It's a common question asked by our prospective students, and who better to answer the question than one of our graduates
Laura Harris: 18/04/2018
So, you’ve got an interest in Sports Massage and decided you would like to become a therapist. Now you're wondering what exactly it all entails and whether it would be the right fit for you, so let me go over some aspects of being a sports massage therapist and running your own business:
How does deciding your own working hours sound?
It sounds pretty good, right?! One of the great aspects about being a SMT is that you can choose which days and which hours you work. So if it’s flexibility you’re after, then you came to the right place. There is a small amount of compromise of course. Your clients will be from all walks of life, and from all kinds of industries so in order to maximise your client base you will need to do some research into the most popular times for your clients. Some people find weekday evenings are more popular, others may find that weekends sell out. But essentially you are in control, which makes it a lot easier to create that wonderful work-life balance you’ve always dreamed of!
This leads me on to talk about your “quiet days”. The days when you may only have a couple of bookings or not have any bookings at all. These are perfect days to get organised; to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. On quiet days you can get your finances in order, plan your next email campaign or schedule a weeks worth of Instagram and Facebook posts. Networking is really important, so visiting some local businesses and to introduce yourself and drop some flyers off can yield some great results. The admin work is something that can (and will) take up a lot of your time, especially when your business is first starting out, so it’s great to get to grips with it all early on, as it only makes your life easier as you get busier.
So what makes it different to other jobs?
Being an SMT is a fairly active job. It keeps your on your feet more, and it can be a pretty good workout at times if you’re doing a lot of manual therapy with a client. We all know “sitting is the new smoking” and this job will certainly help you sit less. Plus you have a good excuse to practise what you preach. After all, you can advise on exercises for clients to do at home with more conviction if you know how well they work yourself. The admin always needs keeping on top of like I mentioned, but it doesn’t have to be boring. You could take your laptop to a cafe, or work at home with an endless supply of coffee and put your music on. There aren’t many jobs that let you do that!
It's a career with a huge amount of variety. You'll have the opportunity to work in different environments, meet new people all the time, and get to have a real positive affect on their lives. It's very rewarding.
Ok, so now let's address the elephant in the room: The pay.
Being an SMT means that as well as deciding your own working hours, you can also control what you get paid per hour. So do some market research and find a price you’re happy with, and one that reflects your hard work and training. Most therapists will advise you to decide on an hourly rate you will be happy to stick with for the foreseeable future, as it can be hard to put your prices up further down the line, but this is entirely up to you. How does working 15 hours a week and making over £600 sound? Pretty good to me. It can being a strange thing in the beginning to decide what your time is worth, especially if you're used to a poor rate of pay. Remember though, you have invested countless hours in your learning and paid for courses, so your time IS valuable.