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Economic Slowdown Shows Impact on Massage Therapists, But Adapting Practitioners Find New Opportunities

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                Economic Slowdown Shows Impact on Massage Therapists, But
                Practitioners Find New Opportunities
                Trends observed by My Receptionist indicate positive benefits with a broader b

                09.18.2009 – EAU CLAIRE, WISC. – The flagging economy has taken its toll on
                small business owners nationwide during the last year, and massage therapists              Twitter Pitc
                appear to be no exception, according to call volumes observed by My Receptionist. A        Massage ther
                                                                                                           economy, but
                front office support partner specializing in call answering and appointment
                                                                                                           their business
                scheduling, My Receptionist also noted that practitioners willing to adapt have seen
                benefits to diversifying their business, as well as their approach.                        News Facts
                                                                                                             The econom
                Serving more than 400 independent and multi-therapist practices, My Receptionist             massage th
                has noted a 12-month drop in call volume of roughly 9 percent for massage                    months, acc
                therapists, according to Jeff Noe, the company’s president.                                  observed b
                                                                                                             office supp
                                                                                                             specializes i
                “Like many industries, the last year has been more difficult for many massage
                                                                                                             appointment
                therapists,” said Noe. “While our call volume doesn’t reflect the entire industry, the
                drop in calls is certainly indicative that massage therapists are seeing some
                                                                                                             Despite dec
                changes in their business.” 
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                                                                                                             practitioners
                My Receptionist also has observed some change in the reason for massage                      climate as a
                appointments – massage clients more often have been citing treatment of pain as              how they d
                the impetus for seeking massage, and less for the purpose of relaxation, Noe said.
                                                                                                             Many mass
                                                                                                             positive ben
                “With nearly 15 years serving massage therapists, we’re seeing a shift in customer
                                                                                                             approach, in
                motivation for booking appointments,” Noe said. “Similar to trends we observed
                                                                                                             payment opt
                during the economic slowdown in late 2001, massage customers are placing a
                                                                                                             services the
                greater emphasis on restoring health, which typically means a stronger interest in
                modalities like neuromuscular and deep tissue massage.”                                    Resource Li


                An Opportunity to Re-Tool the Business
                Despite the troubled economy, many massage therapists are using the current
                climate as an opportunity to re-tool their business approach and realize some
                positive benefits. In consulting with clients about business goals, Noe has seen an
                evolution to more of a business owner mentality, where clients place greater
                emphasis on protecting their investment.


                “They’re taking steps to start building value in their practice, to separate it from
                themselves as a practitioner,” Noe said. “It could be as simple as a standalone
                practitioner placing business income into a separate bank account, but the benefit is
                that they’re able to start associating a value with their business, as opposed to just a
                source of income.”


                Evolving business practices isn’t just a matter of thinking differently; this approach
                often involves more substantial changes, as illustrated by some of the efforts of
                practitioners served by My Receptionist:
Expanding Payment Methods. Convenience can be a decision factor for consumers
seeking massage therapy, and more practitioners are accepting credit cards to fit
consumer lifestyles. Three years ago, few massage therapists served by My
Receptionist offered credit card integration, but today, nearly four in five new clients
offer this service. A similar spike has occurred with gift certificates sales, which My
Receptionist fulfills via the Internet and over the phone.


Joining Together or Co-oping. In an effort to reduce overhead and create
efficiencies, some practitioners are joining up with massage therapy colleagues
under one name and location. Kneading Touch Therapeutic Massage Center in
West Chester, Ohio is a cooperative of two massage therapists, each of whom
offers different modalities and services. By operating as a partnership, the Kneading
Touch Therapeutic Massage Center is able to be efficient with resources, while still
maintaining their independence and separate business entities.


Diversifying Service Offerings. Many massage therapists are going beyond their
typical service offering to identify complimentary services to massage. Berkana
Massage and Bodywork Therapies, a massage therapist in Londonderry, New
Hampshire, has offered acupuncture and esthetician services to customers, based
on requests for service. The result is greater convenience for the customer, but also
more opportunities for a practitioner to offer in-demand services.


Tapping into new media or social media. Social networking sites like Facebook and
Twitter provide an opportunity to connect online with consumers, and more
specifically, advocates. Creating a social media presence for your practice can lead
to a more genuine forum to communicate key service benefits and promotions.
Massage Garage, a massage therapy practice in San Diego, California, has used
Twitter to notify clients of last-minute appointment openings at
http://twitter.com/massagegaragesd.


Leveraging Outside Resources to Create Efficiencies. With so much to manage,
independent practitioners often struggle with returning phone calls at the end of a
busy day. Tapping into a front-office support partner like My Receptionist allows
massage therapists to stay focused on serving clients, without letting sales slip
away due to missed calls. As a 24-hour provider of call answering and appointment
scheduling, My Receptionist ensures that practices are always responsive, but at a
fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.


About My Receptionist
My Receptionist is a national front office support partner, specializing in 24-7 call
answering and appointment scheduling. Answering more than 2 million calls
annually, My Receptionist serves a variety of entrepreneurs – from massage
therapists to acupuncturists to chiropractors. Named one of the country’s “fastest
growing companies” by Inc. Magazine, My Receptionist is committed to helping
small business owners simplify their business life – by securing sales
opportunities, growing business and ensuring their companies are always
responsive. My Receptionist is headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, with a
satellite office in Vero Beach, Florida.


Short URL:
http://pitch.pe/26023


About My Receptionist
My Receptionist is a national provider of 24-7 call answering and appointment
scheduling services. Answering more than 2 million calls annually, My Receptionist
serves a variety of entrepreneurs â€“ from massage therapists to plumbers to
attorneys. At its core, My Receptionist is committed to helping small business
owners simplify their business life â€“ by securing sales opportunities, growing
business and ensuring their companies are always responsive. My Receptionist is
headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, with a satellite office in Vero Beach,
Florida.


Contacting My Receptionist
My Receptionist
409 Main Street
Eau Claire, WI 54701
800-686-0162
Website: http://www.MyReceptionist.com

Press Contact
Tony Saucier
Office: 612-978-0298
Email: media@myreceptionist.com




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