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Posted by: Jemma Chloe Challoner Marsh, 16 Nov 2007 5:57PM
Please do not use the forums to advertise courses.

What should I charge

What price would you charge for a 45 deep tissue massage / sports massage ? I am due to have a meeting with a practice manager at my doctors surgery and he has said they would charge £10 per hour for the room. Any advice on your charges out their would be really helpful to help me prepare for the meeting. Jemma C Green Somerset


Mike Colquhoun
17 Nov 2007 4:40AM

HI Jemma If you look through the various forums you will find several enteries from Gillian Kenyon and her H club, one in particular goes into pricing quite deeply and is really helpfull for the novice. As a rule of thumb work out how much you would like to earn an hour then add half as much again and you might be near it. Most people in this industry charge far too little and consequently never earn sufficient to go full time and saddly most give up after a few years. The truth is if you don't value your service why should others? You will see she recommends at least £44+ per hour and I agree that is a minimum if you will take our advice. Best of luck may the world beat a path to your door. Yours aye Mike
Mike Colquhoun
18 Nov 2007 12:41AM

Hi Again Jemma I was tired last night and didn't find the reply you were looking for, it is slightly down from this called 'how much percentage to pay for a room?' Posted by Sava Andric and Gillian gives a really good reply stressing that you are dealing with landlords, and the practice manager is just that, there to make as much money for the Parteners as they can. Make sure you get the best deal you can, read Gillian's reply and make notes to take with you it is excellent. Knock 'em dead. yours aye Mike.
Gillian Kenyon
24 Nov 2007 5:38PM

I have just read the latest article on the research into pricing from the survey early this year by EMBODY. Having just returned from 2 weeks training in USA and was absolutely flabbergasted. The motto out there is: 'Remember: If you price your services at a low value, your clients will have a low value of your services'. How well those Americans put things. The suggested £29.60 per hour pricing has been set on what is - in EMBODY's own adnmission - Hobby therapist rates !. Not all, but many of the repondents work less than 10 hours per week. They are probably those people who we know registration is trying to eliminate. They are those who are working in the 'black economy' - often not paying tax on their therapy cash income (saving them between 20% and 40% for a start), many with other jobs so this is just 'pin money'. They may have had superb training. They may have paid membership to a professional body and hold insurance, but they just can't make a living full time from their therapies - £29.60 says it all ! We must not allow this survey to blind us into false pricing. We should definately NOT base our prices around 'Hobby Pricing' at these low levels. Particularly if we wish to remain in profit and to build a business where we can be regarded as professional practitioners running a professional business with quality services being delivered and fair pay being received in return. To support my arguments here, take a look at the internet. The £29.60 average from the survey is clearly out of all proportion to what is being listed in the very many internet advertised prices that are clearly observable and is no-where near what one would pay at any quality Spa, Hotel with Spa facilities, or Health and Leisure centre that I have ever visited. Prices in the business and full time practitioner marketplace are clearly higher than the part-tme hobbyist charges. We all know that we wouldn't go to a dentist or doctor who was a Hobby professional - why should we expect our clients to do so ?. To propose we adopt and base prices on a survey response of about 500 or so EMBODY members, when there are over 100,000 practitioners in the marketplace (given estimates I saw last week) is also somewhat flawed. Clearly we need to review market pricing but we also need to examine costs and what we need to earn to make a decent living. At least the survey article admits that the £29.60 per hour does NOT reflect full time working rates of pay and charging rates. It does talk about future articles going more into depth about pricing - I just hope we can get a better basis than this survey has shown. As Mike so clearly states above, we should use sound business basics to determine our fixed and variable costs, to set margin prices and then mark-up prices which we would wish to achieve. Sure prices need to be realistic but there is always a trade off - do you work flat out for 35 hours a week at £29.60 per hour or do you work, say, 23 hours (one third less) for the same money (using the The H Club 2007 rate per hour of £44). Flat out, you have no time to rest those muscles you are using, to refresh your mind so your clients get the ultimate treatment. You won't have time to market yourself or build new business either. Oh, and what about doing the accounts, re-ordering, cleaning, laundering all those towels ? Truly business minded practitioner representatives with practical expertise do exist out there in the marketplace, we need our instutute to enlist their help in positioning our profession and discussing how to establish your pricing. The survey was obvioulsy an attempt at this but has led to frightening results. As with all surveys (and I have had over 20 years experience of draughting, collating and analysing such things being a Chartered Marketeer in good standing in the profession) we need to examine closely what the results are showing and how they arose. We don't see anywhere what the max and min or the mode prices were. The survey only uses median prices - averages but for part-timers NOT full-time professionals! By the way, full time is at least a 35 hour working week for most people I know - even teachers and most people do considerably more ! It would be flawed logic to base your pricing on £29.60 per hour. Like oh so many other would be practitioners just starting out, who have taken such low prices when quoted them by their college turtors - you really do need to do your homework and calculate your costs first. I am sure that EMBODY's forthcoming articles will demonstrate how the £29.60 Hobby Pricing would be going backwards for those of us who are trying to make a professional and highly respected business out of our therapies practices. Even in the lowest areas the practitioners I know have been in excess of £30-£35 per hour for well over a year now. Most are up to between £40 and £60 for reflexology and aromatherapy, £40-£45 for any form of massage (sports therapy massage even being up to £100+ per hour), £60-£75 plus for nutrition and life coaching is £50 up to £90. All it takes is to look at the internet to see what people are advertising to know that £29.60 is plain ridiculous ! I will be very interested to read what the forthcoming EMBODY pricing articles will say about how to do this. If they need some help, I am happy to draft an article on it for them
Elaine Cawkwell
1 Dec 2007 3:46PM

