Many practices are slowly re-opening business despite the COVID-19 pandemic. But the way everyone is running their businesses is dramatically different from how they were before the outbreak. Have you considered how your business will safely operate when you decide to re-open your doors?
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the massage therapy industry as we’ve known it. It’s time to consider what your business will look like when you re-open.
How can you put your clients (and staff- if you have them) at ease with your new protocols?
1. Follow Your Local State Guidelines
When re-opening your business, you need to be aware of the guidelines for your location:
While some states never closed down, others are just now starting to re-open. However, this is often with special restrictions on the types of businesses that can start opening again. Generally, most states consider massage therapy businesses and day spas to be higher-risk.
So, for many states, it could take months before these practices can re-emerge.
Each state is re-opening differently. So you must make sure to follow your local Government decrees to avoid creating unnecessary risks for yourself and others.
2. Check With Your Licensing Board
There’s a lot of competition for licensing rights within the massage therapy industry:
Some bodyworkers have a city-issued license. Others have a state-issued license or even a national board license. (In fact, we have massage therapists under all three different types of licenses at my office!)
So you need to check with your specific license agency to familiarize yourself with their regulations.
3. Review Your Liability Coverage
If you’re going to re-open, you need to check with your liability insurance to see if it’ll cover you during this time. What are the hygiene protocols for personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks?
Many business owners are- rightfully- worried about liability during this time. For example, if a client gets COVID-19 and can trace it back to you, do you know whether or not you have liability coverage?
4. Consider Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Again, you should do your due diligence with all agencies above to learn about PPE guidelines to avoid any potential issues. For example, you might be able to re-open without a mask or gloves.
But if you can open without PPE, would you want to wear them anyway? Would you prefer your clients to wear masks during your sessions? Do you have the supply line and the financial resources to wear PPE for every massage?
After learning the regulations for your state, you need to make decisions on what your policies will be and stick to them for every client.
5. Pre-screen Clients
You may want to check in with each of your clients before they come into your office for appointments:
Have they been around anyone with COVID-19 recently? Ask them if they’ve had any of the following symptoms within the past couple of weeks:
● Sore throat
● Body aches
If they answer “yes” to any screening questions, it’s best to ask them to reschedule or cancel free of charge. Make responsible choices for protecting yourself and those around you.
To ensure further protection against infection, also consider:
● Will you check client temperatures at the door?
● Will you work with high-risk clients?
● What sanitization measures can your take to minimize risks?
6. Change Health Intakes
Now could be an excellent time to change your health intakes to include information related to COVID-19. This can include pre-screening information such as the history and symptoms mentioned above.
Usually, there is policy and liability information at the bottom of a health intake. So you may want to change your waiver to include liability information related to the virus. Take all of the measures that you can to gather any useful information during this time.
There are so many vital measures that we can take to protect ourselves, our clients, and everyone else. And when it comes to re-opening businesses during this time, it’s essential to pay attention to safety protocols and even take some additional steps of your own.
Re-opening your business will help you resume earning income from seeing clients. But it’s crucial to put aside more time for sanitary protocols- rather than scheduling as many clients as possible. Everyone’s safety and wellness is the priority until the situation gets under control.
If you’d like more information on re-opening business at your practice, please check out the AMBP guidelines. Also, research the more specific instructions for your state for more details.