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14 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 2 0 BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS best practices In the July/August column of the Mind Your Money 2020 series, we covered the tax process. By now, you've put in place a pretty strong financial foundation for your massage practice. You're tracking money as it comes in. You're tracking money as it goes out. You're budgeting and paying yourself with intention. And you're even getting tax savvy! So what now? Once you reach the point of some "stability"—in the sense that you have a good grasp of your business finances— it may be time to think longer term. offices while going into debt and end up putting themselves in a risky spot. The best thing you can do for your business before thinking about expansion is to aggressively build your short- term savings (generally called "retained earnings" in business jargon). It can be very tempting to want to expand by buying new equipment, moving to a new office, or hiring people, and then funding the growth with debt—or without the proper cash foundation. It's especially important, though, to have healthy cash reserves as a foundation. To build a good financial foundation, think of your short-term savings as your self- funded line of credit. Continue to "pay on the balance" every month as if it were a loan. But you will be paying yourself. If you make this a habit, you will always have an organically growing cash cushion for the things you want to do. RETIREMENT OR CLOSING DOWN Depending on where you are in your career, you may be thinking more about what it looks like when you are done massaging. Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues Questions may come up like: • How do I grow (or do I even want to grow)? • What if I need new equipment? • How should I plan for upgrading to a new office? • What does retirement or closing (or selling) my practice look like down the road? • How do I work less and make more money? These are all great questions to consider, but we will not be able to tackle all of them right now. We can talk, however, about how to approach these questions and the financial concepts that can help you be prepared. EXPANSION As a business owner, it's logical to think about expansion once you are established and operating with good cash flow and profitability. However, it's important to approach expansion with caution and from a place of financial strength. Too many massage therapists get excited about growing and end up jumping the gun by hiring people and expanding their Where Do We Go from Here? Create Long-Term Goals for Your Practice— No Matter Where You're Headed! By Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds

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