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Monthly Archives: May 2017

  • Eight Simple Ways to Promote Your Massage Business Locally

    Posted on May 26, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Promote-Massage-WebRunning a local massage business is hard work, and if you spend most of your time with clients or honing your skills, it can be difficult to find the time to market your business. But self-promotion is necessary to bring in new clients and drive repeat business.

    Luckily, there are many simple tactics you can use to break through with a local audience. Here are eight simple ways to promote your local massage business.

    Create a Website

    Creating a website is a top priority for any new business, as it can convert web traffic into paying clients. Your website can educate locals about your credentials, your services, and other crucial info like location and business hours.

    You’ll also probably want an online appointment booking platform, either through your website or a paid service. This will make it easier for clients to book appointments and cut the time you spend updating your calendar.

    Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce

    Joining your local chamber of commerce may seem time consuming, as staying active in the group requires regular participation, but membership offers several benefits. It can bring credibility to your business, increase your reputation in the community, and create valuable networking opportunities. You can connect with fellow entrepreneurs to establish business alliances and refer clients to each other.

    At the very least, you’ll be getting a voice in local government, helping to shape local policies that could directly affect your business.

    Join Massage Associations

    Massage associations large and small can benefit massage businesses. One of the biggest - the American Massage Therapy Association - offers career development and continuing education, access to discounted products and services, trade publications, and even liability insurance. There are also many local and niche groups out there, so make sure to research available associations to find the ones that best suit your needs.

    Use Social Media Locally

    You may already be active on social media, but if you aren’t promoting your posts you might only be reaching your existing audience. When you run valuable promotions, you should try boosting them via paid posts. Paid posts are generally cheap for small business, and you can use them to connect with your local audience.

    You can also get creative to gain local followers. For instance, you could offer a discount when someone writes a Yelp review or checks into your business on Facebook.

    Use Referrals to Spread Word of Mouth

    Word of mouth is extremely important for local business. Without a large advertising budget or marketing department, you rely on word of mouth to get new clients in the door. You’re probably already striving to offer exceptional service in the hopes that your clients will recommend you to friends.

    But you can also incentivize referrals with your existing clients to boost the word of mouth effect. For instance, you can offer discounted products or services to clients that refer a certain amount of new client appointments. This gives your loyal clients extra motivation to refer their friends and family.

    Spread Your Business Cards Around

    You should have business cards ready at a moment’s notice. Anyone you speak with for more than 30 seconds should walk away from the conversation with your business card in hand. You don’t have to be pushy; just let them know that your business exists!

    Business cards can be especially helpful in the hands of the right people. Make sure you’re handing them out to employees or owners at gyms, health food stores, chiropractic clinics, and any other location that has a mission that aligns with massage.

    Collect Emails

    Collect emails on your website, new client intake forms, and anywhere else you can. Email is one of the best ways to stay top-of-mind with prospects and your existing client base. Every email you gather is a potential source of future business. Once you have a healthy list of contacts, you can start email marketing to encourage a steady flow of massage bookings.

    Claim Your Yelp Page

    If your business has a Yelp page, you should claim it. Claiming your Yelp page can help you track views and leads, add photos and a website link, and provide other business info. You’ll also be able to respond to reviews, so you can thank happy clients for a great review and try to appease unhappy reviewers.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Five Ways to Get Involved in the Fight Against Arthritis

    Posted on May 17, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Wrist-Pain_ArthritisMay is National Arthritis Awareness Month, a time to focus on a condition that is the top cause of disability in America. More than 50 million American adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. With those numbers, the odds are good that you or someone you care about has or will have arthritis.

    Outside of affecting the health of millions, arthritis has a profound, measurable economic and social impact in the United States. Despite all this, misunderstandings surround arthritis.

    Whether you’re well educated on arthritis or know virtually nothing, there are many ways to get involved in the fight. Here are five:

    1. Educate Yourself
    Arthritis is actually a group of diseases, with over 100 different types. Over 300,000 children have arthritis or a related rheumatic disease. Arthritis affects about approximately one in four adults.

