It can be easy to get caught up in throwing money at this or that…
If I was to open up another massage business, there’s so many things I’d do differently this go around. So much I learned over the years that I’d apply before those doors were even open. I don’t have time to go over every single step of course, but I want to share 3 big things today that I’d do differently and I hope those of you who are opening up a business soon, will take note. And if you’re already established, consider how you can fit some of these into the upcoming plans for your business.
My first business was a complete and utter failure. The second go-around was a total success, because I learned a lot in between there, but even with that, there’s still things that I’d probably do differently, specifically at opening or leading up to opening the business. So here’s 3 of those things that I would do if I was to start a practice again anytime soon….
#1 I’d have a huge pre-open marketing strategy
I would start marketing my business 3 months before opening, at minimum. First it would be having my branding all done, the visuals and physical marketing components like signs, banners, table covers, brochures, cards, all that stuff done. I’d have a website up and going, a Google My Business listing established, and social media pages pumping out really valuable educational and helpful content, with coming soon everywhere, getting reviews posted from previous clients, and otherwise building up some hype and establishing myself and my business as the authority for my particular clientele in my area, even before the doors open.
It would also include building up my email list and sending out really really valuable content, educating regularly, updating them on how things are coming along for the big opening. I’d also start making as many local connections as much as possible; whether this is with other business owners that tailor to the same clientele, doctors, other health pros, whatever. I’d start making the rounds and really getting myself known to all of these people and help them as much as possible in that time leading up to open.
As I’d move closer I’d start getting more and more active, running ads, getting the newspaper to work up a story, and then eventually a big grand opening and showcasing everything in the business, what I offer, what it’s all about, why they can trust me, all that stuff. The pre-opening marketing strategy would be much more involved and it would set me up way better to just hit the ground running with a steady book of clients from day one.
#2 I’d build up a huge content library
Blog posts, social media graphics and topics, holiday specials, whatever. I would have a library of content worked up so that I could at any time just look through and grab whatever I needed. So a couple dozen blog posts written and ready to publish, a bunch of educational video pieces ready to post to Instagram, or photos to Facebook, all sorts of stuff. I’d have a ton of it already worked up so that for at least the first 3 to 6 months I was open, if not the first full year, I wouldn’t have to worry about creating steady content. It’s already there to pull from, or even better, already scheduled to go out, and then I could simply add in here and there if something struck my fancy on a whim. But otherwise, if I’m super busy, or in a creative rut, or whatever, valuable content can still go out to my audience.
#3 I’d research contractors and pros to have on the back-burner
People often don’t start looking for a virtual assistant, social media manager, linen service, or whatever until they’re desperate for one. So instead, I would absolutely have a list of reputable, long-established businesses that I could hire as soon as I was ready, whether it be a trial run for just a few hours of work here and there, or a long-term solution for the business, I’d go ahead and do the research upfront, often long before I was ready to hire something out, simply because I’d be much more objective, and be certain I wasn’t choosing someone out of desperation – which often leads to poor choices. I may have experience with that.
There’s obviously a ton of things I could add to this list, but those are 3 of the things I would definitely do differently if I was starting up a massage business again soon. For those of you already established, what about you? What would you do differently if you were starting over?