As a business owner, you have lots of concerns, responsibilities, and ideas vying for your time and attention every day.  When you’re not at your office, you’re thinking about your office. While some of your challenges may take preference over others, one real aspect of running your own massage therapy practice that must be addressed and resolved is winning the battle against lower-charging massage therapy services in town.  Here are doable tips to help you secure new clients, retain established clients, and consistently continue to win against competitors with lower rates:

Tip #1: Realize and internalize the fact that you really don’t have any competitors.

There’s a reason that on any busy thoroughfare in any city, you can drive down the streets and see lots of fast food restaurant chains, national and independently-owned eateries, drug stores, beauty shops, and retail stores.  They really don’t compete with each other. If you go Taco Bell, it’s because you want a taco, not a Big Mac.  You can’t get a ribs at Red Lobster and you’re not going to find yourself buying steak for your weekend BBQ at the corner Walgreen’s.  Every business offers their own unique products in their own unique ways.  Some are conveniently located with ample parking. Some are open late hours. Others welcome customers before the sun has even risen.  Some have a specialty dessert not available anywhere else. Others welcome pets.  The reason one pizzeria can hang a shingle outside its door just a few blocks from another pizza shop is because it’s a unique entity that offers something the other pizza shop does not.  Maybe it delivers pizza starting at noon. Maybe it also offers authentic Italian food and fine wine. Whatever it is, some customers will frequent that pizzeria over the other because it offers different products and services the pizza shop down the street does not. This is exactly how you must look at your massage therapy business.  It doesn’t matter if two other massage therapists open up their practices in the same town as you, they will never be able to provide the same services as you do because, quite simply, they are not you!

Tip #2  Offer products and services others don’t.

As a massage therapist, you already offer your own unique personality, skills, and experiences to your customers that no other massage therapist in the world can duplicate. It’s impossible! There is only one you! With that in mind, you can offer additional products and services to continue to add value to your particular massage therapy practice. You might choose a few evenings per week where you are open later than usual.  Maybe you play soothing, minimalistic music through your office’s speakers. Maybe you can offer a two-for-one special for the first 30 days a new client comes to your practice; or, you can offer it to established customers every 6 months.  Perhaps your practice has a wonderful vanilla aroma that fills the air and welcomes each visitor as they enter the space.  You can sell aromatherapy candles, relaxing CDs, inspirational books, chimes, bath salts, and/or any other products that will help your clients to maintain the same wonderful feeling they get once they’ve had a session with you.

Tip #3: Offer a monthly networking event for your clients.

Your clients all have something in common ~ you.  While most of them are probably professionals in various fields, orchestrate a monthly get together either at your facility if the space permits, or at a local eatery.  It can be a simply appetizer and cocktail gathering where they meet and share their professions, or you can make it an activity of shooting pool, darts, bowling, or a book club. If your location is large enough, you can schedule your monthly event the first Monday of every month at your place from 7:30 PM – 9:00PM. This way, your clients will remember that your place of business is always a “go to” destination the first Monday of each month!

Tip #4: Provide an engaging and informative monthly newsletter.

Whether you publish it via an email or have it printed on paper, design and create an inspiring newsletter that your clients will look forward to receiving and reading. Since you run a local business in your community, you might consider connecting with other local businesses and have them advertise in your newsletter! (It’ll help cover the costs and build a deeper sense of community!)

You can’t compare your expertise, your authentic uniqueness, and all the products and services with any other massage therapy service in town. So, it doesn’t matter what they charge. It’s better to have 10 loyal clients each month who value your services at the prices you charge than to have 40 clients for less money who will drain your energy and time.\