So last week we talked a whole lot about money! We covered a ton of topics including how to budget, how to think about saving, what kinds of things you should be saving for, and all that really important stuff. If you haven’t read that post yet, I suggest you go back, read it, then meet me back here when you’re done.
So now that we’ve covered the basics of budgeting and finances for small business people like massage therapists, let’s talk about ways to increase your income that don’t involve doing more treatments.
Being a massage therapist is pretty great, but let’s be honest here: unless you branch out, your income is tied to how many clients you can see per week. And unlike many other healthcare professionals, you can only see one client at a time. Unless, of course, you’ve mastered the massage two clients at once technique. If that’s the case, you should share your secrets with everyone else!
All kidding aside, what this means is you’re limited not only by the number of hours in a day but also by how many treatments you reasonably can do without your body falling to pieces. For the vast majority of massage therapists, doing 40 treatments per week isn’t gonna fly. You just can’t do it physically, no matter how fit you are and how much self-care you do.
So in order to increase your income without your body staging a protest, you need to think about other things you can do and charge money for it. So that’s what I’m here to do today, give you some concrete ideas and some things to think about that will help you develop your own ideas on how you can increase your income, based on your own skillset, interests and passions.
Obviously, some of the ideas I’m going to say here aren’t going to be new to most of you. They’re things that many massage therapists have done to add to their income. I’m saying them here because they’re useful and totally valid.
But some of the ideas take a bit more creativity and thinking outside the box. They might be a good fit for you if you are the creative or entrepreneurial type and have a varied skillset (or are willing to learn new things).
Before I continue let’s talk a bit about what we mean by being an entrepreneur. There are a lot of blurry lines between what a solopreneur vs small biz owner vs self-employed vs whatever other terms you can think of for someone who works for themselves. Some might even think the terms are interchangeable. But the main thing that defines an entrepreneur is innovation and creative thinking. They tend to be more willing to take risks and try new ideas that haven’t been explored before. So being an entrepreneur isn’t some title someone gives you. It’s really more about your way of thinking about your career and business.
Let’s jump right into some ideas on how to increase your income. The first list is more ‘common’ things massage therapists do to earn more without their hands falling off. You might think of them as being less ‘outside the box’ ideas.
Teaching at a massage school
Yes, very common and a good way to expand your career. Many massage schools are looking for teaching staff. This one may be a good fit for you if you’re good at instructing others, have good clinical skills and are interested in having a more regular schedule (at least for stretches of a few months at a time).
Running a clinic
A heck of a lot of work! I’m not going to lie here. But you can expand your income significantly if you do this right. Essentially you’d be earning income from the therapists renting from you and dedicating your hours to making the clinic awesome instead of seeing more clients yourself. If you love the business side of your career, feel comfortable having others working for you (whether as full employees or independent contractors), and are willing to put in the time and effort to build an attractive clinic for therapists and clients alike, this could be a good fit.
Running Workshops for the Public
If you’ve got a classroom space available to you or are willing to rent one out, you could teach workshops such as couples massage, infant massage, injury prevention for athletes, and so on. Whatever you’re particularly good at, you could potentially run it as a workshop. This would be a good fit for you if you’re comfortable speaking to a room and teaching others who are not healthcare providers how to help themselves.
This requires some thought as you don’t want to be selling anything that is questionable in terms of your scope of practice. You need to be careful here, especially if you branch out to sell things that are not related to massage therapy. Please make sure your authority as a healthcare provider isn’t swaying anyone to make a purchase.
But if you have products you truly believe in and know can benefit your clients, such as pain-relieving creams, balls/rollers, yoga mats, Epsom salts, essential oils, or anything else that can help people with self-care, that’s fair game as a product you can sell.
The next few ideas are a bit less common. You could call them ‘more entrepreneurial’.
Coaching other therapists
Are you really good at keeping all your client records up to date, know the regulations and legislation like the back of your hand, and have excellent business skills? You could coach other therapists on the same things and charge a consulting fee.
There are a lot of speaking opportunities out there for healthcare practitioners. You might have to start with unpaid gigs to get some recognition (and, let’s be honest, some practice speaking about your topic!). But once you’ve been doing it a little while you can start to charge organizations to come give a talk that would benefit them.
Write a book
Is there a topic you are passionate about? Is there something you’ve done that’s new and innovative and you’d like to share that with an audience (such as fellow massage therapists, other health care practitioners, or the general public)? Are you a decent writer? Think about writing a book! You don’t need a book deal – these days it isn’t hard at all to self-publish. You can even get listed on Amazon.
Teach a continuing education (CEU) course
Have you developed a new technique for something? Want to teach other therapists business skills? Got something useful to share that other therapists would want to learn about? You may be able to develop and teach a CEU course.
Organize a conference
If your area is lacking a massage therapy (or general health & wellness) conference and you’re interested in starting one, you could do it! And yes, you can draw a salary to do this. It takes dedication, time, effort, and some big ‘people skills’ but it can be incredibly rewarding.
Create a tool
Do you see the need for a product or tool in your profession? Do you have the skills to make that product or tool happen, or are you willing to put together a team that can? Are you willing to put in the time for development, testing, marketing, and selling it? Go forth and create it!
Hopefully, these ideas have given you some food for thought!
Looking for help with your business? Hoping to book more clients or take your business online? I can help you! Sign up for my monthly newsletter with actionable advice on growing your health or wellness business. I’ll also send you a free guide on the one thing your website needs to attract new clients!