Working from Home

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Working from Home

Post by kymass1973 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:34 am

I have been paying $425 a month for a room in a spa downtown. I chose this spa because they promised to help build my business with referrals, billboards, etc. So far I have only seen about 5 referrals, 4 of which the owner paid for their session. I was doing fine marketing myself. I went from 5 a week to 12 a week in a little over a year. I moved to this location, because it was downtown and visible, even though they dont even have a sign. It's been five months. About 90% of the new clients I have obtained since I start there, I got through marketing on my own baby budget. I am a male therapist, but I do have quite a nice little mix of blue and white colar clients. I have talked to my regulars. They would love to have me work on them at my home. With the $425 a month put back in my pocket, I feel that I could pay for all the marketing that was promised to me on my own. Thoughts? Opinions?

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Re: Working from Home

Post by Pete » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:01 am

Depending on where you are located and the amenities of the spa, $425/mo for a room seems quite reasonable - with or without marketing support from the spa. How busy is the rest of the spa? It's possible they're doing marketing that's not working but it's also possible that they over-promised and under-delivered when you came in 5 months ago. Regardless, if you're averaging 12/week at this point, it seems you're doing fairly well especially if your own marketing efforts are continuing to attract new clients.

While your EXISTING clients would be happy to come to your home, how would working from home affect your ability to attract NEW clients? I know a lot of MTs have home-based practices (something I've never done as I've always preferred to maintain separate office space away from my home) but I do know a lot of potential clients are put off by going to the MT's house - especially when the MT in question is male and the client is female.

There are other potential drawbacks as well, depending on your feelings toward privacy etc. which may or may not come into you really want total strangers coming to your home? would you go about marketing your practice? ...would you advertise your address?

I don't know your entire situation, but based on your post and my own opinions, I would probably stay at the spa and continue to build my practice there - UNLESS you are truly UNHAPPY being there.

Just out of curiosity - you mentioned you've been there for 5 months and your clientele has increased over the last year, but I'm curious how long you've been a MT...?

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Re: Working from Home

Post by cabwy » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:38 pm

Very good suggestions and view point, Pete. I agree with all of what you replied to the OP.

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Re: Working from Home

Post by JasonE » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:34 pm

Pete raised some excellent points!

Here's another: Most clients will NOT follow their MT to another location unless it is very, very close to the old location (within 1 mile or less). There are always exceptions to this, but I've seen MTs with a huge clientele go to a new location and lose all but 2-3 of their regulars, and/or see their regulars much less frequently. I have never seen an MT move to a new location and keep all of their old clientele.

Assuming that the new location is more than 1-2 miles away from the old location, I suggest that you plan to lose about 90% of your current clientele. That will help you plan for the financial realities. If you do better than that, GREAT! Either way, you'll need to have a plan for how to rebuild your client base and then expand it.
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Re: Working from Home

Post by squash_blsm » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:23 am

I don't know if there are actual stats regarding client retention with a move...but Jason makes a great point.
But from my own experience when I moved my location last year - and it was only about 10 minutes away - I lost 80% of my clientele. That was a HUGE shock! Losing just two weekly clients put a big dent in my income. Eventually some of them did finally come to my new location (unfortunately NOT the weekly clients) and I have gained some new clients, but honestly it was as if I was building my business from scratch!

The biggest downside to a home office - unless you can seperate your home so that the office has a seperate entrance and LOOKS like a business and not a home - is that a lot of people really don't feel comfortable going to a private residence. For some reason they feel better going to a "legitimate" business.
It's also more difficult to market your business - unless your word of mouth referrals are fantastic.
I do know some people that have done this successfully but I do not know any male therapists that have been able to pull it off.
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Re: Working from Home

Post by pueppi » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:44 am

I experienced something similar to squash_blsm in my own past and I agree, it was basically like starting over again in many ways:
pueppi wrote:
terab wrote:
pueppi wrote: I will tell you that some years ago I moved 3 blocks over and lost a good number of clients because of the traffic flow (-road traffic and where they were coming from. An extra 15 mins. on a drive from 45 mins. away was just too much for some people - and rightfully so. Just something to keep in mind - that you may loose some people in the move.) But, I gained a whole new base of clientele that has been really good to me. :)
i'm confused?? it takes your clients an extra 15 minutes to go 3 blocks? hmmmm... that must be a long 3 blocks -
Nothing to be confused about. You just need to see the traffic in the area I work in. :) Especially at lunch and after work. I don't work mornings, due to the traffic at that time can even be worse.

Since I have people come to me from as good as an hour-plus away, that small move of just a few blocks, put extra time on some people's drive. The ones who were coming for 20 mins. easily got bumped up to 35 mins. drive time, depending on what side of town they were coming from --- and so forth (just move the time frame up to an hour and you can see why some people would have to locate another therapist). Of course, there were other people coming from another direction that got time taken off of their drive, as I moved closer to the freeway. Oooh, ahh... they were happy.

We're in a location that is close to a few major freeways and a tollroad, so people can slip right in. But at the same time, a very busy portion of the city, so they can get stuck in traffic. Hard to explain, but not so hard to understand once you've been in the midst of it. :)

You may also like to read through this thread: Are you okay with coming to my home for your appointment?
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