Massage & Bodywork

May/June 2010

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INCREASE YOUR BOTTOM LINE Massage therapists are a special group of people who often have a motivation other than making money for doing what they do. While the desire to help people feel better and provide a service that improves the quality of life for those we touch is a noble aspiration, most of us need to earn money in order to maintain our own lives and meet our obligations—and hopefully have some left over for those things we'd like to do. There are only two basic principles to increasing your profit: bring in more money and spend less money. Ideally, you want to do both of those things at the same time. Take action now, and by next year at this time, your paycheck could be substantially more than it is now. HOW TO GET MORE INCOME There are more ways than you think to cultivate extra money. You're more apt to follow through if you have a specific goal in mind. Name a dollar figure you want to achieve. Do you want $5,000 more a year or $20,000? Whatever it is, write it down and date it. You'll want to revisit your goal every month to see how much progress you're making. RAISE PRICES If you already have as many clients as you can handle, but you still aren't making enough money, analyze the situation. Is it time to raise your prices? Therapists often hesitate to bump up their rates, thinking clients will be upset or maybe stop coming altogether. But remember, you're not just a massage therapist; you're a consumer as well. Aren't you paying more for a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk than you did a couple of years ago? Haven't your power and your telephone bills increased? Of course they have and your clients understand that. Don't make a drastic increase, but make an increase, especially if it's been more than two years since you raised your rates. If you see 25 clients a week, and you increase that by just $5, that's $125 more a week, $500 more a month, $6,000 more a year. If you've set $20,000 more as your goal, you're more than one-third of the way there. When you decide to raise your fees, inform your clients through word of mouth, your newsletter, email, and office signage: "Effective July 1, the rate for massage is $70 per hour." Give a few weeks lead time. You won't lose any clients over it. If anyone expresses disappointment, you can point out to them that you offer package deals. PACKAGE DEALS You may have the immediate reaction of wondering how discounting massage will increase your bottom line. But offering package deals is a smart strategy. I personally use the "Buy 5, Get 6" method. Yes, it cuts the price of each massage; however, I know I'm going to get those people in the door at least six times and, hopefully in the process, illustrate the benefits of frequent massage. They've made the commitment by buying the package. Half the time, they end up sharing it with a friend or family member, who's apt to purchase a package of their own. Packages bring in business and cultivate customer loyalty. UPSELL It's easy and inexpensive to incorporate some adjunct treatments into your practice. For example, I invested in a professional paraffin setup. I can give a paraffin treatment on the hands for the princely sum of $.018. If you sell a paraffin treatment for $5, that's a 450 percent profit. There are lots of other things that complement massage therapy as well. Craigslist and eBay and often have items such as saunas and foot detoxification baths that people are trying to sell at steeply discounted prices. You can also expand your menu of services. A salt scrub on the feet at the end of a massage is an added-value service that many clients enjoy. If you get just $10–20 per person from a few clients a week for additional services, that amount really adds up over time. Don't overlook selling longer sessions, too. If you have clients whose pain always seems to return between sessions, suggest they may connect with your colleagues on 21

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