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Massage Today
December, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 12

New Beginnings for a New Year

By Angie Patrick

We all are thinking about New Year's resolutions this time of year. You hear everyone talking about the weight they wish to lose or the relationship they hope to find. Maybe you hear your friends wishing for better jobs or better pay. Universally, people want to be better, do better, feel better and live better. It's a common thread that runs through our society, as well as in our industry.

I often have wondered why those of us who have such great intentions fail to meet our goals and expectations. In January, we are "full steam ahead" on the resolutions that we make, yet sometime in February or even March, you see the train running out of steam. Why does this happen? Why do we set goals for ourselves and then fall short of meeting them? Personally, I think we jump in and make broad statements about how we will attain great things, without the first clue as to how to achieve those great things.

Success is not elusive, and it does not just happen. It's attainable by each and every one of us. We are not put here to fail; we are all here to contribute and succeed. The key component to this contribution and success is planning. You cannot simply expect to lose weight without actually doing something to make it happen. The odds of winning the lottery are pretty slim at best, and the better job will not fall into your lap; you have to educate yourself and search for it. Setting goals and then making the changes needed to achieve these goals go a long way toward creating your success.

Let's take a look at your business. Maybe you are a new graduate or perhaps a seasoned therapist looking at goals for your business. You would like to have a sound practice that will allow you to live well and provide all the things you need. This seems like a goal anyone would want to achieve, yet how do we get there? How do we make this dream a reality? I think we need to pave the road ahead with smaller goals - planned steps in reaching the overall goal of success.

Start with education. Sounds basic, but you would not believe how much there is to know out there. New modalities are cropping up every day, it seems. Each time I open a trade journal or paper, I learn something new. The education you receive while in school should be looked upon as your base education. Yes, you can begin working as a therapist once you graduate; however, there are so many more things to know, trends to watch and market changes to follow. Read as many articles as you can about new ideas and treatments emerging on the market. From Thai herbal ball treatments to rejuvenating facelift massage, there are a plethora of valuable treatments you easily can learn and add to your repertoire. This will increase the scope of potential clients you can book because your range of service has continued to expand.

Bolster your business with strong marketing. Find ways in your community to network and be a part of the economic future of your town. Join the Chamber of Commerce and attend the meetings. You would be surprised how many business leads you can gain by circulating your business cards at these meetings. Offer on-site chair massage for corporate offices, meetings or special events. Expand on this idea by printing an incentive on your business card, such as 10 percent off your first visit. You stimulate the buying drive in the prospective client and greatly increase your chances of a first booking. For those seasoned clients, offer them a handful of cards to share with their friends. A word-of-mouth referral is absolutely golden, and no amount of money can buy that kind of promotion.

Contribute. By volunteering your time and skill at charitable events, your exposure is magnified. You can reach a broader audience and market yourself and your skills to more people. Not only are the benefits to your business growth and exposure great, you also have the added perk of doing something good for your community. This type of industry and community participation is good for the soul.

Finally, commit. Make a commitment to yourself and your business to follow through with the steps you have put in place. It's highly doubtful you will ever look back at the steps you have taken and instead, wish that you had done nothing. That commitment may mean making some sacrifices on your part, while giving your time, talent and services, but the end result is well worth the effort you put in.

These are just a few ideas for how to begin planting the seeds of success for your business. When you know the basics, you can expand on these ideas and come up with your own original flavor and style. Most importantly, these ideas do not have to cost a fortune to implement, so you can begin right away. When you make the proper preparations to succeed, the sky is the limit and your business can and will reach new heights.

Click here for previous articles by Angie Patrick.


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