What caught our attention this week?
- Popular MLM businesses are leaving young women broke and friendless
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
What Reports Do You Keep for Your Massage Business?
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Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone, and welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life. I am Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines I’m Allissa Haines.
MR We’re your hosts. Good morning and welcome. Allissa, you got your coffee. You got your blankets, all bundled up. You told me your office is a little bit chilly this morning, right?
AH It is. It’s 52 degrees in here.
MR Much like a cave. For caves, they like an even temperature, like mid-50s, all year round. So you’re simulating the environment in a common cave.
AH Okay. Let’s go there, geology boy.
AH So Michael and I are both determined that we’re a little bit sleep-deprived this morning as we record. And that may or may not show up. But that’s cool.
Hey, Michael. What’re you reading? What’s caught your attention this week?
MR All right. So I am reading — or this week I read something specific to MLMs, multi-level marketing. And I want to preface this by saying, first of all, I try to be honest about what I’m reading, even if it’s controversial, so I’m going to just admit it. This is what I’m reading this week. But I’m not bringing this up to bash MLMs or to bash people that bash MLMs or to whatever. I’m bringing this up because I thought it was an interesting, kind of cautionary article. And specifically, the article is titled, Popular MLM Businesses Are Leaving Young Women Broke and Friendless. So obviously, it’s a sensational clickbaity title. We all can acknowledge that probably. But I read through this, and it was an interesting reminder of kind of how MLMs can affect people’s lives and how we interact with them and how people get caught up in the hype. And this is coming from someone who has actually been in an MLM.
And Allissa, I know that you either did or maybe still do sell Posh, right?
AH I did for a little while. I don’t anymore. I mostly just retailed it at my office because that was allowed, and I didn’t really sell it the way multi-leveling marketing stuff sells stuff.
MR Yeah. And they’re not really MLM-y. They are one of the least MLM-y companies, from what I understand. But anyway, so I have been in one personally. And actually, more than one in the past. And I know a lot of people that been in MLMs and who are still — and MLM, by the way, stands for multi-level marketing. It’s like the network marketing: the Mary Kays, the doTERRAs — you’ve heard — Young Living. You’ve heard of them all. But anyway, the story just kind of talks about how they — women, particularly, are targeted by MLMs because a lot of times they’re parents, they’re trying to run a side business while having kids and all this stuff.
There’s just kind of a whole demographic focus around targeting women. And it kind of goes through this article — or the article talks about how a lot of women, they buy into the MLM, kind of, promise and the opportunity, and they really end up, not really ruining their lives, so to speak, but they really get some really negative results from it because they kind of buy into the hype behind MLMs and they start spamming all their friends through Facebook, and they feel like it’s going to be a great opportunity, but the vast majority of people who kind of buy into MLMs, they end up spending a lot of money up front, and they also end up alienating a lot of their friends and family because they just follow the script of pushing and selling and spamming and just really going over the top.
And so the reason I wanted to kind of bring that — why I’m reading this is because I think it’s easy for a lot of us to kind of look for the magic button or to look for the next big thing that’s going to change our lives. And MLMs often kind of prey on that desire. And so I talked to a lot of massage therapists, as well, who are thinking, well, I want to start a side business to kind of supplement, or I want to do retail or something.
I’ve talked to massage therapists who either are in MLMs or they’re looking at maybe joining one. And my perspective, my opinion on this — which is just my opinion — is to approach this world with caution. I know a lot of MLM people — people who are in the MLMs — who are doing very well. There are some people that actually do it very, what I call, honorably and with integrity. But for anyone who is operating in that way, there are also hundreds of other people who are just kind of buying into this short-term hype. And so I just kind of want to express my opinion that I think it’s good to approach this world with caution, or approach MLMs with extreme caution because often, the hype is — it’s all just hype. It’s not really designed to be a real business.
So I thought it was an interesting reminder of approaching MLMs with caution, making sure that you are not kind of losing your mind to the hype. And the vast majority of people do not succeed. They end up losing money and losing friends. And so I thought it was just a good reminder and a good cautionary tale to read about. So if you want to read about it, we’re going to link in the show notes. But again, it’s called Popular MLM Businesses Are Leaving Young Women Broke and Friendless. It’s from cashay.com, C-A-S-H-A-Y.
