4 Things I Stopped Caring About In My Massage Business

When I started in massage 11 years ago. I cared a lot. I cared a whole heap about bunches of things. I was picky about notecards and linens and the color of my massage chair. I was particular about scheduling and artwork and the types of pens I used.

This is exactly the way a new business owner should be. It takes a while to work through what matters and what doesn’t as you create a business that reflects your values and skills.

Over time, I’ve zoomed in on what really matters most, and let go of what doesn’t matter to me (and my business). I save myself a lot of aggravation and worry, just by no longer caring about a few things. Here’s my list:

Losing clients because I don’t play phone tag very well

I’ll call a client back twice for appointment-making purposes. But then I give up and leave a message suggesting they visit the website to make an appointment.

For new clients I’ll make a bit more effort, especially if they dropped a referring client’s name in their voicemail, or there’s a complicated medical condition that needs to be discussed before they book.

But I’m difficult to reach by phone, so I’m not a great match for a client who is also difficult to reach by phone and unwilling to book online.

I don’t want to cultivate a clientele that is difficult to schedule. There is no part of my dream business plan that includes “spending 2 hours a day calling people back because they refuse to book online.” So it’s better to weed those clients out before they suck my time and energy.

When clients are late, or don’t show up

Yeah. This used to REALLY stress me out. For every minute that went by, I would get more and more anxious that I wouldn’t be able to fit in the full treatment time. Or that the client wouldn’t show up at all.

After watching my officemate be vigilant about enforcing her no-show policy, I relaxed. If a client is late, I just cut their time. No biggie. The client understands. If they don’t understand, they are not a great client for me.

Ditto that for last no-shows. If a client doesn’t show up, they get invoiced for the fee. If they pay the fee, then we book their next appointment. If they don’t pay the fee, I never see them again. Yay! I got rid of a high maintenance client.

The trick here is to not care about a client’s appointment more than the client does, and be cool about letting go of a client who is not a good fit for you.

The color of my linens

I had an instructor in massage school who believed that only solid-color sheets were acceptable and professional. I have no idea why I believed that. But I did, and I carried that over into my practice in a chiro office. And then into my own space when I moved.

Until one day I found myself standing in front of a clearance shelf full of super-soft microfiber sheets. All patterned. Some floral, and a geometric print.  All lovely. I really needed sheets and they were good quality and cheap. So I bought a bunch. Know what? My business didn’t implode. My professionalism was not challenged because of the color or pattern on my sheets. A few clients noticed and like them. Most didn’t notice at all.

It was so ridiculous that I thought the color of sheets would matter. It didn’t. (And that lesson carries over from a whole bunch of other stuff I thought and assumed when I got out of school.)

What other local therapists are doing

It’s easy to get caught up in what other businesses are charging, what services are being offered, who is busier than I am. Do a bit of research annually so you know what’s going on. Then let it go.

It doesn’t matter if someone is cheaper than you. Focus on being worth more. It doesn’t matter if someone is offering 12 different spa services, stick to being really, really good at what you do. Work on making your business better, leave the rest behind.

What have you stopped caring about, or just left behind as you grow and mature as a therapist?