Guest Blog: Tips for Mobile Chair Massage Business Owners by Janet Constantino, LMT, NMT
Articles of interest and topics for licensed massage therapists have changed to meet today’s ever evolving industry. As a modern day trained massage professional of 21 years and mobile chair massage business owner of 17 years, there are many facets of business to handle when offering mobile chair massage in 2022. Corporate and personal client requests for both table and chair massage continue to increase which is good news!
This article is written for licensed massage therapists that are already offering mobile chair massage or new licensed massage therapists that would like to “jump start” a new mobile chair massage business.
Mobile chair massage is both profitable and a worthwhile skill set to offer large and small businesses. According to recent studies, employers are turning their efforts to their employees mental and physical well-being. The recent MetLife’s 19th Annual U.S Employee Benefit Trends study 2021 shows this: “37% of employees feel stressed while working more than half the time, a 7% jump since April 2020.” The study goes on to state “But many employees don’t realize what they feel is known as “burn out.” When shown the WHO definition of burnout, 7 in 10 employees said they’ve experienced those symptoms since the start of COVID-19.”
What better way to aid employers' efforts by offering on-site chair massage? Following COVID, many employers are bringing employees back to the office. Imagine what a monumental task this is to bring staff back to the office from the comfort of their home offices. How can you as a licensed massage therapist aid employers with bringing employees BACK into the office? Mobile chair massage is the answer! Chair massage requests are significantly higher in 2022. Capitalize on the interest and set your sights high! As an experienced chair massage therapist and business owner, there are several keys to success when offering this type of massage! I have highlighted them here.
My chosen “go to” equipment is the Earthlite massage chair, Avila II. This chair offers supreme comfort to any size client. There is rarely a worry that the chair will not accommodate the size of my client. In all the years of offering massage, I have never had a concern about a client being comfortable on my Avila II massage chair from Earthlite. Regular clients often comment on how comfortable it is when receiving his/her chair massage. The padding is thick and “cradles” the client while receiving their massage. It is durable beyond measure considering it travels to multiple locations each week for many years now.
Years ago, I made the investment and bought Earthlite’s Avila II™ Carry Case. It is ideal as it has wheels for easy transportation. The carry case WITH wheels is sturdy when moving my equipment in and out of my vehicle day after day, week after week. I like the design with the back pocket as it increases the functionality of the case. The case easily fits through lobby doors vs. old massage cases which are long in length and cumbersome to navigate. I can easily transport my paperwork, extra pens, a small clock and business cards. This travel case also allows me to streamline my frequent travel with only ONE other bag on my shoulder for Earthlite disposable face cradle covers. Travel from the parking lot to the inside of the client building is a breeze vs. the cumbersome system of years ago with too many bags and not enough hands! Without proper training and functional equipment first and foremost, none of the other tasks matter.
Marketing To YOUR Client Base
Focus on who your preferred client. What type of offices do you prefer to work in? After years of offering mobile chair massage, technology firms, accounting offices and law firms are often receptive to offering wellness programs that include on-site chair massage. The time spent organizing your marketing materials is time well spent when done effectively and efficiently.
Formulating a pre-sales objective is time well spent
Before entering into any discussion, it’s best to identify WHO your client is and WHAT your ideal service offering is. With the massage profession so diverse now, it makes more sense to identify your chosen, ideal client in order to seek and then educate them on the benefits of your particular massage service. Do you have a document to send which highlights the benefits of chair massage? If not, create one as it is a worthwhile marketing document.
Here are some tips that may increase the size of your bank account! Continuing to focus on large businesses will bring not only repeat business but also referrals at times.
What will be the right message for your new client?
For example, if you are a sole massage therapist provider with a private office, it makes more sense to target individuals who value the wellness with an independent licensed massage therapist professional. There are many avenues to create interest as a sole proprietor such as gift certificates, a referral program, monthly emails with details about self-care and the benefits of massage, etc.
If, however, you own a business that offers massage to corporate clients like mine, it makes more sense for you to target corporate clients that value the ease of prompt and easy scheduling with licensed, professional, and experienced massage therapists.
Client testimonials offer insight to new and prospective businesses. Highlight these testimonials through social media, Google, Facebook or via email. Many customers read reviews when considering a service or purchase. Don’t you typically read reviews prior to using a new service or product?
If unclear on this, take a few minutes to consider your best clients enjoying your massage service(s). Why do they continue to choose your service(s) vs. another?
By spending time researching and organizing like businesses to contact, your efforts will be more effective. The time spent thinking through businesses that have used services in the past opens up ideas how to best proceed to honor your time and efforts.
Once you have established your preferred client and geographical area, gather a list of prospects as a result of some internet searches. Plan and prepare for the valuable time set aside contact prospective clients.
Researching the company’s website and personnel listed online helps to discover the size, location and marketing of the company. Knowing about the client is critical to your success, showing that you have done your homework and understand some key points about their business offerings.
Also, set a limit for the minimum number of employees working there to ensure that your efforts will result in solid business growth. My target has been to market to companies with 200+ employees.
As a rule of thumb for my business of 17 years, I find that if the employer is paying for chair massage services, it seems that 70% of the employees will gladly enjoy massage services. If the employee is self-paying for massage, the number drops to roughly 40% of employees gladly enjoying massage services. Following COVID, there are still employees that are working a “hybrid” schedule. This makes a difference in the total number of employees on-site during the work week.
Thus, it is best to set your sites on a company that is large enough to provide enough interested clients mobile chair massage services to make the program worth the employer’s and your time.
Schedule a day and preferred time to focus on your sales efforts
For many massage therapist professionals, scheduling time each week to promote your business is tricky to manage. Times should vary week to week, with different days and times, to monitor how successful your contact results are with corporate clients.
Typically, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays work best as clients are well into the work week and not wrapping up for the weekend ahead. Varying the times for either early morning or early afternoon can vary by location and business. Set your schedule and monitor which day(s) and time(s) bring the best results!
If savvy with social media and LinkedIn, you can use your resources and time to make the initial contact by email. This potentially opens the door to further conversation about the benefits of an on-site wellness program. In addition, a company’s website can bring results and leads if continually updated by writing blogs, articles and other beneficial information about corporate wellness. Once the potential client has contacted you online, you can easily research them through various social media channels, including Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook.
Having a plan in place is crucial if cold calling into large businesses. Practicing a short script prior to making contact shows that you are prepared and ready for discussion on why YOUR services beat others in your marketplace.
Highlighting example of recent client experiences with you or your company is compelling to those considering a new company or wellness program. Review why onsite chair massage is a great perk and what is brings to the employees of the company.
When calling major companies that are on your prospect list, it is best to be confident and upbeat. Ask to speak to the Human Resource office, a wellness committee member or one who is committed to employee health concerns to open the door to further discussions.
Dialogue once contact is made with the prospective client
Once through to this potential chosen client, introduce yourself and your business and ask if they have a few minutes to discuss corporate wellness and the benefits of your program. If so, briefly describe your company, position and benefits experienced by your clients with on-site chair massage. If not, ask for another time that would suit their busy schedule.
A sale is a delicate balance of information exchange. It is best to ask a few relevant questions to get a baseline of the interest of the client.
Possible questions include:
- Would you be interested in an on-site chair massage program?
- If so, how do you best work with other service-related companies?
- What is important to your company when considering this type of program?
- Do you have the budget and available space to provide this offering or program?
- Lastly, when is a good time to follow up again about a corporate on-site chair massage wellness program?
With the holidays right around the corner and new year in sight, now is the time to dedicate your efforts for a profitable end to 2022 and beyond!