Successful massage therapist often stop inquiring about recurring clients current condition since they assume nothing has changed and/or the client will let them know if something is going on. Always ask every client, including “regulars”, how are they doing and is there anything currently going on with their body that you should know about.
Being an excellent massage therapist does not guarantee a successful massage therapy business. Additional skills are required including handling the business aspects of your practice, and acquiring and managing clients. The most important additional skill is acquiring and managing potential NEW clients. Here, people skills are the “make it or break it” key to building a successful practice. If you do not have them you will have to develop this skill set fast or you need to work for an established bodywork provider until you do. Here is one technique that a very successful therapist uses to impress potential clients: this sole practitioner has a warm personality and is genuinely empathetic. She responds to her potential clients’ complaints of aches and pains by showing concern and demonstrating her knowledge with helpful suggestions for the potential clients’ discomfort. The key technique here is she suggests one or two slow and simple exercises and/or stretches that may be helpful. This lets the potential client know that their comfort and well-being are primary. Then she follows up with “Please call me next week and let me know how you are feeling,” or better “May I call you in a few days to see how you are feeling?” Only after she has made the second contact does she let them know that her massage skills could also be of help. You get the idea. Show empathy and knowledge before trying to get a booking. CAUTION: Always keep your suggested exercises and/or stretches slow and simple. Leave any complicated exercises for other professionals.
Acquiring a good knowledge of slow and simple exercises and/or stretches to help aches, pains, and minor injuries will take work on your part. There are numerous books on the subject; find a good one to read and study. This body of knowledge applied properly and combined with an honest dose of empathy can make the difference between a so-so practice and a very successful one.
ALWAYS BE ON TOP OF YOUR BODYWORK CLIENT SCHEDULE
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As Massage Therapy becomes more widely viewed as an Allied Health Profession, it is important for every serious massage therapist to keep up with advances and innovations in the massage therapy and bodywork profession. This means lifelong learning through continuing education courses, both online and in the classroom. In order to find a good job as a qualified massage therapist, prospective employers will look at both your experience and your education. Additionally, some states are now requiring that massage therapists and bodyworkers be nationally certified, which means more education. For the sake of this post, we will deal with just the online possibilities for acquiring Continuing Education Units (CEUs). You may also find additional sources for CEUs, such as massage therapy classes at your local bodywork schools.
One of the best places to find recommendations for online continuing education for massage therapists and bodyworkers is the professional massage therapy and bodywork organization from which you obtained your liability insurance as a certified massage therapist, registered massage therapist, massage practitioner, etc. Following are a few CEU provider recommendations from both AMTA and ABMP.
From the home page of AMTA, click on the EDUCATION tab at the top of the page. This will take you to a variety of online continuing education options–very worth your review. There are courses regarding massage business, massage modalities, self-care for the massage therapist, and ethics. The site has webinars as well.
The home page has continuing education information near the bottom of the page.
Extensive collection of online massage and bodywork courses are available.
|BLACKOUT TIME PERIODS & DATES
My Massage Appointment program has a new feature – an ability to blackout time periods and dates. Stops you form booking an appointment on your significant other’s birthday. Even when using automatic recurring appointments MMA will give you notice of the conflict if the recurring appointment falls on that important date. Blacked out days can you give you peace of mind when your schedule gets busy both professionally and personally. Sign Up For a Free Trial.
EASILY BLACK OUT THE PARTS OF THE DAY YOU DO NOT WANT APPOINTMENTS
Avoid conflicts with your personal life. Block out days or times that you want to keep clear of appointments. An old friend visiting from out of town next month, block out that special luncheon date now and stop worrying about accidentally booking an appointment at the same time. My Massage Appointments will even alert you when you use our recurring appointments feature and an automatically set appointment causes a conflict. Do not like to do massage appointments after 8pm in the evening, block out from 9pm to midnight. Want a break from 2pm to 3pm, block out the time for weeks ahead using recurring appointments.
By using My Massage Appointments you can keep your personal life and your massage business from interfering with each other.
When setting up your massage therapy room, you will want to create an experience of relaxation, peace, harmony and warmth. Attention to both functional detail and aesthetic detail (to be considered in later posts) is important. Assuming you have picked an area where you wish to locate, you should consider the following basics of any massage room: size of your room and ancillary space, room soundproofing, control of room lighting, control of room temperature and air quality, and availability of bathroom facilities. We are going to do a post on each of the above considerations for creating a good space for massage therapy.
|AUTOMATIC CLIENT INFORMATION BACKUP
Your My Massage Appointments program lets you see all your appointments on any given date instantly. Just place your screen cursor over the date and a list of your appointments for that date will appear. Look professional by being on top of your schedule openings. Clients will notice. Sign Up For a Free Trial.
