Upon completion of the massage therapy course, you’ll want to start considering your options for employment. Thinking ahead will prepare you for life once your course has ended and you’re ready to embark on the journey to being a massage therapist. The most important step towards being a successful massage therapist is to lay the foundations with solid training and qualifications. Once you’ve known and understood massage therapy, you can start your own successful massage business!
This article will talk through some of the most important steps required when setting up your own massage practice for the first time.
GET AN ABN
ABN stands for Australian Business Number. These are easy to obtain and can be done by visiting www.business.gov.au.
Public liability insurance is highly recommended for those running their own massage therapy practice. Without it all business conducted with a risk of having clients take action against you if the therapy wasn’t conducted to their standard, or if there was an injury as a result. These accidents do happen and nobody should assume they are above the need for insurance, even if all you are conducting is a relaxing massage. Insurance can bring a peace of mind to your practice and clients.
ALIGN YOURSELF WITH MASSAGE ASSOCIATIONS
Once you’re certified, it’s a good idea to align yourself with massage associations. This ensures that you’re able to keep up to date with important industry news and it also builds your credibility with potential customers, as most of these organisations won’t let you join unless you’re a certified massage practitioner. Joining associations such as the Massage Association of Australia will show your clients that you are a member of a recognised body dedicated to massage therapy, increasing your credibility. Joining associations also allows you to gain access to extremely affordable insurance for your practice. Your membership certificate should be displayed or available at all times to give clients a sense of ease and to prove your qualifications.
Like any business, the location for your massage practice needs to be carefully thought out. Consider if there is a demand for your services in a particular area, and if so, what is the competition like?
It’s also worth considering any complementary practices that may exist in the region as well. For example, gyms, spa centres, and hairdressers often rent out a room within their business premises to therapists in related fields, and this can be a great place from which to start your own massage therapy business.
For some businesses, such as gyms, having an onsite massage therapist can also be a huge selling point when signing up new members, so many gym owners may see having a massage therapist as being extremely beneficial.
Its also a good idea to contact the local council and ask for information regarding the demographics, economic factors, and any natural health services that are already in operation within that council. You can also try to find this information online.
CONSIDER MOBILE MASSAGE OPTIONS
Today, mobile health services such as massage is extremely popular. This is because many of us are time poor and enjoy the convenience that mobile services offer. There are also less overheads involved with mobile massage therapy businesses when compared with stationary business models.
CHOOSING AND REGISTERING A NAME FOR YOUR BUSINESS
This gives you the opportunity to consider the style of massage therapy business you want to operate, and how you would like the name to reflect that. Keep it simple and something that is both easy to pronounce and remember. You may want to have an alternative name or two in mind, just in case you were unable to use your first choice for any reason.
CREATE AN ONLINE PRESENCE
It’s really important in this day and age that all businesses have a strong online presence if they are looking to be successful. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a complete digital marketing strategy in place, but a simple, clear website as well as regularly updated social media profiles is a must.
Your website should be simple, easy to navigate, and include all the most important information about your products and services, including pricing. This will not only make your business look more attractive to potential customers, but also significantly reduce endless enquiries about the basic elements of your business offerings. You can always direct people to your website if they wish to learn more about what you do and what your price structure looks like.
MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS USING TRADITIONAL METHODS
Once your business is set up, you need to look into the different ways it can be marketed. For small, local businesses, some traditional methods of marketing such as posting up flyers and giving out business cards can actually be a great start. From there, you can decide on local advertising and other forms of online marketing as well. By creating a market plan, and not just marketing aimlessly, you can plan ahead and work out what marketing practices are most beneficial to your massage business in the long term.
At the core of every successful massage practice is a strong focus on providing the highest quality services possible. The best massage therapists never stop learning and are always keeping abreast of important industry news and updates. By considering all of the above and building a solid business plan, you should find that starting your own massage therapy business is as rewarding and enjoyable as it is challenging.