Massage Therapy is an extremely physically demanding job - so working more hours is not an option to increase your paycheck. So if you want to make more money without burning yourself out - you need a good, solid strategy to increase how much you make per massage.
Building up your average ticket sales doesn't usually happen over night - it normally takes a few months to have a enough data to see the steady growth. Most spa or massage booking software, as well as accounting software, will have the reports that will track this for you. After implementing changes in your business, start tracking in your reports what your average ticket sale is. By comparing week over week, you will be able to see the slow and steady growth that your decisions have started.
Increase your Prices
There are two reasons to increase your prices - after doing some market research you realize that you are not charging what you are worth and should increase your prices to reflect where you should be in your market or you are moving from an a la carte to an all inclusive pricing with enhanced modalities included in your treatment - such as cupping, gua sha or infrared sauna.
Set a SMART Goal
Smart goals are:
So set yourself a couple of goals to work on that will increase your revenue. Examples could be to increase your retention rate, attract 5 new clients each week, book 20 massages per week - whatever it may be - write a smart goal to help you stay focused.
Optimize your menu to optimize your schedule
One of the trickiest drains on any therapists income is gaps in your schedule. Larger gaps of 60 minutes or longer are easier to fill because most clients are looking for a 60 minute or 90 minute massage. But what about smaller gaps like 15 or 30 minutes. There are choices that you can add into your menu that can help strategically fill these gaps. The first strategy is add-on services - will talk about these more later on - but they are short add-on that you can offer to clients to take their 60 minute massage to a 75 minute massage at an increased price. The second strategy is to add in smaller treatments that encourage people to book smaller amounts of time. When I worked at a spa in a hotel, we often had guests that wanted to book in last minute but all we had to offer was smaller gaps of time. When we offered them a 30 minute massage - they would often be disappointed and decline booking. When we created a "headache relief massage" that promoted a targeted treatment to the head, neck and shoulders with techniques to help ease stress and tension - our bookings increased. The specific treatment rather than the short time was incredibly more appealing.
Train your reception
This is so key - your reception is the first point of contact when your client books and when they arrive. Your reception booking scripts should be optimized to offer clients options in such a way that longer appointments are encouraged, offering times that optimize the schedule when possible and how to suggest upgrades when appropriate. Having well trained reception can increase not only your bookings, your average ticket price and your retail. Poor trained reception can actually cause more harm to your business overall - and cause a lot of stress and lost revenue. Investing in training for your reception should be just as important as investing in your own continuing education.
Increase your retention rate
A stellar rebooking strategy means that your clients are returning on a regular basis. In the massage industry retention rates are hard to compare because they will differ from private practice to spas - but all be lumped into the category of massage. But generally, a first time client retention rate of 50% is acceptable with 70% being exceptional. A returning client retention rate of less than 80% is concerning. (Both figures calculated over a 90 day period). For myself, my latest stats show that my retention rate is 92% overall.
This can cover a wide range of services but examples would be packages that include multiple services with lunch, couples massages with chocolates and mimosas, outside attraction with a service - like a round of golf plus a sports massage, or party packages such as bridal parties or birthday parties. Packages are a way that you can add things into your service offering and increase the price about the expense of addition by up to 15%.
Increase your Retail
Retail should be 25% of your total income. If its not, there are 3 factors that can increase this rate. First - look at your inventory. Do people actually want to buy what you have or is it not appealing. If its not moving - don't continue to carry it! Second - look at your presentation. Is it displayed in an eye catching way? Does any one make recommendations or have advertisements explaining what the product is for? Third - Do you use the product in your services? Use an amazing smelling muscle rub on your clients neck at the end of their treatment that all your clients rave about? If you don't have a retail version of that product on your self then you are losing retail dollars. Recommend clients use a foam roller or heat? Do you sell foam rollers and heating pads? If you're recommending something - your client is probably going to go out and buy it - so why not have them buy it from you and not Walmart?
Offer Facility Upgrades
This is often a huge expense upfront - but the return can pay for itself very quickly. Investing in things like infrared saunas, steam room, laser treatments and float tanks are an amazing way to increase your income without taking away from your treatment times with other clients. Often these upgrades can be set up by reception or an assistant - meaning less work for you but increased profit! It often has the added bonus of getting your clients relaxed before their treatment - making massage more enjoyable for them and easier on you.
Offering add-on treatments
We touched on these briefly before, but these are smaller add ons that can easily be added on to any treatment without adding a lot of time onto the treatment - if any. These can include a hot oil scalp massage, hand &/or foot scrubs, paraffin wax treatments - the list goes on and on. These treatments can usually be added into any treatment or only require an additional 15 minutes or less. They generally also cost less than $20 to add on to a treatment - making it an easy decision for clients to make when they arrive for their appointment.
Offering Upgraded services
These are your modalities that generally have a higher price point - such as Hot Stone Massage, Thai or Thai Stem Massage, Watsu, Aromatherapy, Cold Laser Treatments - any treatment that is a big step up from your basic treatments. These are some of my favorite treatments because they are so effective while being so relaxing.
I realize that some of these strategies are a lot easier to implement than others. Some of these strategies will require some investment or training - so if they are not feasible now - make a plan to make them more feasible in the future. Some of these strategies, like increasing your pricing, will see major changes in your average ticket price immediately after implementing, while other strategies like increasing your retention rate or setting smart goals will take a longer period of time to see their full potential. Don't try to implement all of these strategies at once - its a lot - but it will also confuse your data. Make these changes one at a time and then give it some time to analyze if its working. For example - if you increase your prices and some of your more price sensitive clients no longer book with you - it will take time to gain new clients to fill your schedule - this is normal and considered good growth. But if you price yourself beyond your market or your value - you will see major attrition and slow to no bookings. Depending on how major of a change you make - anywhere between 30-90 days is enough time to get the data you need to see your results.
There is one more strategy that often increased your overall revenue that was not as easy to put into a single bullet point: That's revamping your treatments from a ho-hum massage to a Million Dollar Service. This is such an important and detailed strategy that we decided to turn it into a free online training. To check out this training, register here: