Podcast

Episode 381

Oct 15, 2021

Michael and Allissa have a thought shower of ideas to discuss increasing your income when you are maxed out on clients.

Listen to "E381: How to Increase Your Income Once You're Maxed Out On Clients" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 381

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • How to Increase Your Income Once You're Maxed Out On Clients

Quick Tips

  • You build trust by consistently showing up
  • Start thinking about education for 2022

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by PocketSuite. PocketSuite is an all-in-one app that makes it easier to run your massage business. You can schedule and get booked online by clients and manage all your forms and notes and contracts and payments and reminders, all of the things, all within the PocketSuite app. And it is all HIPAA compliant, my friends, whether you are just starting out or a seasoned business owner, PocketSuite helps you save time and make a good living. A massage therapist can be up and running on PocketSuite in 15 minutes. Our podcast listeners can get 25% off your annual premium subscription for your first year of PocketSuite. And for more information, you can visit, massagebusinessblueprint.com/pocketsuite. 

Allissa Haines:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint Podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money and improve of your quality of life. I am Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

And I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

And we are your hosts, and we're delighted that you could join us today. Michael, what's going on?

Michael Reynolds:

All as well. I don't have anything to share reading wise. Everything I've been reading I think is probably not super exciting. So I'm going to go with what you are reading. So, what you got?

Allissa Haines:

First, [inaudible 00:01:22] we haven't done it in a while, so give me a quick weather update.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, it is sunny and 70 degrees. So it is a beautiful October so far here in lovely Indiana. How about you?

Allissa Haines:

Wow, it's sunny here, but I had to turn the office heat on for the first time coming out into my little backyard office this morning. So that was [inaudible 00:01:42].

Michael Reynolds:

I hear in Massachusetts that a big deal turning the heat on. People resist turning the heat on for as long as possible in Massachusetts.

Allissa Haines:

Oh, yeah. In our homes, I'm not so prudent with the outside office because the heat's not on ever, it gets very cold in here very quickly. But, yeah. And Walt is not from New England. He's from Upstate New York, so I would be a little heartier, but he turns the heat on really early. He turned the heat on two weeks ago and when we had a couple cold nights in a row, which is-

Michael Reynolds:

Lightweight.

Allissa Haines:

He's kind of a lightweight, but bless his heart. So, yeah, yeah, it's a thing though. We think we're super hearty and whatever, we're ridiculous. Anyhow, I am super excited to talk about what I've been listening to lately. And I have to say a bunch of colleagues had been sharing links and talking about this podcast, and I just hadn't caught on until last week. It's called Maintenance Phase. Specifically, it's called Maintenance Phase: Wellness & Weight Loss, Debunked & Decoded. Oh, my gosh, this podcast is awesome. It is so good. They have a new episode. Every other Tuesday. It is two hosts, Michael Hobbes and Aubrey Gordon. And they talk about junk science behind health and wellness fads, and they really examine the cultural context of how various health and wellness trends are tied to racism and sexism. It sounds like really heavy, right? I'm like, "Oh, this is really intense." Dude, this is the funniest podcast I've ever heard. It's so funny.

Allissa Haines:

They are just charismatic and smart and the way they approach the topics is with a lot of compassion and just humor, and it's just so good. It is probably not safe around your children. It's definitely pretty sassy. And yeah, Maintenance Phase: Wellness & Weight Loss, Debunked & Decoded. I have listened to the four most recent episodes, and then last week or the other day I started going back and just wait the very beginning. The first episode is them just kind of talking about themselves, introducing themselves and how they ended up doing this. So, if you get bored by that know that it's not the whole podcast, it's not the whole series and go right to the next episode. It's just so good. I binge-listened to those first four or to four episodes, the four most recent ones while I was painting my office this past weekend, and I had to put the paintbrush down, I was laughing so hard at one point. So, that is high praise from me. So yeah, Maintenance Phase. I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. Thanks for sharing that. We need more fun and laughter in our lives, I think so. It's good. All right.

Allissa Haines:

Who's our first sponsor, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Our friends at Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Yay, our friends at Jojoba are the best. I talk a lot about Jojoba. I love it because it's super high quality and we're soaking in it all the time. And what I actually want to talk about today, I'm going off script, because I was prowling their website, which is new-ish and lovely, and they are still selling the retail starter kit, which is awesome. You get six four ounce bottles, six eight ounce bottles, you get a tester bottle, you get brochures, and you get it for a reasonable price that I do not know because I did not click through that page yet, but it's great. If you use Jojoba and you recommend it to your clients and you've ever found yourself filling up one of your extra bottles to send a bottle home with your client, just retail it, it's great stuff.

