Wednesday, November 4, 2009
In the midst of the brilliant battle news of an intriguing innovation trickled to the surface. John Gruden and friends brought up a mouthpiece that is improving athlete performance and enhancing flexibility while increasing an athletes strength. Claims that it is making phenomenal receptions even more attainable by relieving tension that translates to spinal stress, I just had to know more.
A bit of research reveals the "Under Armour Performance Mouthwear"
We thought we know knew so much about the body, but this jaw dropping innovation opens new doorways. What other mysteries might be discovered by increased understanding of how are bodies work?
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Along the path of building a better massage practice I've traveled many twisting trails of terror and intrigue about how to find a solid massage niche. Who are my customers? Where do they hang out? How do I specialize to harness a solid market base? Who can I create strategic alliance with to bolster my customer base? The journey's been fascinating and has inspired me to raise my brow and look ahead for opportunity that comes out of the chaos of change.
As massage therapy has matured, many massage therapist have quivered in fear from the divisions of the trade that race towards medical massage and the onslaught of corporate massage factories. Others have grabbed the ring and filled there practice with relaxation, proactive health enthusiasts and youthful appearance disciples.
However, as health insurance challenges jolt the nation, and baby boomers are feeling the oats they sewed in their 20's, the population in the western hemisphere grows restless.
No . . . really . . . I mean REST LESS.
Rarely has the public been so frustrated with trying to get health care that they are more willing than ever to take a proactive approach, and educate themselves about how to prevent injury, and to stretch and strengthen to avoid surgery, and are seeking knowledgeable support networks. (Don't forget these guys. These are a secondary niche opportunity for your practice.)
Staggering numbers from almost every viewpoint indicate at least 80 percent of us will experience at least one episode of debilitating back pain. Sleep issues from aging, weight gain, stress, insomnia, career changes, financial pressures and more are stealing the comfort of the golden years and some folks clamor to get their health back.
So where does that leave you?
Well, slowly over the last few years a new god has appeared. Of the onslaught of health practitioners available out there, one has been steadily rising to the surface as the "go to" guide for all issues of structural and soft tissue need.
This skill set is spending more time with patients on a one-to-one basis, fill one of the greatest demands of returning patient needs, know more about the personal life and lifestyles of their patient base, and are in such demand that they make up the largest growing employment segment of health careers. And on top of that they know, appreciate and may even come from the field of massage therapy.
Did you guess Physical Therapists (PT)? If you did you're right!
But here's what interesting. The supply and demand for PT's is putting pressure on workloads and availability. What if you created an alliance with a Physical Therapist to handle their massage work? What if you paired with a new Physical Therapist as a support and liaison as they build their practice? What if you specialized in neck & shoulder injury, hand or arm injury, sciatica or psoas issues, hip or knee speciaty? What if you focused your practise on training/educating physical therapists on massage technique and specialty? What if you just created a cross marketing arrangement with a Physical Therapist? The more you focus your specialty and match it with a Physical Therapist the more specific your niche, the more condensed your marketing, the more successful you can become.
Serving the needs of the physical therapists, (yes, even seeking them as clients!) will put you dead center in a market familiar or wanting of your services. Referral from one of these professionals can go a long, long, way. Do some homework and you'll find that PT's in and of themselves tend to garner a stable income and massage is a value to both them and their clients. And . . . almost every Physical Therapist is rooted to a physical office or facility, (where clients come to) belong to a professional association (where a bazillion other physical therapists dwell), and are connected on many levels to nearly all other departments of health and wellness professionals.
For those of you in the suburbs and smaller communities . . . private physical therapist offices are growing out there too! Because EVERYBODY seems to have a back ache these days!
Click here to see an article from Business Week that speaks to the growing demand for Physical Therapists. I'll try to post more as I come across them. For now just put on your creative career cap and conjure up the direction this may lead for you.
Best of success to you always!
~ B ~
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Knowing I was massage friendly, this newbie dropped by to talk about marketing experiences and the conversation quickly led to the challenge of competing with corporate massage entities.
Frustration was obvious as this new MT discussed trying to generate clients when the local massage mill pitches prices so low, he cannot compete.
I challenged him to think differently and asked what was his favorite part of the body to work on.
"I really love arms" he said, and asked if he could demonstrate.
His work was both unique and thorough and as he worked I shared the idea of doing piece work.
Piece work isn't new, but it may not have generated much thought from massage practitioners.
I predict it will become a dominant trend in both gorilla marketing, and specialty approach.
