Massage & Bodywork

JULY | AUGUST 2017

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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 25 The challenging experience that taught me the most valuable business lesson is … Failure. Really, failure is just feedback that what you're doing isn't working. It's also inevitable. I learned early on to pick myself up, figure out what went wrong, make adjustments, and keep going. The skills for being a successful therapist and for being successful in business are different. At one point, I thought hiring accounting people meant I didn't need to be involved in that part of the business. Painful lesson. No one knows your business like you do. That it does not pay to hold on to a client who drains you. Even if they want a 90-minute massage every week and you don't know how you'll replace the income, let them go if they are causing you physical or psychological pain. The current challenge is identifying whether I will be able to retire in 10 years. I strongly suggest that MTs meet early in their careers with a financial advisor to create a retirement strategy and with a disability insurance agent for disability coverage. My most effective marketing strategy is … Referrals. A referral promotion in 2012 that cost me $72.39 brought in more than $50,000 in revenue to my business (at last count). To reach more people, narrow the focus of your practice. It is counterintuitive, but very effective. Building relationships with business leaders in my community. I joined a business networking group that taught me a lot about running a business and created relationships that support me to this day. I offered a complimentary session to several physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and medical doctors. I wanted them to experience my work firsthand, and I listed the conditions and situations that I felt my approach could be most effective with. To be a successful business owner you need to … Remember your first role is to promote yourself. It doesn't matter how many techniques you know; if you have an empty table and are unable to reach the people who need and want what you offer, you cannot succeed. Be mission driven, not goal driven. A mission will sustain you when times are difficult, and things will be difficult at some point. Plus, clients resonate with your passion for the field. Have a clear vision of your goal and focus on that. It is hard to be successful while juggling many competing priorities. Call people back right away and be a good listener; try to understand their situation, goals, and needs. View every client as your best possible marketing partner. My financial advice for therapists is … Know your value—from the prices you charge and discounts you offer to what you pay yourself or invest in your future. If you have money or prosperity hang-ups, get help. While we want massage therapy to be accessible, it is vital not to undervalue it. Just as we respect environmental sustainability, your business must be sustainable as well. To be realistic about how much it costs to do business. Build this into your fees, and do not feel bad about it. Decide for yourself what your work is worth, and ask for what you need to be supported. Report the cash you receive so that your income category is accurate. This will help you secure a personal or business loan and increase the amount of your social security benefits once you retire. Felicia Brown 23 Years in Practice Doug Nelson 40 Years in Practice Jennie Hastings 12 Years in Practice Clint Chandler 27 Years in Practice

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