December 2005 Massage Marketing Newsletter

Help Your Practice Newsletter

December 14, 2005
Volume II, Issue 6

Welcome to the Help Your Practice Massage Marketing Newsletter! My name is Michael Humphreys, cofounder of Help Your Practice.

Each month, Help Your Practice will be coming to your email inbox with the latest Help Your Practice news, special offers and great massage business tips that can help you create the massage practice of your dreams.

**** Announcing: Instant Massage Marketing ***

Imagine if you could take proven massage marketing pieces and just add your own name and contact information… Well, imagine it no more!

Michael has taken some of the most successful massage marketing pieces from his own massage practice to create Instant Massage Marketing.

To learn more about Instant Massage Marketing, go to: http://www.helpyourpractice.com/instant-massage-marketing.htm

*** Goal Setting Monthly Tip *** By Eric Mitchell, C.S.C.S.

Last month, we talked about Work. This month we are going to talk about not one goal setting word, but three!

At this time of year, I feel it is appropriate to talk about some words that will affect you now and for the rest of your life.

Most people are familiar with making some “New Years Resolutions”.

However, do we really follow the “resolutions” throughout the rest of the year? What about for the rest of our lives? We mean to do it, but somehow we get off-track.

Help Your Practice recognizes the desire for fresh starts to each year but we also see the need to maintain some discipline, in order to create the brilliant future you desire.

Of course, we are not here to merely give you a pep talk like those that most positive thinking programs promote. We want you to really look at the three words that are critical to the development of your business and your life.

Let’s start with the first word.

1.) PAST

Everyone can look at their past and see where they have come from. What we can learn from those past events and the learning that came from those experiences.

However, we know how dangerous focusing only on the past can become. You need to get away from thinking about the “what ifs” and “should have beens” from the past. Let the past stay in the past. Learn the lessons the
past had to offer and move forward!

That leads into our next word.

2.) FUTURE

I’ve deliberately put the word “future” next because that is where our mind goes when we start to think about where we want our business to go. It’s what we are planning when we sit down and write down our “New Years Resolutions”.

The future is the big payoff!

The future lifestyle, the future business growth, and so on…. However, when we begin to dream about the future we would like, we can lose focus. Our focus moves away from the real development of our business. The steps to reaching success can become obscured.

The future needs to be something that we can grasp now. How are we going to reach that future we want to have? What steps will we take?

You should think about the future, but keep in mind the third and most important word of your life…

3.) THE PRESENT

Now we are talking!

Businesses are built in the present. Life happens in the present moment. Our present is effected by what we have learned in the past.

This is an important point and I will say it again:

Our present is shaped by what we have learned in the Past.

What we do in the present moment creates our future. We can have no future if we do not take what we learned from the past and use it in our present life.

So here is our commitment to you:

In 2006, we are committed to take the lessons we have learned from our business past and pass them along to you. We hope you will be able to learn from these lessons and create a more prosperous future for you.

Here is the commitment we ask from you:

Stay in the present moment. Learn from your past and others peoples’ pasts too. Work hard to create a better future for yourself!

Monthly Massage Marketing Tip *** By Michael Humphreys

Here’s one practice building tool I’ve used more than once over the years: Barter.

When I first opened my massage therapy center, I was both excited and scared.

Construction costs had been more than I planned. It was looking like I might not have enough money to pay the general contractor to finish the construction and pay the business rent, which was due in about a week.

If the contractor didn’t finish the work, I couldn’t get the city business permits and officially open. Worse, I still had to pay the rent, whether I could officially use the office space or not.

I went to a trusted business advisor for help. Taking her advice, I talked to the contractor and he agreed to take half of the money I still owed him in barter instead.

It was a huge help and I was able to open my massage therapy center after all.

Before this experience, I had always frowned on barter. I would think, “It’s just something people who don’t have any money do to get stuff” or “Only cheap people would use barter instead of just paying cash for it”.

I was dead wrong.

I learned that at different times with most businesses, the amount of cash you have available to pay bills (also known as ‘cash flow’) could be pretty tight. Barter is one way to pay for products or services that you need
without using the cash that you have remaining.

What types of products or services have I bartered?

I shared with you how I used barter to cover part of my business construction costs.

Here are seven other things I’ve bartered for. I hope this may spark some creative ideas for you.

1. A Business logo (A client’s wife who is a graphic designer treated her hubby to a series of massages in return for creating a logo for me. It saved me $300.)

2. My massage therapy center’s first website ($600 worth of barter, which the web designer took over 2 years to use. He also used his barter credits to treat four other people to massages.)

3. Secretarial Help (I needed a lot of typing done and had a client who was a full-time Secretary with a chronically sore neck.)

4. Advertising (The advertising rep offered to do a 50% barter on the price of a series of ads. I took him up on that offer!)

5. Receptionist Phone Coverage (I was going on vacation and needed some additional coverage, but didn’t want to hire a temporary worker.)

6. Article in an upscale gardening center’s print newsletter (We swapped articles. He wrote an article on Using Feng Shui on Your Garden. My article was on Massage For Seasonal Allergy Relief.)

7. Gift Certificates With A Computer Consultant (I gave five of his certificates to some of my best clients and he did the same with five of his customers.)

Help Your Practice cofounder Eric Mitchell has done barter for website design, business stationary and cards, and even a used computer!

A couple pointers for doing barter:

Both parties have to trade equal items or equal value. If you are bartering services, try trading hour for hour. If you are bartering value, both parties should use their normal “retail” price. If you normally charge $60 per hour and pay your staff $30 per hour, then you would barter $60 for each hour of your service traded.

Keep the deal honest and fair. Aim for a deal where everybody wins. When I bartered for Secretarial services, my client was earning $15 per hour at her daytime job. She suggested that we barter 4 hours of secretarial work for each hour of massage ($60 was our rate at that time).

      At the urging of the “Help Your Practice Lawyers”, I’m mentioning this last point. The Internal Revenue Service views barter as a “taxable transaction”. Any barter transaction is supposed to be reported on each party’s tax returns, as a form of independent contract work (1099-B). If you aren’t sure how to report any barter that you do, check with your accountant or tax attorney.

        Of course, if you do not work in the U.S., this last point may not apply to you. And you didn’t subscribe to this massage marketing newsletter to get tax or legal advice!

        In closing, use barter to gain the products or services you need to grow your business when you can. It can give you more bang for your business buck and everybody involved in the barter wins.

        Got A Success Story You Would Like To Share?

        Drop Michael an email at mike@helpyourpractice.com and tell him how Help Your Practice has helped your massage business.

        That’s all for this month. On behalf of Eric, we’ll look forward to talking with you next month.

        Seize The Day,

        Michael Humphreys
        Help Your Practice

        P.S. Do you know someone who would enjoy reading this newsletter?

        Please forward this newsletter to them and help share the wealth! Better yet, use the “Recommend Us” page on our website (http://www.helpyourpractice.com) to tell them about Help Your Practice.

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