When you’re first getting started with your massage business, one of the first things you’ll research is how much to charge for your massage sessions.
The national average for massages is $40-80/hour. Of course this depends on location, type of massage, and if you’re mobile.
In this article, we’ll cover a few different ways you can calculate how much to charge and we’ll discuss some ideas for experimenting later one. This should give you the best pricing structure for your massage studio.
A lot is going to depend on how much your paying at your massage studio, so you’ll definitely want to get a studio location as inexpensively as you can. Every dollar you save on studio expenses is a dollar you don’t have to worry about having to make in the beginning.
Before we look at the different pricing models and considerations, I want to briefly talk about your worth.
Know your worth.
For some of us it’s difficult to come up with a pricing model because we feel like everyone should receive the benefits of massage and start to feel smarmy about wanting to charge for it. Please don’t do that to yourself. The more you’re able to charge and stay in business, the more people you’re able to help. So don’t be afraid to look at your pricing.
There are a few different ways you can calculate your costs. Some of the popular ways to look at charging are:
Market based – A lot of new massage therapists look at the area and see what everyone else is charging for their sessions. The problem with this is many people you’re looking have have likely been in business for years and have worked they pricing in over the years. They might have more experience and a following that they can command a higher class price.
The opposite side of the coin might also be true. You might be looking at other instructors who are valuing their time correctly and might be under charging.
What many will do is start off their services by doing an average of the top 5 massage therapists around and choose that as their first session pricing. The good thing about pricing is you can always start low to get people coming to your studio, then you can test price increases until you’re happy with the price structure that you’re offering.
Ideally, you are making a good profit off each session and the days are filling up at a comfortable level.
Know your costs – Get out a spreadsheet and figure out the line items for each direct cost your studio has. This includes everything that you’re paying money out to someone. Include rent/lease, utilities, software, products, etc. Once you know how much is going out, you can figure out how many sessions you need to do a month and how much you want to make for each session per month.
Cost plus pricing – once you figure out your monthly costs and how many sessions you can realistically perform each month, look at adding a percentage to your costs and this will become your mark up for the sessions.
When your first steering it, you need to get people talking about your studio. To do that they need to take classes. One of the easiest ready to get them to try out your studio is to offer a lot introductory offer. Make it 2-5 sessions at a discount to give them a chance to test your studio out to see if they can become huge fans of you’re massages and they’ll come back.
Sessions Packs with A Limit
A great way to offer sessions for someone who might not be ready to go unlimited or want to become a member yet is to offer sessions pack. 5 or 10 sessions for a set price. The bundles will be 10-20% cheaper than the normal rate, depending on how many they buy. The important thing about this is you can and should set an expiration date on the sessions if you can.
Your can start ordering a monthly membership to see how many regulars your can get for your studio.
The monthly would likely be a feasible number at a reasonable price. Consider something like $50 for a monthly massage or $90 a month for two.
The members will also have discounts on any drinks or products that you sell. Don’t discount too much that your losing money, but 5 or 10% on products should be good to be members benefits.
With membership discounts, you could also let your members bring a friend for discount on for their first visit. This should help you grow your practice by letting them bring a massage buddy along so they can see if they like your massages.
While we’re talking about referrals. Look at offering a referral program where they get so much of a discount for every referral they send your way. This can be helpful incentive to your biggest fans. But many of them will do it even without a discount if they love your studio.
This is such a great solution. It sounds scary because everyone thinks that when they offer unlimited that they’ll be packed and not making much money.
This is great for people with chronic pain and issues who need monthly plans. Deep Tissue massage offers $280 for unlimited massage and suggests only scheduling 2 sessions at a time since most don’t keep their commitments for anything longer than that.
The truth is, people like a good deal and it’s similar to buffets. Many have lives and other commitments that they won’t come all the time. But the value that they feel they are getting will keep them paying the unlimited price.
It’s also a great way to normalize your cash flow. You’ll have a better understanding of how many people will be coming to your sessions.
Now certain software will let your members sign up.
To get people into your studio, combine the introductory offer with a mini membership
Offer then unlimited for a month at a nice discount. A month works be enough time for them to see how awesome your studio is that they’ll want to commit to the longer membership.
Drop ins should not be the ultimate goal for your massage studio. You definitely want to offer them for those who just need a one off massage, but your ultimate goal is to get people to commit to more sessions each month. Meaning, you want to worry about fewer people coming more often to your studio each week.
That being said, work out a higher drop in rate that will encourage class attendees to look at one of your other package deals that will make them feel like they are getting a good deal by coming more often.
The reason for this is if you have nothing but drop ins, then you never know how many people will be coming to any of your sessions and it makes it more difficult to plan for your week and month. You also are looking to create loyal participants.
You need to give them an incentive to commit to coming to your studio more than once. Your whole goal is to encourage them to become a member.
To do that, you need to make your drop-in hurt them a little to pay it. That means if your drop-in is $12 and your 5 pack or 10 pack class is only $11 a class, that’s not enough of an incentive for them to commit to more classes.
You have to look at your business and if it’s not thriving, then you’re not serving your community. If you’re stressing about keeping ends meet, then you’ll definitely burn out. So structure your classes in a way that will honor you, your business, and your students
Another option is to offer packaged sessons. Think off something like 4 monthly massages that focus on a pain area. This is helpful to sell the packaged deal where they are expected to come to all of them and pay for all of them to front. Your can price it on value at $200-300 for those sessions.
Corporate pricing is similar to monthly prices, but you’ll negotiate your fees for their employees for you to come onsite and teach them at the company grounds.
If you setup the negotiations properly then you can look to offer ongoing massage sessions at a set time and just charge a particular amount per week for the company.
The main difference with corporate is you get ongoing sessions and more stable pricing with the corporate offers.
So once you look at the different ways to price your sessions, you can look at the different software that lets you easily setup your classes and memberships. Then you can encourage people to sign up online and they will be automatically billed so you don’t have to bug them for payments.
I’ve outlined the most popular ways to look at pricing. Just remember to start with something, anything so you can get going with your massage studio and don’t be afraid to change things up if their not working.