10 Ways to Grow Your Massage Business
As a massage business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities and a lot riding on the actions you take and the decisions you make to grow your business. We understand that growing your business is a tedious and laborious task. You might feel like you don't even have enough time to take care of your everyday operations, much less take on extra tasks, but there's a path to putting yourself in a position to work ON your business instead of in it. If you can strike this balance, you may find yourself with more time and business than you ever thought you had! You just have to focus on a few very important things:
1.) Get on the Social Media Grind
Social media is one of the most crucial must-haves for marketing and promoting your business. That’s where everyone is these days with 59% of the world population online according to Digital Marketing.org, and the types of advertising can be limitless and relatively easy. Get a social media account on a multitude of platforms: most definitely start with Facebook and Instagram. It would also help to get out emails and other forms of online contact/networking. If you already have these accounts, post more! The frequency in which you post and the type of content you produce is important in both making your consumer population aware that you exist but is integral in projecting an online presence, reputation, and personality for your massage business. Make sure to post a variety of content in different forms such as videos, newsletters, and pictures. Also, putting authenticity into your brand is important to make a really good first impression on many of your future customers. We have another blog-post that talks more about the specifics of maximizing your business social media accounts along with what other online marketing techniques you could and should employ here.
2.) Re-evaluate Prices
Your services, customer flow, staff numbers, and consumer demographics may have changed in the past year. Even if they haven’t too much, still re-evaluate your service prices to make sure they are fair and can properly support your business and its growing expenses. Definitely consider this, especially if you need to make upgrades or put more money into the business this year if you want to fulfill some other resolutions on this list. Maybe you hire more staff, need new equipment, or add new types of massages to your services. Whatever it may be, you might need to change the course of your revenue to fit with your new business model. For newcomers in the massage industry, these guidelines for setting prices can apply to you too. When changing or setting new prices, it is important to look at a myriad of factors including business expenses (i.e. supplies, employee pay, insurance, rent for the building, etc), competitor prices, the demand for certain services, what people will actually pay for based on your consumer demographic, and the amount of effort or time it takes for your massage therapists to carry out the service.
Here is a small rundown of average pricing for massages in the industry (2023 updated version).
- Average cost = $75 (for an hour)
- Usually between $50 and $90
- Minimum cost = $40, maximum cost = $150 (for an hour)
- Massage therapists with more years of experience increase prices
- Massage therapists who specialise increase prices
- Dependent on time, location, add-ons such as aromatherapy, and the type of massage
- 30 minutes = $30 - $65
- 60 minutes = $50 - $150
- 90 minutes = $90 - $175
- 120 minutes = $120 - $200
- Standard is $1 per minute of massage therapy
3.) Add New Services
One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is to get new people in the door. A lot of spa and massage businesses see great results with offering a popular low-ticket service like hair styling and waxing for spas or a free posture check for massage businesses.
4.) Work ON your business instead of IN it
Many massage therapists make the mistake of putting all their energy in practicing their passion and expertise of massage therapy rather than improving and expanding their massage business as a whole. You're a business owner now. Act like it! When you run a business, you are an entrepreneur and your business needs to be your top priority. Remember that you have employees to run much of the massage part. YOU are an executive, however, and need to divert more of your efforts into advertising for your business, marketing, and consumer relations. You need to get rid of those frequent fourteen hour work days. (And don't act like you don't still take all of your unfinished paper work home at the end of the day. We know the struggle). This topic deserves its own article. We'll be writing one shortly, so keep an eye out!
5.) Develop ambiance
Make your spa/salon/massage business nice to be in. Customers are looking for “trendier” services each year and proper “vibes” for your spa will differentiate yours from the failures. Creating a theme of your spa can help with this. Also, you want a “relaxing” feel for your spa. Some things you could do to achieve this is:
- Improving the light situation (putting more natural light in, maybe with some more windows or more transparent curtains, putting light fixtures under tables, bottoms or tops of walls, etc.)
- Adding more space to your setting; you don’t want to make your clients feel crowded
- Getting new, stylish furniture for the waiting room (maybe even hire an interior designer if you have the savings!)
