What Effect Will The Downturn In Economy Have On My Massage Therapy Practice?

Dec 11, 2014

This is a very relevant question in today’s economic climate. Everyone is feeling the pinch, groceries, petrol, interest rates, rent, all up & some by a large margin, meaning everyone & every business is effected financially.

Let’s digress a little and think about what happens when the economy tightens, people struggle and jobs are being lost. Most become stressed, tired from the increased stress, their bodies begin to ache, they stiffen up under the pressure, they have trouble relaxing, they become afraid to take time off work for fear of losing their job, they are a mess. What are they going to do?

Yes that’s right, they are going to need massage therapy.

This is what I found in the early 90s, in fact I became so busy it was embarrassing, everyone who came shared how hard it was to make ends meet, how the boss was putting more pressure on them, finances were becoming tight, yet here I was getting busier by the week trying to keep up the demand for “Stress Relief”. Will it be the same this time around? Only time will tell, but if you present yourself and your massage therapy business in the right way, educating your client’s of the importance of regular massage, then there is no reason why, what was my experience back in the 90s can’t be yours today.

Ok. Do you want to know what I did that saw my business literally take off, when most were finding it hard?

First.Being aware that many found it difficult to afford a regular massage, I introduced a three tier pricing system which encouraged clients to come regularly, making it both rewarding for them and for me. Here is how it worked using 1-hour appointments as an example: “first 4 visits they paid full price $70; visit 5-9 in any 12 month period they paid $60. Then on the 10th visit in any 12 month period they paid only $50. You can see how people were encouraged to have regular treatments.

Once they reached the 10 status they would make sure they came every month so they would not lose their benefit. Others were able to cut back to half hour treatments, meaning my hourly rate was not affected, it also helped me as with monthly visits the treatments were so much easier.

As some of you would have found, there are, and I must admit I have done this myself in the past with practitioners. That is wait until you have a few issues then make the one appointment in the hope they can all be corrected in one go.

What needs to be considered to protect yourself from clients doing this to you?

As a massage therapist you need to consider you’re marketing, which I have always found is best by word of mouth. Make sure you have flyers to hand out to your clients with your special deals along with all the benefits of having regular massages.These you hand out to clients as well as potential clients.

Another way is to have referral benefits like for every client they send, they will get a percentage off their next massage providing it is within (always have a time frame) same with gift vouchers, always put a time limit or else they may not claim their massage for a couple of years.

You must be always aware of what is preventing people coming to you and find a solution that will set you apart from other massage therapists in your area. Some of those that I looked after with special deals because they needed a massage and were genuinely struggling, were some of the most faithful clients I had, repaying me over & over for looking after them in their time of need.

Please be aware of each client’s needs, look for solutions, be active in promoting the benefits of having a regular massage from you, also be active in trying new ideas, seeking out other ways to attract new clients, but as said before it is much cheaper to keep the ones you already have, also much cheaper to have them promote you.

Put these things in place and you will grow through the hard times and have the opportunity to build up a great massage practice ready for the good times.

One final thought. You must be able to produce the goods!

Remember: Results = Repeat Business = Referrals

Discover Massage Australia , through our thorough no nonsense hands-on massage therapy training is committed to providing our massage therapy students all the skills they need to have the three “R’s” working for them.

All our massage therapy courses are results orientated.

Cameron Aubrey

Cameron Aubrey has over 20 years experience in the massage industry, and leads the team as Course Director at Discover Massage Australia. Cameron holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage, and his expertise runs across a large range of massage techniques, particularly sports, Swedish and whole body massage.