Do you dream of running your own massage therapy business? If you’re looking at massage programs or are already enrolled, you have a lot to be excited about. Starting your own massage practice can be one of the most thrilling times in your life, but it requires thorough planning. Here’s a basic checklist of topics to address:
As all good massage programs will emphasize, the most important piece of equipment is your massage table. Only go with well known, recommended brands. Consider purchasing a second traveling table or chair for events.
When it comes to comfort (oils, blankets, etc.), prioritize your client over price. A big part of what you are selling is an experience. Clients want to feel pampered.
Verify that any therapists you hire graduated from reputable massage programs. You’ll either hire independent contractors or w-2 employees. Discuss the pros and cons of each with your CPA.
Licensing and permits
Find out the massage licensing requirements in your state. Any massage programs you attend should provide the education hours needed to meet the criteria for your state. If your practice covers more than one state, you will need to be licensed in each state that you work. You may also need a business license. Check your city, county, and state websites to find out how to register your business.
Get insurance against property damage, theft, and litigation. Hopefully you will never need to use it, but it can keep you from going out of business should the worst-case scenario occur. There are several things you can do to prevent accidents in your workplace. Check for loose carpet or exposed extension cords and be sure not to place candles near curtains or other fabric. Thoroughly inspect your massage table or chair to make sure it is in good condition.
Prepare a written description of your process and a health questionnaire for clients to read and sign. Request that clients with a pre-existing condition provide a doctor’s permission to receive massage services. Develop a system for your notes. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) recommends the use of SOAP (an acronym for subjective, objective, assessment, and plan) notes, which is a standardized method of documentation used widely by health care providers. Make sure you have a secure filing system to keep all records.
It’s well worth it to hire a marketing and graphic design expert to make sure your business has a professional image. A website is a must these days, even if it is a one-page presence to start out with. Take advantage of social networking, and become a member of the AMTA to increase your credibility.
It’s impossible to anticipate every challenge that may arise, but having a plan creates a solid foundation from which to begin. Graduates from massage programs who address the topics above will be well on their way to a successful practice. Best wishes on your new endeavor!