Tips To Starting A Massage Therapy Business
Tips To Starting A Massage Therapy Business
Starting any kind of business isn’t easy, so read on for tips to starting a massage therapy business. Sure, some entrepreneurial businesses are easier to get off the ground, but for the most part it takes time, effort, money and an incredible amount of patience. But there are some benefits to working for yourself, right? You can set your own hours, work when you want and charge what you want.
One profession in particular has become very popular and that is starting your own massage therapy business. As mentioned above, you can set your own hours and have complete control on how much to charge for the different kind of services you perform. Not only that, you can pick and choose your clientele, a bonus not many of us get the luxury of having. You can decide to freelance and or, work in a professional environment with other professionals. Either way you can achieve your dreams of making a great living, as well as, provide a much needed service that is in great demand.
What is needed to starting a massage therapy business?
Getting started as a therapist is not as cut and dry as you may think. This article is meant to break it down piece by piece so that in the future, if you decide this is the career choice for you, you will have all the information laid about before you. The biggest hurdle to jump over when starting a massage therapy business is getting trained, certified and licensed. This takes the most time and effort. Do your research and find a local program that will allow you to get the training and hours you will need to get licensed and certified. Each state, mind you, is different when it comes to licensing and certification qualifications so you will need to do a little research on that as well.
Generally, most states require at least 500 hours of training from an accredited program to become licensed. This will require that time and patience we talked about earlier. And there will be a licensing fee you will have to pay, as well as, continuing education cost and time that will have to be consider on an ongoing basis as you practice and keep your skillset and license updated.
The State of Washington has a great program for starting your career
But again, it varies from state to state so just be aware of that. The State of Washington has a great licensing program to consider when looking to get into the massage business and many great accredited schools to attend in cities like Seattle which has some of the best schools for learning massage therapy skills in the country. Once you are certified, you will absolutely want to purchase liability insurance. On a whole, any time you are working with people, insurance is a must. People will find any reason to blame you for aches or pains and if you don’t have insurance, they will be able to sue you and take everything from you. We don’t want that, so get the insurance and protect yourself!
Once you have your license and insurance then you can start with the less mundane aspects of starting a business. Even if you haven’t picked out your location (which we will discuss next) start advertising and promoting yourself right away! This will allow people to catch wind of what you offer which will build anticipation. People get excited about new businesses opening in their area!
Give them teaser flyers, run online ads, or whatever you have budgeted. All this, while somewhat expensive, will give you more exposure and peak people’s curiosity. So then, when you do finally open your doors, there will be (hopefully) a line outside waiting for your magical masseuse hands! Branding yourself as an expert in the field of massage therapy or even in specialized field such as sports massage therapy can help you rise above the competition.
Location is an important factor for the massage business
For any business, location is critical in gaining exposure and driving income. Leasing a studio is expensive, of course, so sit down and look at your budget and see what you can reasonably afford. The beauty of having your own massage studio is that you can truly make it “your own space.” You can decorate however you want, adding ambiance and character. Personally, we love a good massage therapy business that has a calming, relaxing vibe to it. You’re there to relax, after all!
If leasing a studio isn’t in the budget, there is always the option of renting a
space from an existing practitioner or massage studio. Sure, you may not be able to add your own flair, but it is cheaper than leasing a whole space just for yourself.
If that isn’t an option, you can always have clients come to your home. This is, obviously, the most convenient for you because you get to work right out of the comfort of your own home. But be aware that in most cities you will need a work-from-home permit, so do your research on that. The last option, which isn’t all that convenient for you, is to drive to your clients homes using a portable massage table. Of course many cities and states require a business license and a background check to perform massage therapy at most any location.
Sole Proprietor or LLC for starting a massage therapy business?
So with all that in mind, let’s talk about forming your company. Any good massage therapy business is going to need a name that people can remember easily. You want it to set the tone for what you offer. If your niche is more therapy-based, you’ll want a name that’s perhaps more clinical. If your niche is more spa-based, you may want a more creative name. You may elect to use your own name and establish your brand in that manner as well.
You will also need to decide what your business entity is. Are you a sole proprietor? As a sole proprietor you will be able to use your Social Security number to file your taxes. Are you a limited liability company? As a limited liability company you will need to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. The decision is yours, however, an accountant can help you choose the best way to form your business.
Decide the correct way to price your services as a massage therapist
You will also need to figure out what services you will offer and what those services should cost. Massage therapy may cost more in New York City than in, say, Seattle, Washington. So do your research here as well. Look up other local massage therapy businesses and see what they charge. Also many massage therapy schools provide the knowledge and experience in your area to provide you valuable insight in pricing your services and business assistance.
You want to be competitive, but don’t undercharge yourself! We’ve come to find that if you are charging way less to drive people through your door, you may be stabbing yourself in the foot because no one wants to go get a massage from someone that cheap! How good can they really be is what most people are thinking. So again, keep your prices competitive but don’t undermine your talent!
Offer additional services and products in your massage therapy practice
What’s great about massage are all the other little components you can offer. Aromatherapy, holistic services, and even bath and body essentials are being sold at massage therapy companies because it all goes hand in hand! Think about it; you’ve just had a wonderful, ninety minute massage, you’re relaxed, you’re happy and now as you’re leaving you see a wall of grade-A lotions and soaps for sale. Why not treat yourself? It may not be the bulk of income, but it is little sales like these that will up your income and bring clients back to you.
A career as a massage therapist is incredibly rewarding. Clients come to you because they need to relax, as well as, to get rid of pain and stiffness with their bodies and muscles. Many customers come to you because they threw their backs out. People are trusting you with their bodies and that right there is an extremely satisfying feeling. Friendships form, your business grows, and you have lifelong clients who help you to become successful and financially independent in a job you can truly love to go to work daily. What isn’t more rewarding than that?