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In this Post: As great as membership programs can be, you may want to reconsider package deals in your massage practice for the time being. Here’s why…
Package deals or membership programs are an excellent way to ensure your clients continue to rebook, get the self-care they need, and quickly infuse your wallet. But, you may want to reconsider package deals in your massage practice for the time being.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are huge benefits to these types of programs, and I think they can serve key roles in building a business at the appropriate time.
There have been many times when I have pushed package deals hard! When I was building up and needed cash infusions fast. Times when I knew that it was WAY better to sell packages than take out a loan from the bank! Times when I had PLENTY of time and energy to redeem mass amounts of treatments.
But… I’m not sure right now is that time!
Some Reasons You May Want to Reconsider Package Deals in Your Massage Practice for the Time Being
- You make less money per massage. After being in the biz for a while, I’ve realized that you don’t HAVE to discount your services to keep people coming through your doors. Have good hands-on and customer service skills can ensure repeat bookings far more reliably than series offerings!
- It complicates things in the event you ever want to discontinue a client/therapist relationship. And guys, sometimes we want to terminate therapeutic relationships. Maybe because the client seems to be falling in love with us, or their energy drains us, OR they just visited a HOT SPOT, and we don’t want to catch a virus! These are all good and VALID reasons for wanting to “fire” a client. But, having a package looming overhead makes it that much harder!
- If something catastrophic happens, like your break your leg, you get shut down because of a world-wide pandemic, or you want to stop being a massage therapist you may be indebted to a lot of people!
COVID and Package Deals
When I temporarily closed my doors on March 16th, I had around $30,000 in outstanding packages and gift certificates. To say this stressed me out would be an understatement!
Now of that $30,000, about half of this had been purchased over five years ago. And while this helps ease the burden, in my state, gift certificates are not allowed to have expiration dates. So, while the chances are slim that many of these massages will ever be redeemed, they might!
At that, my friends is the type of stuff a girl can lose sleep over!
When my state allowed massaging to resume, and I did not yet feel comfortable opening my doors, I reached out to therapists who were comfortable. One’s who could help me redeem some of these massages.
We agreed on a set payment for each massage redeemed, figured out a payment system, and updates the website and other social media to reflect these changes.
And as these outstanding debts began to trickle in, I felt good knowing my clients were getting the treatment they had already paid for and desired even though I had not yet reopened.
But, this also meant paying others while my doors were still closed. Less than ideal!
So, as clients began to inquire about purchasing gift certificates and package deals to “help me out” before I resumed practicing, I was reluctant to accept their offers.
Suspending Package Offerings for the Time Being
And, I decided to suspend my package offerings.
Like any change, it was hard at first to explain this to my clients, but I intend to bring them back at some point. I genuinely feel they enable and ensure clients come more frequently. But with so many uncertainties in our current environment, I don’t feel comfortable being indebted in this way.
As I reopen my practice, I want to be in a position where I can quickly exit if need be! I want to be able to be nimble and SMART. I want to know that I am making decisions for the right reason, not just because I have massive liabilities hanging over my head!
So, for the near future, it will be pay-as-you-go. No packages. And this helps me sleep a little more soundly at night!
And you know what else, I’m not going to hate being paid full price for my massage services!
As great as package deals can be, you may want to pause them as well! Right now are stressful times, and having debt (whatever type) is never a good feeling! You can reduce your stress by eliminating this offering.
How are you handling gift certificates and packages in your massage practice these days? Please share! I’d love to know!!!
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008