Clarify the Problem within Your Business

Clarify the Problem within Your Business

Clarify the Problem


Before you can identify a solution, it’s important first to clarify the problem. Why is your business struggling in the first place? If you don’t have clarity on the specific challenge you’re facing, you won’t know what steps to take to save your business. Take some time to think about how you got to where you currently are. 


What happened that you didn’t anticipate? 

What things went wrong? 

Some common problems businesses face are: 

1. Market changes. Economic factors, new technology, emerging competition, and many other things can cause the market to change. Survival requires the ability to adapt to changes as they happen.

2. Failure to understand the target customer or market. If people aren’t interested in your product or service, there’s a good chance you don’t understand your customers or market. Dig deep to understand what people truly want and what motivates them to buy.

3. Poor pricing strategy. If your prices don’t match the customer demand, you won’t sell much. It’s crucial to understand what customers are willing to pay, as well as where your product sits in relation to your competitors.

4. Insufficient funds. Not having enough money on hand will quickly tank your business. You must pay close attention to cash flow, financing, sales, and more.

5. Too much growth. Growth is a good thing, except when there’s too much of it. If your business grows too fast, you might not be able to keep up with demand.

Massage Burnout

Identifying fundamental problems within your business can be a painful exercise. No one likes to be reminded of ways they’ve failed. But if you want your business to thrive during challenging times, you must be able to put your finger on the primary problems.

If you’re feeling sick and go to the doctor, what’s the first thing they try to do? Determine what is causing the illness. Only then can the doctor prescribe the proper treatment. If the doctor has you start taking random medications hoping that one will work, you won’t get any better.
The same principle is true in business. You must identify the cause of the problems before you can determine the proper solution. The sooner you identify the issues, the better.

As Jim Collins wrote in Too Mighty To Fall: 


I’ve come to see an institutional decline like a staged disease: harder to detect but easier to cure in the early stages, easier to detect but harder to heal in the later stages. An institution can look strong on the outside but already be sick on the inside… 

Jim Collins

Focus on Your Customers 

Before we get into details about specific actions to take, let’s look at the big picture. What is at the heart of every business, including yours? Customers. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. 


When deciding what actions to take to strengthen your business, always keep your customers front and center. If you make changes that end up hurting your customers, you’re ultimately hurting yourself. You’ll lose the people who are at the very center of your business. 


Airlines are an example of what happens when you forget about your customers. Over the last decade, airlines have gone to great lengths to cut costs and increase profits. Service declined, and customers were hit with various fees they never had to pay in the past. The result? Customers are getting increasingly frustrated and fed up. It seems that everyone has an airline horror story. 


Flying, which was once seen as a luxury, is now often considered a necessary evil. The moral of the story is to always keep your customers at the top of the priority list. Before making changes:

  1. Consider how they will affect the customer experience.
  2. If customer experience is one of your key competitive advantages, be especially careful about changes. If you destroy one of your competitive advantages, you may end up dealing a death blow to your business.
  3. If you do make changes that will directly affect the customer, communicate those clearly.
  4. Explain to the customer why you have to make the changes and the outcomes you expect.

The more transparent you are with your customers, the more understanding they’ll be.

Marketer Neil Patel is an excellent example of this kind of transparency. For several years, he made a particular software available for free. Eventually, however, the costs became too high, and he was forced to start charging for portions of the software. He sent a letter to his customers, clearly explaining what was happening. He detailed his costs, making it clear that he didn’t have the resources to continue making everything available for free. Then he laid out exactly what would happen moving forward. You would be wise to follow Neil’s example.

Explain why changes are happening, when they will take effect, and how they will affect customers. During times of global crisis, it is essential to keep the focus on customers. People will remember the actions you take. If you seek to serve your customers, you will build up a vast amount of goodwill even at the expense of profit. For example, during the coronavirus crisis, many companies sacrificed financial gain for the sake of their customers:

● Many educational companies made their resources free to parents who were suddenly forced to homeschool their children.
● Audible gave away free audiobooks for kids.
● Moz provided free courses on search engine optimization to help businesses strengthen their online presence.
● Loom offered significant discounts on their video recording platform so people could stay in touch with family and friends.
● made its platform available for free for 90 days to anyone affected by the coronavirus.

All of these companies are losing out on potential profit by giving these things away for free. But customers will remember the actions taken by these businesses and will be much more likely to support them in the future. It’s about building your brand by doing good for others instead of focusing on the bottom line. Bottom line: If you keep the focus on customers, there’s a much greater chance that your business will weather the tough times.

Average Massage Therapist Income- Massage Academics

Average Massage Therapist Income- Massage Academics

This is the most common question I receive. What is the average Massage Therapist Income? There are many factors that involve the answer to this question. The basic answer I have found, for Canada and the US, is:

$12,000- $20,000+ per year part-time and

$30,000-$90,000+ per year full time.

