Podcast

Episode 437

Oct 7, 2022

Has your schedule suddenly become empty? It happens. Allissa and Michael discuss what you can do when that happens.

Listen to "E437: What To Do When Your Schedule is Suddenly Empty" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 437

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

Quick Tips

Sponsors


Transcript:


Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by ABMP. I want to tell you about the ABMP Education Center. You can learn more at abmp.com/learn. But what you're going to see there is over 600 hours of continuing education courses included with your ABMP membership or available at a really affordable price for non-members. Topics include hands-on techniques, ethics, self-care, cultural competency, and a whole batch of courses for massage educators. ABMP members get free CE for all courses included with their level of membership. A great way to meet CE requirements. Whoa, words are hard this morning. Try out new presenters and save your CE bucks for other in-person courses after you've vetted an instructor online.

I am delighted to tell you that we also have courses in the ABMP Education Center. You can learn more at abmp.com/learn.

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. I'm Michael Reynolds this morning with a scratchy voice.

Allissa Haines:

I am Allissa Haines, jumping in a little too early.

Michael Reynolds:

That's okay. You didn't know I was going to say I had a scratchy voice. But yeah, feeling like the changing weather has got my voice all scratchy and weird today. So sorry about that folks. But I'm here. I'm functional.

Allissa Haines:

Everybody in my house had the whole sore throat, runny nose. Had to take everybody for PCR tests, but nobody had Covid or strep or flu. It was just the gunk coming around.

Michael Reynolds:

Just fall.

Allissa Haines:

Just awesome. Awesome.

Michael Reynolds:

Indeed.

What are you reading or listening to?

Allissa Haines:

I'm reading and listening to a few things, so many so that I wanted to tell you about both. One I may have mentioned before when I had my brief little go on TikTok, I followed a woman who was super awesome, KC Davis. She's a therapist. She's also a woman who has ADHD and really helps people conquer care tasks, caring for your family, caring for yourself. And she's got some great instructionals and just some great advice. And she's so human and lovely.

And she finally launched her new podcast called The Struggle Care podcast. I have the link in the show notes. You can also just Google Struggle Care podcast. I'd also encourage you to get on her email list. It's not obnoxious. She doesn't send you a lot of emails. And I bought, she has these PDF downloadable things, guides, lists, things like that that you can buy and download, really, really affordable. I got the family house package or something, and it was like $12 bucks or something. And it gave me some guides and some lists on how to keep up with care tasks in the home. And it's very much like, here's how to organize your domestic labor, but in a way that is very friendly to people who are not good with organizing or structure. So... Oh, you know what? I have talked about her before because she has a book called How to Keep House While Drowning that is really, really helpful. So anyhow, Struggle Care podcast. She's got her first few episodes out now, and they're really, really good.

And then the second thing is a beautiful piece of fiction called The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. And I got it through the library Kindle download, so for free. I also put a link to the bookshop link to it if you're into buying books. And it is just a beautiful piece of fiction. I don't want to go too much into it because I've already taken up a lot of time here. But it is a young woman who discovers her role in a mystical situation. It's just beautiful. It's a really good piece of fiction, and I am delighted to recommend it to you. And if you've read it, I want to hear your thoughts on it. I think Alix E. Harrow has another book too, a couple other books, but I haven't done the work yet. If you've read any of Alix E. Harrow's other books, I'd love to hear what you thought about them. That's what I've been doing. And I got to say, Michael, when I looked at my podcast feed yesterday, I saw what you're going to talk about and I went-

Michael Reynolds:

You knew it. You saw it coming.

Allissa Haines:

Michael's going to talk about this. But I didn't have time to listen to it myself yet. So tell us what you're telling us.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. So I figured you would see that coming. So Life Kit is one of the podcasts we've talked about before on this show. It's from NPR, and I think I mentioned it last week as well. There's different episodes. Some are hit or miss. The last couple I've really liked, and this one I really liked, and it's called How to Start Professional Networking and Feel Good About It.

