Having a good idea of how many clients might use the services your practice provides will give you an idea how well your business will do in your area. You’ll also want to have a realistic estimation of how many massage therapists provide services to consumers in your area, as well.
One good place to start is with national patterns concerning consumer use of massage therapy—and we can help you understand these numbers. Access AMTA's industry and consumer reports so you have an idea of what consumers are saying about how massage therapy fits into their health and wellness.
For example, the AMTA consumer survey shows an average of 15 percent of adult Americans received at least one massage in 2014.
So, ask yourself: Do you expect local demand to be typical of the national average?
Crunching the Numbers
Keep in mind that estimating demand is not an exact science, and there is no one formula that is going to give you the right answer. But, to give you an idea of what to expect, try the following formula:
- Estimate the local adult population (total a)
- Then estimate the percentage of consumers who might purchase massage during a one-year period. For example, if you believe your local averages could match national averages, use 15 percent (total b)
- Multiply total a and total b, giving you the total number of potential clients (total c) Multiply total c by the number of hours of massage a client might receive per year. For this example, let's estimate 4.3 hours (total d)
- Divide total d by 52 weeks (number of week in one year). This number is the total potential client demand hours in one week.
More to the Story
Calculating numbers alone isn't going to tell you the whole story. You also need to consider anecdotal information, such as how many people you know in the area who might become your clients? Do you have an idea of how receptive your community is complementary and alternative health approaches? Knowing this information will help you get an even better grasp on what you might expect in terms of client demand.
Remember, however, that these numbers need to be compared to how many practicing massage therapists, spas, franchises and other massage establishments you have in your area. Without this comparison, you won’t have an accurate idea of your potential client base.