Basic Business Practices
Massage therapist, body worker, natural health practitioner. We go by many different names, but the common thread is our care for others. That being said, we do need to care about ourselves too. Some may refer to this as a calling, but as we all know, it does cost us money to be in this business, and we need to get something out of it, too.
Are you looking to increase your income?
The following are a few very basic suggestions that can help.
Stay on schedule. New therapists, do not get caught in the trap of "I don't have anyone booked right away, I can work on them an extra 15 minutes, no charge." Sticking to a schedule is part of creating and maintaining an ethical practitioner/patient relationship. If a person needs more time, feel confident enough to ask them to book for a longer appointment time. If they don't, learn to be more efficient with your techniques.
Work with multiple patients at the same time. Some modalities such as acupuncture and Bowen seem tailor-made for this, but could you introduce a dryroom spa technique that gives an extra 15-20 minutes to start another appointment? Setting up one patient with a paraffin treatment (we carry a great Paraffin bath plus Paraffin wax) while starting massage on the next, or offering body wraps or back facials can be an efficient use of time when you have multiple rooms available.
Charge for what you do. Have a business protocol that you follow for introducing new modalities or services, say for example an introductory rate for the first month, or a small sample free of charge. Hair salons and stylists are masters at this. Want a haircut? Its only $50.00. The color is an extra $100 plus, in addition to any products you need for maintaining your 'do in between appointments.
Don't want to be limited by your patient's budget? Figure out your costs, and make sure that your prices reflect that. Your prices may not be the lowest in town, but your treatments will be among the most memorable and effective. (RMTs, make sure that you are conforming to your association guidelines regarding what constitutes massage therapy, especially if you are providing receipts for insurance purposes.)
Don't be afraid to "sell" yourself. What makes your massage different? Why did you take that extra course on the weekend? What did you learn that can help your patient feel better? What are you hoping to achieve with this technique? Why does it work? Treatment-focused conversation not only helps maintain professional boundaries, but assures your patient that they are seeing the best person for their needs.
There is a saying that we train others how to treat us.
Training your patients to expect good care, and to pay for it, can go a long way to ensuring you are in the business for the long term.
Find out the benefits of using gift certificates HERE and check out the selection of pro gift certificates available at our store!
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