On-Site Massage Therapy: A Win for Businesses and Your Practice
It’s a fact. U.S. News¹ reports that as much as 86% of Americans work a desk job. For many, that means “several” guaranteed hours of sitting and limited physical activity. Different nomenclatures have been use in literature, but I call it “The Daily Grind.” Imagine getting up with the buzzing alarm, a coffee and a donut on the run, driving on the interstate or a commute through the subway, racing to your desk after showing your magnetic badge to the robotic security on the wall, and firing up your desktop/laptop or tablet…and now add in balancing multiple projects, a phone that never seems to stop ringing—with a ring tone that you thought would take you to your ‘alpha wave’ zone—each minute, each hour, and each day of the week. I feel exhausted just writing it! It’s no wonder many find it easy to feel stressed out, tense, and exhausted by mid-week. Is there anything we can do to change that?! I say YES—the time is now for massage therapists like us to HELP our clients HELP THEMSELVES.
How to Make an Impact
Many clients/employees could use a break from a stressful day at work—especially one that will relax both their bodies and their minds. Whether it’s a 15-20 minute chair massage, or a longer massage therapy session, a regular visit with a professional therapist like you has numerous benefits and may help to:
- Increase productivity
- Reduce stress
- Increase employee morale
- Increase mental concentration on important job tasks
- Ease neck and lower back pain and tension in shoulder muscles
- Reduce employee absenteeism
- Reduce company healthcare costs
That’s not all. You can do more. Be an AMBASSADOR. Do not hesitate to COLLABORATE. An easy way to start? Think about all of your friends and family members who work a typical desk job. Share with them the benefits that a weekly visit from a Board Certified Massage Therapist like yourself can bring to their office. Adding this option to your massage therapy services empowers you with the opportunity to promote and expand your practice, connect with local businesses, educate them about the importance of massage therapy, and much more.
Worried about the competition? There’s space in this profession for all of us. We have the opportunity to promote our unique healing proposition in our own individual way. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)², 48 percent of massage therapists work at least part of their time at a client’s home, 27 percent work in a health care setting, 25 percent offer their services in a spa setting, and only 17 percent travel to businesses to offer their massage therapy services. That’s a relatively small percentage—especially when there are roughly 30 million small businesses (U.S. Small Business Administration)³ with employees waiting for your call.
As you are introduced to each business (and potential client), it’s important to learn what each business will allow. Depending upon a business’s preference, on-site massage therapy can be given at employee workstations, in a conference room, or even using a portable massage table that you transport to the business. Typically, a work-related massage is of a shorter duration—anywhere from 10-20 minutes for a chair massage, and up to 30 minutes for a longer massage therapy session. In most cases, massage oils are not used, but this is something you can easily discuss with each employee or their employer to learn their preference(s).
Quick Tips to Better Market Your Practice
Ready to get started? Here are a few simple tips to market your practice and find work with businesses near you:
- Make an appointment to give a presentation at your local chamber of commerce, local business groups, or downtown association. In my area, I’ve given talks at the larger real estate offices and the local Business and Professional Women’s Foundation and, just yesterday, the local elementary school. If possible, give some complimentary massages after your talk—and be sure to pass out plenty of your business cards and literature.
- Make cold calls to businesses and ask to speak to their wellness managers, Human Resources department, or CEOs, if possible. Highlight the benefits of massage therapy, stressing the benefits to company productivity and a reduction in healthcare costs. To get your foot in the door, consider offering a one-time free massage to employees. I know this one sounds tedious…but I did this for six months and it led to being part of a hospital integrative therapy program!
- Network with friends and family members who work at various businesses. Get the names of company contacts you can call or email, and educate them about your on-site massage therapy services.
- Research if you can secure a booth or table at various job and health fairs in/around the city you live in and offer a chair massage on-site. Additionally, attend as many networking events as possible to market your services.
- Be sure to carry your business cards wherever you go, even if it’s down to the laundry room of your condo or your local grocery store. I often ask massage therapists for their card, and more often than not, I find I’m writing their information down on the back of my card! You never know who you will run into while you are in the checkout line at your local supermarket—it could be your neighbor, the executive, whose employees could benefit from your professional massage therapy services on a regular basis.
Will you be adding on-site massage therapy services for businesses to your list of massage therapy services? Have you already earned a few local businesses as clients? We want to hear about it! Share your stories with us in the comments section below.
This blog was written by:
Leena S. Guptha
DO, MBA, BCTMB
¹ U.S. News: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2013/08/22/are-you-suffering-from-sitting-disease
² AMTA: http://www.amtamassage.org/career_guidance/detail/210?typeId=4
³ U.S. Small Business Administration: http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_March_2014_0.pdf