So I thought our audience would appreciate this one because it kind of just frames it as, hey, not all of us are great at networking. We don't always get it, but here are some ways you can think about networking differently, think about networking in a way that helps your business/career, if you're maybe introverted, not comfortable with networking. It's just a really good, comfortable, friendly walk through of what networking's all about. And I like that it's someone other than me talking about networking, which we need. So I would say, if you're interested at all in getting better at networking or just feeling good about networking overall for your massage practice, this is probably a good one to listen to. It was very approachable, very friendly and had some good networking tips as well. NPR's Life Kit.

Allissa Haines:

Sweet.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Good morning right back to Andrew. Thank you for joining us this morning. Michael, can you talk about your conversation with Andrew the other day, or is it top secret for now?

Michael Reynolds:

I don't think it's top secret. So yeah, Andrew invited me to his show, which is Wellness Wednesday. He's got a podcast where he speaks to not only wellness practitioners, including massage therapists, but kind of the general public about health and business and money topics. And so Andrew was kind enough to invite me on his show, and I think it will air later this month. And again, it's called, I believe it's called Wellness Wednesday. And we talked about some money stuff, business numbers, took a little bit of inspiration from our latest ABMP column and just kind of covered a variety of money and business topics. So thank you, Andrew, for inviting me on the show. And when it's published, we will be sure and share it to our audience as well.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, thanks for covering that, Michael. And yeah, I'm excited to hear it. I like it when you do things without me because then I get to be surprised by them. And also thank you for covering that because my schedule did not allow me to participate.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on.

Allissa Haines:

All right, what's next?

Michael Reynolds:

Our friends at The Original Jojoba Company. Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Oh, yay. Y'all know how I feel about The Original Jojoba Company. I think they were one of our first sponsors, and they are probably our longest sponsor. And I use the product. I love the product. And I do so because they're the only company in the world that carries 100% pure, first press quality Jojoba. It doesn't go rancid. There's no triglycerides, so it's not going to get yucky.

And side note, I'm going to vamp here. I have taken most social media off of my phone except now that I'm reading a lot of Reddit, and I've been in the Reddit massage, I don't know what it's called, forum, community.

Michael Reynolds:

Rabbit hole?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, hellhole. So no, it's actually really good. And somebody the other day was like, my sheets are all gross and rancid. And oh, so I'm reading Reddit, but I'm trying to not answer questions on Reddit because then everyone will know who I am because I sound the same. I was ready to jump into my you should get jojoba because da da, da da, da da. And then I was like, calm down, so I didn't reply. But if you're on massage Reddit, you should tell this person that they should use jojoba.

Anyhow, jojoba's non-allergenic so I can use it on any client and every client without worrying about an allergic reaction. And as a matter of fact, I have three different clients with nut allergies this week. I looked up my week on Sunday night, and I was like, whoa, Nelly, refill the jojoba. Except I didn't because jojoba lasts a super long time because you use so little. So yeah, and it doesn't stain your 100% cotton sheets. So you should just get some. Just trust me, get some. 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Every time I hear you talk about jojoba, I get excited about it all over again.

Allissa Haines:

I know. I used it on my dog the other day too, so that was nice. I couldn't get one of his little crusty eye gunkers off so I put some jojoba on a tissue, and I rubbed at it, and it came right off.

Michael Reynolds:

Wow. Use number 867 for jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

I know.

Michael Reynolds:

All right.

Allissa Haines:

They have a whole section of the blog, the jojoba blog, I think on pet care and stuff. So whatever. I just keep it in the kitchen now.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, Allissa, what do you do when your schedule is suddenly empty?

Allissa Haines:

