At the very least, your business needs an informal set of guidelines to function efficiently and to ensure fair treatment of clients and employees or contractors. Every business owner needs to take time to consider which policies are necessary, how detailed they must be, and how strictly they must be enforced.
Business policies set the parameters of your practice, including general operation hours and financial structure, for example. Some areas where you might want to establish policies include:
- Adherence to a stated code of ethics
- Adherence to stated standards of practice
- Days and hours of business operation
- Confidentiality policies (between massage therapists and clients; between massage therapists and other professionals; between employer and employee)
- Fee structure
- Discount policy
- Acceptance of credit cards (or not)
- Safety and security
Control vs. Flexibility
Setting policies allows you to control how you run your business and make decisions you believe are in the best interest of yourself, your clients and your employees. When establishing policies, start from the idea of how each practice can benefit your business. Promise yourself to revisit all of your policies on an annual basis, if not biannual basis, and don't be afraid to change what isn't working.