skip to Main Content

A Full Book of Massage Clients Does Not Equal Success

It’s yet another tough love session today guys. A whole lot of business advice thrown around is solely centered on getting clients in the door and getting a full book. I mean, a common question I see all the time is “how do I get more clients?” or “what marketing worked for you?” and things like that. But getting clients on the books doesn’t make you successful. I see a whole lot of seemingly “successful” people who are absolutely floundering; a lot of “fully-booked” therapists who are barely pulling in enough income to keep their bills paid; and a lot of “6-figure” massage practices whose owners are barely above the poverty line on personal income. So no, a full book does not make you successful. A full book does not make your business profitable. A full book does not guarantee you make a good income. A full book does not mean you have a healthy, sustainable business.

So, a few months ago I started offering business consultations. It’s not coaching, and I’m sincerely not trying to sell you on it here, that’s not what this is for. But it’s in these one-on-one consults that I sit with therapists, and I get a deep look into the back-end of their businesses so I can help them fix things; for most, I’m looking over their financial records for 6 months, a year, 5 years sometimes. I’m calculating all their metrics and relevant financial info, and really digging into the nitty gritty stuff. And to be completely honest, in all of the ones I’ve done so far, there are only a handful that I could readily say were financially healthy, where the business was well taken care of AND the owner was actually making a good income, despite the majority being booked pretty solidly.

Now, I know, in the growth and expansion phases income can take a hit and there’s a lot of situational nuances to all this, but let me give you a little peek at what I mean. Over several different consults with solo and multi-therapist establishment owners, all with books filled at least 2-4 weeks in advance, the average personal income was less than $25,000 per year, some as low as $12,000 per year. And that’s owner payout, you know before personal income tax.

If they worked 40 hours per week, which let’s face it, many business owners do more than that between hands-on hours and business management hours, but let’s say 40 per week, and took 2 weeks off each year, that’s a standard 2,000 hour work-year. If they’re making $25,000 a year, that’s $12.50/hr. $12,000 a year equals $6/hr.

Let that sink in for a minute.

So let me say it again. A full book does not make you successful. A full book does not make your business profitable. A full book does not guarantee you make a good income. A full book does not mean you have a healthy, sustainable business.

Know your numbers.

Break this down for yourself.

If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your business. So get serious about making this a business, not an expensive hobby.

And yes, if you need one-on-one help, I’m happy to be that person to walk you through it all because a lot of people are just completely overwhelmed with the prospect of even looking at all these numbers much less doing the calculations and coming to terms with the necessary next moves. Check out the Business Consultation Service. Whether you do that with me or someone else or want to do it yourself, just do it. Get a grip on your numbers so you’re building a truly successful business, not just a full book.

Savanna Bell LMT

Hey there! I'm a massage therapist, educator, writer, and business pro helping massage therapists around the world build successful businesses. My goal is to give you everything you need to start, run, and grow a profitable massage practice that supports a life you love, all without the headaches I went through learning how to do it myself.

Back To Top