How To Raise Your Prices

August 26, 2014 0 Comments

You want to raise your prices, but you're worried about how your clients will react. Find out how to increase what you charge, without stepping on any toes.

 

Raising your prices can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve been charging the same prices for a long time.
When you’ve got a loyal customer base, it’s not surprising that you’d have some qualms about asking them to hand over more cash for every treatment. But you’re a professional, and chances are that you’ve put ongoing work into keeping your qualifications current, and are always on the lookout for ways to improve your practice.
You spent a long time in training, learning a whole lot of very technical skills, and you’re the one forking out the money to make sure you have a good quality massage table, nice oils, and all the accessories that make the experience pleasant for your clients.
It’s completely reasonable that as you become more and more experienced, that you would increase your prices.  The more time you spend in practice, the more valuable you and your skills become.
Some common fears massage therapists face when they want to increase their prices include:
- Offending existing customers

- Losing customers who don’t want to pay more or can’t afford it
- Having trouble getting new customers to pay the higher price
- Having uncomfortable conversations about why you’re increasing prices
- Being perceived as greedy or unjustified

And those are all reasonable concerns. But when you break it down, they’re nearly all about you and your perception of how people will react to you.
We all worry about what people think of us. It’s normal. But it can also be a very limiting factor on the growth of your practice if you allow that fear to dictate how you conduct your business.
There are some simple, practical ways you can overcome the fears you have about this, as well as treating your clients with the respect and consideration they also deserve.
Once you’ve made the decision to increase your rates, it’s time to start informing people. The most important thing here is to give people lots of notice - in the region of 3 months or so.
 
The conversation can be simple - when they pay you for their session, mention casually that "[date 3 months from now], I’m going to increase my prices a bit - just by [extra amount] per session. It will just help me make sure I can keep improving my skills and providing you the best for your treatments!”
Most people won’t even bat an eyelid.
If you’re uncomfortable with that direct a conversation, you can pop a notice up on the door of  your treatment room with the details, so that everyone sees it as they come in. Or you can give all your clients a little gift, with a note included outlining the details of the increase.
In order to ‘sweeten the deal’, you can offer your existing clients a package deal, or a free treatment. But don’t feel obliged to do that if none of your clients seem fussed about the change.
Now, you may have a client or two that legitimately can’t handle an increase in price.
 
If you know about this ahead of time, it’s up to you to decide if you want to keep treating them at the lower rate. Again, it’s important that any conversation about this take place with plenty of notice.
Once you’ve decided to increase your prices, any new clients that you take on should be charged at this new rate, rather than being charged at the lower price for a short period and then having the increase. Just charge them the higher amount, even if the official ‘increase date’ is a month or two away. If they’re a referral from an existing client and know about the lower price, explain the situation and offer them a free treatment as a goodwill gesture.
Should any of your existing clients decide that they don’t want to continue with treatment at the higher price, graciously accept their decision.
 
Unless they’re one of the clients you decided ahead of time to keep at the lower price, do not back down and agree to keep charging them the original price for the sake of keeping them.
 
It’s better to have a smaller client base that pays more, than a large base who pays a smaller amount. Less work for more money!
But now, we want to hear from you:
Have you put your prices up before? How did you do it? Did you have any problems, and how did you deal with them? Jump over to the Facebook page and leave a comment, to help and inspire other therapists!



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!