Allissa Haines:

But also, they are selling their, pardon me, HobaCare Original Lip Balm and their HobaCare Simple Salve, which is like in a little tin, there's two sizes. I love both of them. They're both things that I put in my nightstand. And then, I use the lip balm at night and I use salve, especially on my cuticles, my fingertips and cuticles at night, and it's just awesome. It's great stuff to have around. So if you're putting a Jojoba order in, anyway, check out the lip balm and simple salve, or just go, be inspired. Go get yourself some lip balm, maybe get some for your favorite clients. Get yourself some simple salve, pick up that retail kit and feel really happy with your HobaCare purchase. You can check all of that out at massagebusinessblueprint.com slash/jojoba, that's J-O-J-O-B-A, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

It's a little foreshadowing to our topic. We may or may not mention Jojoba again during our discussion today.

Allissa Haines:

I completely unintentional too, is that wild?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, how about that?

Allissa Haines:

Okay. So today Michael is presenting our topic. I love it when he does the work, you know this, because I'm inherently lazy and I've got a big old cup of coffee. I'm going to sit at while he talks about how to increase your income once you're maxed out on clients. And as we were chatting before we hit record we talked about how a lot of this feels obvious to us like you've heard it before. But if you've considered some of these things, but never followed through don't tune us out, because we have thoughts to share. Michael, take it away, how to increase your income once you're maxed out on clients.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Let's do it. So this came up, I think it was a question in our community that was brought up. And it was literally this question, it was, "How do I increase income? I'm maxed out on clients, I can't do any more massages per week, I'm kind of at capacity, what do I do? I've kind hit this ceiling." So, let's talk through some ideas on how to increase your income without more hands-on work. And let's start with the obvious. I just have to get out of the way, because it's the obvious one that we all know about, but let's just make sure we say it, increase your prices, right? That's kind of the-

Allissa Haines:

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

Michael Reynolds:

Yes. So we have talked about this before in episodes and in our community, and in various places. So the first thing I would do before you go through the trouble of anything else we talk about today is consider if it's time to raise your prices. That's a really simple way to kind of pull the lever toward higher income. Now, if you've increased your prices in the past three months, then maybe not a great time to do it. If you feel like you're already at the high end of your market in your area of specialty or in whatever environment you're working in, and you feel like if you increase your prices literally people will just stop coming, okay, then that's something you have to consider. However, if it's been a couple years as you increase your prices and the people around you aren't charging much less than you are or much... If you're not overpriced in the market, then there's room to grow. Maybe you've got room to increase your prices.

Michael Reynolds:

And especially, if you are specializing or if you have a particular skill or a thing that you do that is higher value than kind of the generalist, then yeah, those are all reasons to consider increasing your prices.So consider that.And we have whole episodes on that, so search our website for increased prices and you'll likely find episodes where we will coach you through having the confidence to do it and own it and be cool with it. So, there's that. Moving on from that, what else can you do? This is related to increasing your prices, perhaps consider creating a new specialized service at a higher price. So let's say you are generally doing a therapeutic massage and that's kind of what you're doing and you're X charging for that.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, okay, great. Maybe you can't charge X plus $10 for that, maybe that you're kind of the limit, but can you create a specialized service that goes with it or is complimentary, or is different? Maybe you've learned a new modality and it is really useful for a certain type of person and you're like, "Hey, this is a really specialized thing. You can get my therapeutic massage for 90 bucks an hour or whatever, or you can get my specialized, deep muscle myo, fascial, something or other that is really unique for 110." Maybe you can do that and kind of upsell people into that that you feel would benefit. Maybe they have a particular condition or something with their body that would respond to it. That's something you consider. So create a new product line in your massage services that you could potentially charge more for and upsell that.

Michael Reynolds:

Next, explore retail services. So this is a tricky one. It's not easy. And a lot of times I hear people get stuck on this because like, "Well, I don't want to open a store in my massage studio." "I don't have space for all this stuff." "I don't know how to sell retail." "How do I sell it?" [inaudible 00:10:20]. They just kind of snowball into this whole a vortex of, oh, what if, what if, what if. And if you're going to do retail, start simple. Start with one thing that you really love and get really good at it, and then you can always expand from there. So I mentioned this before, when we talked about Jojoba. Obviously, Jojoba is our sponsor, we love them, that may be a great option. Grab their retail kit, start with that. If you're already using Jojoba in your sessions, then you already are familiar with it. It's something you believe in.

