The Business of Healing: Tips for Starting a Massage Business


As the world starts to become more aware of natural or non-medical solutions to heal their mind, body, and soul, anyone looking to capitalize on this could be successful. Starting a business as a massage therapist has the potential to generate serious profits while benefiting a large client base. If you’re going to use your “healing hands” to meet the needs of your ideal customers, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. Below are a few basic tips for starting your massage therapy company.

Starting Any Business

This first section is required for anyone thinking of starting a business. Before you can officially launch your company, you’ll need to take some legal steps:

Decide on a name – Every great business has a name. You should choose a name that relates to your brand that your customers can easily remember. You’ll need to check in your state to make sure the name is not already being used by someone else.

Determine the type of entity you want (LLC, corporation, or non-profit) – Though you could start off operating as a sole proprietor, eventually you’ll want to choose an entity for your business. It essentially gives your brand credibility, enables you to hire staff, and more importantly separates you from your business in the event of legal trouble.

Register your company name and entity  – Once you’ve decided on the name and entity, you’ll need to register it. If you’re hiring staff, you may be required to request an Employer Identification Number for tax and payroll purposes.

Apply for any necessary licenses and permits – Depending on the type of business you intend to run you may be required to obtain licenses and permits. Check with your city or county clerk to learn the process.

Massage Equipment

Whether you intend to be a mobile massage therapist or have a brick and mortar location, you’ll need to invest in equipment that will allow you to provide your clients with the best experience. Some equipment you might need to start would include:

A stationary and/or portable massage table – If you’re going to have a brick and mortar location, you’ll want to invest in a stationary massage table for your clients to lay on to receive a massage. However, if you intend to make house calls, you should invest in a portable massage table that can easily fold for compact travel.

Linens – You’ll need sheets and towels for your equipment and clients. Sheets, for instance, will be used to cover the table for increased comfort. Towels and small blankets can be used to cover your clients while you provide service.

Massage oils and lotions – Every massage therapist should have a few oils and lotions to enhance the experience their customers receive. Choosing various scents, especially those that offer a calming or relaxing feeling like lavender, vanilla, chamomile, and jasmine.

Candles, aromatherapy scents, and soft music  – again, part of giving your clients a massage is creating a mood of peace, tranquility, and calm. Candles, aromatherapy devices, and soft music are all known to help set the tone. Invest in various scents and sounds so your clients can choose the type of mood they’d like to be in.

Marketing Materials

So, you have a legally registered business, you have the supplies and materials you’ll need to provide a great experience, all that’s left is to invest in marketing so the customers start rolling in. Here are some of the most basic tools you’ll need to get started:

Website – No business today can beat out the competition without having a well-designed and easy to use website. You can create one for free or at a low monthly rate and provide information that includes types of services, rates, hours of business, and contact information for booking appointments.

Social media – Not only should you have a website, but to develop a strong web presence, you should also have a social media account (or two). These platforms can be used to connect with your target audience, announce your opening and deals, as well as inform them of the benefits of massage therapy.

Business cards and brochures – Though it’s a digital climate, you must still invest in traditional marketing tools like business cards and brochures. Each should include clear contact information and an understanding of what your business is. Brochures, of course, can be a bit more detailed providing information similar to what can be found on your website.

Once you’ve checked all of these things off your list, you’re ready to develop a marketing strategy and start bringing in new clients. It can take time before you start to see the big bucks, however, with time, dedication, analysis, and a great marketing campaign, your massage therapy business will work.