Imagine you have just set up a Porsche dealership in a new area.
It is about to open and you are finalising the prices of the cars (this probably never happens but lets stick with it an example). You check out other local car dealerships in the area and find your nearest is a Nissan dealership; you don’t really know how good those cars are, or how good the guarantee is but you think:
“Yes I will price match because they sell cars and I’m sure no-one in the area will pay any more”.
(FYI there is nothing wrong with Nissans’…I love my Nissan Qashqai, they just are a lot cheaper than a Porsche).
It sounds ridiculous as that would NEVER happen in the car industry.
Each car is priced on the quality of the car, and the service and experience you receive when purchasing your car. Yes there maybe regional differences in the cost, but they don’t compare to the business down the road.
It does sound odd, but this is exactly what happens in many massage businesses. When a therapist sets up a new business; many often do some research of what other massage therapists charge in the area and then think:
“oh about that is fine as I doubt people will pay more”.
If you have done this EXACT step but the price doesn’t really sit right with you; trust your gut. You are right!
Here are a few reasons why charging what you are worth and not what is expected will create a better business for you and better service for your clients.
You cover your costs with less hours of clients.
I have seen therapists charge £40 an hour in North London and work so hard with days filled with 9-10 hours of massage clients to be able to pay their bills and earn a salary. I always feel sorry for massage client number 9 or 10…they are definitely getting the raw deal and not getting what they expected or hoped from a massage. But also for the massage therapist; how exhausted will you be?
Imagine seeing less clients, but being able to give clients a better service? Or having the extra time to study and develop?
Work out your annual costs, how many hours you can (and also want to work) and that will give you your hourly rate. I’m sure the therapists who saw 9 clients probably hadn’t done this and just needed to work and work to earn a wage.
Also factor in the gradual increases of all of your costs? Massage supplied and petrol does not cost the same as it did 2 years ago!
Education, skills and expertise costs.
Have you ever worked this out? If you are like me; you haven’t but know you have spent A LOT on education from courses, books, online seminars along with hours spent reading, studying revising to help deliver a better service. Courses are an investment into your business and the more you invest, your price of treatment needs to reflect the skills you have learned and the expertise you have gained in the process.
Learning is important, but you need to be able to afford to do it.
An undervalued business owner may provide an underwhelming service.
If you are working your socks off to try and grow your business, but no matter how many clients come into see you, your income doesn’t really change? Would you feel undervalued in the service you are providing? And what about if you are working 10 hours a day to see clients and they aren’t really the types of clients you work with best, but they are the ones who are happy to pay that price? How undervalued would you feel then?
You never know the service the other local massage therapists provide.
Unless you have been to them; you never quite know the service the provide; the expertise they have or their financial situation either.
Just because they charge a certain amount doesn’t mean they are good or bad. But really it is none of our business. Every business owner has the freedom to decide on how they run their business and keeping focused on providing the best service for your clients and achieving your goals is more important than seeing what other therapists are doing.
If you are working with the types of clients that don’t make you feel excited and not enjoying your self-employed work; it is time to make a change. Charge what you are worth and what you need to earn to keep doing what you are doing and doing it well.
Want to know more about Massage Business? Check out this blog on 5 Massage Business Myths