My blog turned a year old this week. Thanks to everyone who has read, commented and shared my adventure! As I look back over my first twenty-nine posts, I have some updates, insights, confessions and reflections for you. By sharing my actual experience (the ups, the downs and the things no one told you in massage school), I hope you realize you’re not alone or doing anything wrong when the road gets rough. I also want you to savor your successes when everything is coming together. Business ownership is a journey without a map that has taken me to dream destinations, dead ends and the deepest parts of myself.
My current office location is working out spectacularly! I left my first space because I had no control over the temperature (other than a fan) which created both comfort and safety issues for myself and my clients (try standing on an oiled, sweaty back and giving a controlled, effective treatment). Not only is this location fantastic but the air conditioning works AND I have access to it! There’s just one thing I wish I would have checked before agreeing to rent the space (although I doubt it would have kept me from signing the lease): my cell phone reception. I installed a small cell phone antenna on the window but sometimes it still sucks.
I didn’t give much thought to my intake process for a long time but I truly believe making it brief scores points with most clients (especially when they’re running late). This is when we start getting to know each other and they begin to decide if they like me or not. I give every client the option of full body v. more specific work so I’m clear on their priorities and expectations. Many are surprised to learn they have a choice!
This post marries two of my business obsessions: marketing and data analysis. Until this year, I have never actually gone through the process of figuring out where my clients were coming from. Knowing that has allowed me to make informed decisions about where to spend my marketing dollars (hint: I’m not paying for ANY advertising this year). Groupon continues to be the best lead generator for me by far.
I love this picture of Sponge Bob! My business tax management strategy is still evolving. I’m keeping it real in this post about the dark side of massage therapy practice ownership to open the dialogue about the realities of tax liability (the massage school commercials never mention how challenging this is). Although taxes are a thorn in my behind, I celebrate that it’s the continued growth of my practice that makes them an ongoing learning experience.
Any blog post with a reader discretion advisory is worth a look! Not only is this a true story sprinkled with really bad humor, it’s a perfect example of how simple, no-cost approaches can put a small, independent practice in the company of industry leaders on Google. Plus, it links to my three best SEO tips that really work!
The client who prompted my updated cancellation policy decided to suspend his standing appointments after I enforced it. Nothing tells clients about your self-worth and how you expect to be treated more than your cancellation policy. I anticipate an amazingly positive shift in my income and client relationships as a result of this change.
I’ve learned so much this past year in my practice and am honored that you’re tuning in. I’m anticipating more than I ever imagined as the future unfolds and hope that my experience inspires you to take risks and let go of what isn’t working. Bring on another year of creating a practice that I love!
What’s your favorite post so far and why? Did any of them help you grow your practice? Please share in the comments. Thank you!