clock iconPosted Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Massage Business Plan - Top 10 Best Practices

By Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

In every industry or business, there are niche-specific best practices and codes of conduct that are critical to sustainable operations and growth. So, if you run a spa or massage therapy practice, you'll need to embrace differentiating enterprise practices that cover several aspects, from professional affiliation and managing customer relations to insurance and using cutting-edge business management solutions to streamline workflows.

Here are top 10 tips for operating a successful massage therapy business:


1. Grow Your Massage Business Through Referrals

You may spend a lot on advertising and promotions, but nothing is as powerful as word-of-mouth, especially coming from clients who have sampled and enjoyed your therapeutic services. Successful massage practices recognise the value of word-of-mouth marketing, and they even develop referral programs to facilitate it.

So, consider encouraging clients who love your services to share your contact information with their friends, family members and workmates. For example, you may provide coupons that your current clients may offer to prospects within their social or professional circles. You could have these coupons generate discounts for new clients. Don't forget to reward clients whose referrals result in appointments.

2. Deploy an Online Scheduling App

An online scheduling app helps take care of details that are important to the success of your massage business. If you've been in this industry for a while, you know how challenging it is to manage customer appointments and schedules.

Consider using an online solution for managing your scheduling system and streamlining your spa workflows. A typical massage booking app has the following features and perks:

  • An online and mobile booking portal where clients may set appointments at their convenience
  • An online calendar that shows all appointments in real-time
  • Automatic alerts to remind clients about upcoming appointments
  • Capability to add spa personnel and assign tasks as customers book massage therapy sessions

3. Boost Your Credibility With Professional Industry Memberships and Networking

Not every prospective massage client will take your word for it. Some of them might wonder, if you're as good and reputable as claimed. Which is why it's important to become a member of a professional organisation like the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT).

Lawyers, doctors, engineers and other experts join professional affiliations to improve their credibility in the eyes of potential clients and customers. Massage therapists are no exception. Membership tells prospective clients that you're bound to a specific code of conduct, which is critical to winning their trust. Other perks include:

  • Access to referral rewards programs
  • Trust marks that you may feature in promotional publications and business websites to boost your professional credibility
  • Discounted business insurance
  • Business promotion and marketing opportunities
  • Certificate of membership 

4. Be Active on Social Media

Does your massage business have active Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter profiles? Social media presence is a great way to reach out and expand your client base. Remember to keep your followers or fans engaged day to day by posting captivating content.

For instance, consider sharing high-quality photos on Instagram. You could also upload videos featuring your staff in action, serving happy massage clients. Other interesting social media content includes daily or weekly back-pain or stress-relief tips, funny videos and product reviews related to massage therapy.


5. Let Affordable Insurance be Your Safety Net

To a critical extent, you're taking responsibility for people's health and wellbeing, and you're doing everything in your power to keep your clients 100% satisfied after each therapy session. But in every massage clinic or spa, things don't always go according to plan, and that's where liability insurance comes in!

If you're a multi-talented practitioner that offers a host of solutions and modalities, including hot stone massage, it's essential that you insure your massage business against unforeseeable liability, such as accidental injury to a client or damage to property. Are you also a Reiki expert, yoga instructor, or esthetician? Having the right insurance coverage gives you the necessary peace of mind to focus on delivering high-quality wellness solutions.

6. Get the Right Massage Training and Certification

A proper massage education should be the backbone of your practice. It doesn't have to be a one-time commitment. Instead, you may take up massage training on an ongoing basis to increase your professional qualifications, certifications and diversify your portfolio.

Consider your clients' needs, and try to perfect as many modalities and techniques as possible, from acupressure and deep tissue massage to Reiki and foot and hand reflexology.


7. Have a Professional-Looking Website

As a massage therapist, you need a professional website to enhance your online visibility. A high-quality online platform helps project an image that speaks to your unique services and can help convert leads into customers. 

Including search engine optimisation in your web marketing strategy will also help boost your search results page rankings (SERP) and drive high-value traffic to your site.

Ensure your website has the following design attributes:

  • Responsiveness: Make it possible for your existing and future clients to access your massage website and book appointments via desktops as well as mobile devices, including smartphones.
  • Trustmark: If you're a member of a professional body, such as IICT, you may display their logo on your website to make an impression of trustworthiness.
  • Portfolio and testimonials: Showcase your past accomplishments, and include video testimonials if possible.


8. Observe the Relevant Code of Ethics

Your professional reputation impacts your customer relations, and it may support or hinder the leads-to-sales process.

As a massage therapist, there's a strict code of ethics you should observe to earn the respect of fellow practitioners and your clients. The guidelines touch on issues such as practitioner-client relationships, integrity, professional development, qualifications, and training.


9. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Your massage therapy clients are more likely to come back if you help them make the most out of every session. It's all about offering excellent customer service, and it requires practitioners to be friendly and informative while at it.

Try to anticipate each client's needs and anxieties, and provide the right answers to ease their worries during massage sessions. Is your client nervous about what they should wear while on the massage table? Are you making it comfortable for them to point out and openly discuss the problem they hope to treat?


10. Publish Promotional Material

Flyers, pamphlets and business cards may seem conservative, but they're still effective marketing tools today, including for a massage business. You may distribute the publications to existing clients and encourage them to share with work colleagues and friends. It helps to include high-quality graphics or photos in promotional material for showcasing your talent and offerings.

IICT to the Rescue!

IICT has the resources and information you need to take your massage therapy business to the next level of success. Our members enjoy incredible perks, including discounted insurance policies, access to training and accreditation programs and free marketing opportunities. Join us today to enjoy these and many more benefits!

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Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

About the Author:

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard is the CEO and Founder of the IICT with over 25 years experience in the natural health industry. Lawrence has been instrumental in developing the IICT's operations both within the Australia and Internationally.

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