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What Are the Monthly Expenses for a Massage Business?

Monthly expenses for a massage business

The reason so many massage therapists are self-employed is the income potential. When 100% of the proceeds go to you, it’s possible to earn a lot more. Setting your own hours and prices is a huge perk, but don’t quit your job just yet. Before branching out on your own, consider what the expenses for a massage business are. You will be responsible for paying the bills and getting new clients. Take some time to work through all the details. 

First, decide what kind of massage business you want 

There’s more than one way to succeed at entrepreneurship. As a massage therapist, you have many options. You could work from home, open a big clinic, or work as an independent contractor in someone else’s practice.

The monthly expenses for a massage business vary greatly depending on the type of business you choose. Where you start out may not be where you end up long-term. Take some time to map out where you’re at and where you’re trying to go. Creating a massage therapy business plan in advance will help you stay on course and measure your progress.

Your dream might be to open a big clinic with many therapists working for you. If you’re just starting out, you may need to start small and work up to that. For example, you may start out as an independent contractor in someone else’s clinic. Once you learn the ropes and get some clients, you branch out on your own. Then, eventually, you expand, move to a bigger space and hire massage therapists. Throughout the process of growth, your business expenses will change


Chair massage business

Second, consider which investments are important and the cost of ongoing expenses

In business, you have expenses and you have investments. Before you create a budget, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. An expense is something you need that costs money. An investment is something you pay for that makes you money.

Spend your money wisely. The monthly expenses for your massage business will significantly impact your take-home pay. To make more money, you need to either cut costs or invest in things that make you money.

Here are a few examples of expenses vs investments:

Expense: Massage cream, oils and lotions

Investment: Good quality massage table that will last a lifetime

Expense: Filing cabinet, printer, appointment book

Investment: ClinicSense, software that creates and stores digital intake forms and SOAP notes, offers online scheduling, email marketing, and automated accounting

Expense: Renting office space

Investment: Creating a website for your massage business

Create a budget for your massage business based on your stage of growth

The monthly expenses for a massage business will change as you cycle through the natural phases of growth. The four stages of business growth are start-up, growth, maturity, and renewal or decline. 

Here’s what the 4 stages of growth look like for a typical massage business:

1. Start-up: During this phase, a massage therapist typically works independently. This could be in a private practice, mobile massage or working from home. The majority of expenses will include investing in the initial massage business start-up costs.

During the phase, you’ll likely need to make smart investment choices and cut costs where you can. It’s good to have a financial cushion before entering this phase. It could take a little while before you earn a profit.


2. Growth: At this point, the massage business is established. The focus is now on growing your client base. You may consider a bigger space, offering more services or hiring some help.

During this phase, the monthly expenses for the massage business include more investment in marketing. There could also be expenses associated with making upgrades to your office and education.

3. Maturity: When you’ve reached this phase, your schedule is packed with clients you’ve been seeing for years. You have systems in place that make your life easy, and you don’t need to do as much marketing.

By this time, your investments have paid off (and are continuing to do so). You have a lot of money coming in and fewer monthly expenses.

4. Decline or Renewal: At some point, you’re going to want to wind down and retire. When you reach this phase, you have to decide what to do with your practice. You could sell it to another massage therapist, or you could let your staff run it and remain the owner.

Big decisions are being made that will have a huge impact on your income and your future. 

2 examples of monthly expenses for a massage business

This will give you an idea of what to expect in monthly expenses for a massage business at different stages of growth.


We’re open sign

Example One: The Start-up

Samantha is a relatively new massage therapist. She plans to specialize in sports massage, where one day she can work exclusively with athletes. She rents a room in a local gym to start her massage business. She’s starting from scratch and has no clients yet. However, the foot traffic in the gym is promising.

After her initial start-up costs of $1,500, which included essential equipment, supplies, and marketing materials, her monthly expenses looked like this:

  • Rent $350
  • Massage Supplies $30
  • Cleaning supplies $20
  • ClinicSense - Basic $29
  • Music Subscription $10
  • Liability insurance $20
  • Office supplies $20

Total monthly expenses: $484

If Samantha is charging $70 a session, she needs to book at least 7 appointments to pay the bills.


Example Two: Growth 

After a couple years of working at the gym, Samantha has enough clients to afford a bigger space. She wants to work with more athletes, no matter which gym they are members of. She’s taken some continuing ed classes on sports massage. Her goal is to become the go-to place for athletes. She’d also like to eventually find a couple therapists to join her practice.

After purchasing additional furniture, office decor and signage, her monthly massage business expenses look like this:

  • Rent $650
  • Utilities $200
  • Massage supplies $40
  • Cleaning supplies $35
  • ClinicSense - Grow $59
  • Liability insurance $20
  • Rental insurance $25
  • Marketing $75

Total monthly expenses $1,104

If Samantha is charging $80 a session, it takes 14 massages to cover her expenses.