How to Start a Massage Business [6 Things to Do]

Starting a massage therapy business can be a daunting task, just like starting any other business. There are many risks, but the rewards can outweigh those risks. In addition to the standard things every business owner must do to start their company, massage therapists should also do a few additional steps.

Get Licensed and Certified for Massage Therapy

Only five states do not require a massage therapist to be licensed and certified: Alaska, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Even if you live in one of these states, it is not a bad idea to still get certified. Certification means that you can perform the massages according to the standards of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Potential clients always like to see that they are working with a professional with certification. You can find out more about certification at

Join a Massage Therapy Association

Like any other professional business association, a massage therapy association can help you network with fellow massage therapists, get professional advice or even refer you clients. With some associations, such as the American Massage Therapy Association, you get liability insurance with your membership. In addition to the insurance, you get discounts on continuing education, career guidance, networking, marketing resources, publications, and discounts on various products and services that you will undoubtedly use. To learn more about these benefits, visit

Reward Clients Who Give You Referrals

Referrals are the lifeblood to most small business owners. If your client gives you referrals that lead to growth, you should reward them. Rewards can come in many forms. You can discount your services if they provide x amount of referrals that become new clients or you can lengthen the duration of their massages without charge. You can advertise these reward programs to incentivize clients. Do not overlook the power of rewarding referrals.

Determine Which Services You Want to Offer

This step should be done fairly early in the process of starting your massage therapy business. There are over 80 kinds of massages. A massage therapist can specialize in specific types of clients, such as sports athletes or pregnant women. As you continue to learn and grow, you can add more services.  Determining your target clientele will help you choose which services to offer. Even if you do not have many services now, you can always add more later.

Invest in Good Marketing

This last step is crucial to growing the business. As a new business owner, you should invest in good marketing, whether it be print or digital marketing. If you do not know what you are doing in terms of marketing, you should research and hire a quality marketing firm. If you belong to a massage therapy association, you can ask your fellow members if they know of any good marketing companies. Do not neglect digital marketing, specifically search engine optimization. Most people use a search engine like Google to find local businesses. A good marketing company can help you be found easier on a search engine.

Starting a business is one of the most difficult things a person can do. There are many requirements, from legal requirements to tax requirements. However, finding clients and business is often the toughest part of owning a business. The five steps listed above can help you find clients and start a massage business.

Want more information? Learn the best marketing for massage therapists.

Get Templates

Using private practice form templates can help you save time when you are first starting your private practice. We recommend finding templates that are fillable so your clients can easily fill them out on a computer.

Grow Your Massage Therapy Practice

At Massagebypro, massage therapists get their own professional mini website with a powerful SEO boost so clients can easily find them on major search engines and Social Media sites. Our unique 5-star Review Portal allows therapists to easily ask for reviews, an important component to grow any business. Members get weekly business tips, social media tools and support from our Team. We connect massage clients with the best massage professionals in the United States. Find the best massage therapists in these modalities: Swedish Massage TherapistsDeep Tissue Massage TherapistsHot Stone Massage TherapistsPrenatal Massage TherapistsSports Massage TherapistsMedical Massage TherapistsReflexology Massage TherapistsCupping Massage TherapistsLomi Lomi Massage Therapists, and Thai Massage Therapists.

Learn how to grow your massage practice.

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