SEE YOUR APPOINTMENTS FOR ANY DATE IMMEDIATELY
When a massage client calls requesting an appointment on a date or dates which you already have appointments booked, placing your cursor on the calendar date automatically gives you a list of all the booked appointments for that date. Quickly see where there are openings and book the appointment. You never have to tell your client that you will have to call them back.
You can find quality music for your bodywork room (free sampling available) on www.massagewarehouse.com, www.Amazon.com, www.iTunes.com, www.cdbaby.com, http://atpeacemedia.com/music. You can also listen for free to sample various artists at www.pandora.com. If you do a Google search of “Relaxing Bodywork Music”, you will come up with “over 8 million results” so you will never lack for quality music for your bodywork environment. You may also want to let your clients know that they are welcome to bring their own relaxing music.
Definitely spend some time listening to the various artists before settling on your collection.
Here is a sampling of the music being used currently by bodyworkers in their practices today.
- Pati, 10 years experience, Reiki Hands of Light by Deuter, available on CD from www.Amazon.com.
- Nancy, 15 years experience, Sleep Deeply by Dan Gibson’s Solitudes, available on CD from www.Amazon.com.
- Mary, 20 years experience, Sleep Soundly by Steven Halpern, available on CD from www.Amazon.com.
- John, 5 years experience, The Best of Aeoliah, by Aeoliah, available on CD from www.Amazon.com or from http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aeoliah22/aeoliah/ as a CD or as a download.
- Jessica, 2 years experience, Ahanu Healing Massage Music by Autumn Hill, available for download from www.iTunes.com.
- Britney, 1 year experience, Above the Clouds from Lifescapes by Kavin Hoo, available on CD from www.Amazon.com.
- Joe, 1 year experience, Baby Massage by Karunesh, available on CD at iTunes from www.Amazon.com.
- Kandace, 3 years experience, Kokyo by Kevin Village Stone, available from www.whisperinglight.com.
- Henry, 16 years experience, recommends the following artists: Steven Halpern, Carlos Nakai, Richard Clayderman, Enya. All of these artists have multiple albums (CD) available on www.Amazon.com.
|AUTOMATIC CLIENT INFORMATION BACKUP
My Massage Appointment program will automatically backup your client data with one click. Have the peace of mind of knowing a complete list of your massage clients is safely tucked away anywhere you wish. Stay focused on marketing your bodywork business. Sign Up For a Free Trial.
List of Licenses and Taxes for new Massage Therapists
The following list contains some of the common types of licenses and taxes you may need to operate your bodywork practice legally. There may be more. Check with local authorities and a local accountant to be sure all your bases are covered.
City or County Business License
Available at City Hall or the County Court House. Usually based on gross income. When starting out, your estimated bodywork income should be low and therefore your Business License fee should be small.
City, County or State Massage License
Available at City Hall, County Court House or a State Agency. A state license is best since it allows you to work anywhere in the state. Fees in some large cities can be very expensive. Some localities have separate licenses for having a massage location in addition to actually doing bodywork.
Internal Revenue Service
You are probably familiar with filing your yearly income return. Unless you have been in business before, you are probably not familiar with Schedule C. Schedule C is the form on which you report your bodywork business’s gross income, expenses and net income (which is taxed). Gross income is easy, it is your total massage income for the year. For expenses, you should keep a WRITTEN record of all expenses you believe belong to your practice. Unless you have had previous experience with business bookkeeping and tax accounting you should use a tax preparer like an Enrolled Agent or a state licensed tax preparer. Your preparer may tell you that some of your expenses are not allowed or you have missed a commonly used expense. After this first experience you may be able to do your next Schedule C on your own.
State Income Taxes
If you live in a state that has a state income tax you will have to file a state return. Again, if you have been employed in the past you are familiar with filing a state return. The good news is that most states use your Federal Schedule C for calculating your taxable business income. Tax programs or internet services will automatically use your Federal Schedule C for the state return.
City, County or Special Districts Income Taxes
You may discover that a local income tax is levied by a local government entity. You should be familiar with this requirement if you have filed a tax return with either your employment or resident address inside the geographic limits of one of these entities. Common local income tax districts are city governments and school districts.
You enter a very complex accounting world when you decide to have an employee. You may be better off investigating whether an additional massage therapist could be classified as contract labor. A contract labor relationship requires very little paperwork. Check with a local accountant before you go this easy route and classify an additional massage therapist as contract labor. The accountant will give you guidelines for doing the contract labor relationship properly. If you have to go the employee route, use an online payroll processing service. You absolutely do not want to enter this complex and very time consuming employment accounting process when running a massage business.
