Running a business of any kind has its challenges. Lots to think about and plan for besides just the skills and stamina it takes to be a massage therapist. One of those is regarding massage policies. I can assure you it is one of the most talked about items in my professional facebook groups.
What is Required
In Texas, massage therapists are required by law to have certain forms and certain policies. So those are no-brainers. I do what is required by my licensing agency, TDLR.
The hard part is coming up with policies that work for an individual business. Cancellation policies are one of those important policies. Requiring 48 hours for cancellation is a trend happening in small businesses that offer massage. Personally, for now, I have a 24 hour policy. If a client cancels 24 hours or more before an appointment, I do not charge a fee. If within 24 hours, however, I charge the full fee except in the case of illness. You might wonder why I charge the full fee.
Maybe this example can help explain…. Booking an appointment is kind of like buying a ticket to a concert. You have reserved that specific seat. Can’t make the concert? You can try to sell your ticket or you just eat the cost of the ticket. Either way, you are paying for your reserved seat.
When someone schedules a massage appointment, they are reserving my time. Without a cancellation policy, if they cancel last minute, they are not paying me for the reserved time. It is often difficult for me to find someone to take the missed appointment. I try to, but I cannot always do it. I understand that emergencies come up and I try my best to be accommodating. But if a client cancels with less than 24 hours’ notice and is not sick, they must pay the full rate.
Outside Cancellation Window
Even cancellations that are 36 or 48 hours before the appointment time are difficult for me to re-book. I do not charge a late fee for this but, honestly, it puts me in a bind. I miss out on the income. Also, could be a missed opportunity for someone else who wanted to come in and didn’t see any appointments available the day or two before, when they checked.
If you must cancel, I ask that you give me as much notice as possible, even when it is more than 24 hours in advance. Please don’t wait until a day or two before, if at all possible. For any cancellation, you could ask your friends if anyone would like to take the spot. (They would pay, of course.) I would really appreciate that!
This cancellation policy and others are on the intake form that every client signs before their first massage appointment.
Thank you for understanding about my massage policies. If you have any questions, please text me at 972.813.9083. Hope to see you soon!