One Massage at a Time
We are now in month seven of our new massage business in Jackson Hole since making the very first moves back in January. Rochelle and I remember it very well: determined to spend no money, we walked the cold wintry streets and drove to outlying areas to speak with responsible parties in vacation rental companies. Our goal was to launch in high summer season – so we felt that we had oodles of time and could build slowly.
Over the next few months we worked on our brand (which we really love – designed by branding expert Seth Nielson at WASA Industries (We Are So Awesome). Here it is again:
People just love this logo, and so do we. Seth treated it very professionally. It took time and some back-and-forth with the designer – and $500. (There are some places where you have to spend money and we felt that strong branding was one of those places.) We liked the idea that the entire name, Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole was contained completely within the logo. Then, beside that on our business card we have the words ‘Jackson’s Premier In-Home Massage Provider’. How can we be Jackson’s Premier In-Home Massage Provider if we’re just brand new? Well, it’s just advertising – we’re in this game to thrive and as long as it’s legal – we can say what we want.
Besides, we have set ourselves up as an LLC and are really going for this in a much more commercial fashion than ay ‘non-spa’ massage provider. The other mobile massage vendors in Jackson Hole (same as most all around the country) keep it small and work mostly on word of mouth, excellent service, signs on their cars and occasional advertising (all very good and valid methods which we, too must embrace). We have a vision for a bigger deal – a company with a business plan, a real presence in the media year-round, and a volume of massages requiring the contracting of independent massage services.
So how’s it going now? It’s July 18th – high summer season – and we’re rolling – right? WRONG! We have had just a handful of massages from Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole marketing efforts so far. But are we discouraged? – NO! We are flexible, we are learning, and we continue to do massages and other spa products at Spring Creek Ranch. This keeps our skill levels up and pays well while we continue to work on our own massage business. In many new small businesses, people have to work at something completely unrelated in order to make ends meet – that’s not efficient.
No – we’re not discouraged at all. What we are learning is that rack cards – distributed to about 25 hotels and tourist areas around Jackson Hole are not working. They have brought in not one call so far. Our advertising in the Jackson Hole Attraction Menu has been bringing in some calls – so we’ll keep monitoring that one – and we have had calls from Inn on The Creek, where we have been schmoozing Lindsay at the front desk. Beating the streets back in January has paid off.
Next week I’ll continue with this in-depth time of discovery and let you know how we’re reacting to the slowness of the business during high season – and what we have started to implement to combat this as the season moves on.
Be Well – Hamish and Rochelle.