You can give yourself a raise by using a simple add-on menu in a specific way for your sessions. The main idea behind this type of add-on menu is to create services you can seamlessly integrate into your existing massage sessions and that add value to the session without extending the session.

The Candle Scenario

Several years ago, a friend of mine convinced me to sell candles inside my massage office. I did not think I would make any money at it, but I wanted to help my friend. I enjoyed the candles, and the worst-case scenario would be that I would end up using all the product.

So, I created a small sales area next to where my clients would wait for me to finish up with other clients, giving them plenty of time to sniff and smell.

The very first week, I sold 18 candles.

My profit on each candle was $11—so in that first week I made almost $200 from candles. The best part about earning this income was that it was made without scheduling more massage hours.

Up to that point, I had not been inclined to sell items, track inventory or pay sales tax. I hadn’t looked at adding additional services to my massage either. However, after my candle-selling experience, I realized I was passing up on many opportunities to earn a higher income.

I suddenly understood that people will spend money on things they value and want—and if I provided the services or products they wanted, they would buy those items from me.

I realized there was always the potential of giving myself a raise without working more, by selling things clients wanted and learning to leverage my time.

Leverage Your Time to Create More Profit

When you create more value in the same amount of time, that’s when you are leveraging your efforts.

First, start observing what other therapists or facilities are currently offering or what the trends are for add-on menu items. Research what options are available and how other massage therapy offices are offering add-on services. Then, research products and begin to make a list of what you feel you would be like to bring to your menu. Select services you are comfortable with offering or trying out.

These add-on menu items should be simple and should enhance the massage session. These services should have a value of $10 to $20 each and are to be combined with and enhance the great massage session you are already offering.

 They might include:

• Specific aromatherapy applications

• Hot towels for the face, neck, feet, or hands

• Paraffin wax treatments for the hands

• Hot stone massage

• Lotion or oils that have therapeutic effects

• Cupping or specialized applications

Where to Begin with an Add-On Menu

From a business standpoint, I would suggest starting with just a few services and then spend some time practicing how to integrate those services into your regular massage flow without going over in time. Try them on specific clients, like family or friends, to learn your flow and rhythm.

It’s very important to understand how it feels to incorporate these services into your massage. Anything you choose should not take away from your current service and should enhance the overall feeling of the massage. That is what creates the appeal to the client to purchase these items again.

If adding these services makes the massage feel like a lower-quality service, clients will most likely just schedule a massage-only session to make sure their expectations are met. Services should not only meet but exceed the client’s expectations in order to be repurchased or recommended.

Getting Ready to Market Your Add-On Menu

Once you have picked the menu of options you are comfortable with, have practiced applications, and feel ready to offer your clientele these options, the following checklist will help you think through implementation:

• Generate menu options such as laminated menus or have sales materials available

• Generate marketing materials for your business and for holiday gift certificates

Outline your sales process and pay attention to how long it takes a client to choose services. Make this as streamlined as possible to conserve time.

Schedule Planning 101 for Add-On Services

To keep the pace of a regular, one-hour massage that includes add-on services, you will find that one or two items are all you can incorporate while keeping session timing and flow organized. Any more than that will stack your work and the massage session will suffer.

Remember, the main goal of this menu of services is about leveraging your time to increase your earning potential without working more hours. Once you understand how to leverage your time best and maintain your set schedule, you can look at incorporating more items into a slightly longer session.

If you are planning to schedule longer sessions for specific add-on menu services, I suggest putting those appointments into your schedule either at the start of your shift or at the end of your shift in order to not rush you or change your set times.

This is a way to make sure you aren’t adding more appointments to your day and still leveraging the number of clients you prefer to consistently work with.

A La Cart Menus Versus Bundled Service Options

If you are having a great time adding things into your sessions and your clients are enjoying the new options, then look at how to offer a package of three or more add-on services.

I suggest creating some pre-planned, bundled options you know will work well together. These, again, need to be practiced until you feel confident the services you are blending together with the massage are enhancing the experience.

Lastly, while creating an add-on menu can leverage your time and money, it can also bring a fresh change to your business, creating more momentum and longevity in your career.

About the Author

Amy Bradley Radford, LMT, BCTMB, has been a massage therapist and educator for more than 25 years. She is the owner of Massage Business Methods and the developer of PPS (Pain Patterns and Solutions) Seminars CE courses and an NCBTMB Approved CE Provider.