3 Tips To Improve Your Massage Therapy Practice

June 11, 2014 0 Comments

Want to grow your massage business, but not sure how to go about it? These 3 tips will help you find more customers and become the 'go-to' therapist in your community.

We recently ran a survey of all our email subscribers to find out what you are looking for when it comes to your massage or therapy practice. 

The overwhelming answer was that people wanted help growing their practices into successful, thriving businesses (as well as being kept up to date on special offers and industry news).
So today, we've got a few tips that Massage Warehouse customers have shared with us, that will help you grow your business like they helped them grow theirs:
1. Word of Mouth Is Still King.
In these days of social media and Google advertising, it's easy to forget that some of your best advertising is right under your nose - your existing clients. The people who come to you loyally for treatment should be your first port of call for bringing in new clients. 
Asking for referrals is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to grow your business. Create a referral program that will incentivise your existing clients to tell their friends about you - maybe you can offer them 10% off their next treatment for every referral they send you, or offer a free treatment in exchange for 5 referrals. 
This type of 'give and take' ensures that you maintain the goodwill you've built up with your current clients, while effectively increasing your client base.
2. Get Comfortable With Sales.
At the heart of every business is the sales process. Many people in therapy practices are really uncomfortable with this - they feel like they are dirtying the good they can do for people by promoting their business, actively recruiting paying customers, or trying to up-sell clients on treatments or products.
But think of it this way: you built your practice to help people. You want to help the people who are suffering from chronic pain, injuries or illness - but if you never promote yourself or invite those people into your practice, they won't get the help they need.
Sure, sales feel sleazy if you're trying to push something they don't need. But if your service would truly help them, it's your responsibility to put it in front of them. 
3. Think Outside The Box.
It's tempting to follow a 'build it and they will come' mentality in your business. But unfortunately, finding success that way is the exception, not the rule.
Advertising your business is vital to growing it, but what if you don't have money for pricey magazine placements or Google ads? Well, think about places that your potential clients spend time.
Places like...
Gyms
Health food stores
Beauty salons 
Yoga studios
Community centres
Sports clubs
Daycare centres
The possibilities are endless. Strike up conversations with the managers of these places and see if you can leave a stack of cards or flyers at their reception desk. Or offer them a deal: any customers they refer to you get 10% off their first treatment. Or they get a 10% commission of every new client they send to you. Offer a package deal to their staff - whatever gets you in the door.
Small businesses often build momentum in tandem with other small businesses, and there's nothing wrong with utilising the customer base of other local establishments. Plus, you never know where these relationships can take you - a small deal now might blossom into something huge down the line, once trust and a good working relationship has been built. 
Have you got some hot tips on growing your business? We'd love to hear them over on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MassageStore
Have a great week, and if you give any of these tips a try, drop us a line!
Greg and the Massage Warehouse team.
https://www.massagewarehouse.co.uk

 




Massage Table Size Guide

Massage tables comes in many different shapes and size. It can be confusing for you, the customer, to choose the right one but we are here to help!

A lot of customers call us up after they have bought the wrong size massage table elsewhere and we would like to help you avoid this mistake. It normally goes something like this; they like the look of a picture of a massage table on a website, they like the low price and then they check the carrying weight is ok. If the carrying weight fits their needs they click add to cart and the new massage table turns up at their doorstep in a few days. They unfortunately assume all massage tables are pretty much the same width and size.

The standard size of a massage table is 28 inches wide (71cms) and 73 inches (185cms) long. One of the reasons many "lightweight" budget massage tables are so cheap is because

  1.  They are smaller in size (normally around 61cms wide) and as such have less materials
  2. They are sold by specialist retailers who also sell anything else they can import and turn a profit on. As such they just buy the cheapest massage tables they can find in China. They go for smaller sizes as they are cheaper.

Make sure the massage table is the right size for you and your clients as the narrow massage tables at 61cms can be very uncomfortable for anyone who isn't petite and many clients cannot relax with their shoulders and arms unsupported.

 

The Width of the Massage Table:

Almost all therapists choose the standard 28 inch wide massage table. All our massage tables are the same length so it is only the width and shape our customers need to decide on.

Your massage table should be wide enough to cater for the wide variety of shapes and sizes of your clients. It needs to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate your treatment style, while being narrow enough to ensure you don’t have to strain your own back during treatments.

Each therapist's postural training and ability is different, so only you will know what massage table width you can handle. We have spoken to therapists who are five feet tall and get the wider 30 inch massage tables, and we speak to six foot therapists who have back problems and go for a 25 inch wide massage table. Everyone is different.

