When he opened his therapeutic massage business in 2005, Dan Melmed wasn’t just trying to start a new company, he was creating a new business model that would put a corporate structure on what has typically resided in spas or the back pages of alternative weeklies…

”People seem to really not believe or understand that they can receive therapeutic massage at home and be covered by insurance,” he said…

In his letter to The Miami Herald asking for help, Melmed said he had tried some ”guerrilla tactics” by handing our flyers and running small ads. But he needed advice on how to implement his plan in a more measured and successful manner…

”I’m not telling him to do marketing that gets attention. You build trust and that gets you marketing. The best lawyers and doctors do it like that,” Cruz said, explaining that strong referrals can be a bottomless well for particular businesses. “Some businesses can do mass marketing and that’s fine. But he’s in an intimate business. You have to trust someone before you let them rub oil on you…

Melmed first got interested in massage growing up in Stamford, Conn. When he went to college at George Washington University, he initially thought he’d study business and perhaps one day run his own therapeutic massage company. But accounting and statistics got the better of him, and he, instead, studied communications…

Massage was already well-established in California, so he decided against returning to a highly competitive market and instead chose Florida, where his parents moved after retiring. In 2005, he opened Body Well.

The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida, July 13, 2009
http://www.miamiherald.com/business/story/1138226.html

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