So what determines the Salaries?

You and Your Education

The starting point to every profession. What has been the financial investment into your education? Time investment?

What modalities to you have training in?

You can charge different rates for different specialties. For example, I charge more for Hot Stone Therapy than I do Relaxation Massage. For each modality, and specific training, you can have a variety of rates.

How long have you been in the profession?

If you have just Graduated a Massage Program, chances are you will be making slightly less than someone who has been in practice for 10 years.

Demographic Region

Cost of living dictates rates all life factors. You have to make your pricing reasonable to your market. If you over price yourself, clients won’t be able to afford your services.

Salary Canada by Province

Salary US by State

Fee Strategy

  • Competitive pricing. What are other Therapists charging?
  • What is your market? Can you afford to charge $55 instead of $60 per hour? This is NOT a SALE price!
  • What do you offer? Ex: Do you offer third party billing?
  • What do you do different? Ex: Indian Head Massage, Hot Stone, or another specialty.

Remember the NEVER put yourself on Sale? Now here’s the ‘skirt around’ that issue.

Go that little extra mile: Go 5 mins more on the Massage. Add in a touch extra face, or head massage. That goes a long way with a client.

Pre-Paid Packages: Pay for X# of One Hour Massages, and receive the last one for free. This is not a sale price, this falls under ‘what do you offer’. I did these for a number of years, and the payoff was fantastic. (I still offer them, but only to my VIP clients now).

Do you have any ‘Specialty Equipment’ available to you? Like a Steamer or Sauna? If you do, offering a ‘Combo Package’ is a great way to add to the client experience. ( I added these links because, when I had a Full Service Spa, we had a Personal Steamer, and the clients LOVED it. InfraRed was still a fairly new, and expensive venture, and when I found these, I was super stoked! What a great add on!!

Canadian Link to InfraRed Sauna

USA Link to InfraRed Sauna

InfraRed Sauna For your Massage Clinic or Spa.  Great for Personal Use as well!!


SereneLife Portable InfraRed Sauna

Hours of Operation

What hours are you working? I’ve been fortunate, for many years, to be able to book according to my clients needs, and my schedule balance. Remember, when starting out, you shouldn’t be too choosy. Working evenings, and Saturdays can be quite beneficial to your income. Even after being in business for as long as I have been, I still work evenings, and some Saturdays. (Over the years, I have become picky about Saturdays. I reserve those spaces for my VIP clients only).

What are do you charge, and what region are you in? Let me Know! I’m Curious as to how accurate these charts are!



Business of Massage Therapy- Client Incentive Programs- Massage Academics

Business of Massage Therapy- Client Incentive Programs- Massage Academics

As I’ve told you, recently, to not put yourself ‘on sale’, we’re going to change it up a bit. You’re probably asking: How do I get clients? Let’s play with a few ideas!! I took a look at my old Business Plan, and have reshaped it to fit for the Profession to reflect today’s economy. We will be using $60 per hour as our baseline rate.

Client Incentive Programs

This is NOT being ‘on sale’, this is to promote you, and your Business… a standing out above the crowd approach. Some ideas that I will mention here, maybe repeated from previous posts, but that’s because I think they are worthy of consideration.

Prepaid Packages

You have to look at these as a contract with your client. They are prepaying you for services that they are yet to receive. They are taking a risk, and so are you. Before we get into what a Prepaid Package can look like, let’s set up some rules for them. Depending on the size of the Package, I would recommend that they have a ‘stale date’. (Not an expiration date… that’s another entity altogether). Stale Dates, are dates where you can no longer guarantee the price point. If the package isn’t used in its entirety by said date, you cannot guarantee the same rate. Generally I consider this a guideline. So, why do I have a ‘stale date’? You could, quite reasonably, have a package that’s ‘Open’ for 2+ years! If you have raised your rates by that time, a ‘stale date’ gives you the option to charge the difference. So how long should a Package be ‘Open’ before it ‘stale dates’? Depends on the package. As we go through a few ideas, I will give you some guidelines for those dates. (In my examples, I will be using $60 per hour as regular price). These are just examples, play with your pricing, and comfort zones. 1. Purchase a 10 Session Massage Package, and receive the 11 Massage for FREE!! (This package I generally leave open for a year). 2. Purchase a 6 Session Massage Package for $330!! (This one varies from 6 months, to a year, for ‘open’ dates). 3. Add On: For every 60-Minute Massage booked in (Month), receive a FREE 10 Min. Steam!! (Or a gift).

Referral Program

You can advertise this, or make it a quiet Thank You. Client A sends 5 of their friends to you, as a Thank You, you could give them a gift (bath salts, candle, bath bomb), 1/2 off Massage, or even a free Massage. It is best to acknowledge EVERY referral sent to you. A simple thank you goes a long way!

