Growing your practice as a massage therapist starts with solidifying your core values and establishing a clear purpose for the ways in which you want your practice to expand.
Think about it – wouldn’t a trip or meeting with a clear rationale, time and place have a better chance of succeeding than one haphazardly scheduled for the late afternoon with no specific purpose?
In the same way, your massage practice needs to maintain strong core values but bend slightly to a changing business environment. How can these somewhat mutually exclusive aims be accomplished?
Establish Your Purpose Early
The practices that succeed have an articulate idea of the services that they offer and are willing to stick with that identity in spite of momentary market downturns or fads.
Having a core ideology can also hold your business together as it expands or takes on new employees and clientele, according to the Harvard Business Review.
In essence, by making the services you offer clear, clients will have more confidence in your brand. More confidence from clients translates to higher client loyalty, client satisfaction and a host of good outcomes for your massage practice.
Expanding Your Brand
Having a clear purpose is just the start of expanding your massage practice since you now have to make new clients aware of the services you offer. This is accomplished through effective sales promotion and advertising.
Both sales promotion and advertising for your massage practice depend on retaining satisfied clients and attracting a new clientele base. Just bear in mind that it’s much easier (and less costly) to retain an old client than attract a new one.
It really makes sense to keep the cost of “customer acquisition” as low as possible – customer acquisition is really just a fancy term for reaching out to new clients in your massage practice.
Because satisfied clients stay with businesses for an average of years at a stretch, your sales promotion efforts and advertising campaigns will be well-served by offering existing clients promotional offers to get them back in your practice’s doors and offering new clients a reason to stop by.
Engage Clients in Your Practice
The differences between emotional intelligence (EQ) and regular intelligence (IQ) have been written about extensively. It’s less well-known, though, that business owners with a high EQ tend to engage and retain clients. Why?
Emotionally intelligence is your ability to monitor and appropriately respond to the emotions of other people.
Since the backbone of a massage practice (pardon the pun!) boils down to smooth and ongoing relationships with clients, it’s important to listen attentively and find out what clients are specifically looking for.
Maintain Your Purpose and Remaining Open
This idea goes back to maintaining a clear purpose and list of services that you offer clients in your practice while remaining open to suggestions for new services or ways of improving tried-and-true practices.
Using techniques like active listening – or paraphrasing what you’ve just been told to ensure that both you and your clients are on the same page – is just as important during your everyday practice as during personalized selling.
Getting the Right Balance
Just like having too much of one ingredient can spoil a dessert, focusing too much on gaining new clients or offering new services can be a recipe for disaster.
You should focus on advertising and personalized selling, of course, but you also shouldn’t shy away from offering new services that your clients say they want.
This, again, goes back to the idea of having an articulate purpose for your massage practice while remaining open to suggestions and maintaining smooth relationships with clients.
Abandon Limiting Beliefs
It’s important not to be tethered to an old way of doing business or limiting beliefs that keep you from expanding your practice, even if you’d like to.
Ultimately, it’s hard to really know beforehand whether expanding or reinventing your practice and list of services will pay off over the long haul.
Trust yourself and, if you feel you have a solid plan in place, act today and make sure limiting beliefs don’t hold you back!
- Author: Mark Volkmann
- Published: August 20, 2014