Having worked with a lot of massage therapists, I’m regularly asked to help dig into…
Habits and systems you have in place can make or break a business. You probably have a ton of habits within your massage practice, many of which you just naturally developed as you went along. What you say when you greet clients coming in, how you answer the phone, the order you do things when you flip your treatment room, what switches get flipped first when you come in for the day, all those things….you likely have all kinds of little habits built into all of it, right?
But when it comes to the backend of running your business, you know, all those admin tasks and such, a lot of therapists tend to really slack off, never making a conscious effort to develop good habits here. But really, that’s what it takes, because not a whole lot of you probably innately develop those things. And today we’re looking specifically at developing good financial habits within your business. Because if your business isn’t financially healthy, it’s not going to last long. Period.
I know a lot of y’all struggle with the financial side of things in your business, so today I want to give you 5 tips to help you start building better financial habits within your business.
#1 Keep Everything Separate
Your business and personal finances should never intermingle. You have your personal bank accounts and your business bank accounts. You’re not just swapping money back and forth all willy nilly and spending out of both of them on whatever. No. That’s a recipe for disaster in trying to not just keep track of the financials, but when you have to prove what you make in order to like get a loan or something like that, or if, heaven forbid you’re ever audited, it’s just not good. And if you’ve been doing it that way, that’s been your habit so far, alright, let’s just start doing better as soon as possible. So this week, you’ll the make the concerted effort that absolutely nothing personal is done with your business account and nothing for the business is handled with your personal account. Ok? And you’ll keep that up week after week. Make it a habit to always be mindful of where money is going to or coming from. And this brings me to….
#2 Pay Yourself Regularly
So yes, you can transfer money from a business account over to your personal account as an “owner draw” or “owner income” or however you want to mark it, but you should be paying yourself an actual income on a regular basis. Once a week, bi-weekly, monthly, whatever works best for you. And this should either be a set amount or a set percentage of your revenue or profits. Make it a habit to pay yourself. I see way too many therapists just transferring random amount of money over from their business account to their personal account whenever they have a particular bill to pay or something. No. Bad habit. Start the much better habit of just paying yourself like an employer would pay you. Your business account isn’t a piggy bank where you can grab whatever you want, whenever you want. You’re a business owner…act like it.
#3 Keep bills on the calendar
Go ahead and mark the entire year up with whatever utilities, rent, and whatever other regular payments you have to make on anything; it should all go into your calendar. These should never be surprises. Except for true emergencies, like your office floods or something, the vast majority of your business expenses are not surprises. You should never ben panicking because a bill is due that you forgot about. You’re always looking at your calendar and datebook anyway for appointments, so put your bills due in there. And this brings me to…
#4 Automate as much as possible
If you can set most of those bills to autopay, do it. If you can automate bank transfers to pay yourself, and even better, if you can automate a transfer to savings every week or month, DO IT! I get it, finances are not exactly fun for a lot of people, so make it easier on yourself. We live in a wonderful digital age where automation is at every turn. Use it as much as you can. It makes life a whole lot easier sometimes.
#5 Handle your finances every day
And you may hate me for this one. But seriously, every day you go into work, you should be doing something with your money. Whether that’s putting your sales entries into your bookkeeping spreadsheet or software, or checking to see what bills are due next week, or making a purchasing decision based on the upcoming schedule, whatever…in some way, handle your money every day. I’m not saying you have to spend an hour and scour through spreadsheets…like take 5 minutes and double check the balance on your bank accounts, balance your checkbook, put your sales entries in, whatever. If you can spend 5 minutes a day doing something, anything that gets at least a piece of your finances in front of you, you’re working your way into more financial stability. Because it’s not like you’re going to wake up one day and suddenly love finances and be a whiz at all the components. No. But ignoring it isn’t going to make it any better. It’s those small actions, that kind of small sensory exposure to it, so to speak, that can make it not seem so scary. Because honestly, I think most of the holdup, most of why so many massage therapists struggle with this aspect of their business, is because finances are made out to be this big, complex, scary thing. And they’re not. It’s actually pretty simple, and the more simple your business is, like a solo massage therapist who’s just performing services, it’s actually really straightforward. Track your sales. Track your expenses. Get a good program that can do some calculations for you so you can see some of those more intricate pieces of information a little easier, and that’s kind of it.
And I got something to help you with that to make it simple. Just last week I published an Excel spreadsheet that allows you to track stuff in a super simple format. You just enter each sale, enter each expense, and then it does all the calculations and stuff for you. You get to know all your financial figures and even your key performance indicators like profit and expense per session, and rebooking rate, and all of that stuff, without having to work it all up yourself. And there’s some charts and graphs to help you see it actually laid out in a visual format instead of a bunch of numbers that make you glaze over and stare in overwhelm. I’m a nerd. I like that data, but I know a lot of y’all hate it, so I made this for you. You’ll find it RIGHT HERE so go check it out, pay once and you can use it year after year. It’s not a subscription type thing. It’s just a spreadsheet.