Good morning or afternoon, or evening depending on when you’re listening to this.
How to Decide If You Should Hire It Out or Do It Yourself
When you’re a massage therapist especially just starting out, you’ll generally try to do everything yourself.
You won’t have a lot of spare money but you’ll probably have more spare time until you build up your client base and it makes sense.
But then when you get busier, or if you’re doing a couple of different things and you’re not just a massage therapist, you might start to find that if you do try to do everything yourself:
- you fall short in your client service
- you don’t have time for yourself
- and you may even end up missing out on business because you’re insisting on doing everything yourself.
So in this training, I wanted to walk you through the method I used to decide whether I should start paying someone else for something or if I should invest in something, or if I should continue doing it myself and I’m a very do it myself kind of person.
I taught myself WordPress, I taught myself how to do my own website, I taught myself how to do marketing.
I ended up investing in courses because I recognised that it would save me time, but in the very beginning I was on Google all the time searching for stuff.
The basic formula I use when I’m considering whether to pay someone else for something or pay for a course or invest in a product versus just doing it from my scratch on my own is this six question formula.
There is a worksheet that goes along with this training and use this worksheet with these questions to go through any service or product that you’re thinking about purchasing to work out whether you should hire it out or continue to do it yourself.
Question No. 1 is how much time would it take me to do it myself?
Question No. 2 is how much free time do I have at the moment?
No. 3 is how much is one of my hours worth to me?
No. 4, how much would it cost to hire out (and can I afford to hire it out)?
No. 5, if I do it myself, might I be losing business? And the kind of accompanying question with that is might I be losing more business than it would cost me to hire it out?
And No. 6 is are there any additional benefits to doing it myself?
I’d like to go through a few examples with you of how you can go through these questions on a couple of common services that massage therapists will pay for.
Deciding Whether or Not to Use an Answering Service
The first example I want to use is whether or not to start using an answering service.
Now in the My Massage Mentor training we also have a training scheduled that will be released shortly about how to set yourself up with an answering service and the different kinds of answering services.
But basically, an answering service is a company that can either answer your phone and just send you a message or other answering services can answer the phone, book you in, reschedule clients, handle frequently asked questions, tell people directions, prices, etc.
So obviously having an answering service would be a huge time saver because then you don’t have the pressure of always calling people back and being by your phone.
Now initially most people as massage therapists who are managing their own diaries whether you’re renting a room at a clinic or you’re working out of a therapy centre part time, you’re answering your own calls.
Eventually, as you’re getting busier, you may find you’re spending too much time answering calls or maybe even missing too many calls for it to be worth it to continue doing it yourself.
To use this formula, the first thing you would say is how much time each week am I spending on client phone calls, on calling people back, on rescheduling, on answering basic questions?
The next question is how much free time do I have at the moment?
Now bear in mind free time isn’t necessarily just time you’re not with clients.
If you’re still working a part time job to support yourself as you build your client base, that is time that’s not free so you wouldn’t be able to call clients back then.
You can’t use that time for other things.
You might have kids and you want to spend a certain amount of time with your kids.
You don’t really feel like you want to be calling people back when you’re with your children.
Then how much is one of my hours worth to me?
Now in this particular instance, you probably want to think about how much is one of my hours worth to me as in a new client.
If you’re spending say three hours a week calling people back, answering questions, etc, etc, could you get that hour back and work with a client and if you could work with a client, would you make more than what you’re spending on the answering service?
How much does an answering service cost?
You can either check out some of the links and price ranges that we discuss in the answering service training in the My Massage Mentor membership site, or a quick Google will show you costs.
I think when I started out when I wasn’t very busy, it was probably around £50 to £60 a month and in my opinion because, at that time, I had a young child and I was working quite a few hours in my clinic I noticed how many people were calling and not leaving voice mails and I definitely lost out on business because I would call people back who did leave voice mails and they said oh, I called somebody else and I got booked in somewhere else.
So I knew for a fact that I was losing appointments because I wasn’t able to answer the phone right away.
I looked at the cost, which is like £50 or £60, and I knew that if I could get just one new client a month from my answering service which I definitely did, that it would pay for itself because as we know one client is never just one client and again, if I do it myself might I be losing business and does it cost me more in lost business to do it myself?
This was definitely the case for me with the answering service.
I did not have time to always be by my phone and answer and book people in, and I noticed more and more that I just wasn’t getting that business if I wasn’t by the phone. So having an answering service for me at that time made a lot of sense.
And then are there any additional benefits to doing it myself?
In this one I think in the beginning it’s not a bad idea to answer your own phone, to talk to clients, to build that relationship a little bit.
But the truth is, you can always call new clients the day before.
You don’t have to be the gatekeeper for their bookings, you just need to have a process for when new people do book in how you want to handle them.
That’s how you do it with an answering service.
If you’re considering doing an answering service, I strongly suggest that you head over and check out the how to set up with an answering service training, and we’ll link you into this when it’s available.
Should You Hire Someone to Do Your Website?
Let’s look at the next example I have.
The second example that we’re going to look at is whether you should do your own website or hire someone else to do it.
A website is a good example for this question formula because it can really vary depending on your situation.
Some people might have a friend or a family member who has offered to help you with your website for little to nothing, or even as a massage exchange.