Michael Reynolds:

It's probably not going to be too difficult for you to say, "Hey, by the way, this is what I use during a massage session. It's great stuff. It's good for your skin, all the good benefits, would you like to take a bottle home with you, try it out?" You can sell that at a profit and get people interested in kind of in the habit of maybe taking home some Jojoba when they run out. And you can start using that as a retail channel and making a little bit of extra money through retail sales with your massage sessions. No extra work, no extra hands on, it's something you just sell at a profit. So, it doesn't have to be Jojoba, but it can be something else if you have a product you love. But I say start simple with something that is very easy for you to recommend because you believe in it, and once you get really good at that you can always add more products later.

Allissa Haines:

Okay, I'm Going to jump in here, because you started this by saying, "It's not easy." I have to say it is super easy.

Michael Reynolds:

I agree. I think I just like to be sensitive to the fact that some people don't think it's easy.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. There's a couple obstacles that people hit, right? They're like, "I don't know how to deal with sales tax,." Go to your state's Department of Revenue website and you will likely find a easy, free form to fill out, to register, to sell retail. And then all it involves is typically filing a form online once a quarter or maybe just twice a year, I think it depends on how much you sell depending on your state. In Massachusetts, if I sell more than $150 in a quarter, I just need to go online and fill out the little form and be like, "I sold this much retail. Here's what I paid for, here's what I charged for, here's what I owe you in sales tax." So, it's not hard, it's just a task. And to track sales tax, most of the credit card processors you can add an item and when you add the item in, say I'm going to sell, whatever, a tube of Biofreeze, you add the item in, you put your price in that you charge and you can make that price inclusive of sales tax or you can add on sales tax.

Allissa Haines:

It's I literally in square, a button you click, a little toggle you click. And then every week, month, quarter, year, I can just run that square report and it tells me exactly how much I owe in sales tax. So it's super easy if once you get the tools set up. I will also note that there is so many things you can sell. And you don't even have to actively sell them verbally or push them, or feel smarmy. If you have any space at all, if you've got a one by one area on your checkout desk, or whatever, or on a shelf in your massage room, it's pretty easy to sell even if you don't want to keep all your inventory sitting there in the massage room for somebody to swipe, you can still have one of each item that you sell hanging out somewhere that's not super intrusive, but your clients will see as they come and go and ask you.

Allissa Haines:

I mean, I mentioned Biofreeze back when I was doing a different kind of massage and I used a lot of it in my practice. I sold it, because it was easier than somebody having to order online or stop at CVS. So Biofreeze, Pure Pro's arnica lotion, Pure Pro's Pedango, the Jojoba. You all know, all I use is Jojaba and Pure Pro. So like the Jojoba, if you want something a little a fancy you get the lip balms and the salves. Grandpa's Gardens or Mother Earth pillows, heat packs people can bring home. There is so many things. And then if you partner with some local places, local makers... I'm about to start selling some lip balm and some soap and a few other personal care items that are higher end because they're super high quality from a local maker, from a woman I met at a local vendor fair a couple years ago. I adore her, I love her products, and it's not going to be a problem for me to sell her lip balms for six bucks a hit.

Allissa Haines:

I especially always added a retail item before the holidays, and every year I would make sure to have a different item. A bunch of people just did their Christmas shopping with me. One year everybody bought one of the Mother Earth pillow heat wrap thingies for all their friends. They'd pick up five of them for t-shirt gifts. Another year... I totally forget what it was, but it was something else. And I added a different item before the holidays every year and did a little mini holiday display, and people just picked up all their gifts swap, gifts and stuff for me.

Allissa Haines:

And they could feel really good about it, because they were buying from me and I buy it from other small businesses, and it just handled their stuff super fast. I always have gift bags in handy, tissue paper, so I could just give them the full thing. And nobody ever blinked at the price, even when stuff was marked up. So, anyhow, retail doesn't have to be as hard and scary as it seems at first. It's just a couple admin tasks. You keep a spreadsheet, it's not that terrible. Sorry, I didn't mean to go off like this, but I'm about to start retailing at my space again, so I'm excited about it. Okay, I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, it's good stuff. I've even heard a massage therapists that are in a kind of an artsy town and they have local artists put their pieces in their office on consignment, and-

Allissa Haines:

And then actually looking into that.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. Yeah. And you they want your traffic, because you've got traffic coming in out of your studio every day. Clients coming in and out and they don't have that, and so they put their piece on consignment, you take a profit and you're helping a local artist and getting their art distributed. So, all kinds of creative solutions.

