Starting a massage business from home is the most economical type of massage business to start. Renting office space can be expensive. Commuting to and from work takes up valuable time. Working from home can save you time and money. We'll walk you through how to start a massage business from home in 7 simple steps.
Let's take a closer look at each of these steps.
You can't charge people for massage without a license to practice massage therapy. That's why the first step is to get a massage therapy license. Each state has its own regulations regarding licensure. Check with your state to see what's required.
Obtaining a massage license requires a minimum amount of education, including classroom hours and hands-on training. The curriculum varies by location. After you graduate, you must pass a state or national board test to get your license.
Think through all the details of your future business. Determine what your goals are, and map out how to get there. Start at the beginning. Then make a plan for reaching benchmarks that will lead to your goals.
Follow these steps to create a business plan.
Get it all on paper. Documenting your plan will make your goals clear and keep you on track. Ready to start now? Check out our Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Massage Therapy Business Plan.
Protect yourself and your assets in case something unexpected happens. It's unlikely that someone will sue you during the course of your massage career, but it's possible. If someone is injured on your table, you're liable. That's why having liability insurance is essential.
The most common places to buy massage liability insurance is through professional organizations like the AMTA and ABMP. Becoming a member of one of these massage organizations comes with many benefits including: liability insurance, access to professional resources, and continuing education.
Creating a massage business name is a huge and important step when it comes to launching your home business Decide what you're going to call your business. You can use your own name, or you can create a business name. Think about what name you want on your business cards or website.
Choose a name that's easy to remember and resonates with your mission statement. When you brainstorm business name ideas, use a tool like GoDaddy's domain search to see what names are already taken. If you decide to use a name different from your given name, you must file a DBA (Doing Business As) with the state.
When you start a massage business in your home, there's paperwork to file and rules to follow. You probably can't put up a sign in a residential area, but you may need a business license. Check with local authorities to see what's required in your area. You may need to register your business with the city, and/or get a vendor's license.
Decide on a business structure for tax purposes. You can be a sole-proprietor or an LLC. If you choose an LLC, there's paperwork to file. If you're a sole-proprietor, but operate under a business name, you need to file a DBA.
Now for the fun part. Create a space for your massage business in your home. The ideal space is private, close to the bathroom, and somewhat separate from the rest of the house.
Think through the path clients will follow to get from their car to your massage room. The perfect home for a massage business has a guest suite with a separate entrance, but most homes don't have that. That's ok. Work with what you've got.
Here are some logistics to think through:
Decorate your massage room so it's both relaxing and functional. Then, set up any other spaces clients use to be inviting and accommodating.
When you start a massage business from home, it comes with special marketing challenges. First off, you won't have a big sign on your house. Second, you're selective about who you invite into your home.
Here are the most common ways to advertise a home-based massage business:
Create business cards for your massage business. As a massage therapist working out of your home, you'll use this type of marketing material more than most. That's because most therapists aren't comfortable inviting strangers into their home. That means a lot of marketing happens in person and through referrals. Hand your business cards to people you want to work with and to clients to pass on to their friends.
In today's day and age, having a website legitimizes your business. Use your website to showcase your skills, explain your services, and state your policies. Even if you only take clients by referral, a massage website is a good resource for those referrals. Share your contact information, but not your address.
Set up online scheduling to increase your number of bookings. ClinicSense makes online scheduling easy. You can even set it to only allow returning clients to book online. That way only people you already vetted can make an appointment.
When your massage business is in your home, choose your clients carefully. They will enter the sacred space of your home. The best way to get a steady flow of new and vetted clients is to start a referral program. Give your current clients an incentive to refer their friends and family. You can also get more referrals by creating strategic relationships with other wellness providers in your community.
Be active on social media. Create massage social media posts, and share them with your following. Use social media to educate people about the benefits of massage, advertise your skills, and mention your services. The secret to social media success is to post regularly and engage with other people's posts too.
When new clients come in, have them fill out an intake form. Here's a free intake form template, if you don't have one yet. Ask for their email address on that form. Collecting their contact info is the first step towards building your list.
Send an email marketing campaign at least once a month to your email list. This is a good way to stay in touch with clients and promote the benefits of massage. Use email marketing to advertise openings and new services, as well as to share helpful information.
Starting a massage business from home isn't that different from starting any kind of massage business. However, there are a few things massage therapists must be more vigilant about when working out of their home.
When you work in a clinic with other therapists, clients don't know where you live. Plus, if someone makes you uncomfortable or acts inappropriate, you're not alone.
When you start a massage business from home, screen your clients and take extra precautions. It's best to only work with clients you know and clients who are referred by people you know and trust.
Create a plan for keeping your home secure, as well as how you'll handle uncomfortable situations, if an issue arises.
Your home is your sanctuary. Protect that. It's not a good idea to have clients traipsing through your whole house. Let's be honest. Sometimes living gets messy. You don't want your whole home on display to people you do business with.
Create a designated area for massage clients. Then, close off the rest of your house, and reserve it exclusively for family use.
Privacy isn't the only reason you need a separate space in your house for your massage business. Your mental health depends on your ability to leave work at work. That can be challenging when you work at home. Having a space that's exclusively for business, that you can physically leave at the end of the day, will help set those boundaries – both for you and your clients.
It's crucial to maintain professional boundaries when your massage business is inside your home. Your clients are the source of your income. Behave the same way you would if you were working in a clinic or office.
Professionalism is especially challenging when you're at home. Don't treat your clients like house guests. The way you dress and behave when family and friends visit, should be slightly different from when you're meeting with clients.
Treat your home-based business like you would a business with an actual store front. Take it seriously. That will put clients at ease, and keep you in the role of therapist, not host. A simple way to keep things professional is to use professional software to collect client info, manage appointments, and check people out.
If you run your own massage business, you will need to invest in an online software solution to help you manage your client files, bookings, appointments and reminders, reporting, invoicing and more!
ClinicSense is an all-in-one software that creates professional forms, allows online booking and payment integration. These are the things people expect of businesses on main street. Having them in your home-based business, makes it clear you're just as professional as other clinics in town. The main difference being the exclusivity of being one of your clients!