Holiday Specials

One Special we ran at The Spa, was Couple Massages for Valentines Day. Book a 60-Minute Massage for both of you for $110.00! Book a 60-Minute Massage for Your (??? Cupid / Sweety??), and they will get a Steam/ gift!! In some cases, if your treatment Rooms are large enough, it’s great to do the Massages together! (There has to be enough room for both tables, and 2 Therapists). This one went like hotcakes! What are your ideas here? What have you done? Do you need help to plan an Incentive Program? Let me know in the Comments!! Have a Beautiful Day!! Shaunna
Professional Alliances in Massage Therapy

Professional Alliances in Massage Therapy

Why are these important to my business? Who do I approach? How to I develop an Alliance?





Professional Alliances in Massage Therapy – The Why





By building professional alliances, your practice will flourish. Having a network with other Health Care, and Therapy Professionals will increase your market, and theirs.










Assignment One





Your first assignment is to make a list of Health Professionals you already know. Your:





  • Chiropractor
  • Physio Therapist
  • Massage Therapist
  • Doctor
  • Dentist (yep… Dentist)
  • Lawyer
  • Chamber of Commerce Members





Then add to that list of the same Professionals, and others, within your area of work. (This list will expand as you go).





Assignment Two





Do a Bio Letter of Introduction. In this letter, you will want to include:





  • Where you went to school for Massage Therapy
  • Graduation date
  • Association
  • Specialties Certified in
  • Your goals for client treatment and care
  • How massage can benefit their patients or clients
  • Other professional History





Think of it as a Resume, but not a resume. You can add some personal information as to hobbies if you wish, but keep it pertinent to the person you are addressing, or the profession of Massage.




The Approach





There are 3 ways to approach others. Face to face, by phone, or by letter/email, or any combination of these.





The letter you wrote, can act as a ‘script’ to keep you on track with face to face, or phone approach as a bonus.





Because forming an Alliance is so beneficial, you will want to offer them something to get to know you and your work. With your introduction, you can offer them (a limited time) promotion. This isn’t a sale price, it’s a Promotional Offer.





Promotional Offers with a Future Alliance





  • A gift certificate for a free 30-minute massage
  • 20%-50% Off of Regular Price (I hear you now… but that’s a sale price)!!! Yes, and no. Put on the gift certificate that it’s a Professional Offer Only. Non-Transferable (that means they can’t give it to someone else).
  • Free Gift





Why do this? You want to promote yourself, and your talent. You want the Alliance.





Barter System





This is another approach to forming an Alliance. Especially with other Health Care Professionals.





By trading treatments, and services, not only do you get to know their style, and work, they get to know yours. It’s a win for both parties.





Referring to Others





NEVER be afraid to tell a client that a problem may be out of your scope of practice! Integrity is key here. A client will admire your honesty, and appreciate a referral to someone that can treat the issue.





Not long ago, I referred a long-time client to a Sports Massage Specialist. I can do ‘Sports Massage’, but this was a sports-related injury, and I’m NOT a Specialist in this modality. I am confident in my abilities, and I know when a client needs a different approach to an issue, so I refer them out. (The client did come back after the injury issue was resolved, complete with a Thank You, and recommendations from the other Therapist).





I have often referred to Chiropractic, or Physio Therapy, to be done instead, or in conjunction with Massage. When referring out, I do explain why. (I use Medical terms, with layman translation). Telling a client of your limitations will be a showing of your integrity, and honesty.





A client is more apt to refer a friend to you by saying,





“He/She helped ABC problem, but referred me to a Chiropractor for D, because of (yada yada). A very honest person, and a great Therapist!”





A quick, easy example of an introductory letter.





Your Name





Address, City, ST ZIP Code | Telephone | Email










(Chiropractor/ Massage Therapist/ Physio Therapist)




















City, ST ZIP Code





Dear (Chiropractor/ Massage Therapist/ Physio Therapist):





I would like to take the time to introduce myself, as I am new to the area.





Professionally, I have 25 years of Massage Therapy experience, with specialties in Motor Vehicle Accidents, and soft tissue injuries.





The modalities that I incorporate into my treatments are as follows:





  • Relaxation & Deep Tissue Massage
  • Hot Stone Therapy
  • Cupping
  • Myofascial Release
  • Craniosacral
  • Assisted stretch techniques





I Graduate from X School of Massage in (year), and belong to (Association).





I would like the opportunity to connect with you, and your practice. Please accept this certificate as my way of saying Thank You for your time!















You don’t have to get fancy with it. Short, and to the point. You can use a template, but keep it simple. Too much clutter takes away from the content. If you have a Logo, do put that in.





How do you, or have you formed Alliances? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the Comments Section!!





Have a GREAT DAY!!








