Building a Massage Therapy Practice from Scratch: Part 2

photo (1)[Charlyne Carrier is a new independent massage therapist practicing in Montreal, Quebec. We found her on our Facebook Page when she said she was going to write her business plan using our Business Plan Toolkit as a guide. We asked her if she would share her insights in the process and she graciously agreed! So over the next months, Charlyne will be sharing her story of building her business in this series. Please chime in and tell your stories, tips, and tidbits in the comments section.]

As I’m writing this article, February has gone by and I can’t believe it! I’m surprised at how fast it went. I’ve been working hard since the beginning of the year.

I can honestly say that I’m way more organized now because of the Business Plan. When I look back at everything I had scheduled in the last two months, I am impressed to see all I accomplished so far.

Here’s my monthly update:


I was even able to add a few things on my To Do list for February. This was mostly to comport with the reality of the business. February has been my busiest month so far. Awesome! But, I see it comes with a price. All my planning to take some time for myself went out the door.

I find it easy to eliminate this part of my plan. Even though it’s written, I gladly skip that part instead of sticking with the original plan. I know it’s not the right thing to do and I will not survive long as a massage therapist if I don’t take good care of me.

I would like to hear from you experienced massage therapists out there on this matter. Do you have any problems with making time for self-care or throwing out that part of your plan/schedule if you get busy?

Daily Accountability

Since last fall, I joined a group called Morning Coach (

In January, a member started an accountability group. We are 3 and we meet via Skype every week day morning. We share with the group what we would like to accomplish during the day and what we did the previous day.

Because of this daily call, I got more things done than if I wasn’t part of this group.  I know myself well enough to say that procrastination can be my own worst enemy sometimes. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank those two guys. I won’t name them but they know who they are!

Forgotten Expenses

Even if February was a great month, I realized I forgot a major expense in my financial plan.

I skipped the association fees completely!

What a surprise I had when I received a letter two weeks ago for my yearly licence renewal and I have until April 1st to do so. Ah well. Lesson learned!

A Promotion and Referral Experiment

For Valentine’s Day, I created a promotion with an esthetician.

The results were not as exciting as I hoped, but we have an ongoing referral relationship. I want to share how we set that up, and I will update you all on the progress of the experiment as we go!

The promotion was with an esthetician in my neighbourhood. We sat down in January to prepare this. I created coupons for both our businesses.

For any purchase of $65 and more at her place, she would give a coupon for $15 discount on a 60 minutes massage with me (for which I charge 65$ at regular price).

For every 60 minute massage sold, I gave a coupon for $15 discount on any product or treatments of $65 and more.

She’s referring me customers who request for massage since she doesn’t have a massage therapist in her team.

With this promotion, we agreed to a discount between her, her employees and me. I give them a discount (all year around) on massage, $50 for 60 minutes instead of the regular $65.

She gives me 15% off on treatments or products.

What do you think about this promotion and referral relationship? What would you do differently, if it were your business? What has been your success rate with these types of discounts? 

I can’t wait to read your comments and stories!

Comments from original Massamio post:

Hey Charlyne,  Thanks for sharing all that you’re learning with the greater massage community! I am an LMT practicing in Oregon. I was an Anatomy Instructor at a massage school for many years before I recently got my license last year. I am also a Certified Clinical Herbalist.  I like your shared coupon idea that you worked out with your esthetician! I will have to try that with one of my clients who works at a hair salon.  Also, I have a colleague LMT and we are going to offer a Mother-Daughter Shared Massage for Mother’s Day. I spoke about it with a current client (and mom of two young adult girls) and she was so interested she offered to ask her friends about it!  Keep up the good work and best of luck to you and your business!  Lawrence Birch
GivingTree Farm Herb Company
GivingTree Massage
LMT #19963
1215 Main Street
Suite 106
Philomath, OR 97370
Certified Clinical Herbalist CCH
Certified Chiropractic Assistant CCA
Facebook: GivingTree Massage
Facebook: GivingTree Farm Herb Company

Posted @ Tuesday, April 29, 2014 4:58 PM by Lawrence The Thixotropic LMT