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Has your business been effected by the massage franchises?

I have been in consistent practice since 1989 with a successful massage practice. This year, I've noticed that some clients who I don't see regularly are not responding to the special deals I send out here and there. I know it's not my massage, but it could be that they are running to the groupon deal of the day or to the massage franchises to save money. I feel that people are watching their money more these days.  I live in Arizona, and our economy has been one of the hardest hit. I'm just wondering if any of you have seen a decrease in your business so far this year?

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This has been my worst Jan & Feb in 7 years. We haven't been hit horribly in NC, but we haven't breezed through either. I was noticing loss to the chains the most about a year to a year & a half ago. I work with a DC, and a significant part of our base has lost family members and homes.  In a good number of cases, one of the spouses has had to give up work to tend to an ailing parent, which cut their total income in half. They may not be in danger, but they have nothing to spare. A few of our clients tried ME, and left over quality issues.  I do mostly medical massage, and my clients know that if you need relaxation, I'm not really the one to call. i an and will do relaxation work, but it's not my strong suit.They also know that I support them seeing the right therapist for the right issue. They see someone else for relaxation, and me for their issues with pain or quality of movement.  All of medicine is about the right tool, for the right thing, on the right patient, at the right time.

The rising gas prices are hurting everyone. Making sure you have a roof over your head has to come first.  I'm doing a lot more 1/2 hour appointments than I did 2 years ago in an effort to help my clients keep the massage they need without breaking their budget, or going bankrupt myself. 

 

Simple answer: Not mine

  

Other answer:

 I have a small practice in an area the population in the city is 65,000 and the surrounding areas there are about another  200 licensed massage therapists, a Massage Envy, Hand and stone, and other cheap cheep massage places. I see some $19 massage special, Yes they do make me cringe a bit, BUT.  I just raised my DT massages to $70and we are getting more DT than relaxation massages in our office ever since. ,(Go figure)

 Final answer 

you have been practicing for long enough- It's time to Teach- Give it away-make some money in the process

Maybe teaching would be good at some point in time. Thanks!


Kay Warren said:

This has been my worst Jan & Feb in 7 years. We haven't been hit horribly in NC, but we haven't breezed through either. I was noticing loss to the chains the most about a year to a year & a half ago. I work with a DC, and a significant part of our base has lost family members and homes.  In a good number of cases, one of the spouses has had to give up work to tend to an ailing parent, which cut their total income in half. They may not be in danger, but they have nothing to spare. A few of our clients tried ME, and left over quality issues.  I do mostly medical massage, and my clients know that if you need relaxation, I'm not really the one to call. i an and will do relaxation work, but it's not my strong suit.They also know that I support them seeing the right therapist for the right issue. They see someone else for relaxation, and me for their issues with pain or quality of movement.  All of medicine is about the right tool, for the right thing, on the right patient, at the right time.

The rising gas prices are hurting everyone. Making sure you have a roof over your head has to come first.  I'm doing a lot more 1/2 hour appointments than I did 2 years ago in an effort to help my clients keep the massage they need without breaking their budget, or going bankrupt myself. 

Yes, I've noticed this change as of the first of this year too. I have also had clients experience personal financial issues and others with life altering issues come their way, illness, etc. We all know the uncertainty of things and yet the strange thing is that it's been a noticeable change all at once. One thing I do know and try to remind myself is that when change suddenly occurs, there's always a reason for it.

 

I am confident in my massage and offer a full range of techniques from relaxation to deep tissue, energy work to lymphatic massage. I don't think that if I lose clients or they cut back it has anything to do with my work. It's amazing what money means in today's world, and I believe there are many people who are trying to have security...is that really possible? The health benefits of massage are so great that it makes sense to budget it in and this is where I try to educate my clients. But, we have no control over what other people do, and we absolutely need to let them go if that is their choice. There is usually a revolving door, lose one...another comes along!

 

 I got into massage because my accounting/bookkeeping job went under in the 80's (another financial meltdown hit). That lead me to where I am now. After almost 22 years, it may be that if my practice changes, I am meant to do something else. Faith is required in all ways as we live our lives. I will be listening to my inner voice for guidance.

 

Thanks!

Jan Jakubowski said:



Kay Warren said:

This has been my worst Jan & Feb in 7 years. We haven't been hit horribly in NC, but we haven't breezed through either. I was noticing loss to the chains the most about a year to a year & a half ago. I work with a DC, and a significant part of our base has lost family members and homes.  In a good number of cases, one of the spouses has had to give up work to tend to an ailing parent, which cut their total income in half. They may not be in danger, but they have nothing to spare. A few of our clients tried ME, and left over quality issues.  I do mostly medical massage, and my clients know that if you need relaxation, I'm not really the one to call. i an and will do relaxation work, but it's not my strong suit.They also know that I support them seeing the right therapist for the right issue. They see someone else for relaxation, and me for their issues with pain or quality of movement.  All of medicine is about the right tool, for the right thing, on the right patient, at the right time.

The rising gas prices are hurting everyone. Making sure you have a roof over your head has to come first.  I'm doing a lot more 1/2 hour appointments than I did 2 years ago in an effort to help my clients keep the massage they need without breaking their budget, or going bankrupt myself. 

I think what has happened recently has a lot to do with everyone's relationship to money. It seems that the deal of the day is very attractive and has become, in fact, trendy here. Most people I've talked to have said they were not happy with ME, but it is possible, especially in the my area, that some talented therapists may end up working there for lack of a better job. I guess what I'm saying in general is that it appears that people, even with money, are watching their money more than ever before. However, if you were to go to Old Town Scottsdale, you will see incredible numbers of people out & about spending shopping and eating. I think the emphasis is my area is on how you look, and not so much about how you feel! Plenty of money goes out on those external items. Everyone has choices.

With 7 massage businesses on the corner I am on, ME is about 3 miles away. There are many more massage locations between us that they are not my concern. Three of the other places on our corner are half or less of my place and cheaper than ME. You can pick between Thais, Vietnamese, Chinese, Armenian & American. When people step in and ask if this is the $20 for an hour massage I simply point the way. So far I have enough business and growing fast enough not to worry about it.

It is good to have a niche.

You know what you get when you buy a $39 Massage?............................................A $39 Massage.

I have added loyalty and referral bonuses to my practice, as well as packages (buy 4 massages at a time get a discounted rate) and it has helped. I live/work in an area with many therapists, so there are a lot of options, but when someone finds a good therapist they stick with them. They may come in a little less often, but they still come to me.

Remember the Staples Ad about how their banner/sign department helped the Barber Shop being hurt when a Franchise opened up across the street offering $19 haircuts?

 

Sign read "We fix $19 haircuts"

 

Could try the same approach with ME!

 

We had one of our spa customers decide she wanted to be a sales rep for Rodan & Fields mail order skin care (the people who brought you Pro-Active). She made short-term inroads with the other mom's at the local private school and swim club, but before long they came back, their skin a wreck.  "We fix mail order skin care" was our email blast a month later!

I love those ads.....I may have to try this approach.

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