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Increase the income of your massage therapy business with this simple scheduling trick

Massage therapist marking the date of the 15th with a pencil on a blank calendar with date squares as a reminder of an important day or to schedule an appointment

Do you find yourself with weeks where you are rushing around like a headless chicken with tonnes of appointments ..... 


 

Image of a hamster with frizzy fur with the meme why yes, i am a bit stressed, why do you ask?

 

and then the next week...nothing.. your diary is like a desert and you are sat around for hours in between appointments? 

 

Image of a man stood in a desert with the meme some weeks waiting for clients be like

 

Jokes aside working to this kind of schedule is a sure fire way to make yourself miserable. The stress of an empty schedule and then being overstretched can seriously undercut your confidence and can lead to burnout through stress which might see you quitting the industry all together! 

Whilst it is easy to end up in this trap there is a fix that is simpler than you think.... 

Firstly, analyse how your massage therapy business currently books your clients 

First of all you need to ask yourself... 

  • are your regular clients booking in on a regular basis or do they booking randomly? Do they just call when they feel like it? Is there any discernible pattern to when they book their treatments? 
  • Are there any more natural reasons where there is a drop off in your schedule for example in the run up to holiday periods such as Christmas or Easter or do you live in a student town where a lot of your clients might return home for the holidays? 
  • How do you rebook clients? Do you let clients rebook themselves? 

If you find that some clients book in regularly and some at random, not to worry, this is actually an advantage you can quickly use in your favour! However, you should be aiming to rebook all clients yourself as clients can easily forget. 

 

Going forward at the end of all your massage appointments you want to aim to sign up your clients for rolling appointments. 

 

Now I can hear you all screaming "yeah, yeah I'd like to see you try and convince my clients to do that!". But really it is a case of "if you never try, you never know!" 

 

AND there are also some simple techniques you can use to try and persuade clients to get signed up more regularly; 

 

  • At the end of the treatment grab your diary and ask your client when they would like to see you for their next treatment. For new clients ask them "I am struggling to fit in clients at the moment, do you think you would like to come back for another session?"
  • Make a couple of suggestions, for example "usually I would suggest seeing you again in two weeks so I can continue to free up the tension in your glutes but at the moment the earliest I can do is next month …. shall we get you booked in now? I will need to start a bit more from scratch like we did today but I can call you if I get any last minute cancellations"
  • Always offer to schedule clients appointments as far apart as they need. Explain to them you totally understand that finances, work schedules and family commitments all play a role in how often they will be able to see you and that you only want to explain the difference in the physical symptoms that different periods of time between treatments will create. 
  • Once you have booked in their next appointment ask them "does that slot work well with your ongoing schedule?" When they say yes state that you can book them in on a recurring basis every two weeks or monthly if they prefer so that they in effect have that slot always reserved for them. 
  • Stress to clients that they can call to cancel this appointment within the conditions of your cancellation policy but that as you are usually booked up you won't be able to guarantee any last minute appointments.

 

Using this technique might not work on every client but there are certainly some who will appreciate that you time is not unlimited, and then you might end up with some happy problems like Misty below. 

 

Facebook post from Misty Lee Burriss about a new client wanting to book out a slot regularly

 

Facebook post from Mary Jo Fox-Peck about clients booking up regular slots and how to handle juggle other regular clients

 

Facebook post from Carol Serra about prioritising rescheduling clients

 

So now you have a full schedule ...but....

 

Using the techniques above I can almost guarantee you will see your schedule start to fill up. However, once you are busy I can also guarantee that you will start to relax and enjoy the time building rapport with your clients. Then, before you know it you will start to slip into old habits, forgetting to add in a sense of urgency and trusting clients to rebook themselves. Pretty soon you will find the cycle has started all over again! 


So how do you keep building a busy schedule for your massage therapy business? 

 

By sticking to some healthy habits you can break this cycle of feast and famine for good! 

 

  1. Make a note after each appointment what happened regarding rebooking. Did you forget to ask? Did they not take the bait? At the end of each day and each week look at your rebooking rates and analyse whether they are down.                                                                                                                
  2. If they are down make sure you are taking time for yourself throughout the day. Ideally you need to be scheduling 40 minutes between treatments to take care of yourself. Make sure you are eating, drinking and replenishing your energy between sessions and taking time for some self care exercises. Feeling refreshed is the best way to ensure you won't forget these tactics and will come across as genuine and relaxed to clients, rather than stressed and desperate!                                                                                                  
  3. Plan for famines! Be brave and when you are busy make sure you carve out time in your diary each week that is exclusively for marketing. This include making time for this even in weeks where you are fully booked with clients asking for appointments. Building up networks and saving for a rainy day doesn't happen overnight. You need to keep posts on your social media going and relationships building in times when you aren’t desperate and stressed! 

 

Facebook post from Julie Onofrio about changing your mentality towards marketing

 

Using this technique you can find yourself with too many clients! If you are lucky enough to have this problem, raise your prices. Even £5 will buy you back time you can spend on marketing to keep things ticking over when clients naturally drop off!

                                                                                                                            

Have you tried this technique? We would love to hear how you got on in our Facebook thread


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