When will we reopen?
Governor Baker should announce more information on Phase 2 during the June 6th press conference. We expect specific reopening dates for all industries included in Phase 2, and guidelines for each, at that time. For more frequent updates, check our Facebook page.
What do we know about reopening?
As soon as we get specific guidelines, we will begin implementing any changes. Until then, we have watched other states guidelines and anticipate similar ones here. We will require masks for staff & clients. We will limit the number of people in the office at one time. We will provide practitioners with uniform scrub tops, in case changing between clients is required. We will store our clean linens in closed plastic totes (instead of our cute open baskets) under each massage table. We will pre-screen staff & clients prior to each scheduled shift or appointment. To protect our local & seasonal residents, we most likely not accept tourist bookings at this time. We will reactivate any expired services as clients come in. Since we will be playing catch up with our clients, we recommend booking out appointments for several months in advance, if possible.
Discussions in the massage groups on Facebok have speculated different ways to cover the increased costs of doing business. Unlike many other practitioners, we will not provide disposable masks to clients for free. Clients that do not bring their own mask will have the option to purchase a cloth mask at our cost (to be determined). Also unlike many other practitioners, we do NOT plan to raise our rates at this time. We will reassess this in January and notify clients at that time if we decide an increase becomes necessary.
Behind the Scenes
We have postponed our plans to relocate to a larger, permanent location. While still one of our goals, these expansion plans will likely occur in 1-2 years. We need time to rebuild our savings prior to taking on a larger space and higher bills.
We have also been working on putting together an employee benefit package. Unfortunately, implementing most of these new benefits will be delayed. Our staff will begin accruing PTO immediately upon reopening. Retirement plans & health insurance will likely be pushed back to sometime in 2021, depending on how quickly we recoup from our mandatory closure.
We wish you the best & look forward to seeing you as soon as we can safely (and legally) reopen. We are almost there!
The OM Team
I want to take this opportunity to brag about my staff. Ashley has kept herself busy working with a non-profit organization trying to save sea turtles as well as diving headfirst into several continuing education classes. Our current pandemic means change is inevitable. With Ashley powering through CEs like this, the changes mean improvements on overall service quality & efficacy of treatments.
Here is what she has gotten done in the last two months:
Despite not providing services at the moment, we have kept our gift certificates & our online booking software open. Several clients have asked what are we doing with funds. The funds we receive from these purchases allow us to cover our expenses until we can legally & safely reopen. Normally, I wouldn't disclose this much about our finances but, with the current situation, it seems prudent to reassure clients how we will use the funds from any pre-paid services.
Every sale gets divided between two accounts: Payroll & Operating Expenses. We also have a business savings account that gets contributions monthly based on net profit margin. (See below for a breakdown of expenditures by account.) Setting aside portions like this means payroll shouldn't experience any shortages when we are allowed to reopen. As we grow, this will also cover benefits for our staff.
All of our operating expenses fall into three categories: Recurring, Consumable, & Other. Recurring expenses are predictable & relatively consistent month-to-month. Consumables items get used & re-purchased as needed. These vary in timing but remain fairly consistent in amount. The least self-explanatory is the “Other” category. Most of this spending is one-time purchases or upgrades to either equipment or education.
Prior to Covid19, our cash flow included a combination of pre-paid & cash clients. The loss of the cash clients has negatively impacted our cash flow. As a result, we have reduced all spending to the bare minimum & eliminated our savings contributions temporarily. Our consumable expenses have drastically reduced as have the “Other” expenses. We do anticipate a large expenditure in these areas prior to reopening depending on the requirements set regarding new protocols & industry standards. As things change, we will adapt to the best of our ability. In the event that a client requests a refund for pre-paid services, there may be a gap in processing times until our cash flow resumes its normal trajectory. All refund requests will be honored but we cannot guarantee processing times.
For clients that wish to support us through pre-paid services, please call 508-280-4242 during our temporary office hours (Monday-Friday 9-12) or use the links below to make purchases online.
We look forward to seeing everyone again and are grateful for the continued outpouring of love & support our clients have shown.
Breakdown of Expenditures by Account
When will we reopen?
As of April 27th, Governor Baker has not yet announced when non-essential businesses may reopen. According to the reopening plan, massage falls under Phase Three which is the last category of businesses allowed to reopen. If Massachusetts begins to reopen on May 4th and each phase runs for two weeks, we could reopen on June 1st, at the earliest. Please keep in mind that these are hypothetical dates. As of right now, no definite dates have been provided to us. When we have more concrete information, we will let you know.
How will we ensure client & staff safety once we reopen?
Ensuring client & staff safety will probably mean new protocols that may or may not become permanent changes to how our business operates. The specifics of the necessary changes have yet to be determined. Like you, we are sifting through the information and opinions flooding the news & social media. The sources that we are focusing on are Governor Baker's live updates, the CDC, OSHA, and our licensing board. Industry leaders have shared podcasts about suggested changes and some of those we may implement. As Massachusetts opens back up, we will have a clearer picture of what we need to do to keep everyone safe.
What are we doing during this downtime?
Our staff have been busy with continuing education & looking for ways to offer you services using a virtual platform. We are studying oncology massage, insurance billing, personal training, and nutrition. Once the personal training & nutrition certifications have been completed, we will introduce virtual 1-on-1 appointments, virtual classes, and pre-recorded workout videos. We will also create new membership options so that you can utilize the services you want at an affordable monthly cost.
A self-care video library is also underway. Once we have generated enough content, the video library will be released on a subscription basis (probably $5/month, free for current OM Team members). Currently, we have outlines for over 70 videos that include:
We wish you the best and look forward to seeing you as soon as we can safely (and legally) reopen.
The OM Team
As a non-essential business, we are closed through April 7th. If you have an appointment before that date, Pallas will be calling to reschedule. Online gift certificates & booking (after April 7th) will remain available throughout the closure. Any massages on account will be honored, so please don't worry about any expiration dates. Any discrepancies will be addressed once we reopen.
Gov. Baker has extended the school closure through May 4th. To my knowledge, this extension has not been applied to mandatory business closures. If reopening on April 8th is not possible, we will continue to reschedule appointments on a week-by-week basis.
Why reschedule instead of cancel? We want our clients to have something to look forward to as well as full schedules to welcome our staff back.For anyone not financially impacted by this epidemic, small businesses like ours need you more than ever to make it through this. The ability to remain open - for those that can - or reopen lies in the hands of our clients/customers.
What can you do? Order take out from the restaurants. Schedule weeks or months ahead for services like massages or haircuts and pre-pay. Buy gift certificates for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, baby showers, weddings, or holidays. Shop for the rest of the year's gifts now. These purchases will cover business expenses like rent, insurance, website, & utilities for the duration of this closure. Any funds in excess of these expenses, we will distribute to our staff to supplement unemployment income.
Program Members: If this has impacted you financially, please call or text 508-280-4242 before April 1st to suspend monthly billing.
This is the biggest challenge we have faced in 15 years of business. With your help, we know we will make it another 15 years. Thank you for you continued support. Be safe.