The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Massage Business

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By Jacob Maslow

• Massage therapy is a growing industry

• Offer a rewarding career if you like to help others relieve tension and pain

• Become a qualified therapist without having to start your own business from scratch

• Increased demand for massage services reflects an increased awareness of the health benefits associated with massage therapy

Massage therapy is a growing industry and offers a rewarding career if you like to help others relieve tension and the pain it causes. However, being a qualified therapist does not necessarily mean that you know how to start a massage business.

Massage therapy has become increasingly popular over the past few years, with more and more people seeking out massage therapists to help alleviate stress and tension that can cause pain. The massage industry is estimated to be a $17 billion market, growing by 3% yearly. This growth reflects an increased awareness of the health benefits associated with massage therapy, such as improved sleep quality, reduced anxiety, improved joint mobility, and even faster recovery times for injury or surgery-related issues.

The demand for massage services continues to rise due to the numerous advantages offered by professional practitioners. With more individuals looking for ways to reduce stress levels, manage chronic pain conditions, and improve their flexibility and overall wellness, it’s no surprise that the massage industry offers an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on this growing market.

Massage therapy is a booming business, and it’s only getting bigger. From medical spas to home-based businesses, a wide variety of professional massage therapists offer specialized services that cater to the needs of their clients. Not only do massage therapists have an ever-growing list of clients, but they also have abundant information and resources, such as continuing education courses, conferences, workshops, and other events that help keep them up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry.

SWOT Analysis for a Massage Business:


  • High demand for massage services due to the numerous health benefits associated with them.
  • A wide variety of professional massage therapists offer specialized services that cater to the needs of their clients.
  • Continuing education courses, conferences, workshops, and other events are available to keep practitioners updated on the latest industry trends.


  • Massage therapy can involve physical contact with clients, which can be difficult or uncomfortable for some people.
  • Competition from unlicensed or untrained individuals providing massage services at lower prices.
  • Costly equipment and supplies are required to start up a business.


  • Growing awareness of the health benefits associated with massage therapy.
  • Increased demand for therapists, particularly in medical spas and home-based businesses.
  • Ongoing education opportunities to gain new skills and specialties.


  • Competition from unlicensed or untrained massage practitioners offering services at lower prices.
  • Legal issues related to liability insurance and other regulations governing the industry.
  • Changes in technology may make certain types of services obsolete.

Overall, the massage industry provides an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on a growing market with increasing demand for specialized services. With so many potential customers seeking relief from pain, stress, and other ailments through massage therapy, the industry will likely continue to expand in the coming years. Massage therapists can take advantage of this profitable business opportunity with the proper knowledge, skills, and resources.

Franchise Opportunities

Franchising is an excellent option for entrepreneurs looking to break into the massage industry. By joining a franchise, you will have access to an established network with proven methods and resources that can make it easier to hit the ground running. Franchises also provide training, support, marketing materials, and more, which are helpful when starting a new business.

Some franchises in the massage industry include:

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa: Hand & Stone provides high-quality services using experienced masseuses and aestheticians who strive to create an environment of comfort, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Franchisees benefit from extensive initial training and ongoing educational opportunities throughout their franchising period.

Massage Envy: Massage Envy offers a wide range of massage and spa services, with franchisees having access to experienced staff and customizable packages. The franchisee is also provided with a comprehensive suite of marketing materials designed to help build their customer base.

Massage Heights: Massage Heights provides memberships, exclusive promotions and personalized wellness plans that make it easier to find the right treatments for each customer. Franchisees benefit from strong brand recognition as well as comprehensive training programs.

My Massage Spa: My Massage Spa prides itself on providing personalized massage and spa services for each client. Franchisees can benefit from a wide range of support, including marketing materials and training programs.

Elements Therapeutic Massage: Elements Therapeutic Massage provides customized massage therapy to meet each customer’s needs. Franchisees are provided with extensive training and have access to exclusive products that help make the business more profitable.

