Washington, USA



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Why massage therapists suck at business, and what they need to do to get it right

August 12, 2017




Massage therapists are notoriously awful business people. I'm not exaggerating here.


I met a business owner of a beautiful, well established, busy day spa who revealed to me that she'd never made enough money to pay herself. I could hardly believe it!


What's the point in having a business if you're not making money? Sounds like an exhausting hobby.


I’ve seen therapist after therapist running solo practices with no idea how to run an ad campaign, build a website, or create a referral network. They don’t know who their clients are or where to find them.


Okay, yes, it’s true that massage school is not business school. Business skills and local marketing strategies are not really part of the curriculum. So it’s not massage therapists' fault that they don’t know the first thing about building a brand, conducting market research, or financial planning.


Except… it’s our responsibility. As business owners, we are responsible for much more than giving great massage. Business is an entire skill set that needs to be mastered to run a company - even when it's just a one-person show.


Here’s the deal. If you’re serious about making a decent living (at least $50k/year) as a massage therapist, there are two things you need to do.


First, you need to have a vision for your massage practice. The vision isn’t just a statement you can write up in five minutes. It’s a complete concept that incorporates your personal values, client desires, and your practice’s place in the local community. There are layers to realizing what you have to bring to people that they want to receive - and pay for.


Second, you’ve got to take your vision and put together a marketing strategy in order to get visible in your local community. If the people who want to find you don’t see you out there in the world, then how can you build a business? They want what you have to offer, but it’s your job to get in front of them and be seen. It’s not just advertising. Marketing incorporates research, public relations and sales tactics.


Sure, there are always going to be a few businesses that get lucky and are accidentally successful. Maybe they showed up at the right time, in the right place. Most massage therapists however, will struggle to make ends meet, living on low wages and scraping to get by.


That’s why the successful business owners you encounter, by and large, have carefully crafted vision and marketing strategy.


If you’re ready to build your dream massage practice, comment on this article and share one reason why you're passionate about bringing your unique vision to the world.


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