Okay, so let me just say this. My office mate does not listen to my podcast, and I didn't warn her that I was like, I'm going to use our conversation to do a podcast episode. But I have this same conversation with 10 people a year where someone says, god, I just looked at my schedule for the next couple of weeks, and it's so empty. It's so empty. All of a sudden I'm just like, I only have four clients this week. And the situation I'm addressing here is not the on Sunday night you have 15 people scheduled, but by Tuesday 5 of them have canceled because of Covid or flu. That's not what we're talking about. I'm talking about when you look at your schedule, and you notice that the next four weeks is considerably slower than the last four weeks. That, not the emergency cancellations, which it's a whole other world for us now with last minute cancellations in this Covid situation. So that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about when you can see a trend, when you can see it happening, and when it's like a slow motion train wreck situation. And this is happening to a lot of people in the last month, and it's happening to people in all industries. We are probably at the point of what will be declared in official recession. We have had massive inflation in the last year or so, and so consumers are pacing themselves. This is a normal thing. I would say it's even a healthy thing financially. If we were to advise people on what to do when a recession is imminent, building your savings is one of those things. Cutting out, I'm air quoting this people, luxuries. But we'll get to that in a second. So it is not surprising that less regular clients might be spacing more time between their appointments or might just stop scheduling for a while.

We did a whole episode on how to again, air quote, recession proof your business. If this is a concern for you, I would go back and listen to that. I don't have the episode number at the moment. I apologize. I'll have it before we wrap up this podcast, but this is happening. It's even happening, I have an artist client who opened a show at a gallery, and she normally sells a few pieces right away. And she was like, nobody's selling in the gallery, or the gallery director's like nobody's selling anything. Nobody's buying anything. That's just how it is right now. So this is happening.

So my suggestions for handling this are all things you've heard me talk about before, but I wanted to put them into a little cohesive package. So if you've noticed your schedule is suddenly empty, look at the last six months and physically, with a legal pad, make a note, make a list of people who have dropped off, who you saw, have seen in the past and who just for whatever reason dropped off your schedule, canceled because their kid was sick and never rescheduled.

Out of that list of all the people who dropped off within the last six months, personally contact anyone you want back and see what that means to you. So for me, I email my clients. I have been doing this for 18 years. When I started my business, email was almost a new form of communication for businesses. So I email clients. There's five clients who I would text because they don't email, and I know they don't email. But however you typically communicate with your clients in a one to one way, that is the medium you should use.

So what do you say? I can tell you that my emails say something like this, hey, I haven't seen you in a while, and I hope you're doing well. In case you're ready to come back for a massage soon, I've opened up some more space on my schedule. Now you, technically, like I didn't open up the space, just the lack of clients in general opened the space, but let's just roll with this because I don't want to sound desperate and say my schedule is terrifyingly slow. You don't want to say that. So anyhow, I've opened up some more space on my schedule. I'll be sharing this with my full client list later in the week. So you've got a few days head start to make an appointment time that works best for you. If you're ready, feel free to book online here. And then I give a link to my scheduling system.

So I might mix that verbiage up a little bit depending on the person. I might try to open with something a little bit more personal like, hey, I haven't seen you in a while. You had to cancel your last appointment because your grandson was born that week. I hope you're doing well. Send me a picture of him. If you're ready to schedule, here's the link. Either way, let me know how you're doing. So whatever the vibe is with that client, do it. Just do it. Just reach out. If you reach out to half the people on that list who have dropped off, a couple of them are going to book. It just hasn't stayed on their radar.

Then after you do that, give it a couple of days and send a bulk email or text, again, whichever you typically do, whichever medium you use to on a large scale communicate with your clients. Post on social. I say do this weekly. If you have open appointments, let's say you work like Tuesday through Saturday. If you have open appointments, you should be posting them Monday morning. Post them Monday morning and say, I've got a few open appointments this week. Click here to schedule. If you use social, then do that. So if you have a business set up on social, do that.

Okay, now I'm actually going to flip my notes around. I have this theory of how you choose to work the hours that you work in your business. So let's just say I know that I want to see 20 clients a week. I want 20 clients on my schedule every week. 20 appointments. I know that, just assume, just we're rough numbering here, that's about 20 hours of massage, and there's time between appointments, and then there's the administrative work involved. So for me that's about a 35 hour work week. So 20 clients, really technically 18 to 20 clients, is about a 35 hour work week.

Now if I only have 10 clients, that's only 10ish hours of massage. I have a lot of other time in my work hours to build my business. What happens with independent massage therapists, business owners, is that instead of filling that "work time" with work, we fill it with picking up the kid early from daycare, which is awesome, by the way. I'm not saying you shouldn't do that, but we tend to fill it with things that are not work related. You notice, you don't go into the office so you stay home that day because you don't have any clients. And instead of doing actual administrative and marketing work for your business, you realize kids are at school, this is a good time to wash the floor and get the laundry done and get ahead on meal prep and da, da da, da da. All valid things. Not things that are going to put more clients on your schedule.

