My final project for multimedia journalism was to create a website for my business. I realized that it was a lot harder than I had imagined. Although this is the second time taking this course, just now at the intermediate level, it felt like I was learning the technology all over again.
The photo gallery wasn’t difficult to create. Neither were the audio testimonials. I found audacity extremely user friendly which helped dramatically. However the same assignment that tripped me up last semester tripped me up again, the video story telling assignment. It is assignments like these that make me realize I still have much to learn about technology.
Deciding on which website host to use was another difficult task. I was trying to choose between wix and wordpress, but decided to choose wordpress. I was familiar with it because I have been using it as a blog since last semester. Something that surprised me was both of the sites attempts at “upselling” me at almost every step. When using wordpress for a website, I learned that “pages” as opposed to “posts” would be what distinguished it from a blog. Although the option to post on the website is available.
I know that the more I work on it and experiment with my new website, I will become proficient in this type of technology. I enjoyed focusing my attention on a project that benefited both my school and work life. I appreciate my professors this semester for adapting assignments for what my focus is in my professional life.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to
encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” –Maya Angelou
As a new business owner I try to celebrate every accomplishment whether it be big or small. It takes a lot of courage to take a chance and venture out on your own, so it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. I have set goals for myself including: I want to do 40 massages per week or I want to schedule one new client and three repeat clients per week. It’s important to set goals so you have something to strive for, but if you don’t reach those goals it doesn’t mean you have failed. It just means you need to ask yourself, what can I do better? Research other local businesses, check out their price lists, services, and yelp reviews. If you notice something that someone is doing that seems to be working, give it a try.
I have mentioned this in a previous post, but what motivates me is being grateful for what I have. I have never spoke to a massage therapist that said they got into it for the money. Massage is an honorable profession, and the true gift is being able to offer your clients a massage that leaves them feeling better than when they walked in the door. I have wonderful clients that keep me motivated. My 86 year old client came in a few days after the Thanksgiving holiday and he took the time to tell me how thankful he is for me and how much better I made him feel. I reminded him how good massage is for the body and he said, it wasn’t the massage, it was the massage therapist. I nearly shed a tear. I am overwhelmingly thankful for how far I have come.
I created a Google map to show where my office is located in reference to other businesses and amenities.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like
wrapping a gift and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward
With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, it made me think about being thankful and being mindful to say “thank you” whenever possible. Instead of the typical Christmas postcards I send out with a coupon to wish my clients happy holidays and offer a special discount to thank them for their loyal service, I decided to do an autumn one. It has pretty fall colors and the text “celebrate fall.” This also helps to avoid potentially offending people by saying “Merry Christmas.” Everyone can find a reason to celebrate the beautiful changing colors of Fall.
It has been a trend on Facebook lately for people to post what they are thankful for everyday the whole month of November. In my opinion, we should be thankful for people and things everyday, not just during a particular time of year. I am a huge fan of social media, but saying it in person means so much more.
Letting your clients know how much you appreciate their business is an important aspect of client retention. This can be done either by sending out postcards, texts, e-mails, or in person. A nice touch is to offer a discount in addition to the correspondence. This may encourage a client you haven’t seen in a while to visit you and treat themselves during this often stressful time of year.
Once I get my website up and running, I plan to send out postcards notifying my clients of it. First I need to figure out how to put one together that I can be proud to show off.
In a business like massage, I am often asked questions like, “don’t your hands hurt?” and “aren’t you tired after doing a massage?” The truth is, sometimes I am. But, there are a few things that can be done to prevent injury and promote the longevity of your massage career. In massage school, there was an entire class devoted to ergonomics and body mechanics. I try to apply the teachings to my practice as well as in everyday life.
I cringe when I hear about clients giving their loved ones massage and hurting themselves in the process. They say, “I don’t know how you do this for a whole hour, I can only do five minutes.” Obviously the ideal situation would be owning your own massage table. You can purchase a decent one from massage warehouse for about $200.00. It may be a nice addition to your home gym.
In most cases, people are practicing at-home massage on a soft surface like the bed or couch. The truth is, when performing a massage the amount of pressure applied is not coming from my hands. It is coming from my own body weight. It is impossible to use your body weight sitting side by side on the couch. Why not have your loved one seated on the floor so you are able to lean into the muscles using your body weight. Also, try to use your forearms, knuckles, fists, and elbows. Lastly, remember to stack your joints.
It is a kind gesture to offer a massage to your friend or loved one, but be sure to use proper body mechanics so you don’t injure yourself in the process. If you own a table, a massage therapist will often come to your home for a discounted outcall rate. For a true relaxing experience, book a massage at your practitioner’s place of business. An obvious benefit, you don’t have to clean your house.
Last week was a little more challenging than most for my business. Everyone that has a service based business is familiar with the term “no show.” When a client doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment it can throw a wrench in your day. Not only are you missing out on the income from the appointment, but also the time and energy that is wasted by being at work on time with no client. It can be discouraging because it feels that your time is not valued b y others, but it is part of being self-employed.
I had three “no-shows” in a week. Also, one client who communicated that she wanted to come in November 28th over the phone showed up on October 28th. When I tried to explain to her that over the message she left me she specified November, she left angrily and didn’t seem to want to communicate or reschedule her appointment.
I understand that these are mistakes that my clients have made, but I can’t help but think about what I could have done differently to avoid situations like this. I came up with a few ideas that I could incorporate into my appointment scheduling.
1) Get their phone numbers and ask them if they need a reminder call.
-Have the confidence to ask for their best contact number and offer a reminder call OR text.
2) Confirm, confirm, confirm.
-My business is very small, so I am my own receptionist and it is my responsibility to triple check the appointment time and date.
3) Be clear about your cancellation policy.
-Notify your clients about your cancellation policy. In my case, I request 24 hours notice but I don’t enforce it very strictly. My hairstylist has a policy that requires her clients to pay her 50% of the appointment before she allows them to reschedule. It may sound harsh, but it works. No one wants to pay for a service they didn’t receive.
As a business owner of any kind, it is important to stay positive and appreciate the clients you have. When you envision the kind of business you want, that’s the kind of business and clientele you will have.