Office work spaces are increasingly digitally focused. And while this shift has opened up innumerable opportunities for connecting with wider audiences and resources, it has enormously reduced our incentive to get up from our chairs and move away from our desks. From the administrative assistant to the CEO, all day long we interface with our computers. We communicate with co-workers online, we complete and share assignments online – we even tend to remain at our desks during break-times to check social media online! Many professionals will only stray from their desks long enough to refill their coffee mug.
And all of this sitting and typing adds up to serious muscle strain, back pain, sore necks, and even carpal tunnel. Graduates of massage therapy school often contract with businesses to provide on-site treatment to office workers, providing much needed relief from those repetitive daily tasks.
Since you take your service directly to the client, running a corporate massage business alleviates some of the overhead costs of joining a clinic and lingering concerns about entering clients’ private homes. But for the newly graduated registered massage therapist, attracting those first few corporate clients requires some clever strategizing.
Start with family and friends. Inquire about whether their place of work has an existing agreement with a corporate massage therapist. Offer introductory reduced rates, and once you’ve landed your first contract, initiate a referral bonus. Of course, a digital marketing strategy is also crucial, so set up a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account to advertise your skills, post photos of corporate clients (with their approval, of course) and build your follower base.
And don’t forget the value of volunteering. Local community events are the perfect place to market your expertise and expand your network by offering free chair massages. Have business cards or brochures on hand for corporate takers who could become your next big client.
Companies hire massage therapists to work within a range of contexts. Perhaps the most obvious is the office itself – as part of an employee incentive program, wellness initiative, or appreciation day. On-site office massage has been proven to reduce stress and improve productivity. But corporate MTs also provide services at conferences, trade shows and other industry events. These fast-paced settings are entirely different from a clinic or spa. Your massage therapy training probably emphasized the importance of a rigorous assessment protocol, a thorough 60 minute bodywork session, and a development plan for further treatment. And while connecting with your corporate patient is important, MTs should expect to provide not only assessment but also hands-on treatment, often in 30 minutes or less. Typically, a chair massage will last 15 minutes.
Because your clients are on-the-go, clothing is usually kept on and massage oils may not be used at all. Treatment is focused on the areas that the desk-bound complain of most: shoulders, neck, upper back, head and arms. MTs will travel with their own massage chairs and tables, and should enforce minimums when it comes to booking with clients. Some contracts stipulate 3 hour blocks or more per event, which should be enough time to fit in around 8-10 employees. Taking into consideration the time required for travel and the need to expand their client base, massage therapists should set minimums that best suit their particular situation.
What aspect of a corporate massage career do you find most compelling?