The reason so many massage therapists are self-employed is the income potential. When you run your own business, it’s possible to earn a lot more than working for someone else. But if you are going to run your own business, understanding what the monthly expenses for a massage business are is crucial.
Setting your own hours and prices is a huge perk, but don’t quit your job just yet. Before branching out on your own, get clear on what running a massage business is going to cost.
Let’s take a closer look at the financial responsibilities of owning your own massage business. In this article, we’ll break down typical monthly expenses for massage businesses including recurring bills, investments, and the cost of gaining new clients.
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. You could even offer mobile massage services.
Monthly expenses for massage businesses vary greatly, depending on the type of business it is. Your expenses will depend on your setup. Home-based massage practices have different expenses than mobile massage and clinics.
The first step to determining what the monthly expenses for a massage business are is to determine what kind of massage business you want. Keep in mind, the way you start out may not be what you do long-term. Map out where you’re at now to 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 multi-disciplinary practice with many therapists working for you. Before you reach that level, you might start a solo-practice or work as an independent contractor in someone else’s clinic. Each of these business models have a different set of expenses, responsibilities, rewards, and challenges.
As your massage business grows, so will your business expenses. You might need a bigger space or incur the costs of new staff and hiring massage therapists. With that sort of expansion, you’ll also need more massage equipment, better systems, and marketing tools to grow your practice.
In business, there are expenses and investments. They both cost money. 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. If you want to make more money as a massage therapist, cut the cost of expenses, and invest in things that make you money.
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
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.
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 massage business expenses will include investing in the initial massage business start-up costs.
This is a time to make smart investment choices, and cut costs where you can. It’s good to have a financial cushion before starting a massage business. It could take a little while before you earn a profit.
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 investing heavier into marketing. There could also be expenses associated with making upgrades to your office and education.
When you’ve reached this phase, your schedule is packed with massage clients you’ve been treating 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. You have a lot of money coming in and fewer monthly expenses.
At some point, you’ll 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 someone else run it for and remain the owner.
Every massage business is different. Your specific circumstances will impact what your actual monthly massage business expenses are. Things like location, massage modality, level of experience, business model, and pay structure will influence your expenses.
These examples of monthly expenses for a massage business will give you an idea of what to expect at different stages in growth.
Samantha is a relatively new massage therapist. She plans to specialize in sports massage, so eventually she can work exclusively with athletes. She rents a room in a local gym to start her massage business. Samantha is starting from scratch and has no clients yet. However, the foot traffic in the gym is promising.
After her initial start-up costs of $2,000, which included essential equipment, supplies, furniture/decor, and marketing materials, her monthly expenses looked like this:
If Samantha is charging $70 a session, she needs to book at least 10 appointments just to pay the bills.
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, not just the ones at her gym. She’s taken continuing ed classes on sports massage. Her goal is to become the go-to place for athletes. Also, she would 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:
If Samantha is charging $80 a session, it takes 17 massages to cover her monthly expenses.
You may have noticed ClinicSense on both lists of monthly massage business expenses examples. That’s because clinic management software is an investment into growing your business. Remember, investments are things you pay for that make you money.
For a small monthly fee, ClinicSense can do all your admin for you. It’s like hiring a secretary, without that expense of paying a salary. It allows clients to schedule online. Fun fact: more people will book simply because they can do it online. That means more income, without increasing expenses.
ClinicSense also has built-in marketing features. You can automate the whole thing, customize your messages, or DIY your marketing campaigns. Win-back and availability campaigns keep your clients coming back and your schedule full.
When estimating the monthly expenses for a massage business, factor in the small cost of ClinicSense. It’s loaded with features that will pay for itself 1000x over. Start a free trial to see for yourself.