To complement the Expert Advice, “How can I go about offering home-care products for sale to clients?” in the October 2015 issue of MASSAGE Magazine. Summary: To maximize the chances of retail success, massage therapists should consider investing in products that enhance their most popular massage treatments.
Retail can help massage businesses earn more revenue, increase client satisfaction and fulfill the question of “what next?” for massage clients once you finish their massage—but to integrate retail into your business the right way requires you to do your research and conduct a business analysis. The last thing you want is for your retail products to remain on the shelf because you failed to do these things beforehand.
Are you ready for retail success?
Ask yourself the following questions; these are questions you need to answer before moving forward in purchasing products to sell in your business:
- How well do I know my business?
- What are my most profitable services?
- What are my clients’ spending habits?
If you currently use an appointment scheduler or billing software, these tools can answer these questions for you right away. The key information you want to gather from this research is:
- Are you consistently in the positive at the end of the month, after bills and rent are paid? Not being in debt means you are taking less of a chance when you purchase retail.
- Which of your services make up 25 percent or more of your business? These are the services on which you should base your product selection.
- On average, are your clients visiting your office a minimum of one to two times per month? If so, it’s safe to assume your clients have disposable income for purchasing products.
After a thorough examination of your business’ health has been completed, move on to the next step: deciding what services to focus product selection on.
What to sell
Retail selection should be built around your best-selling massage services. A good, conservative approach is to focus on services that generate 25 percent or more of your business, because then you have the opportunity to sell a related retail product to 25 percent of your clients, or one out of every four clients. Depending on the dollar amount of the average sale, there is a great deal of potential income to be made.
For example, if aromatherapy doesn’t make up at least 25 percent of your requested massage services, you should probably not invest in a large selection of essential oils.
If pain management makes up 25 percent of your requested massage services, selecting a wide range of products related to pain management, such as pain-relieving gels, hot or cold therapy treatments and foam rollers, would be a good place to start. These are products that complement your pain management massages. They are also products you can use during your services or recommend as home-care to engage in between massage sessions. In this way, the product becomes a benefit to your clients. If they see the benefit and have the means, they will purchase retail from you.
Retail with intent
Adding retail to your massage business makes sense if you hope to grow your business. It requires planning and an implementation strategy to make it work successfully.
We as massage therapists go into every massage session with intent: intent to help our clients get better, intent to relax our clients, intent to reduce our clients’ pain. We should approach our retail selection with intent as well.
Retail has to have a purpose in your business and in the massage session for it to be worthy of carrying. It cannot be added to a business without a logical reason—or it will not sell.
About the Author
Felicia Hayes, L.M.T., has been a massage therapist since 2003, and a continuing education provider since 2008. She is the owner of Hayes Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and More Massage Tools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and resides in Ashburn, Virginia. She wrote the expert advice article, “How can I go about offering home-care products for sale to clients?” for MASSAGE Magazine’s October 2015 issue.