6 Tips to Starting Your Own Massage Therapy Business
One of the many benefits of choosing a career as a massage therapist is the freedom to define your own practice however you choose. Massage therapists can truly design their business to suit their specific goals and preferences. But starting your own business is never easy; there are many things to consider. If you are ready to venture out on your own, read-on for six tips to becoming your own boss.
Sit down and write out all the reasons you want to start your own company. Is it because you want more freedom to create your own hours? Or because you want to increase your profits? Whatever your reasons, writing them down helps to take an abstract goal in your mind and turn it into a concrete plan and vision.
Then, meditate on your vision—how do you envision a perfect week or year to look like and write it all down. Speak to a friend or counselor you trust. Share your idea and vision and get feedback.
What are your goals as you pursue this venture? Be specific with your short-term and long-term goals. Some questions to consider: do you want to work full or part time? How big do you want your company to get—will it just be you or do you plan to hire on more employees as you grow? After writing down your goals, take some time to put together a succinct mission statement about your company.
#3 Legal Structure
Depending on your goals, you will have to determine what kind of legal business you want it to be. There are many options: a sole proprietor (i.e.: business at home); limited liability company; S-corporation; a partnership with a colleague; or a joint venture.
If you feel overwhelmed and have no idea what any of these mean, consider consulting with an attorney or accountant for advice. Based on your decision, you may want to copyright your name through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as set up a federal employer ID number for tax purposes.
#4 Business Plan
A business plan is an outline of how you will run your business—especially in your first year. You will need to include a budget which includes all estimated expenses and approximated revenue. Some expenses may include rent for office space, legal fees, supplies like oils and sheets, marketing, business cards, etc. And don’t forget the details in your business plan—things like taxes, insurance, and retirement planning. Find out how to write your own business plan here.
#5 Support Group
Turn to others in your profession that you trust and admire. Ask for their advice; surround yourself with people you respect—whether these are customers, business partners, or consultants. Additionally, your massage therapy school can be one of the best sources of support for massage therapists just starting out. The Soma Institute in Chicago helps their graduates who are starting their own business with career guidance and planning.
#6 Enjoy yourself
Don’t expect the first year to be easy but stay committed to the plan you envision and execute on that. Enjoying yourself will translate to your customers and the service you provide. Even if the road is bumpy at first, things will eventually settle down: don’t give up before you follow through on your plan. Good luck!