Automation and small business

Hello again.  Business is booming and I hope it is for you all as well!

As the business grows, I am running into a time warp every time I have to do the books. Going, Going Gone!!   Looking into quick books, anything Intuit, specialty software and all the like; nothing seems just right to “fit” by business needs.

I’ll name a few thoughts and maybe by some strike of lightning, someone may have an answer or have gone through the same.

  1. Online booking.   I have a mobile massage business so time to travel is HUGE. I can always just block an hour here and there but my next client may be 10 minutes away and another 30 minutes and now I have lost a TON of time and potential revenue by not being able to accommodate this need and potential lost customers that prefer to schedule online vs calling.  No good!  Google maps; please come to my rescue and make me an “app for that”.
  2. Online purchases for gift cards, packages and more.  Isn’t there just an easy system without “E-Commerce?  I jut want to let people go one, purchase, $ in the bank and I send the certificate.  Done.  I have tried PayPal but just wasn’t a good fit for me….this is a tough one.  hmmmm
  3. Automation with any bookkeeping software.   I suppose having a unique business is a good thing, but I really don’t like to do all those spread sheets and computer work.  I know it will be inevitable and I know I can pay a TON to use some of the software out there but really…my business just is not there yet.  I am hoping that when I write to my current software and register app people and make those comments to “better the app”  that maybe some engineers brain will get the light bulb and create something close to what I am seeking.

All in all, having a unique business is great and exhilarating and fun…but sometimes I think technology just isn’t there for me just yet.

Thought and comments please…

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Make it or break it

Many people have different reason for getting a massage but I want to know…What is it about the experience that makes you go back to a certain individual or place?  What makes the massage or breaks the experience for you?

Took the plunge

Good afternoon!  Well, I took the plunge! I worked with a lawyer and came up with a contract and hired my first independent contractor.

This has been a thrilling and scary experience for sure.  I mean, I have spent countless hours and years building clients and setting up a legit business…and now I have to go on my instincts from the interview, different forms of paper (diploma, insurance and such) and a demo massage to trust that this new massage therapist isn’t going to somehow disrupt the momentum I have built in growing my business.  Scary right? I mean, she has to make everyone love her and give a killer massage as not not kill my main form of marketing…Word of mouth!

Taking a breath…

The exciting part…well, I can finally give some incoming clients to her and not work myself to death like I have been.  AND I can focus on other areas of business that I just haven’t had the time to like marketing and online presence as well as learn from another therapist and develop a good working relationship with someone.  All good things!

What are some of your experiences in hiring, be it in the massage business or not…I want to know what are your positive and negative thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Employee vs Contractor?

As a growing mobile massage business, being able to hire is important.  Employee vs contractor is the question.  Making sure you fit the criteria for differentiation between the two can be an important decision and if your wrong, could be very very costly!! AND there are different rules; state and federal to help you legally make the determination. 

Some wonderful resources I found to help in this decision was through SCORE, my lawyer and also my states website search option.  

I had some help with a lawyer for drafting the actual contract, as this is the way I decided I would go.  This can be costly up front but well worth all the trouble you may be in if it isn’t written correctly!  I can’t stress enough that you need to have EVERY detail of your partnership expressed or trouble will be looming for either you or your contractor. It protects you both! 

I’d like to hear from you…

What has been your experiences with hiring a contractor or employee?  How did you come to draft your contract? And any other comments and/or questions? 

 

Massage Licensing In Minnesota

Hello again,

As a massage business owner, I face a specific challenge in MN because I choose to go to my clients home vs have a studio.

In MN, and one of the last few states at that, do not require state licensing; it is however regulated at a municipal level…city by city.   One of the reasons this is such a challenge for me is because I provide a valuable service of doing a professional massage in many cities in the metro area but I legally am bound to go through many background checks, $1000’s for separate licenses each year and it really is impossible!   So I have changed my service area to a few choice cities…what else can I do right?

Massage therapy is a real profession!  We take countless hours in class learning about anatomy, physiology and perform hundreds of hours practicing so when we are in the “real world”, we know how to safely treat a client.  We also have a professional organization and can take national licensing exams as well as continuing our education like any other health care profession.   So, the question remains, why do so many people believe massage that massage holds value in our health, can be preventative against many ailments that require medications, surgeries and on and on and yet, even those legislators that receive massage regularly, not want to regulate massage therapy at a state level?

To me this would mean, recognition of accomplishment, like any other hard earned degree; which would also wean out the so called “masseuse” that is not educated and is performing “those” kinds of massages.  Another thought would be that with more regulations, the massage industry would be more recognized by the insurance companies. Even though Obama has made this a requirement, the reimbursement is so minimal it isn’t worth the time to file a claim;I think we would have more negotiation capabilitiesif this were the case.

These are just some of the things that have been whirling around in my head this last month or so.   Please please comment and lets get this conversation booming; we may even find some ways to progress our profession!

New Beginnings

Hello and welcome!

As a new massage business owner, massage therapist for 10 years, and practicing physical therapist assistant, I am finding that I want to share more and more about the highs and lows of these endeavors. I’d like to learn from others ideas in posts, share feedback and constructive criticism in hopes that as professional therapists, we can further the profession of massage therapy, make the money we are worth and love life in love with what we do!

I am looking forward to sharing all kinds of news about health, business and new/old/up and coming tips and tricks to make us all better therapists!