According to the Small Business Administration, there are over 20 million small businesses in the U.S. And almost 300,000 of them offer massage therapy services. The biggest key to success is simply getting the process started.
Here are 10 easy steps that you can take in order to start a massage therapy business:
It’s important that you know about the latest trends in the massage therapy market. This way, you’ll be able to get a competitive edge. So do your research: Who is your target audience? What types of problems are they having? Who are your competitors? What type of problems do they solve? Are there any new business opportunities that you could take advantage of?
Now that you have a better idea of what the market looks like, you need to create a business plan. This is the blueprint that will help to guide all of your future business decisions. If you already have funding, then your plan can be a simple, one-page document that lays out the goals that you wish to achieve and how you will achieve them.
However, if you would like to get funding from an investor or institution, then your plan needs to be traditional and extremely detailed. It should ideally include the main summary, an overview of your legal structure, an operations plan, a market analysis, the services, you’ll offer, how you’ll market your business, an analysis of the competition, a financial summary, and projection of your future income.
You don’t have to be rich to start your own massage therapy business. However, you do need financing so that you can cover the initial ongoing expenses before you’re able to turn your first profit. Create a spreadsheet that estimates the cost of startup. This typically includes licensing and permit fees, the cost of equipment, legal fees, business insurance, marketing, branding, and property leases. Ideally, you should have enough financing to last for a year.
Luckily, there are several options for funding a new business. You may ask family or friends for a personal loan. You may choose to ask a bank or credit union for a business loan. You could also choose crowdfunding in which you get your financing from several lenders who believe in the potential of your business.
When it comes to choosing the legal structure of your massage therapy business, you have four options: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability(LLC) or corporation. The structure you choose will have a huge impact on how much liability you have as well as the way in which you file your taxes. The good news is, you can always change your structure if your business grows or there are unexpected changes. If the structure you choose is complex, consider consulting a lawyer.
One of the most important parts of starting a new business is choosing the perfect name. When naming your business, you need to explore as many options as possible. You should also make sure that the name reflects the brand that you would like to build. Once you’ve chosen the perfect name, you need to search the United States Patent and Trademark database to find out if it’s already trademarked or in use.
It’s also important that you register it. If your business is sole proprietor then you should register it with your state or county clerk. The other structures will require you to register your name once your formation paperwork has been filed.
If you have the proper education and certification, then check regulatory divisions and board. This is where most states post all of the necessary licensure requirements for massage therapists. It may be somewhat difficult to locate the requirements for your state, but you can typically find these materials on the department of health’s website.
Depending on your financing, there are many options available to you when purchasing equipment. You may purchase the equipment outright. You may finance the equipment and pay for it over time. You may also consider renting your equipment. The option you choose will depend on your long-term goals.
The location you choose will depend on the environment that you want to offer your clients. Would you like to operate out of a medical facility in which you lease an office? Would you like to operate out of a building that is dedicated solely to your patients? Maybe you are interested in a retail location? Perhaps you plan to travel to your clients’ homes. Consider the brand of your business when choosing the location of your business.
If you happen to offer false advice or make a mistake while giving a massage, it could easily lead to your being sued by the client. And this is why it’s so important that take steps to protect yourself against such instances. Particularly, it’s important that you get liability insurance. This way, if someone does file a claim against you, your costs and damages will be covered. So, compare massage insurance with MMIP. It can save you a significant amount of frustration in the long run.
Now that your business is set up, it’s time to let people know that you are up and running. Start a website and connect your social media accounts. Write several unique propositions and test out which attracts the most clientele. You should market offline as well. Just make sure that your marketing materials match your brand and image.
Starting a massage therapy business isn’t difficult. However, if you would like to ensure that everything runs smoothly, then it will require a certain amount of dedication and follow-through. By following these simple steps, your business will be off to a great start.