Allissa Haines:

It's really great way to start a networking relationship with someone too, with a local maker. So if you feel like you're having trouble networking, approaching a local maker or artist to do something like this could be a really wonderful beginning of a relationship.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on. All right. Next, consider a creating a new virtual line of business. Now you're probably thinking, "Okay. So I said I was maxed out, I can't work anymore." Well, so maxed out on hands on is different than being maxed out in literal hours you have in the day. So let's say you're doing [inaudible 00:17:01] massages for a week, your body physically can't handle taking on more massage. You probably can take on two or three virtual sessions a week in addition where you're sitting in a comfy chair and meeting with someone over Zoom. So, that's different than the physical taxing nature of hands-on work. So if you would consider creating a virtual line of business you might be able to expand and add some income that is much less taxing physically, and it's much easier to deliver. So some examples of this.

Michael Reynolds:

I've actually talked to a massage therapist this week. I was kind of talking her through some ideas and she was like, "Yeah, I'm getting really busy in my massage practice and I've got this nutrition counseling certification that I just got that I'm not sure how to monetize it." I'm using the word monetizing. She's like, "I don't know how to make money from it and what to do." And she's kind of spiraling into what all the what ifs and I'm like, "Hey, look. Okay, so set up a service on acuity, which is your scheduling system that says," Hey, 30 minute nutrition counseling session." 30 minutes, 50 bucks or whatever she wants to charge, book it online Over Zoom. Great."

Michael Reynolds:

Just do that one thing and then start to your clients every time you see them, and keep it really simple. You don't have to build a whole thing right now or an empire or a community, or whatever. Just start selling nutrition counseling sessions over Zoom for 30 minutes a pop, and see how it goes. And she's like, "Oh, okay. Great. That's really easy to do and I can deliver that right now." So, don't overthink it. If there's something you can do virtually that is of value to people and it can be done over a Zoom meeting, then consider adding that. It can be some kind of wellness coaching. Allissa, you mentioned something like movement or meditation, right?

Allissa Haines:

Sorry, it took me a second to unmute. Yes. Yeah, so there's a whole lot of things that you can learn more about even go the distance and become certified in some kind of movement or stretching, or meditation. And I specifically thought of all of these things, because there are things you can learn, you can do in office with clients, you can do virtually with clients and you can also create a line of videos or trainings, which is going to be Michael's next point, so keep this in the back of your head. But things like how to calm the nervous system, movements specific to people with certain issues. And again, you need to check your scope of practice and you need to get the education required in your state for... This broad information that you might need to do a little legwork on, which seems like, oh, but could also be awesome. There's self-care. There are things that we teach people that we always have that we could extend virtually and or create resources for clients.

Allissa Haines:

And that gives you the chance not just to sell an online course about stretching, which Michael might get to in a second, but it also gives you the option to create hybrid services and to, I'm going to jump back to an earlier point, create a specialized service at a higher price that doesn't involve you doing any more work. It's not for everyone, but if the kind of work you do has people looking to recover and then maintain, it can be a really nice add-on. And just like selling retail and veering into items that you typically use in your work, when this is something that's a natural extension of what you already do, it's not salesy and smarmy, it's just finding ways to serve your clientele.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, go ahead. Sorry.

Allissa Haines:

No. I was going to say, "That's it. I'm done."

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. And by the way, this is my massage therapist that I go to see. I'm actually going to see her right after we record this. So yay, massage day for me. And I told her, I was like, "Hey, I'll be your first client." Because half the time when I get busy I eat like crap, and I could use a coach to help me making better food choices and healthier eating. So I'm convinced there's a demand for stuff like this, whether it's nutrition or movement or meditation. I mean, how many people do you know that are just stressed out and burnt out right now? Probably everybody you, right? Who wouldn't-

Allissa Haines:

We're veering into what we see as the biggest mental health crisis that this country has ever seen. Once actually get on the other end of this pandemic I think we're going to see more and more bubbling up. So, you best be prepared to help people in any way that you can.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. Who couldn't use some help with meditation or healthy eating, or whatever you can deliver? Something else Allissa wanted me to mention also was personal training. I've talked about this in previous episodes a while back. So I don't work with her anymore because she went back to school for something else, but for a while I was working with a virtual personal trainer and it worked really well for me. There's apps that you can get to kind of create the structure for this. They're pretty easy to set up. And as a personal trainer she would basically put together a program for me after an initial consultation. And the program would outline exactly what days to exercise on and what to do, kind of what my goals were and how to attach those specific techniques to my goals. And then, I think it was once every two weeks or so, we would have a quick 30-minute Zoom call where she would kind of review how I was doing and assess my progress, and give me some coaching and feedback.

