More people are becoming interested in creating a life they love by working for themselves. Many of these are individuals who also feel a calling to help others. Massage therapy can fulfill both needs. Before you dive into the world of massage therapy, take the time to learn more about the profession. Decide who you’d like to work with and if there are enough clients in your area to sustain a career. Learn more about the equipment you will need and make a financial plan to fund your new venture.
Finally, once you are sure this is what you want to do, decide on a training path and set to work making your entrepreneurial dream a reality.
People typically seek out the services of a massage therapist for one of two reasons; they are in pain or they want to pamper themselves. It will be necessary to determine which type of client you want to serve or if you’d like to serve both. Then look for others who are offering services to your ideal client and find out if there is enough interest in the area to accommodate a new business. If there is not, determine if you are interested in practicing in other locations.
If it appears as though there is no market for a massage therapist, it is possible that you have not properly defined your ideal customer. Take some time to really think about who you want to work with. Start with a very narrow field and work your way up. For example, let’s say you want to work to help to relieve the suffering of those who have experienced an injury. What type of injury? Were they working in a physically demanding field when the injury occurred at their workplace or were they playing a sport? Both of those indicate where you should be looking for potential clients. With a work injury, you’d want to network with professionals who collaborate with worker’s compensation cases. If you want to work with athletes, it makes more sense to network with coaches and other sport’s professionals.
Whenever it appears there is not a market for something as perennially popular as the profession of massage therapist, it is likely a lack of focus than a true lack of potential clients. Clearly define your goals and reach out to the appropriate people to obtain a clearer idea of the exact market in which you wish to work.
Necessary Equipment and Licensure
The type of equipment you will need as a massage therapist depends in large part on the type of environment in which you wish to work. Again, this comes down to determining exactly who you want to work with.
Those who want to work in a dedicated office space, perhaps alongside another medical practitioner, would need a stationary table and other items for the office. Those who want to work on location and travel to gyms, or various physical therapy clinics, would need a portable massage chair or table. The cost associated with the different types of equipment are why it is very important to determine the clientele one will be serving prior to making any purchasing decisions.
Other items will be used regardless of who you work with or from where you work. You will need massage oils, clean towels, and relaxation aids for clients such as calming music and candles. However, these types of items are less of a financial investment than the main equipment.
Once you have determined there is a potential market in the area in which you wish to practice and you have a realistic understanding of the startup costs associated with this type of entrepreneurial endeavor, it is time to look at the specific educational and legal requirements that need to be addressed.
Not all states require licensure of massage therapists while others have very strict state licensing requirements. It may not be necessary to receive a formal education, license, or even insurance in the state you are planning to practice. However, it is an excellent idea to invest in all three to ensure proper care of your patients and an adequate amount of personal financial protection for yourself.