It can be easy to get caught up in throwing money at this or that…
This week, let’s talk about how you can be charitable in your massage practice without killing your business in the process.
I’ve talked to numerous massage therapists who really want to do good, to give back, to be charitable in their business. But the big trap that many of them fall into is that they try being so charitable that they end up unable to meet their own bottom line, not even able to stay afloat, much less really reach a point of success. They want to cater solely to low income individuals who can’t afford more than $20 for a session, or they want to give free massages to anyone in need. Now, it really is noble and wonderful if you’re wanting to be charitable in some way in your business, and give money, time, or service to those less fortunate. That’s awesome and admirable, absolutely. But you’re still a business and you can’t give give give, without still working to keep your business running and hopefully go beyond just scraping by, but also living well yourself.
I did an entire video just recently about the whole starving massage therapist syndrome. If you haven’t watched that one yet, I highly recommend it. I’ll put the link in the description for you.
Remember to really research a charity before you make a connection or partnership with them. If they ever come under scrutiny for misuse of funds or anything like that, a lot of people will give that same associated negative press to those affiliated with them. So just be sure you know the ins and outs of the charity and the mission they have so you can be certain you want that association.
So here’s some ideas of how you can be charitable in your practice and still stay in business…
#1 You could donate all your tips or a percentage of all sales to an organization close to your heart.
#2 Donate gift certificates or gift bags to a charity auction.
#3 Or what about holding food or clothing drives and even offering an incentive for clients to bring in non-perishables and clothing to get a discount or a free upgrade.
#4 Set aside a certain percentage of sales, or take donations directly that then go in a fund to provide days of service to those in need. Think of it like a savings account just for charity. For example, I knew a therapist who set aside 10% of all her sales, and once she had enough to equal out to a day’s worth of work, she would schedule a day just to go down to her local domestic violence shelter and provide massage for all the residents and employees. After a while she actually started doing this with some other professionals too. So there ended up being a hair stylist and nail tech as well who would go down with her and provide a big spa day for the ladies there at the shelter. It was a fantastic way to provide something really special, but they did it in this way so it wouldn’t eat too much into their bottom line, so they could make sure it stayed a normal activity at the shelter, because things weren’t too tight to afford a full day “unpaid” like that.
#5 You could host events at your office where local charities can also set up. So let’s say you want to host a workshop on infant massage for new moms. What about inviting a charity that helps low-income families with small children? You can donate some of the proceeds of the workshop, they can ask for donations, either monetary or supplies, and otherwise help spread the word about that non-profit organization and hopefully put some people in touch with them who may even need their services.
#6 If you have employees, part of their job may include working for some charitable benefit. So let’s say there’s a local event coming up to raise money for a non-profit; how about volunteering your employees to help work the event. If you’re going to require this of them as an employee, you’ll definitely have to pay them for that time, but who knows, your employees may want to volunteer their time unpaid as well.
Whatever ways you decide to donate your time or money to charitable causes, be sure that you’re doing it wisely. You have to be able to still pull in enough profit to keep your doors open and pay your own bills or you won’t be in business long enough to donate anything at all. The more you can bring in as a profitable business, the more you can donate. Don’t let a big heart destroy your business. Being successful and being charitable aren’t mutually exclusive.
One more note…remember to track your charitable donations so you can claim those on your taxes, by the way!