Chinese Foot Massage


Chinese Foot Massage– February 7, 2020

Recently my wife invited me on a date for a “Chinese Foot Massage” at a little shop in a strip mall a few miles away from my home.

Sounds a little strange, right?

Well, it gets even better from here. This “Foot Massage” is actually a full body massage. You walk in, they ask you one question, if you want feet only or full body. From there, no more questions or talking, they just take over while you relax.

I used to think a professional massage was the weirdest thing until I tried it. I’m not sure how my wife ever found this place, but I think it was recommended to her. It’s not your typical massage therapist style either. They use Chinese Reflexology, which is a little different, but very effective. 

There are no frills here. They use old towels to keep you warm, and your feet go in a plastic bucket with a plastic liner and warm water. Old massage type chairs that look more like a recliner but they do have a hole in the headrest for when you lay face down.

Some traditional Chinese music plays from a little speaker in the room, no centralized sound system here. It’s very clean and they are professional. As many “mom n’ pop” shops go, they charge you a credit card fee, but it’s cheap.

Really cheap.

It was originally $45/hour, but they ran a special for $35/hour awhile back when my wife went. Now their sign on the door has a slash through $45/hour and it says $35/hour.

While they are fairly busy, I instantly wondered, “are they actually making any money here?” It can’t be free to hire licensed professionals. If my hygiene department ran that lean we woulnd’t make any money, but maybe these guys have figured out a way to make it work with bare bones overhead. But my gut says they haven’t. (Which is also why I gave them a big tip because I feel for them and they did an excellent job.)

It appears to be a family run business, with the owners and their children doing most of the work. It looks like they work long days and late hours, which is respectable but probably not sustainable or a real “business” that can be sold. It’s more of a self-employed job.

What fees are you slashing? What areas of service are you cutting back in? Or are you adding up?

I’m a bigger fan of valuing up rather than discounting down. There will always be someone else lowering their fees or “rolling back” prices. You can play the low game or the high game, but usually if you are in the middle you’ll get burned. 

Find ways to add value to your patient experience. Even a free bite adjustment on a crown or implant is added value. You’re going to do it for free anyway if your patient needs it, so you may as well use it as a case acceptance tool or as part of your “selling proposition.” Here are 4 examples:

  1. If your crown fee is $1000 and you have a 30% profit margin/70% overhead, and you “slash” your crown fee to try and gain more business, remember that you now have 82% overhead and a 18% profit margin.
  2. Instead, find ways to value up, such as offering your patients more convenient appointment times (our evening and Saturday spots have filled up quickly since we started offering them 7 or so years ago). 
  3. Offer both options, with the higher priced one being an upgrade of better material, longer warranty, etc.
  4. Always know your math, you can solve just about any problem in the world with the right math (that is why I was an Economics major in college and why I love Algebra – nerd right!).

If I can help in any way, please reach out. Have a fantastic week!

If you want to receive more information like this, simply send me an email at and put “Friday Finish” in the subject line. 

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