If you break your massage into smaller segments of work it can present several advantages for marketing, specialty and client retention.
Here are 8 Key Benefits of Utilizing Piece Work as a Calling Card:
- Reduces time requirement which lowers initial price point.
- Injury or issue specific massage increases value for customer having discomfort right now.
- Delivers intangibles: style, quality of touch, knowledge and professionalism in real time.
- Provides for an integrated introduction of your technique.
- Facilitates on site, or instant gratification for customer.
- Less intimidating when work can be done without disrobing.
- Displays immediate benefits for the receiver.
- Generates marketing income instead of marketing costs
Monday, April 27, 2009
You may not like the terms, Solo-preneur and Entrepreneur. Not the jargon of massage on the day to day scene, but I bring them up to reveal their place in the past, present and future of massage.
Independent Practitioners are solo-preneurs, carving their way into a specified niche or modality. While we prefer to see our work from the perspective of its benefits, (i.e., healing, wellness, nurturing, relaxing and now medicinal), what massage as a trade has been all along is a business. And we've had to adapt, and that's why these terms are important.
Entrepreneurs are traditionally seen as mavericks creating business opportunity, cashing in and moving on to the next project, ambition and money in hand . . . but business people with savvy non the less. While yester-year found these individuals rare, today's business climate has turned many successful into entrepreneurs by nature.
Because business of late has upped the game in terms of being able to respond to the market, and staying strong on your feet. CEO's and Owners have learned to scramble and adapt, and its why so much has happened so fast in the last 20 years. So many business tools have grown up to streamline the process, yet also made some things more complex. So, while the wave continues to build . . . we have two choices.
1. Stand in its way and cling tightly to the life-raft.
2. Ride the wave and grow stronger on the way.
After all, we're in business.
Is there a chance of crashing? . . . Well, sure. There always has been. However, things on the horizon may help us to think in new ways and help the massage trade to adapt with the times. Are you game?
Lately I'm hearing the term Insta-preneur bandied about. It seems to be haunting me at night in my dreams. What does it mean, and how will it shift the playing field? That my friends is what this post is really about.
With the voluminous growth of the internet and the speeds that broadband now offer, business is growing at the speed of cable. Here we sit with a service oriented massage business, and it all seems "over the head" in terms of how to use it. If the internet is where the people are, we need to climb on board to reach them. Perhaps not as an all consuming method, but we at least need to understand the power and reach of it. But I digress.
What is stuck in my craw is the idea of the insta-preneur. Simple enough to understand that with the internet business can be handled instantly. Yet that doesn't quite apply to massage, right?
Well not so fast.
I must be a marketer by nature because what it conjures up for me is questions on how to take massage to "instantaneous" levels?
What if we could do massage anywhere? Anytime? Just like the internet.
How would that look and what would it require?
How would it change the way I found customers?
Who would my most likely customer be?
How would it change how I approach them?
How could I communicate and respond to them with speed?
How would it change my return ratio?
How could I compete with Massage Envy's and such?
How would it change my niche or modality?
How would it set my small business apart form others?
What equipment would I need to make it all happen?
What could it do for stability to the business?
Asking these questions gave me some interesting ideas. I hope to post more about that in the future. For now, I'm curious what you all might have to say. Does this tickle your brain or make you want to cover your head. Do you want to challenge the way you see things or is your massage business OK, no changes needed?
There is no right or wrong here, and I hope it's not too long winded, but massage has been my passion for many years. I feel compelled to conceptually midwife it to the future. And by the way . . . the future is NOW!
Resource to keep you thinking:
Best Small Business 2009: Home Health Services
Friday, April 17, 2009
Tune in to the future and reset your massage niche dial.
Meet you there!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Think there's not enough customers out there? Well now there's a Fortune 500 company promoting massage for you!
A whole new generation is about to get rubbed the right way! We may have to dub new babies as the "Touch Generation".
Check out this video on Johnson & Johnson's www.touchingbond.com.
Wow, has massage come a long way.
~ B ~
Two sites for sore hides:
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
When we talk about designing environments, Google can go to the head of the class.
Hear more from Babette, Google's first massage therapist.
Oogle this Google Video clip:
Click here for more about Google Perks
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I found this clip on YouTube.com where Pro Golfer Tim Clark is giving a testimonial for Human Touch's HT 1650 and HT 7450 Massage Chair Models. Being familiar with both I decided to watch the clip.
My own take on massage chairs is unusual. Being a massage therapist, I've been a bit of a snob about them. I tried one 20 years or so ago and decided I could get a beating for free and there was no point in paying for a chair to do it. I avoided them like a plague.
