Massage Therapists: How to make money during the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you’re a massage therapist reading this you are probably out of work right now, either because you’ve been forced to shut by your government or you’ve chosen to close the doors for safety reasons.

It seems like everything has changed in the blink of an eye… and maybe nothing on your goals board seems relevant any more.

But now is not the time to panic, which will only get in the way of you making the best decisions for your future. While it’s completely understandable to pick up on the chaos around us, your best move is to channel that anxious energy into something productive.

So what do you do now?

First thing is – know that you will get through this!

It’s not going to be easy, but believe it or not… no matter how stressful it might seem along the way… this disruption will pass and we’ll come out the other side into a “new normal”.

The new normal might look a little different to the old normal, but the important thing is that in a few weeks or months we’ll be back to being relatively stable again. Your business will be able to open back up and we’ll be back to dealing with the same challenges we were focussed on before this.

It’s like we’re being forced onto a detour right now to avoid an accident up ahead – we might have to take a few rough roads to get around it, but after it passes we’ll be able to re-route back onto the highway.

So your choice right now is about what you do in the meantime as we are “re-routing”.

And that’s where our new tool comes in, to help you choose.

The Business Disruption Bento BoxTM

There’s basically FOUR options you have as you face disruption in your business right now.

Massage Business Disruption Bento Box

1. Reposition

These are the options you have to make money that are targeted at your existing client base or niche and might be extensions to things you’re already doing in your business. They can be started relatively quickly, and they allow you to keep connecting and serving your clients and community.

  • Online consultations – While it’s difficult to see how massage itself could happen remotely, if you perform other modalities that are less manual you may be able to move into “telehealth” online consultations. Think of services like Physio, Naturopathy, Ayurveda or even energy work like Reiki.
  • Products – if you have products you supply, you can offer online purchasing and delivery
  • Develop a short online program – think about the main benefits you give your clients and see if you can develop a simple way to create some of the same benefits through online. The technology can be as simple as using a closed Facebook group and doing a daily presentation in there for a set number of days (eg 7 days or 21 days).

These will all be priced differently and the reality is that it will be difficult to get back to your previous income level using the above tactics in a short space of time. But even if you’re not going to become a millionaire from them, all of these options could create some income immediately and may become long-term assets that can continue to make you money after things return to normal.

2. Pivot

Pivoting means using your skills and talents in a different way that isn’t going to build your business at all but makes you some money on the side. For example by getting a part-time or casual job for the near future.

The advantage to this is that if you can get another job it will be easier to make a steady income that can carry you through business closure. The downside is that this isn’t building your business at all so when we do get back afterwards you might have a little more catching up to do.

3. Strengthen

Rather than doing something new, you may choose to spend this time working on things in your business that were on your plan already but that don’t involve hands-on work.

You can be working “on” the business over this period so that when we come out the other side you have stronger foundations in your business and can bounce back quicker.

This is a great option if you’ve got tasks you’ve been putting off forever – because you can’t use the excuse “I’m too busy working” right now!

Think about tasks like:

  • Website design or upgrade
  • Procedure manual
  • Rebranding
  • Clinic makeover
  • Marketing foundations – eg niche, marketing principles

4. Contract and shrink

Basically, the fourth option is to do nothing on your business at all! Watch Netflix, eat corn chips, let your fingernails grow…

The reality is that this is the default option for some people, but it’s not building any value into your own life or that of others.

In fact if this is all you do, your business will contract and it will mean starting from the back foot when the doors open again.

One of our clients commented that she is planning to take the “procrastinate” option 1 day a week, while she works on her business for the other 6 days. Seems like a good balance to me!

Next Steps

So what are you planning to do from here?

Will you be Repositioning, Pivoting, Strengthening or Shrinking?

If YOU want to turn this time into the best opportunity it can be for your business…

Right now we have super-low “Isolation Relief” payment plans on all our programs so that you can afford to work ON your business (even if you’re relying on gov payments right now).

Click here to book a call with us and see what the options are.

4 replies
  1. Karen
    Karen says:

    To revise my website, redesign my clinic space, finish some studies and continue on with others.
    Start writing a course or 2 that I will be providing online and face to face.
    Start a mailchimp newletter to my clients.

  2. Satya
    Satya says:

    My business has relied on tourists. Tourists feed locals around me who, when they feel they have the money in turn patronize me. We have had a year very low on tourists both overseas and local so there has been a low flow-on. I was inclined to allow both sides of my therapy business to wind back a bit as we have come from drought, fire, floods and now the virus impacting us.and take more time in the garden as its been a very stressful last year here and at least if I am growing food it cuts my costs.
    I work in an airy, non-airconditioned (so no aircon to spread viruses). I stopped using oil (so that wasn’t spreading viruses either) and my hygiene has always been good. But being ordered to close by government has really pissed me off because of its cart blanche attitude to closing remedial massage therapists v letting physios and chiros have free reign etc.
    So what did was move into best action as I can foresee – TELEHEALTH and market my skills as best can.
    But where do people look for telehealth?
    On the net where do they look?
    How to make the new connections?

    • Elicia
      Elicia says:

      Hey Satya – the best place to start is with your existing clients. Email or message them all with a “Now doing online consultations!” style message. They already know you and are used to regular treatments so some of them will be itching to do whatever they can with you already :)


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