So, you can easily see that masseuses are in the ideal zone to earn decent money. But why do so many massage therapists struggle to make a living wage, let alone a massage wage that allows them to live a life of safety, relaxation, personal care, education, adventure, or anything else they want? The answer seems to be the monetary mindset, the attitude toward the financial aspects of running a clinic, such as setting fees, marketing and sales. Add in the difficult emotions that sometimes relate to money, such as shame, guilt and fear, and then add the tendency to see yourself as a healer rather than a businessman, and we have a toxic mix of good intentions combined with bad business practices resulting in bad massage therapists. MASSAGE magazine has brought together expert business advisors and therapists to offer you advice on what you should understand and do to create a financially healthy massage practice. Sales aren't a bad word and money isn't a bad word - money is necessary to earn a living doing what you like.
There is nothing unenlightened or greedy about making money as a masseuse. Many of us had, or have, a seriously disempowering relationship with money. That's all that has to disappear. We also have this attitude that massage has to be affordable for everyone. Your business has to work for you first and foremost, not for your customers.
Don't make the mistake of charging what you think others can afford - that's what I call getting into your customers' wallets. Also, don't charge based on what other therapists around you are charging. Therapists are constantly reducing their rates to compete with other therapists, and that is destroying our industry. We have trained the public to choose cheap massages on demand - coffee, cigarettes and pizza are cheap and available on demand.
Masseuses shouldn't be any of those things. Your rates should be based on what your company needs to obtain with your services to pay all expenses, taxes and your salary. Do the math and whatever that number is per hour, it will count for whatever it is. For example, solving a particular common problem or being known for a specialty will allow you to get higher prices and stand out in a sea of masseuses. Then, you'll attract clients who want to work with you, not just the cheapest therapist in town. First of all, you must be very clear that it is not enough to be an expert therapist to succeed on your own; you have to learn to run a business and you have to learn to love numbers.
Your practice needs to generate money so you can continue running it. Rebecca de Azevedo Overson, LMT says running a business requires more than passion. Many massage therapists know exactly why they dedicated themselves to the field of massage - because they want to share the benefits of massage, help others or simply love the countryside. Those reasons should not be confused with the reasons why you chose to start a business because they are not the same thing. In fact, all of those goals related to becoming a masseuse can be achieved while working as an employee. Take courses that develop your business skills to support the practical skills you've learned.
Financial education, marketing and the establishment of a strong system of service standards are fundamental for all companies. Many massage therapists easily invest time and money in developing their massage skills and neglect the things that will help keep the doors open - the belief that if you learn new techniques customers will find you is at best naive. As a massage therapist, you've given yourself the tools to be an excellent healthcare provider. As a business owner your practice needs the tools to successfully offer your skills to the waiting audience. Kamillya Hunter is the owner of Spa Analytics - a company that provides strategic consulting to the massage and spa industry across the country. Three years ago she made one of the best business decisions she's ever made - she eliminated tips from her practice. There were always awkward moments surrounding tips - customers didn't know whether or not to tip, what amount of tip was too little or how much was too much.
She found that customers with the lowest incomes were those who added something to the total while those with higher incomes rarely if ever left a tip - this was a pattern she didn't feel quite right with. After 14 years in the business she chose to eliminate that discomfort from the equation by checking all her income figures since she was self-employed and the only therapist in her business she wanted to have a clear idea of how much advice coming her way affected her results. She created a fixed rate system that included a higher rate reflecting what someone would pay if they left a tip - she was very clear this was not a price with tips included but rather a flat rate allowing customers to know exactly how much was expected of them at all times. While it often comes as surprise customers used adding tips they always appreciate flat rate - many customers return because they know in advance what they'll pay for - there's an element of respect coming from customers when enough confidence exists eliminating acceptance tips translating into more bookings. Eliminate tips and in short period time income will increase more than thought possible. Judy Stowers LMT is owner Apex Bodyworx LLC in Scottsdale Arizona - in fact average average salary massage....