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Massage Today
March, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 03

Is Your Business Thriving or Diving?

By Colleen (Steigerwald) Holloway, LMT

The number one question massage therapists ask me during a business consultation is, "When is my business going to start thriving?" My reply is always, "Your business will start thriving when you change what you are currently doing." Some therapists would argue that they've tried everything and nothing seems to work.

Others would simply agree because they haven't been doing much to promote their businesses. The bottom line is this: If your business is not thriving, then whatever you are doing right now to promote your business is not working. Sadly enough, there are so many easy methods of marketing you could be doing right now to increase your business that require little or no financial risk, only a mere commitment of your time. Here are some important questions to consider:

Do you follow up with clients after their appointments?

How would you feel if you went to your dentist and had your wisdom tooth removed and the very next day the dentist called to ask how you're feeling? You would most likely be surprised that the dentist took the time out of his or her busy schedule to call you. You would also get the feeling that the dentist truly cared about you, right? Would this gesture leave you more inclined to return to that dentist in the future? Would you refer anyone to this dentist? The answer is yes, of course. That simple gesture will leave a lasting impression.

Following up with your clients takes about 15 minutes out of your day, and the rewards can be significant. Make it a point to follow up with your clients and while you're on the telephone, suggest they make a future appointment if they haven't already done so.

What products do you recommend to your clients that you could be carrying and selling to them?

During my 10 years of doing massage, I regularly recommended my clients purchase certain products to help them either ease or prevent their pain. I would send them out my door and off to another location to buy the products. Then it finally occurred to me that I could be selling these products to my clients, saving them the inconvenience of having to travel to another location, while earning money for my business. I also had clients who would comment on how much they loved the scent of the massage lotion I was using, or the CD that was playing. It also occurred to me that if I had these products available, they would be inclined to purchase them.

If you are not currently selling retail products in your business, or the products you do carry are not flying off the shelves, it's time for you to create a list of products you regularly recommend to your clients, as well as a list of the products they ask about. These lists will tell you what products will sell well in your business.

What marketing books do you read?

You can always gain knowledge from reading a marketing book. Today there are several marketing books specifically written for massage therapists. Additionally, there are several Web sites and businesses that promote marketing for massage, and some offer free business tips. Are you capitalizing on this information? Take some time to investigate your options. Write down the names of the books that are available and start reading them. Spend an hour on the Internet looking into the Web sites that pertain to massage and marketing. You'll find free business tips, marketing programs, newsletters and other tools to help your business.

What marketing classes have you taken?

Massage therapists tend to be technique "collectors." They strive to learn every technique available to maximize their ability to give a great massage. Now, don't get me wrong; I'm all for improving your skills so you can help your clients. However, whether you've mastered one technique or 30 techniques, if no one knows how good you are, your skills are useless. Marketing classes, especially those specific to the field of massage therapy, can help you gain knowledge in building your clientele and income.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a thriving massage business. The only thing required is your effort. If you are wondering when you'll have a thriving business, the answer lies within you. When would you like one? When are you going to do something about it? If you are consistently looking for new ways to market your business, you will find them.

If you ask yourself daily "What can I do to dramatically increase my business?" the answers will present themselves.

I'll close by asking you, "In which direction is your business going? Is it thriving or diving?"

Click here for previous articles by Colleen (Steigerwald) Holloway, LMT.


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