This information is leading edge, though not bleeding edge, as it appeared on the horizon some time back. And now the plot thickens, but I digress.
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 ~
Massage Marketing: Massage & Spa Trends
7 years ago