So I would like to suggest that if your goal is 15 clients, which maybe is 25 hours of work a week, that you spend 25 hours of work a week working on your business within those office hours that you have scheduled to be in your business. And if that means that you, even though you don't have any clients, you have to get into your car and drive 20 minutes to your office and sit down at your massage table and which you should have clients on had you done all this marketing work three weeks ago, sit at your massage table and get your marketing work done. Then that's what you got to do. Some people need that level of structure. Sometimes I need that level of structure. It really depends on the day and the situation and the task at hand.

But if you have caught yourself looking at a schedule and seeing that it's empty and then going and doing some grocery shopping and making pies for the weekend, this would be a good time to rethink that. And it might be a good time to, if you resist structure, loosely sketch out couple hours in your schedule for the rest of the week and loosely sketch out a couple of tasks that you could do and fit those things in and do them instead of doing non-business things.

So I have suggested that you do a bunch of things to reach out to previous clients. Email, call, text them, whatever, send a bulk email or text, post on social. Those are all retention and reminder techniques to clients who don't book regularly or who used to book regularly but fell off for some reason.

Now what else can you do outside of that to get new clients if that's a goal of yours? In this time that you have carved out for your business that you're truly going to use for your business, schedule a couple of conversations with referral partners. Bring a plant to the new whatever business down the street. Introduce yourself. So this might mean reconnecting with old referral partners that you haven't talked to in three years. It might just mean dropping a text to someone to say, hey, I hope you're doing well. Do you want to have coffee soon? Or hey, I've been watching your business for a while, and it looks really great, and I'd love to have a conversation with you. May I swing by at some point? What's a good time for you?

It's also a good time to look for local networking events. So this could mean looking at networking groups and small business owner kind of groups in your area. It could mean asking to visit a few BNI meetings, different BNI groups in your area. It could mean, I'm not saying that you need to dump hundreds of dollars into joining a networking group because you have three slow weeks on your schedule. What I'm saying is now is a good time, since you have the time, to investigate and perhaps commit to an event, one thing.

Or create your own. Just decide that you miss a few of your massage or PT or whatever friends and say, hey, I want to get together. How about 45 minutes on Thursday morning? I'll have a box of coffee here. Whatever it takes to connect with a few people outside of your business, outside of your current client base, to just have a conversation to remind people you exist and to be reminded that other referral partners and healthcare providers and whatever small business owners exist. That can be really, god help me for using this word, it can be really nourishing. It can make you feel less alone, and therefore more likely to be motivated to actually execute the tasks that you know need to execute. That is what I have. I am done. What do you think, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Love it. Thank you. I always ask people if they're having trouble, like hey, do you have more money or more time right now? If you have more time, use the time. So I love that framing. Thank you.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, because really your time rich and cash poor at this point.

Michael Reynolds:

Right.

Allissa Haines:

Okay, that's all done.

Michael Reynolds:

Wonderful.

Allissa Haines:

You already knew those things, but I hope the reminder of them in one happy space has been helpful. What's next?

Michael Reynolds:

And I did, before you move on, I did pop in the link to episode 418, which is How to Recession Proof Your Massage Business since you referenced it. So in the comments on the social media version of this podcast, it is there. But if you're listening, which is most of you, look for episode 418. That is the recession proof episode.

All right, next and last, let's talk about our sponsor Happyface. I love talking about Happyface because of the heart-shaped design. It's just lovely.

