You’ve heard it before, haven’t you?

“You should create a massage practice business plan before starting your business”.

But let’s be real – precious few actually have a business plan for their massage practice, and those that do probably couldn’t find it if you asked them for it. 

I’m going to make you feel a lot better about not having a business plan because I don’t think you need one. 

The purpose of a business plan is to make sure you’ve gone through the exercise of thinking through the things required to grow a successful practice.  This is fine if you have a complex business, or if you need to share the plan with investors to raise money. But the truth is that running a profitable massage practice is not rocket science.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s really, really hard work. But it’s not complicated.  

The successful practice does three things really well:

  • It has a repeatable way to attract a steady stream of new clients

  • It does a good job getting clients to come back regularly

  • It handles business and administrative tasks efficiently

That’s it.  Do these basic things really well, and you can’t help but succeed. 

Plans are just plans. Actions are what get things done. So instead of a complicated business plan for your massage practice, figure out what you’re weakest at and then come up with an “Action Plan” to specifically address the weakness. 

For example:

Let’s say you’d like to have more of your clients booking repeat appointments. 

First, know where your starting point is.  This is important because if you don’t know where you’re starting, you won’t know whether you’re improving or not. 

In this case, let’s say you see that currently, only 10% of the clients you’ve seen in the last 2 months have been in more than once during that time.  (Note: One big advantage of using software for your practice is that getting numbers like this is easy).

Now your job is simple. Get that number to move up!  If you’re like most, it won’t take long to come up with a few simple ideas you can act on.  ( If you use MassageBook, the “Bring ‘em Back” autopilot will automatically send email reminders to clients who haven’t seen you in the last 4 weeks.) 

Now think of ways you can gently remind or encourage clients to come back more frequently. 

Some ideas may include offering a bigger discount on a Series of multiple massages, sending clients a newsletter once a month, offering special pricing during slower hours for clients where you know price is an issue, giving your clients a follow-up call a few weeks after their massage to see how they’re doing…

You get the idea. Do something with specific intent!  

Then look at your number again in a month.  Overtime, you’ll become really good at finding effective ways to improve your target numbers.  Then simply do more of what’s working.  

Remember, to succeed you’ll need to focus on three core areas of improvement:

  • Attracting new clients

  • Retaining the clients you have

  • Handling business and administrative tasks efficiently

Shameless plug:

Is there a shortcut? Yes. There absolutely is. I designed MassageBook software to help you do all three of these really well.  The national MassageBook directory sends you new clients, our integrated email campaigns, and marketing features get your clients coming back more often, and the fully integrated online booking, scheduling, SOAP notes, gift certificates and payments solution keeps everything organized beautifully and generating more income for you.  

And what do you need to do?  

You should focus on providing your clients with an amazing experience they’ll rave about to anyone they meet.  

Now don’t get me wrong, software isn’t going to magically solve all your problems for you. That’s crazy. But it CAN act as the foundation for good business and marketing practices that are critical to the success of your practice.  The paper business plan is replaced with a structure and software process that requires you to do the things you should every single day. Think of it as a real-time coach who’s always at your side, encouraging you to do things the right way.  

So take a deep breath.  And on the exhale forget about that business plan you’ve been meaning to put together but never have.  

Now select one of the three ingredients for success to start on, decide on a single action, and get started!

“There is no beauty but the beauty of action.”  – Moroccan Proverb