Strong Managers Help MassageLuXe Franchisee Run Multiple Units - MassageLuXe

Strong Managers Help MassageLuXe Franchisee Run Multiple Units

You’re a critical care doctor. How did you get into MassageLuXe?

I’ve experienced it myself. I hurt my back and went in and the relief was immediate. The model allows people to come in monthly or roll over. Once they’re in the flow of coming in regularly they really do get the benefits of massage. It’s really cool to create that type of environment. We are health and wellness, that’s what MassageLuXe is. It’s not just a fluff service—we provide a service that really will improve the life of our guests. And the managers are into it, they buy into it and they know it’s not just a clock-in, clock-out kind of job—we’re helping people.

Those managers handle a lot of the operation, which is hard for many franchisees. How do you do it?

They understand the approach that we’re taking and that I make sure that they have the training and make sure to set really clear monthly goals for them. Within each goal there is a bonus and a bonus tier so they know, ‘I need to reach this number to make this much more.’ That goes all the way to the front desk.

They know that the product is directly related to how much they earn. That’s one part of what allows me to psychologically separate; I know that their motivation has a direction and it’s to make sure the business is successful.

And we have a culture of faith. I’m not checking up on them routinely or watching the cameras. I’m not micromanaging them. That allows them to step outside the box and innovate because they know their success is their own—it’s like they have a stake of ownership, they care.

How do you get to that level of trust?

The answer is the same psychosocially and operationally. I manage because I have a really good relationship with my managers at each location. We’ve grown mostly internally, most of our management has been promotion from within. When we hired from outside it has not been a good move.

They understand me, they understand that I’m a physician, that I work 60-70 hours a week and I have five kids. There’s an understanding that I’m not doing this to get filthy rich. This isn’t so that I can take a worldwide trip, this is literally so that I can provide jobs to the employees at the locations, to help them excel and to also be able to give back in the future. And to possibly offload my physician schedule, to be honest.

You created this system, and you send Christmas cards to employees. How do you quantify the benefits of that really connected culture?

Especially in an environment where some employees are what you’d see as more transient—massage therapists are very free spirited—we have a lot of longevity. They stay with us because they like the work environment and they like their coworkers and they’re happy.

If I have a therapist that stays with me longer, I have customers that come back to that therapist. And even they have extra incentives I’ve created to pay bonuses for them, too.

Do you have to pay more?

I’ve compared with some other owners and I’d say when I add in my bonuses, I’m paying more, yeah. But that’s the extra level I get from these managers. When I talk to other managers they say, ‘Wait what, they do all the ordering of supplies? Wait, they’re doing payroll, they’re doing that?’ They’re shocked. Then they see that they’re paying way too much because they’re not getting that. The bonuses bring them to a new tier, but only if they achieve them.

What do you think made you a successful entrepreneur?

My wife says I have a lot more energy than the typical person. But being able to multitask, being able to dedicate time when it’s needed to something and the ability to delegate tasks has really been what the answer is. If I were doing this all myself, it wouldn’t work. I have more bandwidth than the average person in that I can have a full-time job and still have energy and time to deal with this. But that wouldn’t be possible if the managers weren’t doing so much more than the average manager.

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