimming in their home pool, or relaxing in their in-home theatre. A believer in always speaking from the heart, people connect with her and know she is genuine in what she is selling.
“Wherever I go I promote the brand because I believe in it. What we are selling works and being able to stand behind the product is a great feeling,” she says.
“Being able to wear the Mom hat while being back in the corporate world has had its challenges but it’s been wonderful. Not only are we teaching our kids a better way of living, but we’re changing hundreds of lives.”
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