Whenever people have recurring pain in their body that’s impossible to shake off, they do not consult with the doctor right away. More often than not, they feel like a 60-minute deep-tissue massage can solve everything. This makes running a massage therapy clinic a lucrative venture — but only if you do it right.
As with any other business, you have to fight the excitement of investing good money on the venture without investing time first on planning for it. Here are some things you absolutely have to get right before opening your own massage therapy clinic.
Decide on what kind of massage clinic you want
There are two places where one can get a massage: spas and massage clinics. Although related in terms of dealing with chronic pain, these two businesses have different goals, different clients, and therefore, different demands in terms of investment.
Spa massages are generally geared towards relaxation, so your boutique will have to create a blissful experience complete with soft lighting, soothing music, and an overall ambiance that could put you to sleep.
On the other hand, registered massage therapy clinics usually resemble hospitals — you’d be excused for exerting less effort in terms of ambiance, but you have to do more in terms of knowing your clients’ exact pain complaints, as well as any past or ongoing health issues because the ultimate goal is recovery.
Create a business plan
Now that you have decided what kind of massage therapy clinic you want to open, it’s time to crunch the numbers. Map out the things you have to purchase or pay for up-front like your commercial space lease, massage tables, bolsters, blankets, and everything you might need inside the clinic. If you’re opening a recovery therapy clinic, you might need additional medical equipment, too.
Then, think about all the operating expenses you would have to pay on a regular basis such as utilities, employee wages, and other investments that could make clients feel protected, like a sufficient insurance policy
You might be tempted to skip getting coverage at this point, to cut costs, but note that when your first-ever client comes in, there are already a dozen things that could go horribly wrong, and could, in turn, drive your business to the ground before you can even earn your investment back. Depending on how strict your state/city regulates massage therapy businesses, you might be required to get an insurance policy anyway once you register your business.
Now that you know how much you have to spend to get the business going, you can determine how many clients you’re going to need regularly to turn a profit. If you’re comfortable, you can hit that magic number, then it’s time to make your dream happen.
Find the right people
If you are a massage professional yourself, then you already know that there are a lot of requirements to become a massage therapist. The best ones go through years of theoretical and practical training before they’re ready to deal with clients. This is especially true if you’re looking to open a registered massage clinic that’s geared towards injury recovery and not simply relaxation.
Finding the right people is easier said than done. Putting out a hiring announcement might give you hundreds of interested replies, but only a handful of these will turn into actual employable leads. You have to take the time to review resumes, conduct interviews, and even run demonstrations just to make sure you’re entrusting your dream business to the hands of the right people.
Commit yourself to providing quality service
Once you’ve set everything up and the first of your clients are trickling in, is it now time for you to sit back and reap the profits?
No, not really.
Assuming that you completely transitioned into being a massage therapist to being a business owner, it still doesn’t mean you can go ‘hands-off’ on the business. At least for the first few months of your clinic, you have to spend as much time as you can personally overseeing the business operations.
You have to set unquestionable standards before you can leave your people unsupervised. You also need to take note of the logistics of your business, like for instance, how long it takes for lotions and massage oils to run out. This is so you can accurately schedule purchases and deliveries to ensure that your business is always well-equipped.
While creating your business plan, you would have noticed that going to massage therapy is not cheap. Your clients will be paying good money for the services, and the onus is on you to make it a worthwhile investment for them.
Prepare to fail, anyway
You can do everything right and still watch your business fail because there are things you can’t ever predict. You will have a lot of competition in this line of business, so you have to constantly evolve and improve your services.
Still, you always have to prepare for the worst. It’s not easy running a business — the earlier you accept this reality, the earlier you can brace yourself for the busy months ahead of you.
However, failure does not mean you have to give up on the dream altogether. One unprofitable year does not mean you’re never going to recover. Just like what massage therapists do, you just have to identify pain points and address them. There will always be opportunities to innovate and improve your business. Stick to it long enough and be smart about every decision you make, and you can inevitably turn failure into success.