Other people might not have any connections like that.
Some people may be quite tech savvy or very comfortable figuring things out when it comes to things like website and design.
Other people may really be clunky with it and it will take them hours and hours and hours to do.
If you have a free option or a low cost option in the form of a family member or someone else just starting out, that’s a lot different cost-wise than it is a good website designer who’s really established who you don’t know who will usually cost anywhere between £500 to £2,000.
You’ll have to go through these questions yourself for a website, but we’ll just run them through together so you can start thinking of things.
The first thing is, how much time would it take me to do it?
With a website you might have some experience with working with websites.
You might feel very comfortable online.
You might spend a lot of time online anyway so you have a good sense of how you want things to look, so it might not take you much time at all.
On the other hand if you don’t spend any time online , you’re not familiar with basic sort of text editors like in Word or in the G Suite, like Google docs, you might find it more difficult.
Question No. 2. How much free time do I have at the moment?
If you’re just starting out and massage is your only source of income, you might have a ton of free time and would really be able to get into creating a website.
On the other hand, you might be trying to build your client base at the same time as working a job.
You might also have kids and you might just think you know what, I do not have enough free time for it to be worth me figuring this out on my own.
How much is one of my hours worth to me?
With this, you can take how much you make an hour and look at how reasonable it is to expect that you will fill that hour.
You may have 30 hours a week available for massage.
You may be charging £45, £50, £60 for an hour, but if you’re not fully booked actually your hour is not yet worth £45, £50 or £60 because you may only be able to fill five hours a week when you’re first starting out with clients.
So then you might want to average that and say well actually, one of my hours is only worth about £10.
How much would it cost to hire it out and can I afford it?
Again, if you’re looking for costs on websites it’s very easy to do a Google search and see what the rates are and look at portfolios, and within about 15 minutes have three or four examples of how much it would cost to hire it out.
Again, you might be in a situation where you have somebody who can help you for free or nearly free, or for massage exchange.
Then in your case, it doesn’t cost very much to hire it out and you can definitely afford it.
In another case, you don’t have those connections and it would actually be quite expensive for you to get a website to the standard that you would like it at.
If I do it myself, might I be losing business and does it cost me more in lost business to do it myself?
Initially a website is your calling card.
While you do want to be found by search engines, it takes a little while to get there because part of what search engines look at is how long your website has been registered and how much traffic you get and how many back links, and all of that takes time to build up.
So initially doing your own website you have some space for error and it’s really just about essentially having somewhere that people can look and see what they do if they come across your card or if somebody refers them or if they see you on social media, and obviously if they find you via search.
So initially doing a simple website, you may feel that you’re not going to lose very much business if you’re confident that you can make a nice looking one.
If, however, you’re worried that your website is going to look terrible and it’s going to look really amateurish and you don’t trust your taste levels, doing it yourself might mean that you lose business because people would be turned off when they visit your website.
Are there additional benefits to doing it myself?
I would say in most cases there are with a website.
I think the most important thing, whether you have someone else doing your website or you’re doing it yourself, is you want to be able to edit it whenever you want.
Do not put yourself in a position where you’re dependent on someone else to do it for you.
If you take the time to learn whatever content management system you use, whether it’s WordPress or Wix or Weebly or Squarespace, or any of the other hosting/website building offerings out there, there are definite benefits to you being able to navigate your way around the site, especially when you decide last minute that you want to change something so you don’t have to wait two weeks for your designer to get around to updating it.
I think in most cases, you’ll be able to put more of yourself into your website if you’re doing it yourself.
We will have trainings on how to write in a way that sounds like you and how to market yourself in a way that sounds like you, so being able to put yourself more into your website if you do it yourself is definitely a benefit.
Obviously if you work with a really good web designer or someone who knows about copy, they can help you with that but, again, it’s going to be a cost versus reward ratio that you have to look at because when you’re starting out the cost of a good copywriter may be more than you can afford than doing it yourself.
That is a quick run through of how you would use the six question formula for deciding whether or not to do your website and, again, this can change just like with an answering service.
You might start out that it’s not worth it, but once you’re more established, you’ve been around longer, you have more reputation, it might be worth the money of having someone else do it for you.
And other things that you can use this formula for, whether you should hire out or DIY is things like paying for software.
So you might pay for a clinic management software that helps you keep track of things.
You might pay financial software like Xero to make it easier for you to track your finances.
You might pay for a software that automatically sends your clients exercises so that you don’t have to do that manually yourself.
And then the question is the time that I’m saving on the Google research, on the admin, on the trying to figure out what to do, is it worth the monthly fee?
You know there are just a ton of examples where you might decide that you want to pay for something versus doing it yourself.
The most important thing, I think, is to constantly be checking in on yourself on how you’re using your time and what you’re paying for because what makes sense when you start out will be different when you’re medium-ly busy, will be different when you’re extremely busy because what you have most of will change.
You can access this any time that you’re trying to figure out if you should take on a new expense in your business or if you should stop doing something yourself.
Now I would love to know if you think of anything else that you either don’t pay for but one day would like to, or you’re trying to decide whether or not you can pay for it, to please add it to the discussion and if you have any specific questions about how to use this, you can always bring it to the monthly Q & A that we have.
So thank you very much for listening. I hope you enjoyed it and I will see you in the next training.