Soothe is an app-based service that connects clients with licensed therapists for in-home massages. Franchisees benefit from ongoing support, training programs, and innovative technology that helps promote their business.

Healing Touch Massage & Spa: Healing Touch Massage & Spa provides experienced massage therapists and aestheticians who focus on providing personalized care to meet each customer’s needs. Franchisees can access extensive training programs, marketing materials, and exclusive membership options.

The Woodhouse Day Spa: The Woodhouse Day Spa focuses on providing clients with an unforgettable spa experience through highly-trained massage therapists and aestheticians. Franchisees will benefit from strong brand recognition and comprehensive training programs that help them become successful business owners.

MassageLuXe: MassageLuXe offers massage and skin care services provided by experienced professionals in a relaxing atmosphere. Franchisees can take advantage of the company’s extensive training programs and have access to exclusive products that help make their business more profitable.

Zen Massage: Zen Massage focuses on providing clients with a tranquil spa experience through high-quality massage and facial services. Franchisees benefit from ongoing training, support, and exclusive membership options that help drive their bottom line.

The Massage Company: The Massage Company provides each client with an individualized massage therapy session tailored to their specific needs. Franchisees will have access to comprehensive training programs, marketing materials, and exclusive products that help make the business more profitable.

Ascension Massage & Bodywork: Ascension Massage & Bodywork specializes in providing clients with therapeutic massage and bodywork services provided by experienced professionals. Franchisees benefit from extensive initial training and ongoing support throughout their franchising period.

These are just a few franchise opportunities in the massage industry. With so many options available, deciding which is right for you can be hard. Research and talk to other franchise owners before making your final decision.

Advantages of Franchising:

Franchises have several advantages that make it easier to launch. Some of the benefits include:

• Access to established brand name recognition;

• Comprehensive training programs;

• Proven systems and processes;

• Assistance in setting up business operations;

• Support from experienced professionals; and

• Access to exclusive promotional materials.

Disadvantages of Franchising:

The cost associated with franchising can be pretty high, as fees are usually involved, such as royalties, advertising costs, initial set-up fees, and more. Additionally, franchisors may have strict requirements for franchisees regarding how their businesses must be run, which can limit the level of creativity they have in managing their businesses.

In conclusion, franchising can be an excellent option for entrepreneurs looking to break into the massage industry. Still, it is essential to consider the advantages and disadvantages before making any decisions. If you think a franchise could be right for you, research and find one that best fits your needs.

Selecting a Niche

Choosing a niche for your massage business can be an important factor in helping you stand out and reach potential customers. Many options are available, such as offering therapeutic massages, sports massages, couples massages, and more. Each of these has the potential to attract different types of clients who will benefit from your services.

Here is a list of some possible niches for a massage business:

1) Therapeutic Massage: Therapeutic massages are designed to reduce stress, tension, pain, and discomfort in targeted body areas. These treatments use Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy to provide relief.

2) Sports Massage: This type of massage focuses on treating athletes to help them improve their performance and reduce the risk of injury. Non-athletes can also use it as a preventative measure or to address existing injuries.

3) Couples Massage: This type of massage is designed specifically for couples who want to enjoy an intimate and relaxing experience together. The therapist usually targets both people in the massage, using Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy and more.

4) Hot Stone Massage: Hot stone massages use heated stones placed on specific body areas. This helps to relax muscles, ease pain and promote circulation throughout the body.

5) Prenatal Massage: Prenatal massage is a special type of massage that is designed to target the needs of pregnant women. It can help relax tense muscles, reduce swelling and improve circulation, as well as help relieve stress and anxiety during pregnancy.

6) Chair Massage: This type of massage takes place in a specially designed chair that allows the therapist to access specific areas of the body. It is usually used for relaxation, pain relief, and to address tension in targeted areas.

7) Reflexology: Reflexology focuses on applying pressure on specific points in the feet or hands that correspond with other body parts. This helps to promote healing and relaxation throughout the entire body.

By choosing one or more specialized services, you can focus your business and appeal to various customers, by offering something unique that no other massage businesses in the area offer, you can attract clients who will benefit from your services.