    All of these facts are made publicly available by groups like the Arthritis Foundation. But misconceptions still survive. While you don’t need to have a doctor’s grasp of the condition, you will need to know the basics to spread awareness or provide support. The Arthritis Foundation is a great place to start your education, but you can also talk to medical professionals and people you know that are affected by arthritis to begin your education.

    2. Make a Donation
    There are several organizations working to spread awareness, provide resources to people with arthritis, and fund research for a cure. These groups welcome donations that help further their mission.

    The Arthritis Foundation is one of the highest profile groups, and its work ranges from advocacy at the federal and state government level to organizing local events and the annual Walk to Cure Arthritis. The Arthritis National Research Foundation primarily focuses on research for a cure, and the Arthritis Research and Education Fund supports researchers at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center.

    Your dollars can help these groups support people with arthritis and work toward a cure.

    3. Join Advocacy Groups
    Groups like CreakyJoints work to influence state and federal health and regulatory policies that affect those with arthritis. These groups provide a voice for patients and advocate for policies that affect access to treatment, care standards, and other issues. You can join the advocacy networks of national arthritis groups to share your story with media and legislators.

    4. Participate in a Fundraising Event
    There are many national and local events that support arthritis research, including walks, dinners, galas and more. Some events raise funds for general arthritis research, while others specialize in juvenile arthritis, alternative treatments, and other areas of focus. You can participate, donate funds, and even volunteer as a staff member at many of these events.

    5. Join a Support Group
    If you suffer from arthritis, it can be difficult to get others to relate to your experience. Joining a support group can help you get support, bond with people who have similar experiences, and widen your social circle. Attending meetings at a local support group can help you determine if support groups might be a good fit for you. They can also help you connect with local events, advocacy groups, and other activities to join the fight against arthritis.

    Sources:
    http://www.arthritis.org/
    http://www.arthritis.org/Documents/Sections/About-Arthritis/arthritis-facts-stats-figures.pdf
    https://creakyjoints.org/advocacy/50-state-network/
    http://www.curearthritis.org/


    This post was posted in Education

  • Don't Neglect Your Pillows for a Deep Spring-Cleaning

    Posted on May 11, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Spring-WebSpring has arrived, and its time to shake off the winter and embrace your inner neat freak. Spring-cleaning is the annual time to freshen up your yard, make your kitchen gleam, and vacuum up all the dust bunnies.

    But one home item that needs regular upkeep is often overlooked all year. We’re talking about your pillows: they can get absolutely filthy, even if it isn’t noticeable to the naked eye.

    This spring, don’t neglect your pillows - they’re one thing you’ll likely want as clean as possible.

    Why Should I Wash My Pillows?

    Your head and face come in direct contact with your pillows for hours at a time. Knowing that, it seems logical that most people would want to keep them spotless. But it’s a frequently neglected aspect of home cleaning.

    Over time, pillows collect all manners of unsavory materials, including dead skin cells, pet dander, and even fungi. What’s worse, these materials attract dust mites, for whom a pillow is simply one of the best environments in which to live. A 2011 study found that over one third of a two-year-old pillow’s weight is made up of dead dust mites and their feces, dead skin cells, and bacteria.

    Not only is this information gross, it could be affecting your health if you’re one of the 20 million Americans with a dust mite allergy.

    What Can I Do to Keep My Pillows Clean?

    Fortunately, keeping your pillows clean is fairly simple, as long as you can remember to perform regular upkeep.

    Replace Them

    Periodically, you should replace your old, dirty pillows with fresh, clean ones. Pillows should be replaced every year or two; this eliminates all the crud old pillows have been collecting and keeps you from sleeping on a flat, worn out pillow.

    Perform Regular Upkeep

    Regular maintenance can also help fight off pillow accumulation. You should fluff your pillows daily to help them maintain their proper shape and knock off the dust off. If you remove certain pillows when you sleep, don’t just toss them on the floor - find a clean place for them instead.

    You’ll also want to wash your pillowcases with the rest of your bedding, at least once every week or two.

    Wash Them Consistently

    Your pillows can stand a regular washing, at least once every few months. But before you toss your pillow in the washing machine, check the washing instructions. Many pillows require specific cleaning methods to maintain their shape and support.

    For instance, fiber pillows like the Tri-Core Cervical Pillow can be hand soaked and washed in warm water with laundry detergent, then air-dried. Foam pillows like the Core Memory Foam Cervical Pillow may need to be wiped with a damp cloth. Make sure to check the tags or instructions that come with your pillow, as washing it improperly could cause damage.

    When in doubt, you can check the Core Products page or give us a ring if you have questions on washing your Core Products pillow.

    Conclusion

    Spring-cleaning is the perfect time to replace your pillows or give them a deep clean, but this should be just one step in regular upkeep and maintenance. Your pillows won’t stop accumulating unwanted material the rest of the year, so regular cleaning is needed to keep them fresh, remove gross buildup and allergens, and keep your bedroom just as healthy and clean as the rest of your home after a cleaning binge.


    This post was posted in Education

  • How to Handle a Medical Bill You Can’t Afford

    Posted on May 2, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    medicalbillsHealthcare costs can quickly spiral out of control for people who had the simple misfortune of being sick or injured. If you can’t afford a large medical bill, you may be worried about the consequences of non-payment, which could involve a damaged credit score, calls from collections agencies, and even court.

    Luckily, you can try to negotiate your medical bills or get assistance to reduce the cost of your health care. Here’s what to do if you receive a medical bill you can’t afford.

    Start Planning Immediately

    One of the worst things you can do is ignore the problem or postpone dealing with it. Any attempt to reduce your medical bill will have a better chance of success if you begin right away. Medical bills have a waiting period of 180 days past due before they can be reported to credit bureaus and land on your credit report.

    This means you have some time to deal with the bill, but you’ll likely want to get started now because the process can take a while.

    Collect and Review Your Documents

    Medical bills often contain errors that overcharge you for medical procedures and supplies; In fact, one recent review by insurance companies found errors in over 90 percent of the bills they examined.  Unfortunately, your insurance companies and medical providers won’t hunt for mistakes, and the burden to find them falls on you.

    You’ll need to collect every document related to your medical treatment – including the itemized bill, insurance statements, and any other relevant information. If you don’t have itemized bills, you should request them from your health care provider. Then, you can review your itemized bill to make sure you aren’t being overcharged. You can also check your bills against your insurance plan to make sure your insurance covered all the services it was supposed to.

    This can be a daunting, complicated task, so you may wish to contact a medical billing advocate for help.

    Negotiate with the Health Care Provider

    Health care providers will often negotiate with patients who are unable to afford their bill - after all, they’d rather receive some payment than nothing. To negotiate, you’ll need to speak with the health care provider’s billing staff.

    Negotiation may take some persistence. If you’re having no luck through phone or email, you can send a formal request for negotiation through the mail (make sure to send copies to the health care provider’s management). If you can find lower prices for the services you received, you may want to use that information for leverage.

    Find Assistance

    If you’re in certain income brackets or your medical bill is causing financial hardship, you may be able to receive assistance from different sources. Many doctors, hospitals, and specialists have assistance programs or can recommend other resources.

    If your healthcare provider doesn’t offer aid, there are many government programs and charities that can help. You’ll have to do some research on available local, state, and federal resources.

    Negotiate with Collections

    If your medical bill becomes 180 days past due, it may land on your credit report and be sent to collections. This scenario should be avoided, because your credit will be affected. However, if you find yourself in this situation, you still may be able to negotiate. Most collections agencies have bought your debt at pennies on the dollar, so you may be able to negotiate a lower payment amount. If you go this route, try to negotiate an agreement (in writing) that removes the debt from your credit report as a condition of your payment.


    This post was posted in Education

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