Podcast

Episode 418

Jun 10, 2022

Allissa and Michael dig into how you can recession-proof your massage practice.

Listen to "E418: How to Recession-Proof Your Massage Business" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 418

Weekly Roundup

  • Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds by Huma Abedin 
  • Massage business for sale: Want to own an established massage business in beautiful Teton County, Wyoming and earn over 200 thousand a year? Healthy Brands Business Brokerage has an opportunity to buy an existing massage business where you can use your experience and reach your true potential. Call 816-718-8018 or find more details here

Discussion Topic

  • How to Recession-Proof Your Massage Business

Quick Tips

  • Keep your messaging simple, clear, and direct
  • Stop fretting about cc fees and price your services to accommodate them

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

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Michael Reynolds:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life, and cough into the mic whenever possible. I'll be coughing as well, so I'm not making fun of Allissa only.

Allissa Haines:

I thought I had muted, but I hadn't.

Michael Reynolds:

We're both just kind of hacking this morning and struggling.

Allissa Haines:

The mute button didn't click on the first click. I'm really sorry, you guys.

Michael Reynolds:

I heard a big sniff and a big cough, and I was like, "Yep, this is today. This is what's going on."

Allissa Haines:

So, Michael and I are both sick. Michael's on the tail end and recovering, and I'm in the thick of it, so sorry about that. I really thought I had muted.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey, this is real. We're a real show here, so you get what you get. So, with that, hey, what you reading?

Allissa Haines:

What am I reading? So, last week I read a book called Both/And, Both/And by Huma Abedin, who was various levels of assisting and advisor and consulting to Hillary Rodham Clinton at various stages of Hillary Rodham Clinton's career, starting when she was First Lady, and through the final campaign for president, and it is a really, really interesting biography because Huma was raised... She was, I think, born in the United States, but she was raised overseas in the Middle East. Both of her parents had teaching gigs, and it was... She's of Indian and Pakistani descent, and the book is really about what it is like to be part of multiple cultures and traditions, and how that has melded together in her life.

Allissa Haines:

It's really a beautiful story of public service, and also what it's like to be in the public eye in not always the best circumstances, and how her ethnicity was used against her and tried to be used against Hillary Rodham Clinton, pardon me, in some campaigns, and it's just very, very interesting. I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would, and it had been recommended to me by a friend, and I recommend it to everything. It's called Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds by Huma Abedin.

Michael Reynolds:

Lovely. Thanks for sharing that.

Allissa Haines:

I think I said it wrong just then. I think it's Huma Abedin, not Huma Abedin. My apologies.

Michael Reynolds:

Gotcha.

Allissa Haines:

What you been up to?

Michael Reynolds:

Well, I've got little different twist today on what I'm reading. So, those who have been a longtime listener of the show may remember my friend Ryan, Ryan Parshall. He was on the show many moons ago talking about setting up your massage practice to be sellable or something you can eventually sell, had some great information, and again, he's a friend of mine, and we've talked a lot over the years in various contexts, and we reconnected recently on something, and he was like, "Hey, I've got a massage business for sale. You know about that would be interested, or can you help me out?" I was like, "Well, I don't know. The least we can do is share it on the podcast and see if anything comes up." So, I'm going to share a little information about this massage practice that, excuse me, his business is listing.

Michael Reynolds:

He's a business coach, and he also does business brokering, so he helps businesses find buyers or sellers and make those connections. So, that's part of what he does as a service. So, he has this listing. I'm going to paraphrase here. This is like a little marketing ad that we're going to put in the notes as well, but I'm going to paraphrase it. So, there's a massage business for sale in Teton County, Wyoming, and the owner compensation is around 200,000 per year in cashflow, according to my notes here, and it's a team practice, so it's got a team of massage therapists. So, the owner is looking to sell to someone who would like to take over a massage business in Wyoming with a team already in place.

Michael Reynolds:

The location apparently is really high-traffic, high-tourist, great location for travelers, vacationers, tourists, so that's the kind of setup it is. If anyone's interested, he said to reach out to him. His phone number is 816-718-8018. We'll put that in the show notes for this episode as well, which is Episode 418. So, if you go to our website, look for Episode 418, 418, and the phone number will be there, and we're also going to hopefully get a link on there that'll go to the business profile listing online, read more about it, and do an inquiry online. But if you want to just reach out directly to Ryan, you can call him at 816-718-8018, or just email us. Just contact us. We'll put you in touch if you want. That might be easier for some as well. So, just thought I'd share a little bit different, but I thought I'd share that because we told him we would help him out, and it's a massage business for sale, so there you go.

