January 23, 2020 by Jordan Nunziato
Like any industry, the path to success is marred with pitfalls. It is all too easy to misstep and fall and never reach that pinnacle of success. The massage therapy industry is not immune to this. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our top 10 list of best practices that will help you on your way to reaching that highest of highs!
Be Active on Social Media
Social media is here to stay. Aside from personal networking, social media is increasingly being used in professional circles. Social media has become a part of daily life for the healthcare industry, creating a portal through which patients and patients can engage and connect with their potential healthcare providers. Integrating social media into your business is crucial, allowing people to know you're the authority on all matters massage therapy.
But, you can’t connect with your audience if you don’t know who you’re targeting. Define your target market so you can be clear about what you’re trying to achieve with each piece of content you share. For example, if you specialise in massages for sports injuries, share articles about recovering from sports injuries and managing sport injury pain. If you’re targeting different audiences on each platform, be clear about who these consumers are, so you can tailor the content to the platform.
Deploy an Online Scheduling App
There has never been a better time in history to start a business than now. With all of your business’s comings and goings available all in one place—be it your computer, tablet, smartphone, or even smartwatch—keeping up with the Joneses has never been easier. When it comes to your massage business, using one of the many new massage therapy apps to set your schedule can make life for you and your patients so good.
Consider using an online solution for managing your scheduling system and streamlining your spa workflows. A typical massage booking app has the following features and perks:
Ramp Up Your Credibility with Professional Memberships and Networking
As business owners, there is often a focus on micromanagement: attracting and retaining business, recognizing referral sources, negotiating agreements, managing finances, charting, etc. However, massage businesses are not islands unto themselves and are affected by multilayered, external frameworks, such as legal/regulatory, insurance industry and public relations, and interdependent workings with other health professionals.
There are obvious benefits, continuing education opportunities, networking opportunities, access to research, and referral services, we provide insight and guidance, programs and services, tools and resources. But there is a much larger long-term benefit—boosting your business cred.
Expand Your Massage Business Through Referrals
Referrals are one of the most powerful ways to build your patient-base and grow your massage therapy clinic. In this economy, to have a successful massage business and earn repeat customers, you need to become a relationship builder. Attracting patients through this method of word-of-mouth advertising is an art form that all massage therapists should learn. Every massage therapist knows that referrals and repeat customers are the key. Essentially, you are selling yourself along with the services you provide. Building good patient relationships is at the core of a successful referral network, along with other important, useful strategies to guarantee new and existing patients keep coming back for more.
To grow your practice with referrals, here are five steps you should implement:
Get more email addresses. Having secured a list of email addresses, you can start a monthly newsletter with industry-related information that patients may find useful, or talk about what’s happening at your clinic.
Offer a high-value incentive like a free visit or discounts on products.
Make frequently-asked-question videos that you can post on your website and YouTube channel to gain followers. You can also post them to your clinic’s Facebook page and start conversations.
Be present on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Upload pictures of you with patients to your website and social media feeds. (But be sure to clear it with them first; always consider patient privacy.)
When you focus on referrals instead of advertising, you’ll generate more business and retain more patients. Don’t wait for referrals; control the process by following up. You have to have a basic follow-up system. Write down the names of people that said they will recommend you, and follow up with a simple acknowledgment or a thank-you. Keep track of that and ask people to follow through.
Let Affordable Insurance be Your Safety Net
You're taking responsibility for people's health and wellbeing, and you're doing everything in your power to keep your patients 100% satisfied after each therapy session.
Professional liability insurance protects members against liability or allegations for injuries or damages to a third party (such as a patient) that have resulted from a negligent act, error, omission, or malpractice that has arisen out of your professional capacity as a health practitioner. Commercial general liability insurance, protects members from financial loss should they be sued due to property damage, injury, or death caused by your services, business operations, or your employees.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) provide a way to measure how well companies, business units, projects or individuals are performing in relation to their strategic goals and objectives.
But, KPIs are only really useful if you identify the right ones for your business. Clinics can and should take full advantage of sales KPIs such as monthly sales target, stock turnover rate, average customer spending, and cross-selling rate to determine whether or not they will reach their sales goals. KPIs can also be used to track how many massages your clinic provides each month or even your patient retention rate.
Create a Professional Website
If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are probably losing a number of great opportunities. More and more people are searching online for things they want, for solutions to their problems, to compare prices, or just to get some information about a store, restaurant or business before they purchase from them. If you don’t have a website, potential customers will go to your competitors who do, especially if you are a home-based business without a bricks-and-mortar address.
Creating a website is simpler than you might think. Website creation and website software make building a website for your business almost as easy as creating and sending an email. Using website templates, website software lets you accomplish building a website quickly, efficiently, and for a very small price. Custom website design costs more than making your own Web page, so you'll want to be sure that both your goals for your business website and the capabilities of your Web designer justify the cost of having a custom website.
Observe the Relevant Code of Ethics
Maintaining and upholding an ethical practice is important for any profession, but especially so for massage therapy. While working with your patients, complicated issues may arise, and knowing how to handle these problems in a professional, ethical manner can be the key to a successful practice.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
It’s essential massage therapists know how to properly welcome someone to their space–whether it’s their first time receiving massage or not. Providing stellar customer service by nurturing patient relationships is one of the most important aspects of building and sustaining a successful business, especially when your business is dedicated to soothing and pampering those customers.
Visitors learn a great deal about you and your practice simply from how you personalize your environment. First and foremost, your office should facilitate sanitation and patient safety. Get to know your patients. As you’re providing them their desired services, determine how receptive they are to conversation and attempt to get to know them on a more personal level. Learn a patient’s health history and the concerns that brought them in, but also pay attention to their stories. Send them special deals on new products or services, or birthday discounts as incentives to pay another visit.
Promote Your Massage Business with Promotional Material
Massage therapy is a competitive industry. It’s important for businesses in this space to keep promoting their services to attract new patients. Some tried and true promotional ideas like referral programs, intro videos, which details all of the benefits of visiting your massage clinic, and testimonials from happy patients, are great places to start.
You can host an open day, which is a great way for massage therapists to show the full range of treatments that they offer, or offer corporate discounts. Approach some local corporates and sort a deal to be a part of their health plan.
At the end of the day, operating a successful massage clinic is all about being ever-present on social media, creating promotional content that speaks to your adherence to ethics, authenticity, and professionalism, tracking and improving upon your sales metrics, and—of course—offering outstanding services to your loyal patients. It’s not dissimilar to any other successful business in any other industry. We’ve provided you with the toolkit. What you will build with it is up to you. If you found this article useful, please feel free to share it with your fellow practitioners!
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