Two years ago I began working in a back care store and found it necessary for my work to try one we offered as a product. I was instantly converted to a believer. These massage chairs have come a long, long way.
Now, before you accuse me of selling out, I have to say that technology has changed these chairs a lot. Yet they aren't necessarily a complete package. Nothing can beat the human connection of safe, nurturing touch.
Do they replace the value of a REAL massage? - No.
Can they benefit the user in reducing stress and relaxing stiff, sore muscles? - Yes, absolutely.
Are they going to reduce my massage customer base or make it harder for me to attract traditional massage business? My experience has revealed otherwise.
Some customers have been established after telling me touch makes them uncomfortable, and yet they tried the massage chair and shifted their perspective. Some customers have liked the idea of a pre-massage warm-up in a chair before their regular massage session. Several clients that own them haven't changed their massage frequency at all.
Using a massage chair every day at the store, I can't believe how helpful it has been. Especially over the duration of a years time.
Yet massage therapist tend to scorn these chairs as competition, and that's worth discussing. The discovery process I experienced really shifted my attitude towards benefits that can be gained. And, while not a good match for everyone, there are some points to be made.
- Used as a supplement, massage chairs can benefit a customers overall stress reduction.
- Health themes such as improved circulation and relaxation are a natural fit.
- Some touch issues can be overcome by utilizing a massage chair.
- Used as a marketing tool massage chairs can be a draw that sets your practice apart.
- Having one in the waiting room can facilitate increased educational dialogue.
- Regular use of a massage chair can make Massage Therapy more specific and effective for long term issues.
- (My favorite:) As a Massage Therapist I can consistently get the massage I need to continue to produce my best work, and in such a way that it reduces time constraints. I can also manage repetitive strain and other physical challenges that massage as a trade can produce.
- There are health caveats for people with pace makers and blood pressure issues.
- Aging can make bones too brittle to risk injury in a massage chair.
- Massage chairs have greater up-front cost, however per session costs reduce continually over time.
- Massage Chairs do not have tactile sensitivity that communicates user discomfort.
- Space requirements can pose a challenge.
- Some Massage Chair users do not see added value in traditional massage delivery.
- Appropriate location can be limited to home or office, and massage chairs are generally not portable.
The YouTube video following is just one example of how and where massage trends are shifting as the population becomes more aware and open to the benefits massage can provide.
What are your thoughts, and what pro's and con's have I left out? If a customer asks your advice on a massage chair, what can/will you say? If you had use of one how might that change your health, business, marketing approach? Clearly there's more to be shared.
Tim Clark's Testimony for Human Touch:
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I share it with you simply for perspective on what's ahead for the field of massage.
If the links don't work, try this track back:
There's certainly more to come, but check it out.
Best of success to you,
~ B ~
Following is a comment I left on a post from Julie Onofrio on FutureLMT.com
"I just feel the need to mention the many other options that massage school can lead to that makes getting a massage education a wonderful starting point.
Some massage therapists go on to become chiropractors, physical therapists, doctors, personal trainers, spa & beauty professionals, health and wellness trainers and more.
High school graduates face the same experience and maturity challenges in any job or career, and as you and I did, have the option to decide to go it on their own if needed.
Like you, the entrepreneurial spirit moved me quickly into my own massage practice, and the two decades that followed taught me that the future of almost any trade will require multiple streams of income, perhaps multiple jobs/careers, and offer countless opportunities for the innovative, creative and dauntless individual.
The future of massage is an open book . . . what will you write in it?
Best of success to you."
Just thought I'd leave a quick note at start-up.
Most of you know me from my old blog, Massage Marketing Rebellion, MMR located at: http://www.massagemsoi.com, and this blog may parallel some of that material but I wanted a little more free rein from the marketing focus, and there's so much more to talk about.
If you're not familiar with MMR check it out.
I've been a CMT & Health Educator for 18 plus years now and also Life Coach ad nauseum. If you have massage, health or coaching related questions feel free to ask. I will touch on all 3 topics over the duration.
Being a free thinker I ask a lot of questions. Questions just seem more fun than answers. I like to think out loud, and always appreciate comments and responses., so don't be shy.
If you are a health practitioner of any kind I would love to hear your input and comments. Let's look to the future and see what's on the horizon for health and natural healing techniques and applications.
Best to all of you,
~ B ~
Find me at these online venues:
Massage Marketing Rebellion
Massage Marketing Rebellion Yahoo Group
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