Success when running your own massage therapy business depends on a number of factors including your location, subcontracting services, your skills, qualifications, competition and more. It’s an industry where there’s certainly no shortage of practitioners, so you need to be able to diversify your skills, stand out from the competition and make sure that your clients have the best experience when they come to you, to encourage them to promote your business through word-of-mouth marketing and continue coming back for more.
Good interpersonal skills, proper bookkeeping, adherence to policy, and other professional practices are all crucial if you want to succeed with your own business as a massage therapist. We’ve put together some top tips to help you get started with running a winning massage therapy business or help your existing company grow.
Boost Your Skills to Diversify Your Offering:
As a massage therapist, you probably know that you’re up against a lot of competition. Whether you’ve got a hair salon down the street that’s just started offering massage services as well, or there are local massage therapists who visit clients at their homes in your area, you can find good massage services pretty much everywhere you go. That’s why it’s important for you to continuously look for new ways to boost your skills and learn new things so that you can diversify your offering and appeal to a wider range of customers.
Start by checking out the massage courses; you can find something that you don’t already offer and learn how to do it so that you’ve got more to offer your customers. Or speak to your customers and see if there is anything that they’d like you to do, like hot stone or deep tissue massage, if you don’t offer it already. You can browse massage course options here at findcourses.co.uk; they have a diverse range of options whether you’re just getting started or are an experienced massage therapist already.
Keep Yourself in Top Shape:
Being a good massage therapist requires practitioners to be neat, clean and of a relatively good fitness level in order to provide the best standard of professional services to clients. Since there’s a lot of skin-to-skin employed in massage, adhering to proper sanitation practices is absolutely essential. If you’re not tending to your personal hygiene properly, customers are going to find somebody else.
Keeping yourself fit will make the work easier on you and provide a better experience for your customers. Many types of massage require a lot of pressure to be applied, so the stronger you are, the better. Try adding some weightlifting into your regular workout routine if you find that you’re often getting tired after giving a massage.
Keep your Paperwork Up to Date:
The last thing that you want is the stress that comes from being behind when it comes to filing your tax returns or forgetting that you’ve got a customer booked in until the very last minute. The good news is that there are loads of options to hand that you can use to stay on top of everything. Download scheduling apps to your phone; you can even get some that link up with your website so that you’re immediately alerted whenever a client books a session.
When it comes to your finances, the best option is to hire an accountant to look after everything for you. As long as you keep good records of payments and business expenses, your accountant will make sure that it’s all logged corrected and filed correctly when the time comes.
Marketing Your Business:
Whether you are self-employed or working out of a salon, marketing your business as a massage practitioner is crucial for gaining new clients and staying competitive in your area. Start by getting to know your target audience; what kind of customers do you want to serve? Maybe you’re targeting busy mums who need a relaxing massage and a break, or perhaps your services are more geared towards athletes and other sportspeople.
If you don’t have one already, getting a website is crucial – it’s the heart of your online presence and provides somewhere for customers to go in order to find out more about what you do, learn about the services that you provide, your pricing options, where to find your salon if you have one, and how to book an appointment. If you already have a website, take a look at it and consider whether it could do with an update; is it mobile friendly? Are the colours used in line with your brand? Is it loading quickly? Is it easy to navigate? If the answer to any of these is no, then chances are you could do with getting a new website made. Or if you’re feeling creative, use a platform like Wix, Shopblocks or WordPress to create your own.
Word of mouth marketing is also a good way to get more clients as a massage therapist, and there are many ways to encourage it. Consider turning on reviews on Google and your social media pages, so that clients can tell everyone about what a great experience they had. And don’t worry too much if you get a negative review; you can learn from it and use it to demonstrate your dedication to putting things right for your customer by offering them a free massage or a discount voucher to make up for it. A referral scheme will encourage your clients to tell their friends and family about you.
Improving the Client Experience:
Going the extra mile for clients is important for any business that has a lot of competition; it shows that you really care about what you do and are dedicated to keeping your clients happy which will, in turn, encourage them to share information about your business with their friends and family, and be loyal to your brand – even if they could get the same thing cheaper elsewhere.
In the beauty and health industries particularly, the businesses that tend to do well do so not just because they are offering superior services, but because they are run by personable, likeable people who make the effort to connect with their clients and build lasting relationships for them. And even the simplest of things, like making sure all appointments start on time, can make a big difference to your clients. Overall, you need to demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for what you do – if you don’t want to be there, the client will sense it.
Work with Local Businesses:
You may also find it useful to collaborate with other local businesses and help one another out. For example, if there’s a hair salon nearby, you could team up with them to offer a discount to customers who are referred to your massage services by the salon or vice versa. Speak to businesses in your area that are not competitors, like restaurants and cafes, and ask to leave business cards or flyers on the counter and do the same for them.
Working together is key to small business success; the more local businesses you have behind you, the better – as people tend to trust businesses and practitioners that are recommended by somewhere or someone that they already trust and are familiar with.
Massage is a very competitive industry to get into, but with the right attitude and approach, you can have a lucrative business as a massage therapist.