To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Best Practices: Karla Linden,” in the July 2011 issue.

Karla Linden, L.M.T., N.M.T., 47, is the owner of Masterpiece Medical Massage in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a 1990 graduate of the Atlanta School of Massage. Her areas of expertise include pain-relief work, prenatal massage and clients recovering from auto accident injuries. She is licensed in Georgia, Arizona and New Mexico, and is in the process of being licensed in New York and Florida.

Q. What are the top three things you credit for your business success?

A. First, availability. My office is open seven days a week. I have several therapists working with me, and we can usually accommodate a same-day appointment. We are open early and will stay late, by appointment.

Second, service. While my policy is not to discount fees, I am always adding extra amenities for clients, such as extended hours, a beautiful, professional office space that is in a central location, excellent equipment, and great customer follow-up and communication.

Third, professionalism. Although we are all warm, caring individuals in my office, and I’m a heavily tattooed and creative person, and my dog Lulu is sometimes there, we strive to be extremely professional.

My communication process is professional from the moment a new client makes first contact, and continues on to the confirmation e-mails we send out, the intake and health-history section, the treatment itself, the follow-up that my office does, the documentation we provide and the interface we have with doctors, attorneys and other health-care referrers. There is no other massage therapy practice that I know of that does the extra things we do to show that we care.

Q. If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently starting out?

A. I would have asked for more help from peers. I would have associated myself with other therapists, instead of going it alone in a solo practice for many years. I would not have wasted money on advertising, and enjoyed the business growth that word-of-mouth referrals give. I would have been more patient.

Q. How do you define business success?

A. Being able to wake up every morning joyful and grateful that massage therapy is the service I can give to the world, have a beautiful life and financially support myself.