AH I actually had read that. Did you post it somewhere or something? I had read this before you put it in our podcast notes.
MR No, no.
AH I loved that you shared it. Are you ready for mine — what I’m reading?
MR Yeah. Yeah.
AH All right. So I’m reading a book called Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. And she is a psychologist. Interesting, too, because she’s a psychologist by way of being a writer, and then going to med school but not finishing, and then becoming a journalist, and then going back to graduate school to become a psychologist. And it is kind of — it’s memoir-ish — about when she, as a therapist, began or rebegan therapy after a breakup.
It is funny, and it is smart, and it talks a lot about therapy and therapy techniques in ways that I think — like learning about how therapists listen to people. I think it’s going to make me a better practitioner, a better massage therapist. And really talking about how people want to — they want to be heard, and they want to be understood. And in theory, they think they want to go to therapy for someone to tell them what to do, but really, they just want someone to guide them through. And it’s very, very interesting. And it’s really funny, and it’s really relatable and applicable. I’ll put the link in there. I got it free from the library because I do free Kindle downloads from my library.
Yeah, Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. And when I was looking up the book to tell — to have a link for it, I guess it’s like an Oprah book now, and it’s a TIME Magazine must-read, and they’re going to turn it into a TV series. I don’t have the time or the energy for all that crap, but at its core, it is a very good book. I’m about halfway through at this point. And I think it’s relatable and lovely and funny. So that’s what I’m reading.
MR I’m going to add it to my Amazon Wish List. I have this bad habit of buying books because I think they sound cool, and then my bookshelf fills up with books I don’t have time to read yet. So I’m going to add it to my wish list, so I don’t buy it yet, but.
AH Why would you buy a book when there’s libraries that loan them for free to your Kindle?
MR Well, I could. I know. I probably should.
AH You should see — I’m sure Indiana — I know Indiana has a good digital library system.
MR Yes, they do. Maybe I’ll do both.
AH Oh, my God. The money you could save.
MR Maybe I’ll add it to my wish list, and then as a — maybe that’ll be my backup plan. But then I’ll also —
AH Hey, how about on your Microsoft To Do right now, you put investigate digital library options, huh?
MR Oh, my goodness.
AH It’s going to save you so much money to buy me sushi with.
MR Fine. Fine. All right. Stand by. It’s going on my list.
AH All right. Sorry, guys. This went a little bit into the banter that a lot of people hate. Sorry.
AH But meanwhile, while Michael’s doing that, I’m going to talk to you about one of our sponsors today, Acuity.
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MR Yay. Thanks, Acuity.
AH What’s next?
MR All right. What’s next? It is on my to-do list, by the way. You’ll be happy to know.
MR Yeah. Yeah. All right. So what is next? That’s a great question. All right. Reports. We’re talking reports today.
AH So yeah. We got a question in our premium group a couple weeks ago that asked what reports do you run in your massage business? And I asked for a little clarity and got some more information that said, “I have four employees plus myself. I know the obvious reports like profit and loss, but I’m thinking about more reports like new client acquisition cost, retention, percentage booked. What do I need?”
So Michael and I talked about this a little bit. I responded in the comments. I tagged a couple who own bigger businesses because I don’t own a bigger business. I don’t have employees. And we didn’t come up with much. And in fact — I’ll just say it — Michael was going to cover this topic a couple weeks ago, and then he was like, I hate this topic. I don’t want to run any of these reports. I don’t want to cover this.
AH And I was like, all right. So I’m going to take this. And here’s what I came up with. And I thought about this a lot, and I read a lot of articles, and I even went through the list of reports that one can create in MINDBODY, which has — for all their evils, has a robust reporting system. I scrolled through the list of reports. I learned more about ones I wasn’t super familiar with. And this is kind of what I came up with. Meh. Here’s the list of reports that I would run. I also think that there are certain reports that I think can be really useful. We’ll cover them. I also think that getting too deep into the rabbit hole of statistics and such can be time taken away from your business. It feels like important work, but it can very easily turn into busy work that takes you away from doing things that could actually be useful. So while, yes, there are some reports that are great, I would discourage someone from getting so deep into it. I think the average business probably needs five percent of the MINDBODY reports that are actually offered.
