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Thread: Any Primal Massage therapists out there? Looking for some advice. page

  1. #1
    Sambo712's Avatar
    Sambo712 is offline Senior Member
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    Any Primal Massage therapists out there? Looking for some advice.

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    I'm pondering massage therapy as a career choice and I was just hoping to get some accounts and opinions on things before I go applying for schools.
    -Do you find that the career of massage therapy fits well with your primal lifestyle?

    -What kind of earnings can you expect to make within reason, and do you need another part time job?

    -How difficult is it to build a good clientele?

    -How important is it to get a comprehensive education? Some schools offer 800 hour programs($13,000) and others offer 650 hour programs($6,000). Does it really matter, can I make up the deficit with continuing ed?

    -How difficult is it to get licensed by different states?

    -Is it more difficult being a man in this field? I noticed that the vast majority are women.

    - Is there anything I should know before I pursue this profession?

    Thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate any help I can get!

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    zoebird's Avatar
    zoebird is offline Senior Member
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    Before answering, I'll be completely honest. I'm a yoga teacher, not a massage therapist. I've been 'pro' and 'full time' now for 10 years, and was part time for 6 years prior. Since the work/lifestyle is similar, I thought I would comment.

    -Do you find that the career of massage therapy fits well with your primal lifestyle?

    My lifestyle and primal fit well together. Primal is so broad, though, that it can fit into any lifestyle.

    -What kind of earnings can you expect to make within reason, and do you need another part time job?


    As with most things, it depends. If you end up running a business where you have multiple massage therapists working for you -- such that you are earning off of their work (paying them per massage, etc), and so on. . . then you are likely to make more than someone working wholly independently.

    But, the average massage therapist here does 5-6 massages per day at $80/hr and usually works 4-5 days per week once they are at max capacity. Which is then ($80 x 5)4 = $1600 per week. You can estimate that you'll have 40 earning weeks per year, and thus the income would be $64,000 before you pay business expenses and such.

    It takes a while to build to this, btw.

    -How difficult is it to build a good clientele?

    It depends largely on how good of a business person you are. I know a lot of great massage therapists who consistently shoot themselves in the foot in terms of business.

    If you understand your market and your marketing is targeted at them, if you have good customer service and overall good business skills and behaviors, then you can build a sustainable business in a year or two that might be this size or even larger. Other people struggle along forever.

    -How important is it to get a comprehensive education? Some schools offer 800 hour programs($13,000) and others offer 650 hour programs($6,000). Does it really matter, can I make up the deficit with continuing ed?

    I would get the minimum required to get a license in your state/country/whatever, and then do the continuing education that your clients need from you

    -How difficult is it to get licensed by different states?


    No idea.

    -Is it more difficult being a man in this field? I noticed that the vast majority are women
    .

    It can be. Some women will not go to a male practitioner, and many men won't either. But, that doesn't keep the many male practitioners whom I know from being successful, so I wouldn't let it hold you back.

    The main thing is to know *your* market and *your* people -- market directly to them, do good work, and have good professional customer service.

    - Is there anything I should know before I pursue this profession?


    As much about the business side of things as you possibly can. The real kicker in this is being comfortable with the administration of a business -- keeping copious records, doing accounting (or having someone do it for you and budgeting that), understanding the relevant law in terms of your business (sole proprietor, LLC, C-copr, S-corp, etc), understanding your market, how to build your business from the ground up. What kind of business model you want (do you want to be in one place, do you want to be mobile? etc).

    most people in the holistic health fields are *great* practitioners but flakey and crap at business. The majority are, as far as I can tell, and the grouse a lot about how it's "a lifestyle, not a living" but the reality is, if they just Minded Their Business, it would be BOTH a lifestyle AND a living.

    So, learn about business. And don't just rely on the business classes in the massage school. Massage schools are for-profit ventures. They will sell you on how "great" and 'easy" the industry is. It isn't. Like most, it takes hard work, due diligence, and right effort. So get this information from *outside*.

