Growing Your Business on a Part-time Basis?

lesley keller massage therapistWe recently caught up with a graduate of Richdales, Lesley Keller, who is growing her Massage and Sports Massage business on a part time basis alongside her job as a music teacher.

And Lesley is not alone in taking this approach. According to a recent article in the Sunday Times (16th June), there is a growing trend for people, especially those in the 25-34 age group, to take a different approach to working, with many choosing to pursue a new career that is more meaningful to them on a part-time basis.

Lesley shares her journey and offers some advice to anyone wanting to pursue a new career in massage therapy. Also find out how furthering her skills through continuing education has changed her life a lot.

Lesley Keller was and continues to be a part time Music Teacher. Three years ago Lesley started looking to find something she could do that would fill up the free time she had in the day.

With a sister who had trained as a massage therapist and having received numerous complements herself from family and friends on the massages she gave them, Lesley decided to look at the possibility of pursuing a career in Massage.

Lesley wanted to find a training provider that would enable her to do a course around her work as a Music Teacher. Many places she looked at didn’t support this. She came across Richdales, which offered her the training she was looking for, structured to enable her to keep working while she qualified.

Lesley, graduated from Richdales in August 2011 with an ITEC Diploma in Holistic Massage. Since completing this course Lesley says “My life has changed dramatically. It’s given me ambition, purpose, it’s given me a passion and it’s given me something else apart from what I’ve always known which is music.”

Following her other interest, sports, Lesley was drawn to further her studies at Richdales, gaining an ITEC Diploma in Sports Massage. “Doing the Sports Massage Course has changed a lot of things for me” says Lesley. “I mean doing the course has brought a lot of important contacts into my life such a Rohan Samuel who I brought as my ‘exam body’ ,to the ITEC Practical exam and it’s affected my personal exercise programme as well. Rohan is a World Champion in the Masters League (above the age of 35). He’s a sprinting champion and is the current 60M World Champion. I’m now doing some training with him as well.

I’ve been introduced to all different fields of sport. I’ve been massaging a boxing trainer and I’ve watched a boxing fight. I’m into cycling now as well.  It has got me interested in more varieties of sport and I and I have been doing some event work with one of the Sports Massage Teachers from Richdales.

The main challenge that Lesley has encountered, which many therapists starting out building their client base encounter too, is “making people aware that you exist”.

Here are Lesley’s top 5 tips to overcome this are:

  1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – use as many ways possible to let people know about you and what you can do for them.
  2. Provide your services for free at local events to get noticed e.g. participating in events in your local events such as ‘Carers Week’.
  3. Exhibit at exhibitions or fairs.
  4. Develop advertisements that work well for you.
  5. Set up a website to direct people to and to attract new clients to your business.  

Lesley recognises that she is fortunate that she can build her business as a Massage Therapist alongside her role as a part time Music Teacher.

Lesley has this advice to someone who wants to pursue a new career as a Massage Therapist – “I think if you’ve got a fulltime job consider going part time, if you can afford to, and then do the massage course and build it up. I think that would be the best option. Rather than take a big risk because it can take time to build up a full clinic.

You can find out more about Lesley at

What’s your experience of building your business? We’d love to hear your experiences. You can leave a comment below or get in touch with us?