Allissa Haines:

And it's a successful massage business for sale, so that's really nice.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Yay.

Michael Reynolds:

So, there you go.

Allissa Haines:

Good to see people having raging success and then be ready to retire. I appreciate that a lot.

Michael Reynolds:

Indeed. So, Marcie on Facebook has stopped in to say good morning, and also said, "Deejay voices are a thing," so I guess Marcie's complimenting us on our deep, scratchy deejay voices today. So, thanks, Marcie. Glad you're here. Appreciate it.

Allissa Haines:

She's helping us make the best of it.

Michael Reynolds:

Indeed. All right, sponsor time. We're looking at each other like, what are we going to-

Allissa Haines:

I didn't know if we were going to do it or not.

Michael Reynolds:

Here we go.

Allissa Haines:

Okay.

Michael Reynolds:

Jojoba!

Allissa Haines:

Yay. This episode is indeed sponsored by The Original Jojoba Company. You know how I feel about jojoba. They are the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first-press-quality jojoba. We are delighted to be a longtime partner with them. Why? I'll tell you why. Because jojoba is noncomedogenic. It does not clog pores, so if you have a client that's prone to acne breakouts or just super sensitive skin, jojoba's not going to cause a reaction. Jojoba can actually help to clean out and clear the pore. Who knew? Jojoba is nonallergenic, so I can use it on any client and every client without concern about an allergic reaction. This is a really big deal.

Allissa Haines:

I got a handful of new clients lately, and I always get concerned that maybe I didn't read their intake form enough and I've forgotten that they're allergic to nuts or whatever, and then I remember, yeah, I'm using jojoba. It's got nothing in it that's going to be a concern anyway. You, my friends, can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. I am going to mute myself to cough, and Michael can tell you about how he uses jojoba in his life.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. There you go. It's great for skin. I have eczema, and so when my skin cracks and bleeds during especially the winter months, jojoba's a great way to... A few drops there, rub it around in your hands, really helps alleviate those symptoms and makes my hands feel soft and lovely. So, that's how I use jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

That was a beautiful vamp. Thank you, Michael. It gave me a chance to blow my nose.

Michael Reynolds:

You're welcome. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Allissa Haines:

We are nailing to today.

Michael Reynolds:

All right.

Allissa Haines:

What's our topic, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

How to recession-proof your massage business.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, man. You and I both listen to a lot of financial podcasts, so there's been a lot of talk about recession and if we're in one and what to do if it's coming, and how to manage your money. I've had a few colleagues mention that they're a little concerned, and it's a valid concern and something we should be prepared for. I say this as someone who moved my office, left the little chiropractor where I was renting a room from $100 a month, and moved into my own office. I think the rent was $600 a month at the time, smack in the middle of that, at the beginning part of that 2008, 2009 recession, and I am fortunate because my business just boomed from that point on. I don't know that my situation applies to everyone, but I do think there were a handful of things that I had done unknowingly that made it helpful to survive and even grow my business during a recession.

Allissa Haines:

Since it's come up a lot lately, I did a little legwork. I read some stuff, and we made a list of things that can help you survive if you do have an economic recession in your area, and especially... I think our survival instincts are on high alert right now, and they have been of a couple of years because we've been through so much with our businesses, but between bulk of people I talk to, because the field lost so many massage therapists in the past few years, it's kind of sounding like once people get rolling, they are as busy as they want to be, and that's really nice. So, here is our list.

Allissa Haines:

The first thing to do is not a shocker, have a savings account. This can be hard to do if you're living on the edge and paycheck-to-paycheck, but whatever you can do is good, and if you can have a savings account to cover any business bills when you have a slow month at work, if you can have a savings account for your personal stuff so that if you have a slow month at work and you don't pay yourself all that much, you can still cover your costs, that is a good thing. Second, diversify your clientele. I remember several years ago, a friend of mine, her whole massage business essentially crashed because she was in a small town, and the bulk of her clients came to her through... There was a big company employer in that town, and half or three quarters of her clients came to her through their massage plan. They actually paid for massage as part of, I don't know, their pretax health benefit things.

