How to Start a Massage Business

A step by step guide for building a strong foundation for your massage therapy practice to grow grom

Step 1

How to Start your Massage Therapy Business:

Choose a name. Identify your brand. Pick your target audience.

Choose Your 
Business Name

Your business name is part of your brand identity and you want to make sure that it tells your clients what you want them to know quickly & easily. It is tempting to get really creative with your name but often it is better to stick with a name that is simple & straightforward. 

Once you have chosen a name for your massage business you can follow the steps below to ensure that you are able to claim it for your business: 

• Check the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to make sure there are no trademarks or patents on your business name

• Check your state's database to ensure the business name is available

• OR massage therapists can search Oregon's database here

Your business name should be simple & memorable

It is a good idea to include the word "massage" in your business name

If you specialize in a particular modality you could also include it in your name ie. "shiatsu massage"

Use words that your target audience are likely to understand & search for when looking for your services

Including the name of your city or city+state is also a good option

Your name & brand identity should be aligned with your target audience
Your brand identity should be aligned with your company core values
Include as many of the 5 senses as possible when creating your massage business's brand identity. It should be part of every step of the client's journey
Choose the type of "voice & personality" your brand will have
Be consistent in the way you present your brand on every channel 
Need Help? Check out our branding and marketing template

Define Your 
Brand Identity

Your brand identity is how the public perceives your business, it is the essence of your practice. The perception of your brand is built through consistent brand massaging that includes logo, font, colors, images, voice, and tone. For example, when you see the golden arches you most likely think of McDonald's and you probably have other sensory reactions too!

Take these steps to build your brand identity:
• Define & get to know your target audience
• Decide what sets your massage practice apart from others in your area
• Write your mission statement & define your company values
• Choose your business fonts & colors
• Design your logo 

• Check out our YouTube Video on Branding for Massage Therapists

Define Your 
Target Audience

A target audience is a specific group of clients that are defined by similar demographics and/or interests. Examples of these are high school athletes or mothers with a household income of $100k+. Your target audience should be the foundation for the way you define your brand, the location you choose, the environment you create, your pricing strategy, and your marketing decisions. As you can see this is a very important piece of building your business. 

Visit our YouTube channel for a video on how to choose and understand the target audience for your massage business

You should choose 1-3 target audiences, you can always expand from there 

Be as detailed as possible

Market to your target audience, this makes marketing easier and more effective

Use data to define your target audience when possible

Take the time to really understand your target audience

“Find that niche that you are really passionate about and don’t be afraid to go after it.” – Rebecca Wilson

Step 2

Starting your Massage Therapy Business:

Write your massage business plan &
create a financial strategy

Write a Great 
Business Plan

Creating a business plan for your massage practice is an important part of your journey. Think of it as your business foundation and a blueprint for your success. It is also a great tool for obtaining financing if you ever choose to do so. 

Download Your Massage Business Plan Template Here •Check out this helpful resource from Shopify on how to write a business plan for your business

Create a Financial Plan

How much money do you need to make in order to keep your business running & to support your lifestyle?

How much will charge per session? 

Will you sell products, gift certificates, or memberships? Will you offer discounts? 

How much can your target audience afford to pay for your services? 

Use our financial forecasting worksheet to help answer these questions

• Financial Forecasting Toolkit for Massage Therpists

Learn how to use the financial forecasting worksheet on our YouTube Channel

• The Business of Massage YouTube Channel

“I did not have the most experience in the industry or the most money, but I cared the most.” – Sara Blakely

Step 3

How to build your Massage Therapy Business:

Choose your location & get licensed

Register Your 
Massage Business

Depending on your state you may need different types of licensing for your massage business. Take a look your state's website to find the requirements for your area. 

All business owners will need to choose a legal structure for their business, you can read about the options at the SBA website to help you make a decision for your business. 

Once you have decided what your business structure will be you can begin your business setup on your states website. 

Visit the SBA WebsiteOregon residents: Watch my YouTube video on how to set up your LLC in Oregon

Choose Your Massage Business Location

Where are your ideal clients likely to visit? 

What type of environment will your ideal clients enjoy most? 

How far are you willing to travel? 

What is your monthly budget for rent and expenses

Will the neighborhood be a supportive community and provide visibility for your business? 

Choosing your business location could make or break your business, make sure that you consider the factors listed above to ensure that the location you choose is right for you and your ideal clientele.

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer

Step 4

How to start your Massage Business:

Create your signage & marketing materials

Create Your 
Business Signage

Business signage & marketing materials are important components of building a successful massage practice. Take care to ensure that your branding is clear on every piece of marketing collateral that you create so that clients can easily recognize your business at a glance.  

Types of signage that you could create depending on your location: 

• A-Board Sign
• Hanging Signage
• Window coverings 
• Internal signage 

Plan Your 
Grand Opening Party!

Celebrate your accomplishments by inviting your friends, family, and the neighborhood surrounding your massage business to a grand opening party!

Ideas for hosting a great grand opening party for your new massage business

Send out invitations early
Send follow-up reminders
Entice people to attend with a giveaway
Introduce yourself to as many people as possible 
Provide food & drinks that align with your values & brand
Get help! Ask your friends & family to help you prepare and host 
Offer a discount to clients who book their first session at your event
Offer free mini-services at the event
Put together a goodie bag for guests
Host a raffle for a free massage and require an email address o enter (this will help build your email list)

Congrats! You are ready for the next phase

Get your massage business online

Schedule a Free Consultation

We would love to speak with you and gain a better understanding of the type of help you need to reach your business goals. 
Book Today
hand linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram