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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Great Tips For How Self-Employed Massage Therapists Can Grow Into A Small Business

Growing a part time gig into a small business is no easy feat. While it may be easy to get your first couple of massage clients, there are some pretty big steps you need to take before your business hits it stride. Your work may become stressful and draining for you, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With some good planning and solid strategy, growing your business can be a breeze. We’re here to take a weight off your shoulders with some top tips to go from a self-employed massage therapist to a small business with the help of massage software and savvy business marketing.

Know your service inside and out

As a self-employed massage therapist, it’s easy to offer services tailored to your specific clients. But if you’re looking to grow and become a fully-fledged small business, people will come to you expecting to pick from a selection of services.

Decide whether you’re going to offer a general selection, or go down a specific path such as sports massage or using a technique you specialize in. In order to diversify your brand, you could also offer a range of massage-related or soothing products.

Additionally you need to decide where you’re working from: from home, from your own office, or if you’ll travel to your clients’ homes. Take into account the overheads that come with each option: renting or buying office space will be the most pricey, but might provide a more appropriate space befitting a small business. And if you’re going mobile, you’ll need transport for you and your kit, so a company car or van will be required too.

Create a solid customer network

A massage therapist’s greatest asset is their network. Word-of-mouth is a powerful but underestimated tool for growing a business. It costs nothing, but shows your credibility as a brand while providing you with reliable clients.

The trick is in getting the ball rolling. What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)? Do you think that you’ll be able to tempt your current clients into talking about you based on what you do alone?

If you need an extra little push, try including a couple of perks. It pays to reward loyalty! Try offering money off massages if your client refers a friend, or a free massage if they come back to you a number of times.

Customer satisfaction should be a top priority for your business, especially when you’re just starting out. If you have an unhappy client, do your best to give them a flawless customer experience, or they could damage your carefully crafted network with negative social proof.

Go digital with your business

The beauty of the digital age in which we live is that you don’t simply have to rely on people telling their friends about you at dinner parties, or flyers pinned on newsagent notice boards. Make a website, set up Twitter and Facebook accounts and start attracting clients! It’s worth taking a look at what other companies, both local and national, are doing in order to either mimic their successes or learn from their mistakes.

Massage Envy is a massage franchise that manages their social media pretty well. Their focus is on taking care of your body, and with links to professional golfers, audience knows that their massages will help keep them on their game.

The Austin Massage Clinic is a local business that uses social media to get clients. They benefit from an official-sounding name, and make sure to utilize hashtags and share articles to get a wider reach. If you work on your brand when setting up, create a logo and a mission statement, you can put yourself across to a larger audience as a solid, reliable business.

Building a significant digital presence as a small business is well within your grasp. Check out one of the many online startups for sale for some shining examples of entrepreneurs who have built up a sizeable online venture on their own. It might seem daunting, but it’s entirely possible and, in this day and age, entirely necessary too.

Don’t rush into it

The worst thing you can do is to buy a whole load of equipment or start renting out a studio to practice in without having a plan. When setting up your own business it is vital that you have a step by step strategy, detailing when you will spend money and how you’ll make it back. We’ve seen countless entrepreneurs flop before they even start because they think that by spending money, they’ll make money. This is not the case!

Massage therapy is a great business to get into as it requires very little seed money. The main cost is your own time and effort, so you can survive on the basics until you feel like it’s time to take your business a step further.

Time management is key

With the mix of excitement, determination and stress that comes with starting a new business, it can be tempting to work all hours of the day and night to get things done. But if you don’t manage your time right, you’ll soon burn out.

Don’t overbook yourself. As you grow, consider the possibility of hiring an extra pair of hands. It may be hard to relinquish that little bit of control, but it means you’re on the right track to a bigger, more successful business.

Growing a business is hard work. But with some careful planning and business savvy, you’ll be able to get more clients and turn your one-man-band into a brand. It may be worth talking to an accountant if you haven’t already, just to make sure that you’re doing everything right tax-wise. Otherwise, set up your social media accounts and book in a few massage appointments, and you’re good to go!

Kayleigh Alexandra knows how tough it can be starting a small business for the first time — but also how rewarding it is too. To help fellow entrepreneurs on their journey to business success, she shares her knowledge and support on Micro Startups. For everything from marketing and design to business savvy and inspiring stories, find us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.

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