Building a Business That is Rarely "Open"
Dear Felicia -
If you own a massage business and only have office coverage 3 hours a day five days a week and the rest of the time there is a closed sign on the door, does it do any good to spend all kinds of money on consultants, advertising, and purchase of products etc. ????? I think not, but you might have another opinion...
Frustrated Massage Therapist
Dear Frustrated -
I have to agree with you that it seems like the closed sign and lack of phone coverage really works against investing in advertising and consultants fees. Perhaps the owners have not shared that information with their consultants!
To be fair though, when my own massage business was first starting out - and we were located in an off the beaten path office building - we did not have a receptionist at all and kept the door locked when we were all in session. We all took turns checking messages and calling back clients to schedule appointments. It was only when we moved into a location with greater visability and the possibility of walk-ins that we added a full time receptionist.
However as with many spa/massage businesses, this was an incredibly difficult step for me to take due to the high cost. Our staff's compensation structure was not set up to include having a receptionist or really to do a lot of advertising, so those costs came out of my salary instead. I find this issue with nearly every massage practice or small spa I work with...and it is really hard to change.
Would you and the rest of the therapists be willing to get paid less for every session in order to have a receptionist on staff and have the doors open all the time in order to get more appointments? Honestly, that is probably what will have to happen in order for your boss to be able to afford hiring a full-time receptionist staff.
Going back to the "closed" sign, part of what makes any spa or massage business successful is accessibility. I have worked with many massage therapists over the years who want to have their ideal schedule from the get go - something like Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1 to 4 and one Saturday a month. While I think it is possible to eventually get to a schedule like that, it does not happen in the beginning of one's career. Instead it is something that a therapist can work up to as they develop the loyalty of their clientele. Then they can begin to shift their clients into their ideal schedule.
I hope that helps! Please let me know how else I can be of assistance
Have a business question you want answered? Sent it to me at Felicia@spalutions.com. Thanks!