Experiencing Different Environments
Why should you take the time to work in more than one venue?
- The more exposure to a variety of massage businesses, the better you will know the kind of setting in which you will be the happiest. For instance, you may be most interested in helping people recover from injuries in a clinical setting, or you may love working in the soothing ambiance of a spa, or your skills may shine in a practice shared by only 2 or 3 practitioners.
- You will discover if having your own practice appeals to you more or less than working as an employee or contractor for someone else.
If you have an eye on establishing your own business, you can use the time spent as an employee to note what you do or don’t like about where you work.
- How do you feel about the way clientele are treated?
- What perks or discounts are clients most responsive to?
- What do you feel attracts clientele to the business?
- What marketing materials are used to attract massage clients?
Taking the Plunge
When you do strike off on your own, start small. Don’t jump in with a large investment in an expansive massage clinic or spa. Some alternatives:
- Start in your home.
- Rent a one-room office.
- Sublet a room from a group of health practitioners, part-time if necessary.
Setting Yourself Apart from the Crowd
Many industry gurus say it’s important to be unique in some way. Specialize in helping with a particular condition or group of people. For example, if you do both pregnancy massage and sports massage, decide to promote just one of them in the beginning. Of course, you turn no one away. But focusing on what you do best may actually get you noticed more than just putting out your shingle: Jane Smith, massage therapist.
- Focusing your public relations efforts toward your specialty.
- Sending out a press release.
- Putting up flyers in places potential clients in that group might see them.
- Telling everyone you meet what you are doing and why you believe in it.
- Giving them a business card that promotes your specialization.
Finally, work to ensure your first massage clients become regular clients. Give them the best sessions you can, and thank them for their business. Offer them package deals and ask them to refer your services to others.
Very informative for the new graduate!
Based on the results from my own personal experience, I highly recommend following the advice listed here in regards to experiencing different environments. In addition to learning what feels the best for your style of practice, you will also build connections in diverse settings. Once you have your clarity and start doing exactly what you want, those connections will help support you. I started out in 2 different chiropractic offices part time. I also tried one day at a spa and one day at a health club. Once I went out on my own, clients followed me from almost every setting and colleagues from most settings referred to me too.