- Spice up your waiting room with freebies and classy entertainment (i.e. cookies, candy, and magazines). The best waiting room cookies in our humble opinion are those from Otis Spunkmeyer. I am a certified cookie connoisseur by my standards as a cookie lover, and I must say, these are the best cookies I have ever tasted, held in my mouth, chewed, swallowed, and digested. Any establishment with a waiting room with Otis cookies is a business I will always write a good review for and anticipate that other customers will too. Okay I got a little off track there, but the main take-away is to make a welcoming waiting room. (But if you have Otis cookies in your waiting room, there is a high likelihood I will go to your spa myself.
- Music. Put relaxing music in your salon. This can be anything from folk music to the waves and whale sounds. Don’t do anything too upbeat or vulgar. It will express the wrong mood to your overall ambiance and might scare the clients.
- Scents. Make your spa smell nice with essential oil, incense and the like. Nothing too strong, but a good scent can elevate the salon to a unique degree. Although massages have to do with touch, it is your job as a massage therapist to appeal to all five senses of the client (the taste sense being the Otis cookies you will order for the waiting room).
Air Humidity and Purity. A crucial aspect of creating the perfect ambiance is ensuring the right air humidity and purity. A balanced humidity level not only provides comfort but also promotes skin hydration, which is essential for a massage session. On the other hand, pure air free from pollutants and allergens ensures that clients breathe easily and feel refreshed. From BreathAlong.com, we've learned the importance of selecting the right HVAC appliances to maintain optimal air quality. Whether it's through the use of air purifiers to remove contaminants or humidifiers to maintain the desired humidity level, ensuring clean and fresh air can significantly enhance the client's experience. Remember, a comfortable environment can make your massage sessions more effective and memorable for your clients.
If you want more info on ambiance, read our ambiance article.
6.) Create a Website or Improve SEO on Website
Creating a website for your business as another form of medium to put your content on such as videos, photos, and ~blog articles~. You can then increase SEO and make your business easier to find on google search. It can also be a place for making appointments online, a page of frequently asked questions, and a “Contact Us” page, increasing the scope of consumers your business can reach.
Read how to improve SEO on our previous blog article here.
7.) Do more Promos
Promotions can help a business tremendously if done correctly and is a very useful marketing tactic. It can put the “wow” factor in your business by mixing things up a little, and it can be fun for you, your business relations, and most of all, your customers/clientele. Some of these things can include a raffle for a free massage, coupons, and much more. Groupon can be helpful, but try to be cautious. More info on how to coordinate massage promotions here.
8.) Capitalize on What Makes U YOUnique
What makes your business stand out? YOU. And you and your business are unique. You should figure out what you do/have that your competitors don’t. Establish your business’s own personality and make sure to let your customers know not only what you are good at, but what you specialize in. Don’t be afraid to strut your stuff as a business, make your competitors jealous, and make your customers love YOU.
9.) Upgrade equipment ;)
Come on. You knew this was coming. We are a massage equipment company after all. Although you may think you’re not in the right place to spend hundreds on new utilities or you merely just don’t need an upgrade, think again. The massage table is one of the most important pieces of equipment a massage therapist will have. Hundreds of people probably get a massage on that table each year (and let’s be honest: if you didn’t buy it from us or one of our suppliers, the table may be rickety, unreliable, or uncomfortable). Choose from our vast array of massage tables and supplementary massage equipment, many of which are hand-crafted, durable, and amazingly comfortable. You may need a new set this year *wink wink*.
10.) Keep up to date with massage techniques & developments
Massage techniques are evolving. With the New Year here, it would be tragic for you to fall behind the rest of us. Here are some things you can consider.
- An integration of more interesting tools such as stimulator guns that help muscle fatigue and circulate blood or trigger point tools for deep tissue.
- Getting more self-care tools such as foot rollers, gripping tools like soft balls, or resistance bands to stretch muscles.
- Offer stretching sessions. It’s good for athletes, and you can price this the same or even more than your standard services.
- Put reflexology in your routine. There are many health benefits that make it popular including helping to alleviate stress and is thought to help relax the rest of the body It focuses on the localized areas of hands and feet, having to do with pressure. The tools and practices for reflexology are generally less labor intensive, and it seems to be all the rage now.
- Brushing up on anatomy by getting a muscle app and really fine-tuning your knowledge before you go applying it this year.
BONUS: Focus on own Mental Health
Massage therapy can be hard at times as well as owning a business. Don’t get discouraged though. You’re doing great! I know your profession and your business is important to you, but don’t lose sight of your own mental well-being. Make sure you practice self-care like how you encourage your clients to do so, so you can be the best massage therapist you can be.