Running a massage clinic, by no means, is an easy task. You must strive to provide a high quality of service consistently while ensuring the safety and comfort of your clients (and your employees).
Things can get even more complicated if you run a franchise of massage clinics. In this article, we’ll take a look at five of the most critical areas that you need to focus on that can have a serious impact on your business success.
1. Cleaning and sanitation
Massage therapy involves intimate contact with clients’ bodies and skin. Proper hygiene and cleanliness are, therefore, absolutely indispensable in this industry. This is not just important for your business reputation but also from a compliance perspective. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have consistently been closing down spas and massage clinics that flout health and safety regulations.
As such, unclean premises, massage tables, linen, or towels can be extremely off-putting for clients. What’s more, these can amplify the spread of harmful microbes like bacteria, viruses, and fungi from one person’s body to the next. No wonder massage clinics with a reputation for high standards of hygiene are greatly sought after, especially since the recent pandemic.
Here are some guidelines you should enforce at your massage clinic to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation:
- Sanitize all work surfaces every day and before and after every session.
- Use eco-friendly disposable materials in the clinic as these make cleaning up much easier.
- Make sure that your staff starts their day in fresh and clean uniforms.
- Keep extra uniforms ready in case a massage therapist’s clothes get soiled during sessions.
- Make sure therapists rinse their hands regularly to avoid transmitting microbial infections.
- See to it that lubricants (like oils or lotions) are stored in tightly shut dispensers and that any spillage or excess material isn’t put back inside the containers.
- Massage therapists must also maintain very high standards of personal hygiene.
2. Branding and signage
Your brand is your identity. Cultivating a brand image is vital for large and small businesses alike. Branding can help to convey who you are, what types of services you provide, who could benefit from them, and what sort of experience your clients may expect from you.
A strong brand will help to boost your recognition among customers. It can also help build a positive perception of your business and increase conversions significantly. Plus, it can create consistent expectations among clients, reducing uncertainty, boosting trust, and creating more revenue opportunities. According to a report, 46% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for brands they trust.
When building your brand, there are essentially three areas that you must focus on: your message, your visual cues (logo, color scheme, fonts, tagline, etc.), and your service. Of these, service is the most critical element. This includes the quality of your work as well as the experience you create for clients.
A dingy, poorly-lit storefront with a small sign that people may need glasses to read can be detrimental to your business — no matter how great your quality of services may be. Here are some tips for creating a strong first impression and providing a superior client experience:
- Ensure that your massage clinic’s storefront is bright and well-lit.
- Keep your reception area clean, pleasant, and restful. Train your staff to greet clients and make them feel welcome upon entering.
- Install comfortable seating for clients who may need to wait for their appointment and ensure they have magazines to read as they wait.
- Play soothing music that complements the surroundings and creates a relaxing ambiance.
- Ensure that your front sign is big enough with large text (no fancy fonts!) that may be visible from the road even with a quick glance. Consider lighting it up at night (even if you’re not open) so that it catches people’s attention.
- Consider using pole banners, small sandwich signs, or sign spinners to increase your brand visibility.
- Make sure that the messages on your signs are simple and succinct with large, readable text.
- Also, use signage inside your clinic at various strategic locations to upsell additional services and/or products. Change them up at least once every month to display special offers and discounts, as repeat clients may become immune to the message otherwise.
- Use your logo and brand colors on your signs, uniforms, business cards, advertising, website, etc., to boost recognition.
3. Equipment and preferred vendors
At the bare minimum, you’re going to need the following to run a massage clinic:
- Massage tables and chairs
- Pillows, towels, and linen
- Oils, creams, and lotions
- Candles and music for ambiance
- Cupboards and other storage for supplies
- Equipment and supplies for washing linens and towels
You shouldn’t compromise on quality when it comes to your client’s safety and comfort.
For instance, for one-off purchases like massage tables, make sure they are sturdy and of high quality. They need to be strong enough to bear your clients’ weight and fit different body shapes and sizes. Also, make sure you can adjust the height as needed so your therapists can work in an optimal position.
Likewise, it’s a good idea to spend a bit extra on quality oils and lotions that are safe for your clients. Since these are to be applied directly to your client’s skin, you need to be extra careful and choose only the best materials.
Buy your equipment and supplies only from reputable dealers. Look up their reviews on the internet and social media, and buy your supplies only from vendors who consistently deliver great quality. Be on the lookout for discounts to save some money but avoid compromising on quality at all costs.
4. Franchisee and employee coaching
A consistent look and feel is a must if you want to establish a strong brand. This doesn’t just include your brand colors, symbols, and other visual cues but a holistic customer experience.
To that end, training your staff needs to be a top priority so they can deliver the best client experience at all times. If you run a franchise, you should also conduct regular training sessions for your franchisees so that they can stay on-brand and deliver consistent client experiences.
Technology and techniques in the spa/massage industry are constantly changing. So it’s important that your massage therapists continue to develop their skills and keep up with the latest trends through regular coaching.
Besides, adequate training is important for your staff’s well-being. Massage therapy is a physically demanding job, and giving four to five massages a day can cause serious injuries to therapists if they’re not trained in the right practices. Proper coaching is also important for their emotional and mental health, especially to avoid burnout.
Effective coaching also contributes to job satisfaction. It is a great way to invest in and enrich the skillsets of your staff which can motivate them to stay with you longer. This can help you avoid costs related to employee turnover which currently stands at $1 trillion per year for U.S. businesses.
5. New franchisee onboarding
Effective onboarding will help to set your massage clinic franchisees up for success. If you are able to provide comprehensive support to your new franchisees at the onset, only then can you expect them to serve your clients well and meet your brand standards appropriately.
It is essential that they understand and imbibe your core values. These can be communicated through proper training, sensitization, and induction sessions. Your franchisee staff needs to be well-versed in your business processes and service offerings.
An effective onboarding process reduces anxiety, miscommunication, and conflict. It helps to boost the morale of the franchisee, enhance customer engagement, avoid unnecessary disruptions, and contribute to the overall growth of your brand.
Here are some points to keep in mind when onboarding a new franchisee:
- Offer a formal induction process to the franchisee with plenty of rich material. This may include e-learning resources, software tools, and practical skills.
- Take thorough feedback from every franchisee you onboard to construct a closed learning loop for future onboarding.
- Ensure transparency and unambiguity while interacting with your franchisees to build trust and reliability.
- Have an advisory team in place to continuously guide and receive feedback from your franchisees.
If you’re running a massage clinic or franchise, you must consider and appreciate several factors. Most of these emanate from the fact that the industry is highly personalized, intimate, and experience-oriented. The need for hygiene, staff coaching, and choice of equipment can’t, therefore, be stressed enough. Imbibe these values into your business effectively, keep the client at the center of your focus, and watch your massage practice grow by the hour.
Plus, with Bindy’s customizable workflows, you can easily drive promotions, merchandising, and health and safety standards across each of your locations. Protect the customer experience, ensure cleanliness and sanitation, and ensure branding is on point — all from the same platform. Contact us today to learn more.
OTHER RESOURCES FOR CLINICS, GYMS AND SPAS
Refer to the Clinics, Gyms, Spas and Studios category for checklists, how-tos and best practices for the clinic, personal fitness, and spa industries.
About the author:
Francesca Nicasio is retail expert, B2B content strategist, and LinkedIn TopVoice. She writes about trends, tips, and best practices that enable retailers to increase sales and serve customers better. She’s also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores.