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Should You Offer Punch Cards for Your Clients?

I think punch cards are a great option for you and your clients. As a general rule, people tend to come in more often when they know they have a punch card with you. It does seem to help you fill up your appointment book a little easier.

However, punch cards can have a downside to them and it has to do with how you view them as the business owner. Many (many) of the therapists that I have talked to about punch cards learned this lesson pretty early on when offering punch cards.

The story goes like this. You sell 3 punch cards in one month and with that amount you go get those new tires for your car or pay for that put-off car repair you have been needing. While it is a good thing to take care of yourself, the hard part is, you have actually taken part of your weekly wages away.

We don’t always see it that way in the beginning, but believe me you figure it out when you are financially short to pay your cell phone bill, even though you did the same number of massages this week as last week.

I have done this before, that is why I know it happens. Learn from my mistakes! (And many others who did the same thing!)

“It’s said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others’ mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others’ successes.” John C Maxwell

Here are 3 success principles to help you so that you don’t have to learn these mistakes:

#1 You will be getting a lump sum of money and you need to PUT IT INTO YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT

Only withdraw the money as the person uses the punch card. That way, you are getting paid the same as if the person paid you that day for their appointment.

You will thank yourself later.

Start putting money into a savings account every week to pay for those car repairs or other expenses that WILL pop up. Start learning to save money and plan for your purchases. Trust me, it is the best way to run your finances.

You, again, will thank yourself later.

#2 Punch cards should be more of a convenience for someone – NOT a huge discount.

If a person wants to pay for 3 or 5 massages in advance, I wouldn’t discount their massages much more than $5 a session. That’s saving them $25 if they buy 5 massages and that is plenty of savings. Buy 4 and get 1 free starts to get hard when you lose a whole session of income (like $50) for a “convenience”.

Think about it. Your client would probably continue to pay you session by session anyways. You are giving 1 massage away because….. you think you have to to keep them as a client? I’ll bet that is not the truth. They would schedule with you anyways. It just makes the punch card more of a convenience for them.

If a client buys 3 cards in a year for the “buy 4 get the 5th free” that’s $150.00. It can start to make you resent those cards (and possibly the clients that buy them). The whole process does not honor you, your business, or the massage service you offer. Use caution in how much you discount those.

Ask yourself if you would want to continue the discount 1 year down the road? If the answer is no, then don’t start offering something you will have trouble stopping.

#3 Put an expiration date on those things!

There is nothing more frustrating then having someone come back 3 years later and using their last 2 punches. Most likely, you have spent that money 2 years ago and you could quite possibly have raised your rates since then as well. It is a frustrating place to be in.

*My favorite was when the son of one of my deceased clients was cleaning out his mother’s house and found a punch card for me with 2 punches left on it and decided to use it. It was over 10 years old. I redeemed 1 of the massages, but not both. The difference in my price had more than tripled in that 10 years. But the card did not expire, and that left me in a position to redeem it.

Be Smart About Your Services

Punch cards can be a great way to help boost your business when you are just starting out or as a stocking-stuffer for Christmas for a current client’s family member to purchase. Just make sure that you handle the money you receive from those cards in a way that supports YOU in the future.

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