Michael Reynolds:

It was really useful. I was actually really sad when she went back to school because it really worked well for me. And I ended up doing something a little bit different, a little bit app-based, but I would've stuck with it if she kept doing it. So, this is something that really kind of got my business wheels turning like, "Hey, this is a very scalable business." And the word scalable just means you can deliver it in a big way without a lot of work and time investment on your end, because you've got to clients that log into their app and do their exercises and you just kind of coach them here and there along the way.

Michael Reynolds:

So, if maybe you already have experience in personal training, maybe you have the certification, maybe you want to get it, or maybe there's something adjacent. Maybe it's not personal training, but it's something that you can do that is similar, you can deliver in a kind of a structured coaching format.If you need help finding an app that does this, just send us a note at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com, I know of a few I can recommend. But this could be something you could expand on as well when it comes to virtual help to people that you can deliver. So there's lots of things I'm sure you can think of, but those are some ideas that we have. How about-

Allissa Haines:

All right, what's next?

Michael Reynolds:

Yes. So next, an online course. Now, this takes a lot of work. I'm sure a lot of us have thought of this. Allissa and I have done online courses before, they do take a lot of work. I wouldn't necessarily recommend... I take that back, maybe I do recommend it. If you feel confident making an online course and you have stuff that you can put together, yeah, go for it. But if you feels overwhelming, you might consider starting with just delivering a session via Zoom to start out with and then kind of building onto that and start to record things and videos to go with it, and eventually, you can build an online course from that. So every approach it either way is okay. But an online course is a really great way to generate passive income, which is income that is produced without you having to necessarily do anything actively at the same time.

Michael Reynolds:

So, this can go with everything we talked about before. Maybe you build a course on nutrition or jump starting nutrition or maybe it's something movement related, or meditation or something wellness related that you can deliver in a course format that could supplement what you do in a session. Maybe it's a stretching course. I think Allissa mentioned this, you have sessions with people and you're like, "Hey, it looks like you're a little tight here and we're working on some stretching in the sessions, but between sessions, would you like a way to kind of work through some accountability and develop stretching exercises on your own to kind of supplement."

Michael Reynolds:

You can recommend that to people, people can find it online if you market it online. There's a lot of ways you can get people in it, but this could be a way to sell a course that helps people with some wellness aspect that is complimentary to what you do. So, there are lot of ways to build a course. If you want to embark on this, send us a note and we'll be happy to give some pointers on software you might consider, but that's a really great way to deliver service without having to trade dollars for hours, so to speak.

Allissa Haines:

Do you want to jump in and point out that... A lot of times people hear this create a virtual service, create an online course, and they can think that it's overdone and it's salesy, and you're playing into like the most privileged people who can do such a thing, but in reality, virtual stuff and this kind of service and care is a big, big equalizer for people who cannot necessarily access other kinds of care. And what I mean by that is, I'm in physical therapy right now, and my insurance pays an absurd amount of money for PT visits. I can get in my car, and thankfully the PT place is 10 minutes away or less. And there's a great provider and my insurance pays for it and I can do all the things, and then I can come home or I can drive my car back to my home.

Allissa Haines:

That's not accessible to a lot of people, either because of insurance or because there's simply not a good PT anywhere near them, or driving is not an option, or whatever. Providing virtual services can make things accessible. So, maybe someone can't come to you for massage once a week, while they're healing from X, Y, Z, but they can come for massage every three or four weeks. And you can do some kind of virtual situation in between, or you can provide them with your series of videos about self-care for that issue, or whatever. So instead of, or at least in addition to thinking about services and such you can provide virtually, being exclusive, consider how they could be more accessible and how it can make care more accessible to people and equalize that barrier, the barrier that obstacle to proper care. That's my rant about that.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, I like that. I like that. And also we're not talking about eliminating hands-on work, we're talking about supplementing. We're talking about different ways to include people. So, I think a lot of courses we could build could actually supplement and enhance the hands-on work we do in person. All right. These next two are a little bit more of a challenge, but if you're serious about increasing your income once you've kind of maxed out I want you to stay with me and consider these with an open mind. The first one is hire team members. So this is difficult in a massage setting. So, the two obstacles that we see in hiring team members as a massage therapist are, one, just the logistics of you have to become a leader and a manager of people. You have to be willing and able to become a leader and a manager.

