Taking your massage practice on the road is certainly a good way to expand your service offerings and find potential clients. It can seem overwhelming thinking about how to set up an efficient, profitable mobile or chair massage business and how best to pack everything up and take it with you. Once you’re armed with information and you’ve gotten a few events under your belt, you’ll soon be a pro at onsite massage. So, what are the best practices for setting up a mobile massage business.
Massage as an employee benefit has been growing in popularity over the past two decades, especially in big cities where companies fight over the best talent and offer perks to keep their employees happy. Workplace stress and wellness trends are two reasons for employers to hire a massage therapist to come on-site for weekly or monthly chair massage sessions. It makes sense for companies to offer this benefit. Roughly 8 in 10 American workers say they feel stressed out by their jobs according to a 2013 study by Harris Interactive for Everest College.
Appearances matter! Look like a pro
Invest in equipment that will make you look like the pro that you are! First impressions are critical, and part of going out to do corporate events is to garner new clients who will become powerful referral sources for your business. Keep your equipment clean, replace worn or torn padding, be meticulous with your appearance and hygiene, and always use professionally printed business cards.
Shrink your supplies
Think about how you want to pack up the tools of your trade. Oils, lotions, sound machine or cd player, towels, and more will need to be traveling with you, as well as your heaviest items like the portable massage chair or table. What can you do to minimize the weight and make everything more portable? Pour oils and lotions into small, plastic squeeze bottles to cut down on size and weight. Use disposable items when you can, like paper or face cradle covers to cover surfaces, instead of towels and sheets.
Check the forecast and prepare for weather
Outdoor events like marathons, walk/runs, health fairs, and even Saturday farmers markets, are good places to get out in front of a lot of people and offer a soothing massage. Make sure to be prepared for inclement weather, heat, cold, sunshine, wind or rain. If the event or venue doesn’t provide a tent or pop-up shelter, you might think about borrowing one or investing in a nice, portable shade. Ask the event coordinators if you can have access to water, an electrical outlet, and food.
Keep an eye on costs
Of course, before you begin a mobile massage practice or corporate chair massage business, think about your investment costs, time, travel costs including gas and mileage. Even if you have an established practice, it’s good to return to these exercises on a regular basis. How many massage events do you need to do a week to cover your costs? How many hours a day? How far are you willing to travel. Plan and look at the numbers first, in the light of day. Interview other massage therapists who have started a chair massage business and ask them lots of questions. Information is power!
Understand your audience/client and venue
What amenities are onsite? What are you and your clients allowed to use while you’re there? Your needs will be different when you’re at a marathon doing sports massage than when you’re at a corporate setting doing 15 minute chair massage. Make sure you ask plenty of questions when setting up the gig so that you are fully aware of what you need to bring.
You are doing this to get new clients, after all! Hand out your business cards and brochures with your service offerings, location, and contact information. If someone is particularly interested in seeing you again, get them started with an intake form and possibly committed to scheduling an appointment to see you. Also, leave your business card with the event coordinator and ask them to pass it along to anyone who asks about you later.
Additional resource: Check out The Massage Therapist’s Guide to a Thriving Chair Massage Business from our friends at At Peace Media [affiliate link].
Comments from original Massamio post:
Excellent article! Some medicated massage oils do have a peculiar aggressive smell. By adding a few drops of Dettol in the oil, it can be converted into a good smelling smooth lotion. — Posted @ Tuesday, March 04, 2014 1:57 AM by chandrakant kulkarni
Thanks for sharing such useful information and tips. I think online marketing can work well for mobile massage business as you can stay connected with clients through your website or by using social networking sites. So digital marketing can be very useful and cost efficient for independent massage therapists. — Posted @ Tuesday, March 18, 2014 2:08 AM by Carol Moore
Great article, thanks ! I have an office and also do mobile. I love to get out of my office and go out mobile, it’s the icing on the cake — Posted @ Thursday, April 03, 2014 2:46 AM by Rhonda
The suggestions given are very crucial. I am happy to read this. I have been mobile for 2.5 after being a LMT for the past 12 years. I have never felt so free in my life. Its hard work but well worth the payoff and freedom that comes with it! Word of mouth is my everything. Always be gracious and flexible because that is why clients want mobile massage. I have more than doubled my income by keeping within the regular price ranges of the area. I give clients the choice-a massage brought to them, or they drive to an establishment for about the same price. My clients are from the very elite, celebrities, to those that believe in wellness 110%. It is a dream come true! — Posted @ Tuesday, June 10, 2014 9:45 PM by Ninette
Nice blog. Thanks for providing such a wonderful info Folding Chair — Posted @ Wednesday, August 27, 2014 3:05 AM by Mill Valley