According to the American Massage Therapy Association and the Associated Massage and Bodywork Professionals, most massage therapists will start their own business. You can start right out of massage school or at any time. This makes massage a great second career for someone who has business experience and the motivation to start and run a business.
With the shortage of massage therapists happening right now, the massage therapy profession also needs more massage businesses that will provider higher paying jobs with better benefits. The low cost massage offered by the many franchises have created low paying jobs which make it difficult to make a living giving massage.
Do the Math
When thinking about starting your own massage business, you will have to do the math to see if it will be worth it. You have to make money to cover the overhead – rent, business phone, laundry, massage equipment, travel if a mobile business, and other expenses.
You will have to figure out your cost per client which is the gross amount you take in minus your expenses divided by the number of hours you put into the business. This of course depends on your ability to fill the schedule with the required number of clients.
The Sole Proprieter
The easiest and probably the most common is the sole proprieter which is a licensed massage therapist who opens their own business. It can be anywhere in the community and there are a variety of massage therapy services that can be offered. Here are the steps to becoming a sole proprietor:
- Find a location to rent your own space or you can rent from another massage therapist, other healthcare provider or a salon/spa. Negotiate a lease. Some are starting a business in their home.
- Find out what business licenses you will need. Check with the State, the city and the county to see what is required.
- Do the math and figure out what you need to charge for each hour of massage in order to pay the overhead and take a salary that you can live on.
- Set up your list of services and set up online booking systems or the booking process.
- Create a Website that works (see my other website www.massagepracticebuilder.com )
- Create a marketing plan. Do you want to use social media, offer specials, use Facebook pages and groups, get referrals from doctors, etc?
- Decide if it would be beneficial to take insurance for car accidents, workers comp (injuries at work) or health insurance. Learn how to bill insurance. (See my book: Massage Insurance Billing Manual)
- As your business grows, think about hiring other massage therapists or renting a room out to others.
Pros and Cons of starting and running a massage business
|Pros of Starting Your Own Massage Business||Cons of Starting Your Own Massage Business|
|More Control Over your own schedule, policies, proceedures.||Will have to do all of the work involved to get the clients you need.|
|More control over your prices and hours. You keep what you earn.||You will need to cover the rent and fees involved in running an office. This often adds up to more than you might think, making it so you actually only make less per hour than you would in a job. Do the math!|
|Employees have 7.5% FICA taxes taken out of paychecks||Self employed people have an additional 15.3% self employement tax that has to be paid.|