Growing Your Practice: Marketing Plan Basics
Developing and implementing an effective marketing plan can go a long way in establishing and growing your massage therapy practice.
Goals and Objectives
Developing a marketing plan requires that you first develop clear goals and objectives. A goal states your overall values and your mission. An objective is a measurable statement of your goals.
When you start your massage business, you will probably have at least one goal that pertains to finding new clients. As your business develops, your new goal might refer to retaining existing massage clients as well as finding new ones. Your goals might also describe the type of client you want to work with and your commitment to continuing education and the massage therapy profession.
Every goal should have at least one objective that describes how and when you intend to achieve your goal.
Goal: Establish my massage client base.
Objective: By the end of the first six months, have at least six regular clients who book monthly appointments.
Goal: Develop a specialty in sports massage.
Objective: At the end of this year, at least 75% of my clients will be athletes who require sports massage.
Goal: Take enough continuing education to maintain my massage license.
Objective: Earn 12 CE credits each year for four years in order to recertify (48 CE credits at the end of four years).
Goal: Stock my massage room with equipment to aid my clients' health and comfort.
Objective: Budget $300 per quarter to purchase items like bolsters and heating pads.
Strategies and Tactics
A strategy describes your overall plan for reaching your massage business goals. A tactic describes the tools you will use to carry out your strategy. Both are driven by your marketing plan's goals and objectives.
To develop your strategies, ask yourself the question, "How will I go about meeting my goals and objectives?"
- There are many methods you could use for attracting clients, so you need to think about what methods you'll choose?
- If you want to develop a clientele in sports massage, you will want to choose a strategy for reaching those prospective clients.
- If you want to earn 12 CE credits of continuing education this year, your strategy describes the plan for reaching your goal.
Once you have decided which strategies are best for your massage therapy business, you'll need to decide on the details of the final action plan for carrying out your strategy. Your tactics should be detailed and specific. Examples of tactics are:
- Create a marketing brochure or website that describes the benefits of sports massage, your credentials, your business hours and your contact information. Send the information to local college athletic departments and rehabilitation clinics.
- Take continuing education tailored to your massage therapy goals, such as AMTA online CE courses and AMTA National Convention.
Work Your Plan
Once you've developed your goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, you're ready to put your plan into action. Check the results of your plan to see if it's allowing you to meet your goals, at least quarterly. If the plans you've made are meeting or exceeding your expectations, that's great. If they're not producing the results you anticipated, make adjustments. Measure the return on investment (ROI) of your massage business marketing plan.