    And yes, work full time and transition the business (massage) from part time to full time over time. it's the easiest way financially.

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    Sambo712 is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for that account, I love yoga, I'm sure you must really enjoy your career. I can't imagine a more relaxed way to make a living!

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    zoebird is offline Senior Member
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    Technically speaking, it's not at all relaxed.

    I run a holistic health studio. This means I have two levels of clients: coworkers (fellow practitioners who run their business through our offices and under our umbrella brand) and my direct yoga clients.

    I currently teach 16 classes per week. I do about 4 hours of "administrative" work per week. I'm constantly working on marketing strategies, then following through (implementing them), and then running analytics off of those (how many people came in due to this marketing push? what did they purchase? etc). Planning is three quarters ahead. In first quarter, I plan what marketing push we'll be doing in 3rd quarter based on where we want to be in 4th quarter. In second quarter, I do the groundwork for it -- ad copy, photography work, etc. In third quarter, I implement it, and in 4th quarter, we analyze it.

    We have a different marketing process for each quarter. The one that is launched right now, was created and planned in July, written in Oct-Dec, and launched last week. we'll analyze in 3rd quarter. The one for next quarter was created in Oct, we're writing it now, it will be launched in April.

    This matches up with financial planning and also business development. I do forecasting and projections based on analytics from the prior quarters and tracking our common retention and growth rates (in terms of both practitioners as well as the individual clients whom THEY see as well as the individual clients whom I see). Each month, I analyze whether or not we are meeting our desired and projected financial goals, as well as business development.

    In addition to this and my teaching, I'm also in the process of training teachers to work for me (an additional 5 hrs of work per month) plus a quarterly workshop for students (3 hours per month). These, plus the weekly classes, also require preparation time, study, client contact (checking base with people, making sure their needs are getting met, making sure they are getting the information/results/etc that they want). It also doesn't include time in professional supervision.

    In addition to that, a friend and I are creating -- and now training people in -- a curriculum for Kids Yoga. We have created the 3-5 yr old curriculum, and we have a slate to do prenatal, post natal, 1-2s, 6-8, 9-11, 12/13, and 14+. That's an additional 7 curricula to research, write, create, codify, market, train, and launch. These are licenses -- so trained people have a licenses to utilize our marketing, which we'll tie into our web site and perpetuate the health of our brand (with Quality Assurance practices -- which have yet to be determined).

    Right now, our focus is on getting the teacher training for the 3-5s locked down, train more teachers, and begin launching the programs locally (one kindy is already doing the program, and we'll be presenting with them at the regional kindy association meeting in July -- which gives us opportunity to get stuff done to prepare for that, and we are likely to get a lot of teachers interested in training after this event. Our plan is to start sketching out the 1-2s this year, and get it codified to start training next year, using the creches (day care centers) as our trainee market.

    In addition, some of these teachers want to teach outside of the classroom -- which means setting up more support on the business side for them to get pubic classes launched in the local suburbs.

    And, we are looking at expanding to a second location this year, likely in the second quarter. This means I'll probably be teaching an additional 5-7 classes per week, plus then administrating a few practitioners in this second location.

    I love my work. I enjoy it immensely and have a great time doing all of this. But the reality is -- if you want to make a living, you have to *work*. Not necessarily hard, not painfully. And yes, there is work-life balance.

    But it isn't what people think it is. It isn't a "lifestyle." It's still a business.

    After we get this second site launched, we'll be able to get a franchise license. We are looking at franchising the business going forward, which creates more income.

    It's taken me just under 3 years to get to this point -- from the beginning of starting the business on this scale. It's wonderful! Thrilling!

    It's still making very little income for us, but it supports my family of 3. We live simply, we enjoy our way of life.

    But I am currently working 6 days a week, with only about 3 hrs off in the afternoons to spend with DS, and then evenings at dinner just before he goes to bed, and mornings with him. And half the weekend. My husband is his primary caregiver, works with me, and writes on his own as well. We are very busy.

    Truthfully, to make it in business, you have to be willing to work.

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