What A Year! 2021: Year in Review
Before I started to write this blog post for our website, I took a moment to scroll back on our social media page to get a timeline of events. It’s not until I did this, I realized what a crazy roller coaster the year had been. From hiring staff, too numerous holds on services, updates on staff schedules, absences because of the school closures, or lockdown measure in places affecting therapists. WOW! I am so proud of my team and my clients for staying with us through it all.
So after I went back on our posts for 2021 this is what I found…
We started off with two of our therapists having to alter their schedules due to the closure of schools due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this meant we were missing one full time massage therapist and one part time therapist who would switch between 2 weeks of work and 2 weeks off for online schooling.
During this time our reflexology services had to be stopped as the government was only allowing regulated health care providers to work (https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r21305).
To begin February, the schools were still closed for part of the month. Thankfully after that, we were almost back to normal for our therapists and we were even allowed to offer reflexology services after a brief hold.
During the month I decided the clinic needed additional front desk coverage to assist our clients and therapists. We also launched our second Instagram account @last_minute_smtawc
(https://www.instagram.com/last_minute_smtawc/ Give us a follow!)
Our goal for this account was to engage with our clients indirectly and inform them of any last minute massage appointments that are available at the clinic. We have a small following to date of 113 people so be sure to give us a follow if you would like to see any last-minute openings.
The clinic started to ramp up, things were a little more normal, the clinic was getting busier with more clients returning and our therapists returning back to their full time schedules.
I decided that it was time to add another staff member at the front who would cover the additional hours and allow me as a therapist to start off-loading some admin work of the clinic to a dedicated team, which would allow me to concentrate on my clients and treatments.
In March 2021 we brought on a full time receptionist. YEAH!
The hiring streak continued, and we welcomed a new RMT to the team on a part time basis to work evenings and weekends.
At this time I believe we were facing yet another school closure and we again were told that unregulated health care providers (ie. reflexology) would not be allowed to treat and it was to be put on hold AGAIN!
So back we had to go, cancel any clients who had been scheduled, adjust the therapist’s hours and days they could work so they could be at home to help with online schooling.
This was by far the weirdest month.
We were once again faced with staff being affected with the closing of schools. So, for the month of May we did a “soft close” on Monday’s (but we remained open the rest of the week). This meant only one RMT was working (me – Lisa) and seeing clients. Unfortunately, this meant I had to cut back on the receptionists’ hours just two months after bringing someone new on.
These days took me back to when I first started out on my own, having to do everything – the billings, rebooking, answer emails, take phone calls etc.
During May we were still operating without our reflexologist and this went on until July!
Summer was approaching and things were almost close to normal in the province of Ontario! Schedules were booking up, people were allowed to work, our team was back together again, the energy and spirit in the clinic had a nice buzz to it, things felt normal.
We decided that the clinic needed a new team member and this time we wanted to add an Osteopath to the group. I have always felt that the work they do is just amazing. If you have not had a session with an osteopath, I highly recommend it.
The majority of the time, when you say the word “osteopath” people think of bones…it’s quite different! I encourage you to read about osteopath services on our website.
Around the same time of hiring an Osteopath, I had received a resume from a RMT looking for a part time position at the clinic. Once again, the clinic was growing and I was thrilled!
It became official! We were going to be adding our 7th RMT to the team and we added our 3rd part time receptionist.
Also, another pretty big milestone for the clinic was reached, we had 98 new clients to our clinic in the month!
Schools were returning, or were they? We were fully prepared for yet another lockdown.. but… phew we were going to make it this month without having to adjust our schedules. No lockdown and finally we could announce that we had found an Osteopath that was going to join the team!
Looking back, perhaps we had won the lottery this month. Schools were back in, regulated and non-regulated health care providers could work, we hired an Osteopath – business is good!
The lucky streak from September continued.
Our doors were open, our team was back to work and things were great in terms of schedules and treatments.
We were asked to sponsor a local Jim Morris Classic Bodybuilding Physique Fitness and Bikini show that would be held in Kitchener, ON with our very own clients competing in the show, who would go on to with their first every bodybuilding competition.
New ideas of ways to connect with our clients were ramping up too. We launched our “Last Minute Club” emails that would go out on a weekly basis to our clients who had signed up, or anyone on the waitlist for appointments.
Also in October, I announced that I would be reducing my treatment hours from five days a week to three days a week. My goal for the time off was to focus on the business a little more and I really wanted to use the time to focus on starting up my nutritional consulting course nothing ever goes as planned 😉
The BUSY season was upon us!
This is always without a doubt the busiest time of year for all RMT’s. It is always the time when clients are looking to use their massage benefits before the end of the year and OH were we busy! We couldn’t be more happy, pandemic or not, people had massage benefits to use and they were going to use them.
What a wonderful time of year…the craziness of the end of the year continued with many clients coming in for appointments, front desk staff finishing their exams, Christmas gifts were dropped off at the clinic, chocolate and sweets in the staff room etc.
We ended the year with our first ever social media give-away. We offered up one Reflexology treatment and a $100 gift card from the Charcoal Group. We gained many new followers and comments on our page and want to thank everyone for their support!
2021 was coming to an end… AND THEN ANOTHER LOCKDOWN ANNOUNCEMENT…
So, What did we learn in 2021: Year in Review?
I have never looked back on a year and done a review like I have today, and I think I will make it a goal of mine to continue looking back because as surprised as I was by the amount of lockdown and disruptions in the schedules and services, I did not realize just how much the clinic grew I am definitely grateful. I hope 2022’s review will be a little bit of a smoother ride.
Stay Safe. Stay Kind. Stay Healthy.
SIDE NOTE: I want to thank Steve Shearer for suggesting the keyword “2021 in review”. Every month I get key words to help spark blog posts and I can tell you that sometimes the motivation just isn’t there, but this topic was so therapeutic. I realize how lucky and fortunate I am to have a team and clients who have stuck with us through this journey.