From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Profit with Products,” by Cherie Sohnen-Moe, in the May 2009 issue. Article summary: Product sales are a great diversification method—and profits from them can defray a massage therapist’s overhead expenses.

by Cherie Sohnen-Moe

When selling products in a group practice, the three biggest problems are choosing product lines, determining who is responsible for overseeing sales and calculating who gets what profit—particularly when a client sees more than one massage practitioner in the group.

If your business is a partnership, the funds can be commingled. Here are two ways to manage profits.

1. Individual profit centers

• Designate a weekly or monthly order date. Combine practitioners’ product order lists and place one order. Each practitioner pays for her portion of the order.

• Each practitioner receives requested product quantities and sells products separately.

• Each practitioner collects payment for product sales and retains the profit.

2. Distributed profits

• The group assigns one practitioner to manage product sales. Tasks include tracking inventory, stocking products, placing orders and handling payment through the manager’s individual account (this assumes an office assistant handles payment processing tasks).

• The product manager is compensated for her time in managing product sales. Remaining profit is applied to shared overhead expenses (e.g., rent, linen service, telephone and marketing).