Scaling a massage business isn’t easy. You have clients to attend to, employees to train, and accounting to deal with. There’s a reason why so many therapists elect to work solo as independent contractors - it’s easier.
However, there are many benefits to running a massage spa business. You have have the opportunity to be part of a team, and help others progress in their careers. You can also scratch your entrepreneurial itch by building something bigger than yourself. The key is to have the right systems in place. Here are best practices for growing a massage salon practice.
Ensure employees are happy
A happy employee is a productive one. That’s why it’s critical to foster a healthy and collaborative work environment. You want your team members to be excited to come to work everyday!
My company recently surveyed 1,200 licensed massage therapists to learn about the current state of career satisfaction in the industry. We found 88% of therapists are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their profession. Less than 1% of the individuals surveyed were unemployed.
While this is positive for the industry as a whole, it means massage therapists have options. If they aren’t happy with the company they are working for, then they can quickly change jobs to find a better situation.
One strategy to consider is surveying your team members. At the very least, they will appreciate having the opportunity to share their feedback. Most likely you will also uncover some valuable insights for improving your company’s culture and values.
Massage companies are not only competing against one another for customers, they are also competing for the most talented therapists in the labor market. That’s why massage business owners need to focus on ensuring their employees have their needs met. Happy employees leads to a positive feedback loop that fuels a practice. After all, a happy therapist usually means happy clients.
Establish workplace standards
Although the massage therapists have a career satisfaction, that doesn’t mean the industry doesn’t face challenges. One of the pain points we uncovered in our research study was the prevalence of sexual misconduct. Overally, 63% of therapists have experienced unsolicited sexual advances from clients. Yikes!
Companies should establish procedures for dealing with inappropriate behavior from customers, and train employees on how to enforce physical and verbal boundaries. The last thing you want is for therapists to feel like they have no recourse.
Build your online reputation
There are many different ways to grow your online presence. If you want customers to take your business seriously, then you need to have a website. Some salons think being active on social media is enough. That alone isn’t going cut it.
Having a website is a must if you want potential customers to be able to locate your company. Every starter website should have pages that cover:
More advanced tactics include blogging, PR, local SEO, and PPC advertising. If you’re a business owner with a background in massage therapy, then that may sound like marketing jargon. The good news is you don’t need to be any expert in online marketing; you just need to hire someone who is.
When it comes to investing in marketing you have two options to consider: in-house or agency. If you are committed to growing your business over the long term and have the budget, then hiring an in-house marketer is a good choice. On the other hand, if your company is just getting started and you have limited resources, then contracting an external agency can be a good alternative. The key is to make sure you screen the agency you work with. Ask the right questions, read reviews, and do due diligence in order to avoid hiring a vendor that isn’t a good fit.
Do you know how many massages your salon provides each month? How about your client retention rate? You should.
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are a way for your to understand how well your business is performing in relation to strategic goals. KPIs help you avoid making critical decisions based on your gut instinct. Instead they provide you with an objective framework for evaluation.
Start tracking your company’s most important metrics each month or quarter. No worries if you aren’t a business wiz. You can always adjust the objectives you pay attention to as you gain more knowledge.
A Final Word
Practicing massage therapy and running a massage salon are two very different things. One requires technique expertise and customer service, while the other requires a variety of business management skills. Follow the tips outline above and you will be on the right path for setting your team and company up for success.
Robert Ellis is the CEO of Massage Tables Now, an e-commerce company that offers massage equipment and supplies.