No matter what niche or specialty service you choose for your massage business, offering quality treatments and customer service is crucial to stand out from the competition. This will help ensure that your massage business is thriving!

Starting a Massage Business

Building a successful business requires more than just skills in your industry. You must choose the right location, create a business plan, and reach clients. Here is how you can use your massage skills to start your profitable business.

Before creating a business plan, you must find a niche according to your strengths and target market. Find out what your demographics want but also find out more about your competitors. Check their reviews, pricing, and services, and devise strategies around this information.

1.      Create Your Massage Business Plan

Your business plan plays a significant part in developing the business, a step you cannot afford to miss. If you have never drawn one, we provide a template below.

Some of the most important things to include are the following:

  • The executive summary which defines your business
  • Your business strategy
  • A marketing strategy
  • An operational plan
  • Decide on your business structure
  • Your financing needs
  • Required human resources

The business plan aims to create milestones and help you keep on track in the short and long term. It will also help you get financing if you require it and help you avoid any surprises.

2.      Choose Your Business Name

Creating a catchy name and tagline is the next important step for your business because these will help you build your brand. Choose the perfect name by making sure it sounds pleasing and reflects your values and the services you provide.

See the names and taglines below or our full list of 400 names if you feel a bit stuck. You can even change them to make them perfect for your massage business.

Once you have decided on your business name, make sure it’s unique. You can do this by checking your state’s records and with the US Trademark and Patent Office. Also, secure the domain name for your website.

Here are some sample names and taglines:

Massage Haven: Relaxation at its best:

The name and tagline suggest a place of refuge where customers can relax and be rejuvenated.

The Body Retreat: A Place for Healing

The word ‘retreat’ implies a place of respite and renewal, while the word ‘healing’ suggests recovery and revitalization.

Recovery Touch Massage: Feel Better Now

This tagline encourages customers to seek therapeutic massage therapy to feel better now. It emphasizes immediate results that clients can experience right away.

Muscle Menders: Repairing & Relaxing with Care

This tagline conveys excellent care for the customer, emphasizing that massage therapy is a thoughtful and personalized process. It also implies that massage is not just about relaxation but can also be used to treat specific ailments.

Relaxing Nature: Feel Revived & Refreshed The phrase ‘feel revived & refreshed’ suggests an enhanced sense of well-being after receiving massage therapy services. It encourages customers to come away with renewed energy and vitality.

Over 400 Name and Tagline (Slogan) Ideas for Your Massage Business

3.      Select Your Business Location

Finding the right location for your business is essential, not just settling on any property. One of the most central things to consider is that the neighborhood is correct for the clientele you want to attract. Also, ensure that the location is not too close to a competing business. Finally, make sure the site is situated conveniently for your daily commute.

You could also decide to start your business at home or buy a property for your location, giving you greater freedom to modify the property according to your business needs. However, when purchasing property, you will need to secure the financing to help you pay for it and will have higher upfront expenses. Another option is to offer massage therapy at people’s homes or offices.

4.      Register Your Massage Business

Once you have your business name and location, you can register your business with the state. The registration process will depend on your business structure. Massage businesses’ most preferred business structures are limited liability companies, the legal business entity commonly called an LLC, and sole proprietorships, a more straightforward business structure.

5.      Get a Tax Number

Every business needs to pay state and federal taxes. Therefore, you apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number to register for taxes if you have created an LLC. Otherwise, your social security number will suffice for a sole proprietorship.

6.      Open a Business Bank Account

Your business needs a dedicated bank account to help you organize its finances. It also helps to keep your business income separate from your personal money if things don’t go as planned. Make sure your business builds a good credit history in case you need financing to grow it later. You can do this by requesting a business credit card.

7.      Get the Right Business Licenses and Permits

Besides the right qualifications that prove you are a certified massage therapist, massage businesses need further licensing and permits.

Your state and city guidelines will inform you of the licensing required. Remember to display your certifications and permits for your clients.

