Preparing Your Massage Business for a Bad Day

Are you familiar with the Bad Day Phenomenon? For me, it's when something awful happens and the dominoes just keep falling until there's coffee all over my computer, I've stubbed a toe and my keys are locked behind a door of some kind.

The Bad Day is a first cousin to Unprepared Days.

That is, days when I run out of paper towels, a client has a new pathology and I can't find my A Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology*, and I can't find my credit card swipe-y thing. It's not that bad things happen, it's that I'm completely unprepared for inevitable things that DO happen.

On a small scale, lack of preparation is no big deal. I can run out for paper towels between clients, use the interwebs to look up narcolepsy, and manually type in a credit card transaction. But I always end up kicking myself. For procrastinating errands, never putting books back where they belong, and storing 47 receipts, 2 cookies and an emergency fork in my desk drawer along with my credit card square. Sigh.

On a big scale, lack of preparation can demolish your business. If your office gets burgled tonight, do you have property insurance, and enough of it, to replace what is taken? Natural disasters pose the same threat to our livelihood, as do health issues and injuries that prevent you from working.

If you're prepared, a Bad Day is...well, not so bad. 

And this extends well past tangible matters. Sometimes I'm emotionally unprepared.

For a client who demands so. much. attention. Sure, I can get warmer pillow, we can take a break and I'll get you some water, I'll smile and murmur 'mmhmm' while you talk about your mom's bunion surgery for 60 minutes.

For a slow week (or month) that damages my confidence. Oh, dear god, are all my clients leaving me? Is everyone out of town at the same time?

For a chair massage job in a public setting that requires me to be in full Happy Professional Allissa mode. Yes, massage can be really helpful in dealing with that carpal tunnel, let me get you some research on how. I'm located right up the street… Check out my online scheduling…. You won a gift certificate in a raffle? Wonderful! Let's get you scheduled…And on and on.

This job can be draining on a good day. It's downright disheartening (or worse) when unprepared and difficult collide.

The good news is, we can get prepared.

You already know how to handle the practical aspects. Schedule your errands and office upkeep and stick to it. Have good liability and property insurance. And take care of yourself. Do you hear me? Take care of yourself. We say this to our clients. We say this to each other. Then we promptly ignore each other 92.4% of the time.

Lifeguards are taught to put the rescue-e between them and any obstacle they may crash into. Flight attendants instruct you to put your own oxygen mask on first.

I'm not going to nag you about the importance of self care. Except that I am.

Look at your calendar, right now, and see when your next massage is. If you don’t have one booked, do that. Get it booked. If a massage isn’t within your reach, what else can you do? Make time to listen to a podcast, just for fun. Go for a walk. Schedule it, if you have to.

Then actually do it. Report back in the comments and tell us what you’ve done to take care of yourself, and your business.

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