by Amy Roberts

How to Identify and Find a Target Market in Your Massage Business, MASSAGE MagazineLike any business, analysis is important to your massage-therapy practice. For a profitable massage-therapy business, it’s important to develop problem-solving marketing skills that can point you in the direction of new clients. Developing these skills enables you to reach and maintain a high level of clientele. Sometimes, when client numbers fall, knowing how to identify and address the root cause will help you bounce back much faster.

Here are areas (and some sample questions) you can focus on to help develop your own problem-solving process for your massage practice:

1. Are you going after the right market? Does this market actively seek your services? Do you understand the core reasons of why they seek massage therapy? Are they willing to commit to massage therapy as a health treatment rather than a one-time service?

2. Are you differentiating your massage-therapy practice? Letting the world know you’re open for business is not enough. You need to tell your potential clients what you can offer them that is in line with what they seek. It’s important to communicate this area of difference. Above all, what you say must resonate with them; simply stating that you’re “different” in your massage flyers is not going to matter if they don’t see and imagine themselves personally reaping the rewards of the benefit.

3. Are you steadily working on getting new clients? Once you know the type of clientele you’re going after, you need to pursue those people actively. There are a number of ways to reach out to new clients, including advertorials and press releases. Reach out on a consistent basic, not just when you need to boost client numbers. This should be an ongoing effort in your massage practice.

4. How’s your customer service? Yes, you’re a massage therapist and provide health benefits to people as your job, but that does not exempt you from providing courteous and prompt service to your clients. Are you meeting all of your appointments with courtesy and enthusiasm? Do you try to over-deliver on every session? Are you a pleasure to do business with? Do you ask for feedback?

5. Are all of your treatments up to date? Are all of your services still right for you and your target market? Are there massage-therapy services you’re not currently offering that would make sense to add to your treatment menu?

It’s not as hard as you may think to get clients, nor is it a basic process if you don’t understand the reasons behind your clients’ purchasing decisions to receive massage. Start drafting a list of areas in your massage practice where you need to make some changes, and then develop a simple action plan to get it done. You’ll see results in no time.

Amy Roberts is a massage therapist and massage therapy business coach. Her Web sites, and teach massage therapists around the world how to get more clients quickly and easily, and keep them coming back. Roberts has regular business video tutorials available on her marketing Web site.