Michael Reynolds:

And that is tough. Managing and leading people is very, very difficult. Having done it for 25 years now in various businesses, it is very, very... The hardest part of running a business is often the people, leading and managing into taking care of people. It's very rewarding as well, but it's a challenge. The other challenge we see is finding and retaining reliable massage therapists. For whatever reason, we've just found that the big obstacle that people have when they're trying to hire people is finding people to work as an employee and keeping them and making sure they're reliable. It's just something that's been a challenge. So, I want to acknowledge that upfront that this is not easy. However, I do know of some massage practices that are super successful and they have team members and the owner is doing some massage, but also is kind of in a managerial supervisor role, and there's a handful of team members working very successfully, and they make it work really well. So it can and be done.

Michael Reynolds:

So, the nice thing about hiring team members is it generates passive income. Again, like everything else we've talked about here. So passive income is, it takes the form of when you're doing your hands-on work that's the income you generate, but then you've got team members that you're taking a percentage of the income they create. And so every time they do a massage, you immediately get a chunk of money from that, that you didn't have to necessarily work directly for, because they're under your company. So whatever percentage you decide to go with that's the percentage you get. On paper, it's a very scalable model, because if you want to make more money you just hire more people. One massage therapist gives you X additional income per massage, and then if you hire a second one, you basically double that, and you can kind of scale out. But again, the challenges you run into are finding reliable massage therapists and just the logistics of managing people.

Michael Reynolds:

So, we don't have the time today to go into a whole coaching session on how to find and retain and manage and lead people, but I will say that it can be done. And if you are serious about growing and expanding and increasing your income without more hands-on work yourself, this can often be a really great path that in some ways has some advantages over things like building a whole course. It's something you can kind of bolt on with the right structure and the right prep work and make it happen. So, hiring people can be a really good way to increase your income if you have the space for it, or if you maybe want to move into a different office that can expand and accommodate that space.

Michael Reynolds:

Which leads me to my next, and I think my last specific item, which is, you might consider also getting a bigger office and renting out space to others. So if you don't want to go the employee route, maybe you don't want to manage and lead people and deal with payroll and stuff, but you want to still make more money, so maybe I of working in a one room office maybe you expand to a three-room office and you rent out the two extra rooms to other massage therapists that are running their own businesses. Allissa, you have done this and I'd love to hear your feedback.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I mean, I did it for years. I did it for almost 10 years, right up until the pandemic hit. And I only shut the place down then because it was going to be hard to make the building safe, and I knew the bulk of my renters were not going to come back quickly, because they all had little kids. So yeah, it really worked for me. And there were some months where when the place was fully rented I would actually be making money. So not only would it cover all the costs of the whole space, which meant my massage business was not paying in and contributing to rent and whatever, so I was taking more money home. Some months it straight up covered my costs. And other months when the place was fully rented a lot of the time I would actually take home extra money.

Allissa Haines:

Had I not been stupid and endeavored to take the space on the other part of the building and tried to run a yoga studio I would've made a ton more money. That was a huge error in judgment. But if you just stick to practitioner rooms it's pretty great, and it doesn't have to just be massage therapists. The bulk of who I rented to as massage therapist, but there was also a couple acupuncturists, which has some different considerations for room set up and whatever, but renting a fully fur earn room is great. I made a bunch of money. And also was able to take home more of my own massage money, because they were covering my costs. And it was also fun. It was nice to have other people around.

Allissa Haines:

It's a little bit of work to find the right combination of people, but when like-minded people gather it can be really great. So people who just want a safe, clean, happy space to work, and it was really nice. There the downside is that you're essentially kind of a landlord, so you need to keep the space up. It's your responsibility to make to keep it in working order, and sometimes that's a pain in the neck when power strips break, or a fuse blows, or a toilet overflows, but the reality is that stuff I'm going to have to deal with just it's just working in an office anyway, so it was only increased a little bit. But yeah, I loved it. It was a really great way to defray operating costs and even make a few bucks.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. So as I look over this list, I'd like to kind of leave you with two things. One, a little pep talk. And then, finally, one more thing to consider, kind of new twist to kind of wrap into this. So the pep talk is this, everything we've talked about on this list involves getting out of your comfort zone. So, if you're maxed out, you can't do any more massages, and you truly want to make more income and add to your revenue then you're going to have to get out of your comfort zone a little bit. Now, I'm making a generalization. Maybe some of you are totally fine with retail, it's no big deal, you're not uncomfortable with that at all. Okay, yeah, there are some exceptions.

Michael Reynolds:

But for the most part, I've seen that the obstacles to all of these things are getting out of your comfort zone. Maybe if you've never sold retail before, and it feels salesy and uncomfortable. Maybe if you have never raised your prices or haven't in the past a few years and it's very scary. Maybe creating a virtual a line of business is something you've never done before, and you're not sure how to deliver it. Maybe expanding your office space or hiring team members, that sounds really scary and you've never done that, and managing people is a little bit of an anxiety-inducing kind of thing to think about.