Allissa Haines:

I actually had a few clients in my area that used the same program, and then that program got called out by the IRS for not being entirely legit, and they were using the funds on things that should not have been pretax, and massage is one of those things they decided. So, they just completely cut the program. So, half to three quarters of her clients who had been coming and getting hour massages just for a copay stopped coming, and her entire business crashed, and she closed up a year later. I was really lucky. Only like five of my clients were on that program.

Allissa Haines:

So, diversify your... That's my little industry, but we'll get into more of that in a minute. But you don't want to have the bulk of your clients coming all from one place, and/or you don't want them to all be the same exact kind of client. So, you might have tight connections with a local running club, but the running club itself is made up of people who are very different in age, maybe even in fitness level, even though it's a running club, in income, and in the kind of work that they do.

Allissa Haines:

So, look at your client base. If it's all people that are 35 to 50, and the bulk of them work in some... I don't know. Let's say you're in some kind of high-tech area, or you work with a lot of people in tech startups and things like that. You might want to be concerned, and you might want to diversify a little bit because you want to have people coming from a range of professions and a range of age, at all different stages of their lives, because recession and layoffs hit different people in different ways. To have that diversity in age and income and industry and professions, the word I'm looking for there, is a really, really big deal. Michael, I'm going to ask you, do you have anything to add as far as that age, income, profession at the moment? I feel like I stumbled through that a little bit.

Michael Reynolds:

No, no. I think it makes sense.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. So, if you have all retirees that are not super, super crazy wealthy, traveling all over the country on their off time, but you have all retirees who are definitely fixed income, as their cost of food goes up and as recession hits, they might want to be drawing a little bit less from their retirement as they whatever. You want to make sure you have people of all ages, some people who are still working actively versus all retirees of the same age and the same income bracket. Okay. Professions. There are jobs that will always exist, even in a recession, healthcare workers, and when I say healthcare workers, don't just think hospital. Think doctors' offices, home healthcare workers, and even, I'm going to say and especially, people like pharmacists and physical therapists who work in alternative medical-ish, but retail kind of environments, because retail pharmacy don't suffer in an economic depression.

Michael Reynolds:

Mental health professionals as well.

Allissa Haines:

Yep, all other kinds of mental health professional, all of that. They do pretty well, may be overworked, and that's a thing, but they're not going to have massive layoffs. Childcare, educators, teachers, and early childcare providers, childcare can get a little iffy. A lot of people pull their kids out of childcare if they get laid off, but teachers are typically in demand and don't get laid off in economic recessions. Food service, specifically grocery store workers, people need groceries, and so people who are... I have the hiccups now. Sorry.

Michael Reynolds:

I love today's show. I just love it.

Allissa Haines:

We're really nailing it. Grocery store workers will always have jobs, so there's... Really, there's a lot of skilled trades involved in that. Not a lot of butchers left, so they're not getting laid off in the grocery store. Software developers, Michael added that one, so talk to me about that.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. So, software developers are just in demand and will be for the foreseeable future, in my opinion. So, there is a huge demand for competent software developers that can write code, that can develop software, everywhere you look. So, I'm pretty convinced that's a fairly recession-proof career.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, and first responders, police, firefighters, EMT, typically not big on layoffs in recessions. Collections agents like your repo man will likely have lots of jobs. Funeral workers, I just got my first undertaker client, and she used to be a massage therapist. She is the bomb.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. She's super cool. Also, I looked up what undertakers make. I understand her career change now.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, it's not bad. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Holy wow.

Michael Reynolds:

They do pretty well.

Allissa Haines:

Although, I don't want to go back to school, so I'm not doing that. Accountants, tax preparers, they're always going to have jobs. People who work in military and defense, this is a thing you know already if you live near a place that has large military and defense departments or you live near any kind of military base, you know this, federal employees. Michael put that one down. I don't really know much about federal employees, but if they tend to not get a ton of layoffs, then that works.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, yeah. It's also a very stable job.

