I opened Bliss Bodywork in Jackson, Wyoming, in 2010 while I was still working at a spa. I decided it was high time for me to have my own practice and create the experience I wanted clients to have. I told myself I could continue to work at the spa until I had built up enough clientele to support myself.
Things went slowly, as they do, and I found myself in the same routine of working at the spa and then living my life. In other words, I wasn’t putting much effort into building my practice. I decided to leave and make a go of my own practice. It was very tough going for the first couple of years, but, if nothing else, I am stubborn and tenacious, and I knew I couldn’t go back to working for someone else.
The biggest challenge I had initially was building my clientele. Once I manifested that, my biggest challenge was controlling the administrative tasks. I’ve always been a very “seat of my pants” person. Outside of the client experience, my business was a junk show.
I had nothing in place: no bookkeeping, no files, no records ... nothing! I started keeping receipts for write-offs, but that was about the extent of it. I had a calendar that I wrote my schedule in and carried around with me. Forgetting that thing at home was always bad news. I operated this way for a few years.
Once my practice really started to grow, and once I started working with my spiritual and business coach, I realized things had to change.
I needed help in so many ways, and on every level. I needed people to be able to schedule their own treatments if I wasn’t available to answer the phone, I needed a schedule/calendar that I could access on my phone, I needed client information retained, and I needed an intake form.
I’m not kidding, I had none of these things! I wanted to start fine-tuning my business. I knew I should have an email list. I wanted to email clients thank-you letters after appointments. I needed marketing help. I needed a better option for taking credit card payments, and so much more. That’s when I heard about MassageBook.
MassageBook has been so beneficial and pivotal in growing my business. I get great feedback from clients about how much they like being able to schedule online and how easy it is. MassageBook has become my primary way to maintain and organize my business. It is my schedule for the day, and I use the mobile app mostly, so I always have it with me. I don’t need to hire a receptionist because people have the option to book their appointments online, even if I’m working or busy. I don’t lose as many clients if I’m not able to answer the phone. I have records of payments, client info, and intake forms, and the reports save me so much time and effort ... it is the only way to go, in my opinion. I also have a way to measure my success and growth. It has literally changed the way I do business.
Today, I am busy year-round, which is great for a seasonal resort town. I have a strong local clientele that keeps me working in the off-season. I have grown so much in the last three years that I have begun hiring therapists to work for me. I procured more space in the building where my office is and I now have three working massage rooms. I’m currently looking to hire five therapists.
I’m also opening a location in Pinedale, Wyoming, which is about an hour and a half from Jackson. Things are happening rapidly!
—Stevie Duren, ABMP member and owner of Bliss Bodywork, has been a certified massage therapist and reiki practitioner since 2001. She lives in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, area and leads massage workshops, holds classes for all levels of reiki, and teaches raw and superfood classes. Helping people achieve optimal health is one of her passions.