Tired out but still have another two clients to see before the day finishes? You know you should have said no to that extra appointment, but you can’t let your client down can you, it’s the only time they could do it.
The times I used to do that. I was doing mobile massage, literally running from one appointment to another, cancelling any breaks I had in the day to fit someone in because I didn’t want to let them down. But truly I was not doing me or them any favours. How can I give my best service to my client if I’m worn out?
I fell asleep once on my client! Thankfully, he was face down on the couch. I was massaging his back and felt myself go, I was exhausted, the chill-out music was sending me into a trance, and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. My reflexes kicked in just in time for me not to physically fall on top of him! He probably just thought, “that’s good pressure” as my body weight rained down!
Clients would tell me I looked tired, but I would just brush it off and say work was busy but I’m okay. In hindsight, I believe I also lost a client because of it. She gave another reason for wanting to change to a different therapist but to be honest, I hold my hands up and admit that my massaging had probably become a little stale. I was always rushing off somewhere else after I had seen her, she may have thought, quite rightly, that I wasn’t giving her my undivided attention.
We need to look after ourselves as well as look after our clients and to give them the best possible attention. Do you need to rethink your diary and how many appointments you are trying to fit into a day or a week? How many people do you need to see?
Look at the bigger picture. Work out sensibly how many clients you can see but which also allows you non-appointment time for all the other aspects of your business but importantly factor in time for a life outside of work.
This is where having a basic business plan comes in useful.
- How much do you want to earn per year?
- How many clients can you reasonably see in a week, allowing for downtime and other non-appointment time? Work out how many clients that is in a year (don’t forget to factor in holiday time)
- Divide the amount you want to earn by the number of clients and that should give you a ballpark figure of how much you should be charging your clients.
For example, say you want to earn £22,500 per annum, working 45 weeks to allow for time off, that means you need to be earning around £500 per week. If you see 10 clients in a week, that works out to £50 per client which for a 1-hour treatment is probably a reasonable figure.
You may also have other income streams available to you i.e. sales of essential oils or other products, or teaching?
The important thing is to think about what you would like to earn and then work backward to make sure it’s realistic. This way you are less likely to squeeze in extra clients and burn yourself out worrying about money. And to be honest, most clients are understanding, if you cannot fit them in, they will wait until you can see them.
How do you work out how much you want to earn and how many clients you see in a week? I’d love to know the different ways people work.