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 practice business covering aspects like cost, licenses, etc.
The demand for massage therapists 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 of Massage Therapists is going to increase by 24% from 2016 to 2026. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a massage therapist in the year 2021 was $$46,910 per year and $22.55 per hour.
One can practice massage therapy business from home, at a health clinic, or on a mobile basis. Whatever business model you decide on, there are certain steps that you must follow to make the business successful. Here are the basic steps to follow to launch a massage therapy business.
10 Steps to Start Massage Therapy 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, or 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.
You can visit online platforms like National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and get enrolled in certification programs.
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 an understanding of customers’ needs and behavior.
2. Do Some Market Research
As 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 as possible regarding local competitors, their offers and pricing strategy, market size, 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.
Furthermore, one must find a similar website domain name as creating a site is essential. Check our domain availability guide to learn more.
4. Write a Massage Therapy Business Plan
You can write your business plan at any given point in your business. Many successful massage therapists write their business plans 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.
Creating an in-depth and effective massage therapy business plan is necessary if one is planning to launch on large scale. More so if you are looking for funds from investors. The essential elements that must be included in your plan document are the following:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Industry Analysis
- Target Market
- Competitive Analysis
- Products/ Services Offered
- Manpower Plan
- Operational Plan
- Marketing Plan
- Financial Projection
If you are starting small, some of the basic topics that must be addressed in your plan document are as follow:
- Initial and recurring costs
- Target customers
- Pricing plan
- How do you plan to promote massage therapy services?
5. Register your Business
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 license 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 you from any unforeseen calamity.
7. Choose Right Location & Setting Up
If you are starting from your home, or providing service at the customer’s 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 toward the success of the business. The location must be easily reachable from your target customers. Ensure the interior is comfortable for 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. 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. A massage therapist in the United States earns in the range of $18 to $35 per hour per therapy session.
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 work 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 and offering package deals must be included in your marketing plan.
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