Michael Reynolds:

I get it. These are all things that are going to be outside your comfort zone, but that's what it takes if you're going to kind of get to the next level and your income and your business, often taking that leap, obviously, doing prep work and research and thinking, and planning, but you've got to be okay being uncomfortable for a bit. And that's going to lead to this expansion and these potential areas you can increase your income. So, just be aware of that and be ready to be uncomfortable as you kind of make these changes or additions. Yeah, Allissa?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, I agree.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, I thought you were on muting so I thought I had a comment.

Allissa Haines:

No, I was getting ready.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

I was thinking ahead after your next point. I'm trying to be prepared as the show run around this episode.

Michael Reynolds:

Fair enough. Fair enough. So, the last thing I want to leave you with is all of this, in my opinion, is easier if you specialize. So we've talked about specializing in niching, which we use interchangeably a lot on this podcast and in courses, and just in general. So, some examples of this. So let's say you are a massage therapist that is a generalist and you, I'll go back to nutrition counseling, you create a virtual service for nutrition counseling. Great, that's pretty related. It's complimentary, it's wellness, okay. But let's say you are a massage therapist that focus on working with cyclists. Well, now, instead of just making a service called nutrition counseling, it's a nutrition counseling service that is specific to the needs of cyclists. And you have this thread that tightly ties together the massage work you do for cyclists and the nutrition counseling you do for cyclists. Everything is wrapped around this target market of cyclists.

Michael Reynolds:

So, the more you specialize and the more you have a niche you focus on, the more you can have a lot of flexibility in these additional services you provide, because you can tie them together for the same target market, and it's a much smoother, logical way to kind of put things together. So you don't... I mean, obviously, you don't have to special. A lot of people are very successful without doing it, but often specializing can ha lead to benefits that some people can really enjoy when they're thinking through additional services like this.

Allissa Haines:

Yes.

Michael Reynolds:

[inaudible 00:37:32], Allissa.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. And actually, this specializing stuff it sounds big and scary, but it actually doesn't have to be, and I'm going to provide an example of that, actually, during the next ad spot. So Michael, if we feel like we've discussed this to death, who's our next-

Michael Reynolds:

I feel like we have.

Allissa Haines:

Who's our next sponsor?

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Our friends at ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

Yay, ABMP. And I swear to God I didn't plan this in advance, but since it has presented itself I'm going to do it. What I want to talk about today is the ABMP Education Center and you can find more information about that at abmp.com/learn. We're talking 600 hours of CE courses included with ABMP membership, all available for purchase at a ridiculously reasonable for non-members. There are all kinds of topics. And just by scanning through quickly, as Michael was talking about specialization earlier, I got a bunch of ideas. So I'm scrolling through some of the courses that are available on the ABMP portal. And there is Whitney Lowe and Til Luchau plantar foot pain. And I think there's a couple other foot classes. So you could take a couple of online, free with your membership or super cheap, otherwise ABMP courses online, and then create a foot treatment. Create a series of treatments for people with plantar foot pain or plantar fasciitis from X, Y, Z, whatever.

Allissa Haines:

There are a top, I mean, a pile of classes about massage for neck pain, headache, jaw, stuff like that. You could spend a couple of days, watch a couple of videos, practice on a friend or two and create a headache treatment. And maybe even a series for treating headache that has an upcharge, because it includes Biofreeze or arnica lotion, or something like that as part of the series like full treatments for headache. And create a really nice series, but also on the inside, kind of create a structured treatment plan with a plan for following up with a client after each treatment, with a plan for having them rate their pain or ability of certain daily activities, so that you get a very clear picture at the beginning of the series like what is the problem and how are we going to solve it? And then checking in on that and adjusting your treatment plan to accommodate, so at the end of this series they've got great results and they tell everybody they know who's ever had a headache.

Allissa Haines:

And this is something you can upcharge for. You could add. You're not only making more money from actual physical massage, but maybe you are adding in some videos for online stretching and self-care throughout that process. You can upcharge for that. So you're doing the same amount of massage, you're helping someone a little more specifically and better, with better effect, and you are making more money for it. So, they've got rotator cuff classes, self-care for your wrist and upper body.If you can learn some really good self-care for your wrist and upper bodies you can teach it to a whole bunch of different clients and maybe do so via video.