Hi All, I charge £30 per hour and thats with all the overheads i have to pay for my business and staff. Take a good look at your area and all the possible competition near by to distinguish what to charge, is there a market for it in your area? why would they come to you and not someone that charges alot less? There is a lot to consider when pricing your products and services. I am one of those that would rather have 5 clients through the door a week paying £30 an hour than 1 client a week charging £40 per hour. Its quite a hard question to answer as its up to the individual, the premises they are at, the location, the market for it etc. Good luck in what you decide x
Gillian Kenyon
1 Dec 2007 7:13PM

Mike Colquhoun
1 Dec 2007 8:03PM

Hi Elaine I did sneak a look at your web site, liked it very much map, blog, prices, remedial massage, season's topic and horse rider specific great stuff. I've started with something nice so you know what comes next, please don't take offence but. Being a bit pedantic I know but taking your own figures you aren't going to survive with five clients a week at £40 let alone £30 but extrapolate £30 *5 = £150, £40 *4=£160 plus an extra hour to give to clients and to cleaning premises, washing towels etc: doing the books and working out the advertising to ensure customers next week. And don't fall into that trap of money off for everyone O.A.P.'s, students, income support, old uncle tom cobbley and all. Now try real figures for a bad week 20 clients *30= 600, 20*40=800, I can pay my rent as well as all those jobs and be fresh, to get to my income you've still got ten patients to do, 6 at thirty but you're giving away so many cheap rates that you need at least ten more, by the time you've done the rest of those jobs you're going to be exhausted. Going bust is easy, working yourself to death is also an 'easy' option, at your prices you are relying on income support from Hubby! Not running a business. Sorry to be brutallly honest but your advice for someone starting out and trying to earn a full living from this business is poor to say the least. I feel you can't have read Gillian's excellent advice. Not the one above this where she has gone off on a bit of a rant, well so have I, but the one slightly down from this in reply to 'how much percentage to pay for a room?' Posted by Sava Andric. Just had a look at this season's topic, if you really want to learn how to help M.E. Fibromyalgia and such track down my web site and have some fun, then organise some friends for a class. Now I'm advertising! Be a good boss, one who pays well for shorter hours. This motivates staff who remain enthusiastic which brings in custom. A bad boss pays poorly and expects long hours, demotivating staff and then wonders why their competitors seem to make more money. Life expectancy for businesses in this industry is short, less than five years average. I'm sure you've worked out why I think that is. To start where you have is no great mistake but up those prices by more than inflation for the next three years or you'll not last. May you have much success Yours aye Mike
Elaine Cawkwell
2 Dec 2007 12:01AM

Mike Colquhoun
2 Dec 2007 3:13AM

Elaine I'm so sorry to have upset you so very much. You're self employed, I was meaning be nice to you. However I am so very sorry to have annoyed you and critisised you so harshly. It was not menant to be nasty it was intended to help. Please forgive me Yours aye Mike.
Caroline Tipler-Rowlands
20 Feb 2008 10:10PM

Hi I do hope both Elaine and Mike get to know each other a bit more :) I really appreciated all you said Elaine in your reply ... and Mike I read your comments with the sense that you were doing it with a good heart and to help people just starting out. From Elaine`s reply it is clear she knows all the pitfalls and also is excellent at monitoring what is happening and its cost effectiveness. Truly I believe that both of you have so much energy, experience and genuine caring that I reckon that as a combination of advise I doubt very much that you would would disagree with each other on a more detailed level. So please please do both continue to post ... I got a lot out of reading both of your comments and analysis. It seems that Elaine has made a considered and business like and professional decision based on a well thought out plan of promotion and client care. From Mike`s contribution I get that please don`t undersell yourselves out of fear. Do what Elaine is doing in the professional way that she is doing and continually seeing opportunities and monitoring her decisions. My guess is that Mike would say plan plan plan, and if you are going to give special rates let it be because of research and professionalism as displayed by Elaine. Not because you have not done a proper plan and or are scared. And what is clearly a strong message coming through from both Elaine and Mike ... take care of your clients, relate to them as individuals. If you do that, and are professional in your planning and don`t hide your head under the pillow when it comes to being financially aware - you will make it. Especially when you have the resource of such people as Elaine and Mike to draw on for free :)) Caroline Rowlands p.s. I`m not a wiz on IT and have used a template to put together my website. If Elaine and Mike read this I`d be really grateful for your feedbacka and critisms/advise re how my site grabs you www.reikipathway.com
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