For independent massage therapists, it is sometimes easy to get caught up in doing the work you love—making people feel better—and forget to work on your own business. When you don’t pay attention to your business, you might not generate enough income to live comfortably. When you make more money, you will feel better about your work and your bank account, and you won’t have to worry about getting a second job.
These four simple business processes can lead to more income and peace of mind, and higher-quality service for your clients.
1. Provide appointment reminders.
How many of your clients have missed appointments in the last month because they just forgot? A missed appointment here and there doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you add up the revenue for all of those missed appointments, you could be losing thousands of dollars a year. Plus, your clients aren’t getting the services they need. Tracking appointments and sending your clients reminders could help you give yourself a raise. I recommend sending reminders 24 hours in advance of the appointment.
2. Schedule recurring appointments.
For regular clients, set up recurring appointments rather than struggling to find new times for each appointment—or worse, sitting around waiting for clients to call you. With recurring appointments, you will become a part of your clients’ routines. That means the income from those appointments can become part of your routine. (You should still send your clients reminders for recurring appointments.)
3. Set up recurring payments.
Set up a system to automatically bill your clients on a monthly or weekly basis to improve your cash flow and save time for everyone involved. If clients know they are automatically paying you, they will be more motivated to make time for an appointment with you, which is good for your business and your clients’ well-being. Plus, setting up recurring payments means you don’t have to keep asking your clients for money. Automatic payments are easier for both you and your clients.
Don’t do the grunt work yourself. Find software that will handle your appointment calendar, appointment reminders and billing. Let’s say you spend even 15 minutes a day on this kind of administrative work, and you work 260 days a year, equating to five days a week. That’s 65 hours a year—more than eight entire workdays—spent on administrative work instead of billable work. How much would 65 hours earn you at your hourly rate?
Taking a breather from the daily grind to automate some of your business processes can really be life-changing. I know it was for me. You are in the business of de-stressing others—why not give the same attention to yourself?
Justin Shelby is CEO and cofounder of Artichoke Client Management Application (getartichoke.com), a mobile app that helps massage therapists get organized, booked and paid. He is a 15-year veteran in the wellness industry.