Starting a home based massage business
I like many others have always wanted to be my own boss, to have control of my hours and earnings.
I could only complete school up to year 12.
Forty years ago it was only the well off who had the opportunity to go to uni.
After 40 years of working in a wide variety of jobs eg:secretarial for the first 5 years, when my children were small, shift work in all types of factories, to later on, working for large casinos in the united states and finally as a real estate agent, I decided that enough was enough.
In all those years I never had one boss that I had any respect for. They all spout off about being team players but in the end none of them are.It was always every man for themself in the long run.
So two years ago I looked at where my life was headed..I was supposed to retire in 7 years with not much to show for all my efforts.With my superannuation only being enough to last for about 2 years, and forced retirement at 65 I knew something had to change.
I calculated I could live off my meagre savings for about a year, my home is paid for and I like many of my generation know how to live off the smell of an oily rag. I grow my own veges, can make my own clothes, cook anything with the most basic of ingredients.
I had thought many times about becoming a massage therapist, so I took the plunge and enrolled in my first course.
What a shock to the system. I was the oldest person in the class, we started off with 25 students ranging in age from 18 up to me at 58. We had great fun even though it was very challenging. Thank goodness I loved science and biology.Only two of the original 25 graduated.The 18 year old and myself.
After graduating I decided to set up a massage business from home.
It was one thing setting up a lovely relaxing room and quite another getting some clients.
After doing some market research, I decided to concentrate on attracting customers from the 18 to 45 yr age group. In the beginning I aimed my advertising at both sexes, but as I am working from home I am on my own,and after a few scary phone calls from deep breathers....I finally had to think of my own safety and now my business is for Ladies Only.
The first thing I did was open up a facebook page for my business, I advertised on facebook as well, as I could target the exact market I wanted.
I befriended all the FB pages that I knew young mums are interested in and advertised on these pages for free, in return letting the mums advertise on my page for free also.
There are heaps of mums out there who are running small businesses from home as well as working full time..they make cupcakes, occasion cakes, babies clothes, crafts,pickles and jams. Some have started up sites for others to buy and sell second hand clothes, I have make up artists, photographers, hairdressers, all working from home in my area.
I also put an ad on True Local, and gave people free massages and in return asked them to put a review on my ad if they enjoyed it.
I occasionally run competitions on FB and giveaway a free massage. This often converts into a regular customer.
In the beginning, I certainly didnt have many customers, some weeks..none!,The first 6 months I only made about $350.00 a month... but slowly word got around..the best customers come from a recommendation from others.
Important to remember, dont be offended or upset and think you have failed if people dont return for second massage..some people are going to love you, others will look for another therapist...its everyones personal preference like picking a new doctor or hairdresser.
It has cost me about $1500.00 to set up the room, pay for FB advertising, purchase business cards, car magnets,lawn signs,gift certificates. I charge $60.00 an hour compared to up to $150.00 an hour at day spas.
Of course there are going to be people out there who don't want to come to a home based massage business..I am always getting calls from people wanting services that day spas provide.Spa baths, saunas etc.
So... NO! I wont give you a body scrub, cover you in mud, do facials,pedicures, and botox, or give you Reiki, Kinesiology or Bowen.
I specialise in relaxation and theraputic massage.I should have called my business "Magic Hands", because I get so many customers telling me I have them. haha.
What I will do is provide you with a safe, clean and comfortable massage room,with a caring and compassionate therapist and give you the best massage you will ever get!
MEG: THANKS FOR SHARING THAT GERI. ITS A GREAT OVERVIEW OF HOW TO PROMOTE A BUSINESS THE MODERN WAY! WISH YOU GREAT SUCCESS :)