Allissa Haines:

So, thinking through professions that tend to not have too many issues during an economic downturn can be really helpful in diversifying your clientele. The next thing is to think about the issues that you treat because there are health issues that are not going to go away, and that if you are someone who effectively treats those issues, you will likely be in demand even if there's an economic downturn. Specifically, I'm talking about pain, TMJD, migraine, both things that are stress-related, and so certainly likely to be exacerbated in the event of a recession, and such now... Yeah. You're always going to have people who have these issues and can't afford massage, but as one of my clients told me in 2009 when I was just astounded that I was doing so well in a crap economy, he said to me, "The rich don't suffer, and they don't like to be in pain."

Allissa Haines:

So, there will always be people around who have the means and want to get some help with these issues that are really messing with the quality of their daily life, TMJD, migraine, injury rehab. Knee replacements are not going to stop happening in an economic downturn, so there is always a need for injury rehab workers. If you treat anxiety and stress, I think we can all see just over the past couple of years how valuable our work has been in that area, and if you work in oncology and related complicated health issues, people aren't going to stop getting cancer or seeking care for the stress and such related to cancer and cancer treatments.

Allissa Haines:

So, I suggest you really look around you and find a void in your area. If there's nobody around who's treating whatever, post-surgical injury stuff, if that's something you can do, you can train to do, take a class. Now is a good time to do that. It's a good time to cultivate a skill that no one else in your area has, so you will be the go-to person for that, should you find that you're slowing down with your regular client base because of economic issues. If you are really worried, now is a good time to cultivate a side job in one of these recession-proof businesses, groceries, landscaping and home services, which goes under the rich don't suffer category. They will always be looking for landscapers and various home services.

Allissa Haines:

Website design and marketing, which Michael has noted, is not necessarily recession-proof, but can strategically find solid clients in resilient industries because, again, there's industries that don't suffer. Virtual assistant, if you are good at it, you will be in demand. Pet care, childcare, I know at any given day I can go to... Is it Care.com? It's where people can search for work, and will potential employees can list themselves available for childcare or adult eldercare or pet care. Get yourself some CPR certifications and consider... That's a valuable thing for babysitters. This is a thing I almost actually started doing, and then thankfully, I did not have to because I don't really like kids that much, but in my area, it is not hard to find an afterschool job like picking up somebody's kids from school, getting them to soccer or starting dinner, and to make $25 an hour doing it, it's not a bad gig in hard times. That is our list. Michael, do you have anything to add?

Michael Reynolds:

Isn't add, but I want to go back to virtual assistant just to... I'm convinced this is one of the best, and I hate the use the word easiest because I think it oversimplifies things, but one of the easier things to do if you're looking for something you can do from your laptop, if you're organized and responsive and have a broad set of general skills and are tech-savvy, you can be a pretty fully-booked virtual assistant. It's hard to find a good one that is all those things, that's, again, organized, good communicator, has a general set of skills, they can do tech stuff and just manage business stuff. If you're good at that stuff, you will find clients. So, I always recommend that as a potential from a laptop type industry or type job or business someone can start, so I would definitely look at that one.

Allissa Haines:

Marcie has noted that you could become a CPR instructor. They are always in demand. That's certainly true around here. There are so many professions that need to get mandatory CPR training manually that doing that instruction can be a really good gig.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on.

Allissa Haines:

All right. Who's our next sponsor, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Well, our friends at ABMP. I'm glad you asked.

Allissa Haines:

Let's see what we want to talk about today. Let's talk about the apps. ABMP has two kicking apps, the Five-Minute Muscles, and ABMP Pocket Pathology. You can learn more about them at abmp.com/apps. They are both quick reference apps designed to help you quickly find information that you might need to make a decision in session planning, or to use outside of a session to refresh your muscle and pathology knowledge. The Five-Minute Muscles includes muscle-specific technique and palpation videos. I have used these myself for 83 muscles most often addressed by a professional massage therapist, and they use progressive web app technology in order to take up less space on your phone or device. These apps are included with ABMP membership. You can learn more and sample them, even if you're a nonmember, at abmp.com/apps.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks, ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

Yay.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, quick tips. We both had zero when we started. We're like, "Hey, now we have two," because we just thought up a couple that were relevant. So, do you want to start or do you want me to?

