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 #4 – “Contracting Practitioners Have Little Leverage in Agreements”
So far I’ve spoken to the real suffering clinic owners bear in agreements, but In fact, a practitioner can have tremendous advantage in agreements. To do this they must bring value to the table. If you’re a practitioner, build your business skills – attracting and retaining business (communication or marketing, sales, customer service, public relations) and technical skills (clinical or spa specialization) where you can charge higher fee per skills, serve new markets and broaden the customer base of the clinic. When your contract comes up for negotiation, negotiate for profit sharing or better rent. The clinic owner would be foolish not to be reasonable with you – it’s costly to lose a good associate.
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.