8 Steps to Starting a Massage Business: Are You Ready to Take Your Hobby to the Next Level?

There probably isn’t a massage therapist anywhere who hasn’t seriously considered starting their own business at one time or another, and why not? What could be better than making money while doing something you love?

The good news in all this is that starting a massage therapy business isn’t as hard as it might seem. There are a few things you need to get started, from planning and licensing to more basic things like the purchase of massage oils and other products. This article will get you started. All it takes is these eight steps, and you’re in business.

Create a Detailed Business Plan

It may seem obvious to the point of being silly, especially for a one-person operation, but having a detailed business plan is crucial to success. A business plan should include your goals and a timeline. This will not only give you a roadmap to operate your business, but banks and other lenders will want to see it if you ask them for funding.

Get Licensed and Certified

Anyone practicing massage therapy is probably already licensed and certified, but it would pay to do so to start a business if you are not.

Be a Member of a Professional Organization

Being a member of a professional organization such as the American Massage Therapy Association can be beneficial in many ways. This includes giving a professional standing, availability of continuing education, discount insurance programs, and much more.

Do the Paperwork

It might not be the most pleasant part of operating a business, but the appropriate paperwork must get done and be turned in on time. Perhaps most importantly is that the most appropriate business form be decided on. This could take the form of a sole proprietorship, a partnership, corporation, or an LLC. It would be best to consult with an accountant or an attorney when deciding this. Regardless, there are many benefits to doing this right.

Register with Health Funds

Being registered with various health plans, insurance plans, and other organizations can go a long way towards attracting clients to your business, especially when you are just starting. Being a member of these networks also goes a long way toward extending your reach for possible clients. Being a member of these plans also makes you more attractive to clients since they receive membership discounts once you are approved.

Creating a Healthy, Relaxing Atmosphere

The bottom line in being successful in the massage therapy business is the kind of service you provide. Being good at what you do is essential and necessary is providing a healthy, relaxing atmosphere for your clients. Don’t spend too much money, but it’s crucial to have all the right things in place. These include massage tables (stationary and foldable), massage oils, hand, and electric tools, etc. Yours doesn’t have to be an elaborate shop, even if you open in an expensive neighborhood. Look affordable, and the chances are good that you will get clients.

Keep Your Books

Just because you have more money in your pocket at the end of a day than you did initially doesn’t mean you made money. After all, you had expenses in the course of your day that must be taken into consideration. This is where good accounting plays a role. Not only should you keep good financial records, but it is also important to keep business and personal accounts separate. Many online and software programs will help keep track of this or hire someone to help you.


Every minute you are not working, you are not making money. It’s for this reason that you must give as much time and effort as possible to networking. This means going out and meeting people to tell them who you are and what you care about. These contacts take numerous forms, from advertising to networking. All of this activity is designed to increase your customer pool.

With the growing awareness of massage therapy’s many benefits, new therapists could do very well in a business of their own. Fortunately, this is not hard to do. It takes a lot of hard work, but success should come easily with the steps outlined above.

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