8.      Reduce Legal Liability

You will need general liability insurance, and depending on your massage services, you may also need a health insurance plan. Also, get property or vehicle insurance (if you have a mobile business). You will also want coverage for your equipment and your business income.

If you employ someone to help you, you will need workers’ compensation insurance for protection against work-related injuries.

Finally, ask your lawyer to draft an informed consent agreement to help you reduce legal liability and provide complete transparency.

9.      Market Your Business to Build Your Clientele

You will want to attract clientele from your business from several sources. These include word-of-mouth, a professional website that allows instant booking, social media, and networking.

Building a solid online presence is essential for your business because your customers can leave positive reviews. Use your socials to post pictures, and don’t neglect to provide special coupons and discounts for introductions.

It would help if you also made sure people can find your massage business online, so register it with online directories like Google My Business, Yelp, etc. Also, join massage associations to help you build your credibility.

Don’t neglect to network within your community; you can even consider partnering with other businesses and making yourself visible by attending small business events in your area. Depending on your clientele, you could also send out leaflets.

The best approach is to mix several strategies, remain flexible, and always provide your clients with the best service.

Marketing Tips

  1. Create a professional website with booking abilities to allow customers to book your services online.
  2. Harness the power of social media and create accounts on at least one or two major platforms. Use these accounts to share content, special offers, discounts, testimonials, and more.
  3. Invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns targeting potential customers searching for massage therapy services in your area.
  4. Get listed on local business directories such as Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc., to make sure you can be found easily when people search for massage services near them.
  5. Join relevant associations and organizations related to massage therapy and attend events/workshops where you can network with other professionals in the industry.
  6. Send out physical flyers and leaflets to people in your community, especially if you have a specific target audience.
  7. Partner with other businesses related to massage therapy, such as spas and salons. Not only will this help generate more leads for you, but it also allows you to create strategic partnerships that can benefit both parties.
  8. Create special discounts or coupons to incentivize customers to come back repeatedly. This is a great way to build loyalty and expand your customer base.
  9. Share customer testimonials on your website, social media accounts, and other marketing materials — these can be invaluable when attracting new clients!
  10. Always provide exceptional service: this is the best way to build your reputation and generate more word-of-mouth referrals. Make sure you display any certifications or permits prominently on your website and other materials so clients can quickly view them.
  11. Engage in Local Events: Take advantage of local events, such as community festivals, fairs, farmer’s markets, etc., to promote your massage business. You could even offer chair massages at these events — a great way to get people interested in your services! Plus, these events provide an excellent opportunity for networking and connecting with potential customers.
  12. Create Loyalty Programs: Loyalty programs are a great way to reward your loyal customers and encourage new ones to come back.
  13. Finally, stay flexible with your approach. Different marketing strategies work better for various businesses, so experiment to find out what works best for yours!

10.  Buy Your Business Tools

Besides your massage table, towels, linen, oils, candles, and washer, you will also want to create a warm and welcoming decorated space to receive your clientele. We are sure you know how to set up a place to keep people coming back.

However, please don’t neglect to get the right software to make it easier to program your day and offer the best possible client service. The right tool will help you manage your client database, make payments, schedule appointments, and provide CRM. Without it, you may spend more time working your business than on massages.

11. Certifications and Associations

It’s essential to stay abreast of any changes in the massage therapy industry. To do this, join associations and get certified by professional organizations. This will ensure you are up to date with the latest trends, techniques, and regulations in massage therapy. For example, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) provides a nationally recognized certification program that requires therapists to pass a board exam before practicing as licensed massage therapists. Additionally, joining professional associations like The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) allows professionals to network within their field and access continuing education opportunities. Through these certifications and memberships, professionals can stay informed about the latest developments in their field.

What we like and dislike about a massage business

What we like about a massage business is that it provides an opportunity to help people relax and feel better. Massage therapists can make a positive difference in the lives of their clients by providing relief from pain and stress and creating a calming atmosphere for them to enjoy. Another great thing about this type of business is that it often allows for flexible scheduling and working hours.

