Massage therapists or practitioners can be loath to agreements. They love the idea of working together, but often despise working out money terms in a long-term working agreement. The unwillingness or inability to work through the financial terms of a contract can cost thousands of dollars to the clinic owner over time if outgoing expenses are greater than incoming revenue, and great hassle and expense to the contracting practitioner having to relocate. With such a wonderful symbiotic opportunity, why do so many clinic-owner or contracting-practitioner agreements go sour? I think the foundational presumptions are to blame. This series examines six common presumptions.

Presumption #5 – “Contractor Status Is Less Hassle than Having or Being an Employee”
Many clinic owners are unfamiliar and therefore fearful of pension plan and employment insurance deductions. Practitioners fear they’ll lose business tax deductions on supplies & equipment, or won’t make as much money as an employee. These fears are often unfounded and obscure real benefits with an employee-employer relationship.

Clinic owners can mandate training and skill building, boosting the value practitioners bring to the clinic. Owners can better control resources used, schedule work hours, and avoid conflict of dual advertising i.e.: practitioners being self-serving with promotion rather than benefitting the business as a whole. Good employees can receive performance bonuses, take part in profit sharing, and qualify for workplace benefits plans. If the massage industry adopted this model, we might see far less turnover and longer-term relationships between owners and contracting practitioners.

Don Dillon, RMT is the author of Better Business Agreements and the self-study workbook Charting Skills for Massage Therapists. Over 60 of his articles have been published in industry publications including Massage Therapy Canada, Massage Therapy Today, AMTA Journal, AMTWP Connections, and various massage school and professional association newsletters. Don’s Web site, www.MTCoach.com, provides a variety of resources for massage therapists.

Don has presented to members of the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA), the Association of Massage Therapists and Wholistic Practitioners (AMTWP), the Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS), the Massage Therapist Association of Manitoba (MTAM), the Association of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick (ANBMT), the Massage Therapist Association of Nova Scotia (MTANS) and the Ontario Massage Therapist Association (OMTA). He also presented to the pre-graduating class of 2008 at the AtlanticCollege of Massage Therapists.

Related articles:

Presumption # 1 – “I’m Paying Too Much Rent”

Presumption # 2 – “The Clinic Owner Shouldn’t Profit From My Practice”

Presumption # 3 – “Straight Percentage Agreements Are Best”

Presumption # 4 – “Contracting Practitioners Have Little Leverage in Agreements”

Presumption # 5 – “Contractor Status Is Less Hassle Than Having or Being an Employee”

Presumption # 6 – “It’s A Contractor Relationship Because I’ve Classified It As Such”

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