Healing Touch Massage
Strategy and Implementation Summary
If, as it has been said, the top three items which determine success in business are location, location, and location, then the planned move to a downtown location represents our top marketing strategy. By being more available to working clients, and by making the other health professionals who will refer those clients to us aware of our new location, we literally make ourselves accessible to more business.
Once a client experiences the level of personalized care that we offer, we are confident that we will have a return client, for as long as their funding holds out. And since we have seen many clients who began as insurance-paid injury-recovery cases turn into regular self-paying clients, we believe this will serve our long-term goal of increasing business also.
This is another section where mission and passion create the same results as “Marketing.” Our “competitive edge” is our ability to give intuitive massage – to sense in the client’s musculature, posture and presence what work is needed – where the pain is, where the tension is. There is a way that years of study of technique combine with a deep knowledge of kinesiology and anatomy, that is then synthesized with an acute sense of empathy and ability to “read” people that enables us to provide a massage experience that is exactly what each client needs at that given moment.
We have repeatedly heard of word-of-mouth recommendations bringing in new clients with words like “magic hands” and “a higher sense of healing.”
Quite apart from this gift, or talent, however, is a sense of what it take to run a business: How to pace appointments to conserve personal energy; how to use networking – whether local or the ASHN – to reach prospective clients; how to maintain that fine balance between personal service and professional boundaries.
The change to having an outside-the-home office in a downtown location is both exhilarating and a bit scary. It will definitely make Healing Touch Massage accessible to more clients – and hopefully, the top-end, insurance-paid clients. But can we also retain the long-term clients who feel ‘at home” in our home office after all these years? We believe so.
Critical to the success of the move to a new location with be the maintenance of referral – creating contacts with other health care providers, especially chiropractors. Also, researching the possibility of becoming a Preferred Provider with other health insurance companies that offer Alternative Care to their members will be critical. Any opportunity to convince allopathic physicians – MDs – to see massage as having long-term healing benefits for their patients will also be taken, since they hold to key to having massage paid for as “medically necessary.”
It can be difficult to think of offering the best possible massage service as a sales strategy, since that is also the mission and personal passion of the owner of Healing Touch Massage. Each client comes with a specific personal agenda, both emotional and physical, and the goal is to “read” that client, and provide the pain relief, relaxation, and feeling of increased well-being that will allow that client to leave feeling satisfied.
This is one business where the service IS the sales technique. It is impossible NOT to offer completely customized services, since each client will present a unique body to be worked on. Of course, the total environment in which the service is offered – smells, lighting, sounds, feel of the linens and oils, emotional presence of the therapist – all combine with the techniques of actual tissue manipulation and knowledge of the musculo-skeletal systems to create the client’s experience.
The following table and charts give a run-down on forecasted sales. We expect sales to remain fairly stable, as the practice is relatively “full” for the present. We anticipate moving into the new downtown location in 2004. This move to a location more convenient for mid-day appointments should increase our injury/insurance billing by 50%, and our self-pampering group by at least 5%.
There is also a bit of seasonality – athletes tend to get more massage during the Spring and Summer “performance” months. Also, we have regularly experienced a slight increase in late December, January, and May due to Gift Certificates purchased for the holidays and Mothers Day.
|Direct Cost of Sales||2003||2004||2005|
|Oils & Lotions||$200||$220||$242|
|Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales||$2,180||$2,398||$2,638|