Allissa Haines:

It is indeed an innovative heart-shaped design. Thank you very much. Yeah, face cradles can be super uncomfortable. You can change that. Happyface is the most comfy face cradle. It totally, it's just, it's so cozy. It's just so cozy. I laid in my massage table the other day face down because I wanted to see how dirty the floor was under my massage table. And it was really comfortable. No sinus pressure. No eye pressure. You don't need to adjust it mid-massage. No wrinkles. No makeup smearing. It is seamless. This is actually my favorite feature. It's seamless, so it's super easy to clean. I can spray my cleaner on it, let it dwell and then wipe it down. And it's super easy, and I don't have to scrub in some weird stitching. It's just fantastic. It's about the same dimensions as other massage face cradles, so your face cradle covers are going to fit. It's also going to fit on your massage table or massage chair face cradle frame. The whole back is Velcroed, so it's super easy. It's going to stay where you put it.

You, because you're a listener, can get 10% off your entire purchase at massagebusinessblueprint.com/happyface. Use code massagebb at checkout. But all of that is written when you land on massagebusinessblueprint.com/happyface.

Michael Reynolds:

And before we move on to quick tips, Marcy is stopping by on Facebook. Good morning, Marcy. Marcy says, I'm looking forward to a local networking event next week at a neighborhood barbecue restaurant. It's a networking and action group. And I'll report back next week on how it went. Awesome, we'd love to hear about that, Marcy.

Allissa Haines:

I'd like to hear what you get from the barbecue.

Michael Reynolds:

That too. Priorities.

All right. Quick tips. You got anything, or should I jump in?

Allissa Haines:

Jump in because I don't have jack for you this morning.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. So Allissa knew about this already, but I discovered this just this morning actually. So there is a program called the Affordable Connectivity Program, and it provides free internet, or at least free up to a point of a dollar amount, internet access to lower income households. So I'm guessing some people don't know about this, and many that may be eligible may not be aware of it. So there's lots of different eligibility requirements. I made that sound wrong. There's lots of ways to be eligible is what I meant to say. So one of them is if your household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, or if a member of your household meets one of the lists of criteria, which includes things like receiving Medicaid, SNAP, public housing, other sources of aid. So there's a lot of ways to qualify for this. So if you're not aware of it, and you or someone qualifies, it may be worth looking into this. And again, it's called the Affordable Connectivity Program, provides internet access. And the link is in the show notes. This is episode 437. That's my quick tip.

Allissa Haines:

It's a really good quick tip. I heard about this program a while back, and there are a lot more people eligible than realized. So it's worth checking it out.

Michael Reynolds:

And that's great because internet is something we all absolutely need to function in society, so super important.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, and I apologize if you said this already, but it actually can also apply to cell phone benefits. Did you say that?

Michael Reynolds:

I did not say that. Thank you. No, I did not. Thanks for sharing that.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, so it's not just about internet. It's also could get you $50 bucks off or $25 bucks off of your cell phone provider. And actually most cell phone providers told their customers about this a while back. That's how I heard about it. I got a little text from Cricket that was like, hey, there's this new program, see if you qualify, that they just sent to everybody. So it is, you could actually get $30 towards internet service and $25 towards cell. So keep that in mind.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. And you can apply online. The link in the show notes leads you to the application page.

Okay. Well, are we good for today? We done?

Allissa Haines:

We are done, man.

Michael Reynolds:

We out of here?

Allissa Haines:

I'm tired.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, let's do it. Well, hey everyone, we're glad you joined us.

Allissa Haines:

Oh, wait.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, yep.

Allissa Haines:

Nope, I'm sorry. Yep. I thought we had a new comment that we hadn't read, but I was just slow. You're fine.

Michael Reynolds:

No, it's okay.

Allissa Haines:

Keep going.

Michael Reynolds:

Glad you're paying attention.

Allissa Haines:

Thanks for listening, people.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks for listening, people. We're glad you're here. You can find us, as always, on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Many of you have signed up to be part of our Blueprint Mastermind community, which is very affordable, and we've been told it's very high value. We have regular office hours every month, or we help you with challenges in your business. We have resources. We have peer mentoring through the online forums. We have courses you can take that are CE approved, all sorts of stuff inside the community. There's a 30 day free trial. So if you're not a member yet, go to massagebusinessblueprint.com, click on community, and you can join for 30 days for free. Check us out. See if you like us. And if you do, you're welcome to stick around.

All right. With that, you can email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com if you have topics or questions you'd like us to bring up on the show. And that's it for the day. Have a great day. We will see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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