But let’s go through the list of what I think could be helpful: most popular treatments, least popular treatments, and specifically, the cost of offering those treatments. In regards to products and waste, what’s the highest return on investment for you and the lowest return on investment for you. For example, if you make more money because of how you pay your employees and the price of products involved or whatever — if you make more money for your business offering 90-minute massages than you do offering a 60-minute seaweed wrap, which treatment are you going to promote more? Which is going to bring you better income? Promoting the 90-minute massage. That’s what it’s going to be.
So I think in regards to how much money your business can make, you want to look at most popular treatments. You want to look at the least popular treatments. If you make the least amount of money on a 30-minute massage and you don’t book a lot of them and it causes weird scheduling gaps and you’re paying employees to sit around for an extra half an hour because of the weird gap involved, then don’t offer them. I think reports can be really useful when you’re reconfiguring to refine your income and expenses.
Also, which employees are booking those highest and lowest return on investment treatments? That could be really helpful for you. If you see that there’s a massage therapist who is full of 90-minute massages more than anything else, maybe investigate that a little bit. You’re making more money off of them. They’re probably making more money as well. It could be worth it to have a conversation with that therapist to find out how they do that. How do they upsell? Do they upsell from a 60 to a 90? Is that how they end up with the most 90-minute clients? What’s going on there? Investigate that because if you can get some other massage therapists booking more 90-minutes, you’re going to make more money, as will they.
I would look at the percentage booked in relation to available hours. So if you’ve got a therapist who’s available to give ten massages a week but they’re only giving three or four, what’s going on with that? Why? What do you need to talk to about them? Is it a promotional issue, or is it a retention issue? And we’ll get into that.
Rebooking rates. How many of a therapist’s patients are rebooking right then? How often are they coming in? Do you have a therapist who’s got a ton of weekly clients? Do you have therapists who only have like two monthly clients and everything else is randos? What’s going on there? This is going to indicate where you need to do more training. Are they not — what’s going on with those clients who aren’t rebooking? Are they just people who aren’t going to rebook, which happens, or is it that they feel like they’re not getting heard? Is it that their treatment, their issues are not being addressed properly? What’s going on there? Where does the training need to happen? In communication? In technical skills? What’s going on? What is an employee’s callout rate? Are they calling out sick or just not working a certain percentage of the time? What does that look like over six months or a year, and what’s the reasoning for this too? I don’t think that just because someone has a higher callout rate that they should get trashed or reprimanded because you might know that they have a kid with a serious medical issue, and that might just be cool with you. But what are those rates like? Are you spending more time scrambling to reschedule this therapist’s clients than you are counting the pennies they make working for you? What’s going on there?
Retail sales. I would — how are your retail products selling? Are you making enough money to make it worth it to buy them and stock them? And who are your employees that are selling retail items best and worst? Because again, it could indicate more training needed in any particular areas. And the rates of reviews and/or complaints. Do you have therapists who consistently get great reviews? Is it because they’re reminding clients to review them? Do you have the same therapist getting the same complaints over time? And are they the best person for your team?
So that’s what I’ve got as far as a list of reports that I think could be relevant. You can get deep in the weeds on stuff, again. And also, new client acquisition cost was one that the original questioner mentioned. That’s really hard to come up with, even. Yeah. If you’re super organized and you run a special with a certain coupon code or you run a Facebook ad with a pixel and you can actually track that, awesome. If you know that you spend $100 on a Facebook ad and via the pixel, you know that it brought in three new clients, that’s great. But I wouldn’t get too far in the weeds in that one, especially like the longer we run our businesses, the harder it is to determine client acquisition cost because we have so many seeds planted in so many different areas for so long. That’s what I got.
Michael, what do you think?