Allissa Haines:

You go first.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. So, quick tips from me. I've kind of mentioned this before, but an example came up this week in our Blueprint Mastermind community that refreshed it for me, and that is to keep your messaging simple, clear, and direct. I was prompted to mention this because one of our members in the community as asking about, "Hey, I'm trying to fine tune my wording and my niche," and she says, "Right now, my website says pain relief for woman who train hard," and she really wants to focus on... In the rest of her description she was saying, "Hey, I want to focus on people that are runners, triathletes, women," a little more detail, and I'd responded, "Hey, would there be anything wrong with simply being super clear and saying, 'Therapeutic massage for women, runners, and triathletes'?" and she was like, "Oh, great. Yeah."

Michael Reynolds:

So, we both laughed, and it was obvious, but it's really easy to get stuck in our own heads and try to overcomplicate it, but often, the simplest, clearest, most basic way to say something is the way that is going to resonate best and to make it as clear as possible to your audience. So, there's nothing wrong with saying, "Hey, I do this for this community." Boom. That can be it. So, don't overcomplicate it. Don't try to use language that sounds fancy or complicated. Just use the simplest possible terms in plain spoken phrases, and that often works best.

Allissa Haines:

Rock on, man. Simple is better.

Michael Reynolds:

What about you?

Allissa Haines:

My tip is to stop fretting about credit card fees.

Michael Reynolds:

Love it.

Allissa Haines:

Just price your services to accommodate them. Part of the reason this came up is because we had a premium member talking about needed a pep talk to raise her prices, and she hadn't raised her prices in a couple of years, and the community did such a beautiful job of talking through, "Here's why you should probably do this. Don't stress about this," blah, blah, blah. It was so helpful, and it was so funny because I was looking around my area at the prices of other massage therapists in my town where I'm at now, because I moved my office, and it was almost two years ago now, but to me it still feels like a new office. But I haven't done a lot of exploring of other massage therapists in my area, and when the conversation came up in our community, I looked at... I share my office with another woman, and I was like, "She's actually $30 less than me an hour, and I'm still fully booked."

Allissa Haines:

So, people clearly aren't that concerned about a price difference between different massage therapists. But it was really interesting when I was thinking about pricing and I was thinking about raising my prices in January. I did the math to make sure that even on my cheapest massage, I would still make as much money as I wanted to make even after credit card fees. So, I look at my fees and I look... I have a senior discount, so I look at the rate for seniors, and then I look at what I'm actually going to get deposited in my bank account if they pay with a credit card, which 99% of my clients pay with a credit card, and make sure I still feel good about that number. That is so nice because now I don't... You don't have to stress about how a client pays. You just have to price your services so you don't care if there's a fee attached to it. That's what I have to say about that. Don't fret about your credit card fees. Just price your services to accommodate them.

Michael Reynolds:

Love it. Onboard.

Allissa Haines:

Yay.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Well, should we quit while we're ahead or-

Allissa Haines:

Yes.

Michael Reynolds:

... while we're around?

Allissa Haines:

I think we're so far behind right now, and my camera went out of focus, so sorry for people watching the video.

Michael Reynolds:

And the chat window just said, "Log in." It just logged me out of the chat window over here. I don't know.

Allissa Haines:

We are a mess.

Michael Reynolds:

Everything is a mess today. I'm going to log back in. There we go. My comments are back. Okay. All right. Well, with that, let's just wrap it there. So, a reminder, if you didn't get enough of us today and you're still impressed, feel free to join our Blueprint Mastermind community, which is a vibrant community full of super smart massage therapists who support each other, help each other. Allissa and I pop in and do everything we can to be mentors, coaches, resources for anybody that needs help. We have office hours a few times a month to help you come to a group session on Zoom and share your challenges, share your issues you're having, share your questions, and we help each other work through those things.

Michael Reynolds:

It's a really great benefit, and we have a lot of resources. You can post questions whenever you want, download templates, marketing resources, just a ton of stuff. So, that's on our website, which is massagebusinessblueprint.com, and click on community, and you can read all about it, and there's a free 30-day trial. All right. So, with that, if you want to email us, the email address is podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. That goes to both Allissa and I, and we will respond. With that, hey, thanks for joining us today. If you made it this far, we appreciate you being a listeners, and we'll see you next time. Have a great day.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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