If you decide to sell items like lotions or candles as a secondary profit center you will have to pay sales taxes. Paying sales taxes usually requires completing a report on a regular basis (usually quarterly). A tip, sometimes you can find a product wholesaler that will collect the sales tax from you as part of you purchasing their products and then send it on to the state for you. Thus eliminating sales tax paperwork.
|SEND AN EMAIL APPOINTMENT REMINDER WITH ONE CLICK
My Massage Appointments lets you send an email reminder message to your bodywork client automatically. This tells your bodywork client the date, time and length of their appointment, and gives your name and contact information. Always Available Online. Sign Up For a Free Trial.
As you go through this list, you will find similarities with the list for sources of Massage Tables in a previous blog post. Sources are ranked in order of greatest number of portable massage chairs first.
Order by Phone: 888-918-2253 (M-F, 7:00am-7:00pm CST)
Customer Service: 800-910-9955 (M-F, 7:00am-7:00pm CST)
Fax Your Order: 888-674-4380 (Downloadable Fax Order Form PDF)
Outside the United States: 630-771-7400
360 Veterans Parkway, Suite 115
Bolingbrook, IL 60440-4607
Massage Chairs Offered: 8
NRG Grasshopper Chair Package Special
Oakworks® Portal Pro® 3 Massage Chair Package
Stronglite Ergo-Pro Massage Chair Package
NRG Grasshopper Massage Chair
NRG Grasshopper Chair Package Special with Cradle Covers
Apollo Portable Massage Chair with 75 Free Face Cradle Covers
NRG Grasshopper Massage Chair Upgrade Package
Custom Craftworks Melody Portable Massage Chair
One Touch Massage
Call us at 888-600-0511
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday
One Touch Massage
975 Nathan Lane Suite A
Plymouth, Minnesota 55441
Free Shipping Lower 48 States
Massage Chairs Offered: 7
Stronglite Standard Portable Massage Chair Package
NRG Grasshopper Portable Massage Chair
EarthLite Avila II Portable Massage Chair Package
EarthLite Vortex Portable Massage Chair Package
Stronglite Ergo-Pro Massage Chair Package
OneTouch Journey Portable Massage Chair
OneTouch Portable Desktop Massage Support
Hours of operation:
Monday – Friday 8:30AM – 5:00PM EST
Telephone: Local: 717-235-6807
Toll Free: 800-558-8850
923 E. Wellspring Rd.
New Freedom, PA 17349
Massage Chairs offered: 4
Portal Pro Massage Chair
Portal Light Massage Chair
Earthlite Massage Tables
3210 Executive Ridge Dr.
Vista, CA 92081
Toll Free: 800-872-0560
Massage Chairs Offered: 4
Avila II™ Portable Massage Chair Package
Vortex™ Portable Massage Chair Package
Zenvi™ Sound Chair
“We provide our customers with the highest quality massage chairs in the industry. Our expertly engineered massage chairs are light, easy to carry, easy to set up, and provide your customer’s with the ultimate in comfort. Our portable massage chairs are adjustable and can be set up virtually anywhere.”
The Massage Table Store
Telephone: Call Monday-Friday 9am-6pm EST 770-783-3456
Free Shipping to Lower 48 States
Massage Chairs Offered: 2
Portable Massage Chair with 4” Pad
Portable Massage Chair with Wheels
BestMassage.com—TAO Trading Corporation
1419 W Howard Street
Chicago, IL 60626
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central time Saturday
Telephone: U.S. and Canada: 773-764-6542
Massage Chairs Offered: 1
Eco BodyChoice Chair
|SEND A TEXT REMINDER FOR ANY APPOINTMENT WITH ONE CLICK
My Massage Appointments lets you send a text message reminder to your bodywork client automatically. Tells client date, time and length of massage appointment and gives your name and contact information.
Always Available Online. Sign Up For a Free Trial.
List of Sources of Massage and Bodywork Lotions
Professional products for use by massage therapists and bodyworkers abound, and come in a great many varieties, sizes, textures, and scented or fragrance-free. Most commonly, these products come under the headings of lotions, crèmes, butters, gels, oils and analgesics. The top name brands for professional massage therapy products are Biotone, Soothing Touch, Massage FX, Lotus Touch, Bon Vital, and TheraPro. A word of caution, your massage clients could have allergies to some ingredient in the lotion you are using. So it is important to ask your clients about any allergies they may have before using any product. Also, using hypoallergenic products gives you some extra protection from a client having a problem.
Following are several websites where you can find the professional products you need for your massage therapy practice:
The following link refers to a chart outlining the type of massage products used in specific modalities:
|ALWAYS KNOW YOUR AVERAGE INCOME PER MASSAGE HOUR BOOKED
Know your bodywork practice’s important trends automatically. My Massage Appointments has a bar graph and table that allows you to follow your Monthly Income and Hours Booked and your Average Income per Massage Hour Booked. Anywhere you can get online you can see your up-to-date totals. Sign Up For a Free Trial.