How Many Clients Should I See?

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How many people do I see in a week so that I can make a living and not burn out?

This seems to be a universal question among massage therapists but the answer is very individual.  Here are few questions and thoughts to contemplate to help you find your own answers.

For most of us our energy levels can vary from day to day and our ability to take on more work varies as well. Our expenses can vary but out of the two, money can be easier to track.

Figure out what you need financially on a monthly basis. Add another 20-30% for wiggle room or fun money.

Write down what you currently charge or the average amount per massage. Some of us work independently, some work for others. Most of us do a combination of the two.

Divide that by the number from above.

Divide this by 4.3. This will give you the number of massages you need to provide weekly.

Do you feel that is good amount of massages that you can do comfortably without hurting yourself and provide consistent quality massages to your clients?

Let’s say your gut reaction is that, that amount of work is way too much.

Here are some options.

  1. Don’t worry what others charge, it is for you to put your value on what you offer as an individual therapist. There are no two therapists alike. If you were to increase your rate by just 10% you now can reduce the number of massages to do per week to meet your financial goals. Consider what you offer that is unique. It could be techniques you know or it could be the way you do business.
  2. What other products or services can you offer? What can you up sell to your current clients that doesn’t take up your physical energy? I am not suggesting that you can’t make your money solely as a massage therapist. Every company has other products or services that they offer to meet other needs of clients and customers. Coca Cola has Aquafina, some accountants offer financial services, shoe stores sell handbags.

Make sure it is something that dovetails with what you are offering. If you work mostly with corporate clients don’t try to up sell wellness products for individuals. Your customers are the companies. Your end users are the people you massage.

I know I’m not giving you what to sell. I think that is something to figure out on your own so that it is unique to you. Plus if we posted it on a blog and everyone was doing it, it wouldn’t be that unique would it?

I will add one personal thought to this. Do not do the dollar per minute thing. I have been a therapist for 14 years and those were rates many therapists charged then and I’m sure they charged that long before I became a therapist. Value your time. If you are in a corporate office and some one is on the phone late for their massage because they have work to do, that is fine, but you are there and your time and professionalism has value as well. Cater to your client, bend over backwards for them but value yourself as well.

For other settings like tradeshows and mall settings where you are charging by the massage, charge for the session but do not make it into a per minute situation.

If you are the type of person who feels the number of sessions you need to do is easy physically but you aren’t able to get that many clients regularly, it may not be the number of modalities you know. It may be time to learn more effective marketing and advertising skills. Another thing to consider is how much are you charging. If you are charging a lot, think about from your client’s perspective if what you are offering is worth the extra expense. My advice would be to increase your value or offer a special from time to time that adds to your practice, rather than lower your rates. There will always be some one charging less.

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