MR Yeah. I think — and my resistance to this topic originally was what you mentioned, which was I’ve seen so many, not just massage therapy practices, but just small business in general, get really hung up on all these reports and trying to find a way to make the reports accurate, and it gets in the way of them doing stuff like marketing and serving clients and networking and stuff that actually does produce results. And so I think your list is great. I also like the good old-fashioned, typical, the P&L report, which is the Profit and Loss, watching how your business profitability’s going. That’s a big one, obviously. But I think your list is good. I think you did a much better job than, apparently, I did because I got so resistant because I’m like, you know what? Yeah, reports are great, but don’t let it get in the way of doing business.
AH Oh, and there’s one that I forgot. I didn’t write it down, but I was thinking of it when I was driving, is you could — and probably we all should be running a report or looking at our last year or two of history and finding the slow weeks in our business and know going in what the slow weeks are so we can promote them prior. I kind of —
MR That’s a good one.
AH Yeah. I kind of forgot that school vacation weeks tend to be a little bit slow, and I should have pulled my crap together three weeks ago and sent out an email or two to promote booking for that week because I was slow last week, and I didn’t really put it all together until I was like two days into it. And I was like, uh, that was dumb. So I already put a note in my calendar for two weeks before April vacation week to get on the ball and check out the schedule, and if it looks slow, send an email. So there’s that.
MR Right on.
AH Our next sponsor, Michael. Who’s our next sponsor for the day?
MR Our friends at Yomassage. Yay, Yomassage!
AH Yay, people! We love Yomassage.
Sponsor message Yomassage combines restorative stretching, massage, and mindfulness in a small group training. Limited in-person trainings in 2020. You could take a class in Asheville or Chicago or Portland, or virtual trainings begin the first Monday of each month. Space is limited in both the in-person and virtual trainings. You, my friends, can get a $50 off deal — I started that sentence wrong. Massage Business Blueprint listeners —
MR Let’s start again.
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MR Right on. All right. I think we’re sharing a quick tip today, aren’t we?
AH Yeah. Actually, I did come up with one that I want to share first.
MR Oh, okay. Go for it.
AH My quick tip is that if you’re feeling a little bit stale or weird in your business, you should do something to hang out with other massage businesses and other massage business owners, pardon me.
Michael, what do you got?
MR Oh, I see what you did there. Nice segue. So my quick tip is a continuation which is we would love for you to consider registering for our 2020 summit. That is our quick tip. So we did this once before already, and we got great feedback. We had a great time. People learned a lot. I think our attendees all told us they really pushed their businesses forward and it was a great was a great experience. And so we’re like, hey, we’ll just do it again. Why not? So we’re doing it again. So this year in 2020, the summit is in Indianapolis, my hometown where I live, so we’d love to kind of host you here in Indy.
It is October 4th and 5th. It’s a Sunday and Monday. And we’re trying to keep it super low cost, super affordable. We’re just going to get nice, normal Hampton Inn, low-cost hotel, really simple. It’s pretty easy to fly into Indy. It’s going to be a very — I shouldn’t say very, very low cost because there is a cost, but it’s going to be as low cost as we can make it. And we’re going to have a blast. So you can get the details by going to massagebusinessblueprint.com/summit. Again, massagebusinessblueprint.com/summit. And we already have people registered, and we have, I think, 25 slots available.
AH So let’s take the mystery away. General registration price is 390, and here’s what that gets you: That gets you two days of me trying to flip to the right page and find the information for you.
AH There we go. It gets you one and a half days plus the optional extra afternoon of business and marketing education; peer-to-peer learning, inspiration from the smartest minds in massage — us and you, that is — in a small intimate environment. Michael already mentioned we’ve got a good room rate at the Hampton Inn. This event is limited to 25 people. The Hampton Inn has a free breakfast. We are going to be providing lunch, and then also dinner on the first night, so most of your meals are covered. And we’re going to have — it’s a really neat event where there’s some structured topic lecture — I don’t even want to say lecture — like workshop time. And then, there’s also time for people to share and troubleshoot their own stuff. It’s really, really, fun, and really, really useful.
And how do people get this information again, Michael?
AH Yeah. Come play with us in Indiana.
MR Yeah. Would love that.
AH All right. That’s all we got today, people.
MR All right. Well, thanks for sticking with us today. We appreciate you being a listener. You can find us online as always at massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you have any feedback for us, send it our way via email. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. We’ll see you next time.