Allissa Haines:

You get the idea, there is a ton. Essential oils, learn essential oils. If you have a client base who could be interested in this, that's a sweet upcharge and retail option. I actually get my essential oils from Pure Pro, and I'm going to start a few of them in bulk and retelling them. So you get the idea and ABMP can help. So you can go to abmp.com/learn all kinds of topics. Free ECE for members. Reasonable price if you're not going to become a member, which is crazy, you should just become a member. All of this available at abmp.com/learn.

Michael Reynolds:

Wow, I'm convinced.

Allissa Haines:

I really went off book there. I'll either get a really nice email from Jed at ABMP or one that's like, "Don't go so off book, Allissa." I won't, they've never told us that. They're so gracious to us, But, yeah. So there's a lot of ways to go with this whole topic and it's not as unreachable as people think, it just takes some thought. Anyhow, moving on, what's your quick tip, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

All right. My quick tip is this, you build trust by consistently showing up. I was thinking-

Allissa Haines:

What are you thinking?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. Yeah. I was thinking through this recently in all the ways that in my business life, and life in general, but business life specifically, that showing up consistently has led to so many good things. A couple examples. I'm a networking group, and you know what? People are sporadic, they sometimes come and go, they sometimes miss a lot of meetings as stuff, and that's just how people are. I'm there every week. If I'm out of town, then I'm not there, but otherwise I'm there every week. It's in my calendar, I can make a commitment. And after a while of doing that I've started getting lots of referrals and connections and it's led to business, and that's how it works. Another example, Allissa and I have not once missed an episode of this podcast. Every single week, we have shown up, every Friday, sometimes twice a week, depending on the interviews that are scheduled, and we have a podcast delivered to you every single Friday, every single week for like what? Six years now?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah.

Michael Reynolds:

And as a result, we've built a community. We've built trust in the marketplace, we have sponsors that are very loyal, because they know that we have this community that we take care of and speak to, and show up every single week consistently. In your business, is there something you're doing consistently or that you could do consistently to really build that trust? How often is your newsletter going out? Do you do a podcast? Do you do some sort of communication? Is it social media? Is it networking? Whatever it is. Sometimes all it takes is showing up consistently over a long period of time and the trust, the relationships and the business happens.

Allissa Haines:

So, a while back, a couple years ago, our friend Ariana suggested asking new clients, "What is the reason you left your last massage therapist?" And a lot of times it's like they moved away or whatever. But I started doing that a couple years ago, and the most common reason is something like they were just a hot mess. And it's not even kidding. And I've preached this before. We got whole podcast episodes on it. I'm a good massage therapist, I deliver a solid, a decent massage. I'm not super fantastic wonderful, amazing, but I show up. Everything about my business is committed and regular and consistent. I don't cancel an appointment unless I really need to cancel an appointment. I don't change my schedule a ton. Now listen, a lot of people have part-time massage businesses because they need a flexible schedule and preach. I love it. I rock on.

Allissa Haines:

But when you run a consistent business, when people can trust that you are always going to be there, that it's easy to schedule with you, and it's going to be, whether that's via online or in some other mechanism, which again, respect. But when people know that you're in it for the long haul and you're consistent, it makes a huge difference. My clients know that I'm in this for the next 10 years until I go part time when I'm 55 or 56 years old. As long as my body holds out, I'm doing this. And they know that. They know that it's clear in the way I run my business that I take this seriously and consistently.

Michael Reynolds:

[inaudible 00:45:27]. Love it.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. So my quick tip is to, and I can't even believe it ties in, again, sorry, start thinking about your education for 2022, whether it be going back to in-person classes, which I know some people have already done or thinking about where you want your career to go next if there might be a class that you've been thinking of taking that you're going to have to save up for. That's my situation. I was actually all saved up to take a class and then an opportunity to buy almost brand new massage table that I've been wanting came up to me and I spent my education money on that, so now I have to build up my education fund again.

Allissa Haines:

But think about how you can best serve your current clientele or how the kind of new clients that you want to get if you're still building your business or you're looking to make a change or a shift, and start thinking and planning both financially and in your schedule how you're going to take that class or start that training, or do whatever you're going to do in 2022, because that is coming right up on us. And putting some thought into that now, in October, before you get swept away by holidays and all of a sudden it's February and you're like, "Oh, crap, I didn't plan and that class is in May and I can't pay for it." Start thinking about it now. That's my quick tip.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. If we've helped you, tell your friends. You can send them to massagebusinessblueprint.com to learn more about us. You can share the podcast with them if you've got a massage friend that doesn't know how to listen to podcasts, maybe show them, help them get the first episode or two on their phone, and then they'll listen to us and we would appreciate it. If you have questions, comments, feedback, reach out, podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And I think that's all I have to say. Thanks for listening.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks everyone.

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