Today we’d like to introduce you to Dea Henson.
Dea, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 1978 I moved to Dallas from Washington state, at the time Texas did not require licensing for massage therapy. If you asked about local massage it was common to be directed to the shady part of town where the proverbial “parlor” resided. This frustrated me immensely after working so hard to acquire my license from Washington State.
Consequently, for a few years I did not work professionally in the massage industry. Instead I worked in sales which taught me valuable business lessons for my future.
One of the considerations I had while planning my wedding was the ability to work for myself so I could be available to raise my children. It was my heart’s desire to return to massage. In 1983 the State of Texas passed legislation requiring a registration protocol. Thankfully awareness for legitimate therapeutic massage was on the rise.
My next step was to form a business plan; the target market was an educated consumer who would appreciate quality service. I went to work for a top- notch spa in a location my ideal client would patronize. After working there for a year and building a reputation and client base I notified them I would freelance once my baby was born. I set my hours to accommodate working people and launched a referral reward program. I asked for help in building the Good Health Therapy business. It was humbling how clients rallied to support my efforts, a significant reminder success is acquired through the help of others. Referrals are the life blood of building such a personal service business. To honor the trust conveyed by their recommendations I adopted the mantra “Consistent Quality Care”.
One valuable lesson I learned is how important it is to treat everyone with equal respect. You never know who it is that will give you the lead for your next big account. I asked all my clients for referrals. One client, named Smith said when I asked her for a referral “I have spoken with my grandfather about you already, he is a massage connoisseur and will contact you soon.” I was elated and asked her, “What is his name so I will know him when he calls?” The referral was Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus. With that one referral Good Health Therapy was catapulted into the stratosphere of service to the elite of Dallas.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Isolation is a down side of my industry, a client and therapist are alone in a dimly lit room. My epiphany came when I realized no matter how talented am, I can only give one full body massage per hour. Which narrows the profit margin. What is the solution? Multiply yourself, but how?
This thought was the inspiration for a rebranding as Good Health Therapy Massage Broker, setting it apart from most massage practices. The challenge was defining what it would look like, who would it serve and how would I find and recruit like-minded team members to work events with me? The latter proved to be the biggest struggle, being a stickler for excellence the team had to be a reflection of my high standards. The solution was the abundant resources found in my business networking community where I have learned that together we build. It took time but through tenacious focused perseverance the core team of experienced premium therapists was founded.
My next focus was finding clients who craved this type of service. Key factors being a solution to a question and a challenge, the “WIFM” What’s In It For Me and “KISS” Keep It Super Simple. Good Health Therapy would solve a need for them by staffing chair massage events with licensed and insured massage therapists. The goal is to leave the customer feeling euphoric and the event planner deemed brilliant.
If you had to do it over again what would you do differently?
Experience is the best teacher but not always the kindest. My mistakes have taught me valuable lessons, what works for other industry does not always work for my business model. For example, though I am an advocate for coaching, I once hired a high dollar business coach with an impressive pedigree only to discover they had a cookie cutter formula and did not get me at all. The counsel given to me was to join the chamber of commerce and go to 7:30 am networking groups. This was a concept which is not a good fit for me. I prefer the personal referral which generates a quality of business relationships rather than just generating quantity. This perspective has netted me long term clients I have worked with for multiple generations.
In retrospect, I wish I had started to build my network of colleagues and professional contacts earlier in my career. Finding those with skills I don’t have such as my website designer Rising Soul Media or Zachwooddesigns the graphic artist who designed my logo would have boosted my social media foot print earlier. Not attending massage school in Texas was a social disadvantage because I was not exposed to large groups of massage therapists with a common experience, instead I had to ferret out my circle of associates. In addition, I would have received more massage, something I currently counsel other therapist to do with regularity. This advice is not only for their own well- being but also to put themselves in the role of client so they can understand and appreciate the experience making any edits to enhance their customers experience.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I have been a massage therapist for over three decades. Putting the years of hands on experience aside I believe what sets Good Health Therapy apart is how streamlined hiring our service is and the skill of the massage therapists. Those who serve with Good Health Therapy are keen to provide outstanding customer service, additionally they are highly educated possessing a depth of knowledge for their craft beyond basic requirements. By adding new modalities to the menu of service it keeps your offering fresh. For example, cupping and tuning forks are the most recent addition to my private practice. It is satisfying being able to mentor those who earnestly seek to build their practice while providing opportunity for increased income. Compensation is in line with the above average performance that is expected.
As the department head of Southern Methodist University massage my duties include coordinating sports clinics to offer therapeutic restorative massage for a variety of athletic teams. This is vital to a balanced form and peak performance which reduces the propensity toward the unique pains and strains of their sport.
It’s a privilege to have witnessed massage becoming a widely accepted approach to holistic health management. As the industry grows the opportunity for customized massage is enhanced along with methods to deliver the service. Franchises offer those new to the industry a chance to hone their skills in a uniform corporate setting. This is also an opportunity for new consumers to experience budget friendly massage. Sports massage offers athletes the competitive edge of reducing injury and assisting recovery. Corporate massage will continue to grow in tandem with awareness as companies seek ways to retain quality employees through creative cost-effective management of stress. Chair massage is a healthy option to build team spirit while raising customers awareness of stiff muscles which motivates employees to breathe deeper, move more and stay hydrated.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
I am proudest of the volunteer work I have done with AMTA American Massage Therapy Association here in Texas. As the School Liaison for Texas my duties were to visit massage schools and counsel students about the many benefits of community. Raising awareness about being a united voice concerning legislation impacting the massage industry is my current role as an AMTA delegate for Texas. Some of my most tender heart melting moments have been serving alongside of my colleagues providing chair massage when we volunteer at the VA hospital for Massage Therapy Awareness Week or a handful of other veteran’s events we support by volunteering our service.
- Website: www.goodhealtherapy.com
- Phone: 214 893 0035
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Good Health Therapy Massage Broker
- Twitter: @dea_henson
Zach Wood Designs