What we don’t like about running a massage business is the amount of paperwork required to keep track of everything. It can be labor-intensive and time-consuming, especially when dealing with taxes or insurance policies. Additionally, upfront costs include equipment purchases and licensing fees, which can add up quickly if you’re not careful. Finally, there is always the risk of client complaints or legal issues that can arise, which could result in costly litigation.


What is required to start a massage business?

To start a massage business, you will need the appropriate qualifications and certifications and any necessary licenses or permits that your state or city may require. You should also obtain general liability and workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees. Additionally, it is essential to create a solid online presence, network within your community, and invest in the right software tools.

What kind of insurance do I need for my massage business?

You will need general liability and workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees for your massage business. Depending on the type of massage services you provide, you may also want to look into health insurance plans and property or vehicle insurance. Additionally, it is essential to ensure you have coverage for your equipment and any business income.

How do I market my massage business?

To market your massage business, it is essential to build a solid online presence via professional websites, social media pages, and directories like Google My Business and Yelp. You should also join massage associations, network within your community, partner with other businesses, attend small business events in your area, and send out leaflets if applicable. Investing in the right software tools will help you manage your client database, make payments, schedule appointments, and provide CRM.

Do I need a website for my massage business?

Yes, having a professional website for your massage business is essential as it allows customers to easily find out information about your services and book sessions online. This helps build trust with potential customers, leading to higher customer retention rates. Additionally, having an optimized website can help improve visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).

What is the best way to manage my massage business?

The best way to manage your massage business is by combining several strategies. This may include investing in the right software tools to help you manage your client database, make payments, schedule appointments, and provide CRM. You should also build a solid online presence, network within your community, partner with other businesses, attend small business events, and send out leaflets if applicable. Additionally, offering the best possible customer service is essential for returning customers.

Do I need to have a special license to start my massage business?

The requirements for starting a massage business vary depending on your state and city. In many cases, you will need a special license or permit to operate your business legally. It is essential to research the applicable laws in your area before launching your business. You may also want to obtain general liability and workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees.

How can I make sure my massage business is successful?

The key to a successful massage business is offering excellent customer service, investing in the right software tools to help manage client databases, payments, appointments, and CRM, building an online presence, networking within the community, and attending small business events in your area. Additionally, it is essential to keep up with the latest industry trends and ensure that you have the appropriate qualifications and certifications and any necessary licenses or permits that your state or city may require.

What type of software tools can help me manage my massage business?

Many software tools are available on the market designed specifically for massage businesses. These tools include client databases, schedulers, payment processing solutions, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, loyalty programs, marketing automation solutions, analytics platforms, online booking systems, and more. It is essential to choose a tool that best suits the needs of your massage business.

What is the best way to promote my massage business?

The best way to promote your massage business is by building a strong online presence, networking within your community, attending small business events in your area, sending out leaflets if applicable, and partnering with other businesses. Additionally, you should invest in the right software tools to help you manage customer relationships, schedule appointments, make payments, and track analytics. You should also take advantage of various digital marketing strategies such as SEO (search engine optimization), email campaigns, social media advertising, PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, and more. Finally, don’t forget to provide excellent customer service to keep customers coming back!

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is an effective way to reach your target audience and promote your massage business. You can create targeted ad campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to reach potential customers. Ads should be relevant to your services and include attractive visuals, such as images or videos that will draw users’ attention. Include a call-to-action (CTA) ad that encourages viewers to book an appointment or learn more about your business. Sample ads could include:

• “Relieve stress with our massage therapy services! Book a session today!”

• “Take a break from the day-to-day grind with our deep tissue massages.”

• “Ease your muscle tension with our relaxing massages. Schedule an appointment now!”

• “Reduce stress and improve your well-being with our therapeutic massages.”

Using social media advertising, you can reach a broader audience and increase awareness for your massage business. Additionally, it is essential to monitor the performance of your ads to adjust or optimize them as necessary. This will help ensure that you get the most out of your ad campaigns and maximize their potential for success. Good luck!

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