Generally speaking, if you are of smaller stature, you may do better with one of the narrower 25-inch massage tables. If you're quite tall, or are particularly keen to offer your clients a very spacious experience, a 30-inch massage table might be more suitable.

If you are in doubt, see if you can go into your local training college and see whether the massage tables there suit you. However, there is another way to get a feel for what will work of you don’t have access to a couch when you are deciding:

Cut out a piece of cardboard to the dimensions of both sizes you are deciding between. Put it on top of the kitchen table and lean over it. Visualise a client lying there, and see which width will suit you and your client best.

measuring the width of a massage table


Make sure you can get close enough to the table that you can pivot at the waist and have your shoulders squared to the clients hips, with your hands parallel to the clients' spine. Working in this position will ensure an injury-free career, so it's an important factor in your decision.

The most popular massage table widths are 28 and 30 inches. We sell 25-inch massage tables but you should really only choose this width if you are shorter in height and having a wider massage table might put your own back at risk over the course of your career.

You can also choose the 25-inch if you want to have the lightest massage table possible. By reducing the width of the massage table, the weight is also reduced. Now, this can mean a trade-off of some client comfort, but this trade is often worthwhile if you are a fully mobile therapist and use public transport frequently, where saving a kilogram or two will make a difference to you over time.

 

The Height Of the Massage Table

Nowadays, almost all portable massage tables come with height adjustable legs. Whichever massage table you choose should come with a large height range to accommodate you, and to cater for a broad range of therapies.

A common height range of massage tables is between 60 to 80cm, and this height range should cater for everyone. To check which height you need your massage table to be at follow this rule of thumb:

1. Stand up straight with your hands by your sides. Clench your fists.
2. Measure the distance between the floor and your knuckles
3. This distance should equal the height of your massage table.
4. Add a few inches in height to allow for the body of the patient on the massage table.

The height of a massage table is usually only adjusted when different therapists are using the same massage table, or if you have a client that is outside the average size you normally treat. So for example, if someone with a lot of body depth comes for a treatment after an average size person, you may need to adjust the height a notch or two.

You should be able to adjust the height of a massage table in just 2-3 minutes. Even though you mightn't adjust the height very often, the faster the better when you do have to!

There are 2 types of height adjustment mechanisms found on modern massage tables.

1) Twisting knobs (found only on wooden massage tables):

If you are working with a wooden massage table, it is better to have two knobs on each of the four legs for greater strength and reliability. When buying online, make sure to check how many knobs are on the legs. Cheap massage tables often only have one knob, and when you raise the legs to the highest heights they are less stable and have been known to snap.

2) Telescopic push-buttons (found only on aluminium massage tables):

The mechanism to adjust the height of an aluminium massage table is much the same as the push-button method on aluminium crutches. It only takes a few seconds to adjust each leg, and the mechanism is very reliable. Check out the video to see how it’s done.

 

Massage Table Shape:

The following are the different shapes of massage tables on the market.

1. Rectangle shaped with square corners 

This is the traditional shape of a massage table and the one you are probably familiar with seeing. Our Combi-lite 3 in 1 and Affinity Portaflex are shaped like this.

2. Rectangle shaped with rounded corners

Same as no 1 above in every way except the corners are rounded. Does not affect function in any way, just a different design/look.

 

3. Hour glass shaped with gradual gradient 

A fabulous massage table innovation in recent years, which solves a lot of the problems around choosing the correct width is the hourglass shaped massage table.


This style of massage table is wider at the ends, and tapers somewhat at the middle. This provide a spacious and comfortable experience for your client (as the shoulder and feet area are 30 inches wide) without compromising your own posture and health, as the middle of the couch where you lean over is a much narrower 26 inches wide.Having recently upgraded to one of these hourglass massage tables myself, I can vouch that my working days are much more comfortable, and many of my clients have commented on the extra comfort from the wider shoulder area.

 

4. Hour glass shaped with sharp gradient
Same as point above but instead of the it gradually going from wide to narrow, the massage table changes quickly from normal width to narrow width so people of very short stature can get in close.
5. Oval Shaped

 The name says it all! There are no corners on the massage table. Therapists normally choose this for one of two reasons. They simply like the look of this massage table and it is aesthetically more pleasing in their treatment room and/or they find it easier to move around the massage table during the treatment without having to side step the corners. This is particularly handy when space is limited in your treatment room.

oval massage table

 

Have any questions or comments about anything above? Please let us know in the comments below!