Massage therapists often juggle between what makes their heart happy and what can physically be done.
All too often, massage therapists find themselves doing what they love but are not earning enough income to sustain it or they are earning enough income but are physically burnt out.
The key to a successful independent massage practice is to operate your massage business efficiently. Here are five simple and easy operational tips to maximize your career to continue to do what you love:
1. Make an investment in your physical appearance and stick to it.
Our work as massage therapists involves working with the public in a vulnerable situation (nakedness) and charging more than the average working wage.
Clients want to view and value us as professionals for our work, so we need to act and dress the part of it. I personally purchase uniforms so that my presence remains consistent. A consistent physical appearance can create an unspoken asset of stability and reliability for the client.
Therapists can choose to wear all white, all black, scrubs, anything professional that can be maintained as a consistent and reliable professional appearance. Bonus: Attire that is acquired for work-purposes only is usually a tax write-off, too!
2. Hire a laundry service.
A professional laundry service usually costs more than doing the laundry yourself, but it is only pennies in difference after you consider the water bill, electricity and detergents (for instance).
The time you save will make your heart happy and can also free up time for additional appointments, education, research on a client’s medical condition, etc. Bonus: Laundry expenses for work clothes and linens can also be another tax write-off.
3. Take mini-mental vacations.
When is the last time you went to the movies by yourself? Or to the ocean? Or read a book for pleasure? Clients simply enjoy our services more when we are happy and focused. Don’t forget to take good care of yourself–you are the single most important investment of your career.
4. Use social media to maintain a market presence.
It was only a few years ago when small business survival regularly revolved around how big of an ad you could purchase in the yellow pages of the phone book. Or, how many free pens or calendars you could distribute with your name on them to keep yourself visible to (potential) customers.
Today, we can tweet, blog, post to Facebook and Instagram and perform a host of other free social activities to keep a market presence. Post regular happy pictures and wellness info. It’s worth it!
5. Look at clients in multiple dimensions–including total dollar value.
Remember that you are running a for-profit business in your practice of massage. When thinking of clients, it can be helpful to remember their financial value (among other things). If you earn $200/month for massages from a single client, and your relationship lasts 10 years – that is a potential $24,000 value/client. Don’t stress yourself out over the extreme value of any single client but do remember their value when making choices and decisions about your service and their care.
Selena Belisle is a 3x WAF World Arm Wrestling Champion who holds other minor athletic titles in a variety of sports. She has been practicing massage for almost 30 years and is the owner of ceinstitute.com in Miami, Florida. Belisle teaches several massage-related subjects in both live and online classes. She specializes in both sports and spa education as well as many other bodywork modalities.