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Prepare to open your own massage therapy business

Here are 3 key items to consider before you take the leap

Congratulations! You’ve completed a massage therapy program and have received your certification. You are about to embark on the incredible journey into massage therapy and to helping your clients achieve better health and wellness.

In a previous blog post, we talked about what an exciting time it is to be in the industry. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Lethbridge College revealed that demand for massage services in Alberta is on the rise. More than 31.5 per cent of Albertans surveyed received relaxation massage services in the past twelve months — that’s over one million Albertans! This is up considerably from 24.5 per cent in 2016 and 28.7 per cent in 2017. With such optimism, it’s a great time to consider taking the leap to opening your own massage therapy business. But before you do, here are three key actions to take to help get it off on the right foot.

Create a business plan
Writing a business plan takes time, but the exercise is worth the effort. You’ll be able to define your goals and realistically assess if you can achieve them. Among the items that should be covered in your business plan:

  • Services: Do you want to create a spa-like environment that offers relaxation massages? Or would you rather focus on therapeutic massages and market to local gyms or athletic clubs?
  • Estimated expenses & target revenues: Avoid digging yourself into a hole. By projecting your expenses and revenues, you’ll give yourself a roadmap to follow on how you can break even and eventually turn a profit.
  • Marketing: The entire success of your business hinges on having paying customers come through the door. Develop a marketing strategy that will target your clients.

Choose a location, location, location! 
Just like with real estate, location is key. Will you be a mobile business? Would you collaborate with a gym or athletic complex to provide a work space? Will you be in a trendy neighbourhood? Keep in mind that each set-up comes with a different set of costs, permits and other considerations. Be sure to inform yourself before you decide what set up works best for you.

Get your paperwork in order
Massage therapy associations are member-based organizations that provide a number of member services. They are advocates for their members and dedicated to the Massage Therapy profession. Each association operates separately and each has its own requirements for membership. Do some research and decide which association will work for you and your business.

Working for yourself creates a special kind of satisfaction and brings a sense of pride in your work. At NIMT, we want to prepare our students for any career path, and through our Advanced Therapeutic Massage program, we lay the foundations of business professionalism, ethics and regulation to give students that business-edge upon graduation. And by following these key tips, you’ll be informed and prepared to take the plunge in no time!