We often talk about how to make massage affordable / accessible to everyone. Many people dedicated to that settle for making less money (possibly less than they actually need) by offering lower prices to everyone.
I have some suggestions for taking care of yourself AND offering affordable massage.
First, determine how much you need to make to take care of yourself and do that! If you’re not taking care of yourself first, your ability to offer affordable massages won’t last.
Which may mean you need to take a few years to set up a sustaining practice that supports YOU *before* you address the affordability issue. It’s OK, the need for affordable massage will still be there!
Then consider these options:
Offer 3 price points and let the client choose what they want to pay. Make your normal price the middle price. The price above and below can vary by $10-$20. For example, $60, $80, and $100. You may want to consider not accepting tips since the client can, effectively, tip you by choosing the higher amount.
Offer a range and let the client choose anything within that range. For example $65 – $95. Again, you may want to change your tipping policy.
One of the advantages to Price Points and Price Range is that you can calculate the most you can make and the least you can make.
PAY WHAT YOU CAN
This is the biggest leap because the client can literally choose their own price. You may want to set lower limits (how will you react if someone hands you $1 for a 1-hour massage?). You may want to consider not accepting tips.
This is the riskiest because you have no idea what the upper and lower limits of your income potential are.
Note: there are people who are very uncomfortable with this. They don’t want to have to decide, they want you to tell them.
PAY IT FORWARD
This one allows your clients to contribute to your efforts. Offer your clients a chance to add-on or round-up when they pay you. The extra goes into a fund that allows you to offer discounted massage to an individual person or a group (or fund a discounted day) as necessary. This may affect your tips so bear that in mind.
SET ASIDE DAYS
In this scenario you don’t offer alternate pricing plans every day. You have days you set aside for alternate pricing plans. Maybe one day a month. Maybe one week every time you meet an income goal for yourself. Maybe at a special holiday. This way your necessary-income takes less of a hit. It’s also something you can schedule outside your normal hours (for example, one Saturday a month or one evening a month if you don’t normally work those times).
There are lots of ways to keep massage affordable and accessible without leaving your own needs behind. Get creative! Just make sure you’re making enough money FIRST and then offer these alternate pricing plans as it best suits your practice.