The Franchise Environment
You won’ t need to worry about marketing, finding referrals, scheduling or getting clients in the door as a franchise massage therapist. Therefore, you can focus solely on massage and your clients not the paperwork, scheduling, laundry and other tasks that fall on the shoulders of a sole practitioner. The franchise will generally provide all of the supplies you need. And, working with a team of other massage therapists can provide a sense of community and a shared vision.
The franchise environment can also offer you with the unique opportunity to diversify your expertise and learn from massage therapists who come from a vast array of backgrounds. And, franchises with membership options aid in reinforcing an idea you’re already confident sharing: that regular massage is essential to overall health and wellness. What’s more, the level of national advertising conducted by franchises helps to reinforce the benefits of massage to millions of consumers.
Education: Massage therapists reported using an average of eight modalities, with Swedish massage, deep tissue, chair, trigger point and hot stone rounding out the top five practiced. In general, massage therapists in a franchise environment are expected to have a basic massage therapy skill-set, along with a professional attitude. Also, consider the licensing rules for your state, and make sure you're in compliance.
Personality: The desire to work as part of a team, confidence and communication skills are all key qualities that a franchise owner will look for in potential employees. Being able to communicate with a variety of people—from fellow employees to management to clients—is imperative in this work environment.
In addition, you'll need to understand the franchise model, so consider doing some research on the franchise's specific brand. Visit the franchise's website and see the client experience they're trying to create. Or, visit a location and get an idea of the franchise from a client's perspective.
Schedule: Be prepared to honestly answer the question about how many massages you think you can perform per week during the interview. The massage-only focus of the franchise model ensures that you will spend most of your time at work practicing what you're trained to do—massage. Many massage therapists report performing 20 to 30 massages per week, so you really need to keep self-care practices in mind. From time to time, you might also be asked to fill in for a massage therapist who is ill, or be asked to change your schedule, so being flexible will help you stand out in this team-oriented environment.
Getting the Job
The resume: When it comes to your resume, one size doesn’t always fit all. For a position in a franchise, you will want to emphasize any experience you have that involved working directly with clients and within a structured, professional environment. As always, include any special certifications you hold and the continuing education courses that you have completed. Proofread your resume for errors and typos before applying to any position. Better yet, ask a peer who has worked within a franchise for tips on what will make your application stand out amongst other candidates.
The interview: Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer: What are your strengths? What areas would you describe as things you could improve on and what are you currently doing to work on those areas? What type of management style do you prefer? What has worked best for you in the past? Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult client and explain how you handled it. How many massages are you comfortable providing in a day? Why, specifically, do you want to work at this company?
Questions to ask the Interviewer: How would you describe the culture at this company? What are some skills you’re looking for that aren’t listed in the job description? What kind of training would be available to me? What do you like best about working for this company?
A diversified skill-set, strong communications background and a well-documented work history can help open many doors for you. Or, you might decide to pursue a management position in a franchise, perhaps even opening your own franchise location. Strong teamwork skills, business savvy and a good work ethic will help you stand out in any environment. No matter which direction you decide to pursue, your time spent practicing within a franchise setting can have a positive impact on future job prospects.
For more information, and to hear from both employees and managers in a franchise environment, visit the Career Guidance section.