Do you want to start a massage therapy business? If so, find here in this article, a step by step guide to how to start a massage therapy business covering aspects like cost, licenses, etc.
The demand for massage therapists in the healthcare industry is growing in recent years. Most people go for massage therapy for medical or health reasons. It includes pain management, injury rehabilitation, or overall wellness. Industry professionals predict the employment for Massage Therapists is going to increase by 24% from 2016-2026. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a massage therapist in the year 2018 was $$41,420.
10 Steps to Follow to Start Massage Therapy Business
Here are the basic steps to follow to launch a massage therapist business:
1. Get Trained
Completing a training program at a massage therapy school is a must. It will legally enable you to practice commercially. There are different forms of massage therapy. It may be acupressure, hot stone massage, deep-tissue massage, aromatherapy massage, reflexology, Swedish massage. etc. The minimum hours for obtaining a massage therapy license may vary state by state. However, it generally ranges from a minimum of 300 to a maximum of 1,000 hours.
Before starting your own massage therapy business, it is hugely beneficial to work under a reputed massage therapy clinic. It not only gives you practical experience but also in understanding customer’s needs and behavior.
2. Do Some Market Research
A with any other business, gathering information about the local market is critical for success in the business of massage therapy. Conduct extensive market research and gather as much information possible regarding local competitors, their offers and pricing strategy, market size, the gaps, etc.
3. Name Your Massage Therapy Business
It may sound not that important, but if you observe a little deeper, most successful massage therapy parlors have a name that relates to their business practice. Take some time and choose a relevant and catchy business name so that customers can easily relate to your services and products. Check this guide on how to successfully name a business.
4. Create a Business Plan
You can write your business plan at any given point in your business. Many successful massage therapists write their business plan after a few years of experience in the trade. However, if you are looking for investors, writing a business plan is a must. If you are new to business plan writing, take help from online business plan generators if you want.
Elements like an executive summary, company description, products and services, the target market, analysis of the competition, operational plan, marketing and sales plan, manpower strategy, the financial plan need to be mentioned and explained in your massage therapy business plan document. Check this guide on writing a business plan.
5. Form a Company
Running a legally compliant business is always advised. Based on your resources, decide on the business structure under which you are going to run your massage therapy business. Every state and county offers different sent of company formation structures like proprietorship, partnership, etc.
If you want to have your personal asset not associated with the company assets, choosing an LLC is a better option.
6. Get Licenses & Permits
Check with local appropriate authorities for required licenses and permits to operate a massage therapy business. You will be in need of sets of licenses. One is the massage therapist licenses and the other is for operating a massage parlor business. It is best to contact a local attorney and understand the licensing requirements.
While fees vary from state to state, you need to pay some fees of around $350 to $500 to get a state license for a massage establishment in Florida.
Any business having an establishment should go for business insurance. Talk to local insurance vendors and go for the most suited business liability insurance for your business to save from any unforeseen calamity.
7. Choose Right Location & Setting Up
If you are starting from your home, or providing service at the customer doorstep, no need of wasting time in choosing a location. But if you are opening a parlor establishment, selecting a convenient location goes a long way in the success of the business. The location must be easily reachable from your target customers. Ensure the interior is comfortable to clients.
8. Hire Professionals
Having skilled massage therapists is the key to long term success in this business. Contact the local recruitment agency or post a job advertisement clearly mentioning the requirements in the local newspapers or online job portals.
9. Understand the Cost of Starting a Massage Therapy Business
The cost of starting a massage therapy business includes both a one-time initial investment as well as regular operating expenses. Your one-time initial investment includes office furniture, massage equipment like massage tables, stools, heating pads, computers, interior decoration, accounting software, etc.
Recurring cost includes rent of premises, general office supplies, and massage supplies. If all expenses including marketing are taken into account, one can start a massage therapy parlor with an initial investment of around $6000.
10. Promote Your Massage Therapy Clinic
All said and done, reaching the right people is the critical factor for the profitability of any business. Sending postcards to as many people in your locality works most for massage parlors.
Create a website and allow customers to book appointments online. Explore social media and send your business activities as regularly as possible. Benefits like customer loyalty programs, offering package deals must be included in your marketing plan.