We as massage therapists need to take look at three main options for increasing revenue: increase the dollar value of each sale, increase the number of transactions or decrease expenses. Within these three options are 14 ways to increase our revenue within the framework of the business landscape, especially when we have reached our maximum number of clients.
Increased Dollar Value per Sale
- Add-On Services: Therapists can offer hand treatments, foot treatments, dry brushing, aromatherapy, hot packs, ice packs and other special services as add-on services. These are 15 or 20 minute services that can only be added onto existing services.
- Retail: Massage therapists can add a retail component to their practice, selling aromatherapy oils, lotions, scrubs, hot packs, massage tools, and even books. (Massage therapists in some states are prohibited from prescribing, so please check your state law before selling herbal supplements so as not to be accused of prescribing them.)
- Price Increase: If you are not charging at least the average rate for a massage in your area, it is time for a price increase. Undervaluing your work does you and your clients no good in the long run when you are unable to work because you injured yourself trying too hard to make a living.
Increased Number of Sales
It is understandable that most therapists will not want to increase their number of sales (services) once they have maxed out what they can comfortably do. An increase in volume of sales is exactly what others are looking for. Regardless of your position, here are some ways to increase the number of sales in your business:
If you want to increase the number of clients you see:
- Online Booking: Offering clients the convenience of being able to book their own appointments online allows them to make appointments when they think of it – late at night after their busy day slows down. It also allows clients to book when you are in session.
- Ask Clients to Reschedule: As simple as it sounds, do not check clients out and say “Okay, goodbye.” After you complete their checkout, ask them to rebook next month. Many will go ahead and do just that.
- Update Skills: Therapists have to add some new skill or service to their repertoire on a regular basis or clients get bored. There is around a three-month cycle for client retention, at which point they get busy, get bored, and find some new way to feel better. Continually adding new services and techniques to your work will stop this from happening. Combined with new business, this will serve to increase bookings.
- Send Postcards: Send out “We Miss You” to clients who haven’t been in for three months and “Birthday” cards that give clients 10% off on their next visit to increase sales.
- Added Value: One way to draw customers in to increase web retail sales is to offer added value through your website – it should be a source of information on massage and alternative wellness that your clients can turn to for more than retail sales and booking massage. By creating added value, clients will funnel through your website, constantly reminding customers you are there, increasing bookings and retail alike.
If you are not looking to increase the number of clients you see:
- Website Retail: Offering online retail purchasing allows you to make retail sales to those other than your massage clients. This requires a strong web presence to start, but can become very profitable later on if you are willing to invest time into learning about online retail and the products you plan to offer. For products that are consumed, auto-refills are a convenient option for clients that drive sales for your business.
- Teach a Class: Classes can be for other massage therapists or geared toward your clientele. I know one therapist who did a fabulous couples course with wonderful couples’ reconnection exercises and then taught them how to work on each other. The clients enjoyed the course and it gave her hands a break.
- Staff: Hiring another therapist to work in your office when you are not there will bring you a percentage of their services, which will help by offsetting the rent and overhead (thus reducing costs).
- Shop Wholesale: Buy sheets from hotel suppliers, lotions by the five gallon bucket and cleaning supplies from the big box warehouses. Consider buying used furnishings for the office. Shop around and find the best prices. If you cannot use all of the items bundled in each purchase from the big box warehouses, shop and share with another therapist or neighboring businesses.
- Blog and Social Media: Use free blogs and social media sites to promote your business. Most of these allow you a free page or listing which can be linked through friends and family. You may still want a paid website, but you can link several sites and pages together, increasing the chances that someone will find your business online.
- Deductions: It always amazes me how many massage therapists do not know what expenses they can legitimately write off on their taxes. Writing off legitimate business expenses helps to offset the income taxes you will pay, saving you money. You are supposed to claim legitimate expenses! Knowing what is and is not allowed as a write-off will allow you to keep receipts for items that can be deducted, saving you money each year.
Once we understand that there are only three ways to increase profits in business, we can begin to narrow down the best approaches for increasing revenue in our own practices. Whether we want to increase our own bookings or are specifically looking to increase revenue without increasing the number of massages we do per week, understanding how businesses increase their revenue helps us in the running of our practices.