Marketing Your Massage Therapy Practice

Marketing Your Massage Therapy Practice

Marketing is a bit easier today than it was 25 years ago! Cheaper too! But how does one go about it? What is marketing, how do you do it, and where do you spend the money to do it?

Marketing 101

Marketing your Massage Therapy Practice is first and foremost about becoming known. You need to start building a professional reputation.

You have your Incentive / Promotional Programs in place.

You’ve gone around, handed out your business cards, and have introduced yourself.

You are forming Professional Alliances.


Welcome to the Digital Age!

There was a time when we did Phonebook ads, and Local Newspaper ads. (Dinosaurs roamed the Earth)….

The Phonebook, at the time, was my best ever investment. At around $400 per year, we would get calls every day! Alas, the Phonebook has gone by way of the Pony Express and is all but dead.

Newspaper Ads were very expensive, around $350 per/ month, and rarely generated any business. Again, these are becoming a thing of the past though, so…

Marketing 2.0!!

Build a Website! This used to be an expensive process, but not anymore! You can build your own website, for a reasonable cost per year, and Poof, your listed! (And it’s cheaper than the Phonebook)!

GoDaddy is a great option. You can often get great deals, but with added costs. A good site can cost you upwards of $500 / year, by the time you’re done with all the add ons. Some you can choose NOT to take, but others you have to pay for. Like the SSL (Security Certificate).

I have since found something way, way better! And, in the end, Wealthy Affiliate is a much better deal! (Cheaper too). This is a GREAT place! As a FREE member, you have access to 2 of your own websites… for free! There are other bonuses as well, that I have put in a different post.

How to Target on Your Website

Location. It’s pretty obvious, you want to put an address in here. If you’re not comfortable with placing a full address, at least put it in a general location, like a Town or Urban area.

Phone Number. Again, obvious. If you have a dedicated landline or cellphone, you want it listed. I do recommend NOT listing your home number! Keep business, and personal as separate as possible.

Target Market

A ‘Target Market’ is best defined as people, or groups of people, with a similar interest, or challenge. It can be age, pain, condition, illness, or injury. (This is just the overview of a list. You can broaden it, and narrow it as you go).

Remember, clients, want to feel unique and understood. When they read about conditions you treat, modalities you use, and your space, they want the feeling that you are talking directly TO THEM!

Who is your Target Market?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who are you trying to connect with?
  2. What conditions (fibromyalgia, pain, sleep issues, injury, etc.) do you prefer working on?
  3. What modalities do you use?
  4. How do your modalities fit, and treat, said condition?

The Ideal Client

With Massage Therapy, you don’t have to focus on one client/condition for your market. You do want to narrow the client field, to increase business. So, how do you identify your Ideal Client?

Who are you trying to reach? Are you trying to reach:

  • MVA claims
  • Seniors
  • Palliative Care
  • Deep Tissue
  • Athletics
  • AND So On…..

Take each condition, and make a list of the benefits you can offer through the type of work you do.

You want to tell them what you do for each ‘Specialty Client /Target”. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, just informative. Give them a peek at why you like a modality, and how it treats certain conditions.

List your Modalities, and the benefits of them inrelation to their specific need.

  • Relaxation & Deep Tissue
  • Hot Stone Massage
  • Myofascial Release
  • Craniosacral
  • Cupping
  • AND SO ON….

Every time you take a course, or add a Modality, list it on your site, and explain its benefits. Let people know why you took that course.

EX: I just completed ABC Taping!! I’m so excited about this!

I took this course because many of my clients have been experiencing (X issue(s)), and I wanted to be able to increase the benefits of their recovery with this awesome technique!

(Tell your clients about the course, the benefits… get them invested in your excitement)!

Overview Do A Self-Assessment.

Why are you in business?

What is your purpose and priorities in marketing?

What are your marketing goals?

What are your strategies for marketing?

Marketing Plan – Assignment

1. Overview (Purpose, Priorities, and Goals)

A. Your Personal statement of why you are a Massage Therapist

B. Results that you want to create with marketing

C. How will you accomplish these goals

2. Positioning – What is you niche market?

A. Differential Advantage (Your unique features modalities/specialties that benefits or characteristics which sets you apart from your competitors for a target market)

B. Image (How do you portray yourself? Your business)

3. Target Market Analysis

A. Demographics. (Age, location, specialties, etc.)

B. Client Profile

4. Marketing Assessment

A. Analyzation of Market. What works, what doesn’t.

B. Recommendations of changes, if needed

C. Impressions of competitors marketing (if needed)

5. Strategic Action Plan

A. Promotions

B. Advertising

C. Community Relations

D. Publicity

E. Timetables

F. Budget

Questions about Marketing Your Practice? What Marketing practices do you use? Let me know!!




You cannot copy content of this page

Pin It on Pinterest