More and more people are deciding to move away from the traditionally “safe” job positions in order to have more working freedom. Ride-sharing, virtual assistants, and remote contracting are side hustles that are growing like never before. But one industry with low barriers to entry is often overlooked – massage therapy. If you’re looking for a change, and have always dreamed of being your own boss as a startup owner, then here are the 10 steps you need to accomplish in order to become a (successful) massage therapist and startup a massage therapy business.
Massage Therapy Certification
To begin your massage therapy business, the very first step will naturally be to attain the ability to give massages. You will absolutely need a massage certification of some kind.
There are two certifications that you will need to concern yourself with attaining. These two certifications come from different origins, with one being just as important as the other to obtain. The first certificate is a credential issued to you by whichever state you will be working in. The second certificate you will need is from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, which is also known as NCBTMB. This is the entity that sets the standard for providing excellence and responsible business practices in the industry of massage therapy.
The type of business license and what it takes to acquire one will differ depending on where you live. Contact your local small business association in order to double check on what steps there are for obtaining a business license. You may be required to jump through some hoops and sign on the dotted line, but it is best to cover yourself in this way.
Find Liability Insurance
Any liability from your clients is up to you to cover. Since you will be working very closely with clients during massage therapy, you will definitely need liability insurance to cover you in case something happens. If you do not protect yourself, then you will have no way to fight back in case you are sued by a client. The same applies when providing yourself with healthcare coverage. You can find massage insurance comparisons at massageliabilityinsurancegroup.com.
Choose and Register Your Business Name
Choosing a business name is probably something you have already done (or at least thought of) since most business owners believe that this has to be one of the first steps.
As a business owner, you have the ability to choose pretty much any name you would like for your business to be called. Be sure to check for trademarks surrounding any business name you have in mind. Once you have chosen an unused name, be sure to register it in order to protect your new brand. The same rule applies to any logos or other assets that are originally created by you or someone working for your company.
Location of Work
Where will you be performing your massage therapy? Will it be a home-based, massage therapy business or will you be renting out space in an establishment? There are those who have room in their homes to create a space to work from, others may not have the same luxury and will need to rent out a booth or an office space to perform their work on clients (unless you decide to be a mobile service). In this step, you will need to figure out where it is you will be working from and set it in stone in writing.
Make a Business Plan for Expenses
Set up a proper financial plan for your company. If you need to, hire a financial adviser or someone who understands the financial side of business and taxation better than you do.
Marketing is an umbrella term for anything that shows off your business in a very public way. Try handing out flyers at major events and get friends, family, or people working with you to hand them out as well. Take out ads in the newspaper and online. Don’t skimp on putting at least some effort into marketing yourself locally as a small business looking to grow.
Setting up your own website and hiring advertisers to run ads on your business is an often ignored part of marketing a new small business. Be sure to include a web dev budget when you write up your business’ expense plans.
Register With Health Funds
Sometimes clients will want to receive a rebate, come tax time, by claiming their massage therapy as a taxable situation. This is done through a health fund provided by certain governments. Your massage therapy business will need to fill out a form for each individual health fund for this.
Set Up a Referral Program
Having a rewards points system for your clientele will boost morale for your massage therapy business. It will show that you care, by allowing your customers to refer others to your services and receive some sort of perk in return. This will, in turn, give you more work, which means more profits for your business.