In this month’s Muscle Whisperer, I was asked to share the mistakes I made in my massage therapy business and what lessons these mistakes taught me!
Of course I made countless mistakes when I was starting out. But I did make one huge mistake that I see so many other therapists make too – and in fact it was this that led me to my current work as a business mentor for massage therapists.
The mistake I made is this: In the beginning I spent a lot of time really concentrating on the techniques and anatomy side of being a massage therapist. I wanted to become exceptional at my job so I focused on learning new qualifications, learning more about the body and learning how I could help my clients feel better. Of course this meant that I become a great massage therapist, but it also meant something else:
I was really good at what I did, but because I didn’t know the first thing about business or marketing, it took me YEARS to really get my business off the ground.
It was literally 10 years before I had finally managed to build a massage business that would support me properly. One that was rock solid, with a constantly booked out schedule, where I worked with my perfect client at prices that I was really happy with.
And the reason it took me so long to get there was that while I was prioritising my hands-on knowledge, I was neglecting to learn business and marketing. I didn’t even really know that I needed to! I just naively assumed that if I was good enough at my job, clients would come pouring in.
I had some great clients, but for the first 10 years, my books were hit and miss. Sometimes I would be busy and things were great, at other times it was very quiet and I struggled to find new massage clients.
I just didn’t have a way of getting new clients, I didn’t have a marketing strategy, I didn’t have a way of making sure that the clients I got were a good fit. I didn’t even know how to set the right prices.
I finally realised I needed to step up as a business owner and start putting strategies and procedures in place to protect my hard work.
It took a while to learn these business skills but it made a huge difference to my career as a massage therapist! Now I charge premium prices and have all the clients I want.
While focusing on anatomy and techniques is very important, I would really recommend that you take the time to educate yourself on business skills, marketing skills, and strategies and systems to put in place to make sure that you have a steady stream of clients, that you have a way of getting referrals and a strategy for getting clients to rebook.
You are a business owner after all. You absolutely HAVE to recognise this – otherwise it’s just a nice hobby!
I know it can feel overwhelming – so just take a deep breath… understand that you’ve got a business to protect and then just start to implement some learning into how to make that business work for you!
And of course if you’d like help to make your business work for you – that’s exactly what I do. Just click here to book a free call with me to discuss how I can help you grow your massage business.