Building Your Massage Business will be one of the hardest things you will probably ever do. It takes courage, passion and persistence to build your ideal massage business. It takes a deep belief in yourself and your value as a person (not just as a massage therapist). There is plenty of information and support for building a massage business if you are ready for the challenge.
It involves some of these things:
- Having a vision of who your Ideal Massage Client is and sticking to that vision
- Having a website that works for you getting a steady stream of clients and making you money on the side
- Setting business policies to support your business (massage fees, cancellation policies, hours of operation)
- Raising Your Fees each year or when you get too busy to get people in within a month.
- Learning about marketing, networking and getting referrals
- Having professional customer service skills and knowing how to handle difficult clients
- Deciding if you want to take insurance cases or focus on building a strictly cash business. (There are many ethical challenges as well as just figuring out how to get the insurance companies to pay you.)
- Learning how to work with insurance companies and get referrals from physicians and bill insurance companies
- Understanding that it is more about self care than taking care of others
- Using peer supervision, individual supervision and business coaching and other professional services to support you in achieving your goals.
- Getting Massage Clients Getting massage clients is one of the first steps
- Retaining Massage Clients -Getting people to become regular massage clients is one of the keys to success.
In order to build a massage business, you need to have some basic policies and procedures in place to support you as well as feel confident in talking about yourself. Marketing your practice is an ongoing process. Everyday you need to be doing something or multiple things to build your massage business. Learning about marketing and running a business requires a commitment to building a practice and perseverance through the many challenges of getting clients to your massage table.
Networking and word of mouth are often the best ways to promote yourself. There are also other ways such as using a website to get a steady flow of new clients, learning to work with insurance companies and using print advertising and other media to promote your business.
Creating a specialty for yourself can also help you to focus your efforts and become an expert in a specific type of massage or working with a specific population. Specializing in things like pregnancy massage, post-partum massage, sports massage, injury massage, fibromyalgia, headaches, lawyers, rock bands and chair massage are just a few areas you can look into.
With all of this information on how to start and build a massage business why do so many massage therapists still fail? The burnout rate in this profession is high or at least seems high (we don’t really have any statistics). What makes the difference is massage therapists who are willing to learn about themselves and challenge their old beliefs about themselves. It is about learning that you are a valuable person and that you are worth getting paid for doing massage. What makes the difference is that successful massage therapists understand that it is more about taking care of themselves than taking care of others. They are able to ask for help when needed and get the support that they need to grow and learn until they achieve the success that they are looking for.