8 Steps Toward a Successful Massage Therapy Practice

You're ready to launch your massage therapy business, but you're not sure where to start? We're here to help with these 8 steps to success.

So, you've trained in massage and perhaps one or more additional techniques such as cupping, trigger point, lymphatic drainage, hot stone or perhaps intuitive Balinese or Lomi Lomi style. You're ready to launch your business and open your own practice, but you're not sure where to start. We're here to help! This article provides eight steps to help you successfully start and operate your massage therapy business, so there's no need to worry.


Tips for Opening a Massage Practice

Here's how to get your massage business off the ground.

1. Become Certified

As soon as you decide to become a masseuse, the very first thing you should do is organise and complete your qualifications. There are a number of ways to qualify as a massage therapist, not least of all due to the wide range of techniques and styles.

A qualified and reputable massage therapist provides safe, effective, and professional treatments. Be sure to check with your training provider prior to undertaking a course to ensure they are providing you with a reputable, credible training that meets your professional needs.

Nationally recognised trainings such as a Diploma of Remedial Massage or a Certificate IV in Massage in Australia are a great way to start and gain a comprehensive understanding and practical skills training in massage. For other massage variations and styles, you can contact IICT to find out what the minimum training requirements are in your region.

2. Join a Professional Membership Body

Adding professional credibility to your CV through membership with a reputable industry body is an intangible benefit to your practice. Professional membership bodies provide you with the quality assurance and peace of mind your clients are looking for in a newly qualified massage therapist. They can also provide you industry support and a community of like-minded practitioners and business owners so you can grow and thrive, and can connect you with great insurance rates.

If you have additional body work or healing modalities, you might like to join a membership body that represents multiple therapies so you can have all your techniques and qualifications covered in one application.

3. Get Insurance for your Practice

Ensuring you and your clients are protected in any massage setting is paramount. Having professional indemnity and public liability insurance cover means you may be protected if a client accidentally injures themselves during the treatment session, or if you were to accidentally cause harm to a client due to a particular massage technique or error in judgment.

IICT's insurance partnerships ensure all IICT Members receive access to exclusive insurance policy rates with all the necessary inclusions (such as public liability and professional indemnity cover) to start your new practice with confidence.

4. Get an ABN

One of the first things you need when running your own business in Australia is an ABN (Australian Business Number). It's free to register an ABN, which you can do online. It is possible to learn everything you need to know about ABNs, business structures, and other aspects from the Australian Business Register.

5. Choose a Unique Business Name

It is often the most exciting part of starting a business for many people. Regardless of your creativity, choosing the right name is very important. The name you choose should reflect both you and your business while at the same time being memorable and catchy. It is also not ideal to use unusual spellings. It's also easy to register a business, but have a few alternate business names ready in case one of your first choices is already taken.

6. Get the Right Massage Equipment

The last thing you want during a massage is to run out of massage oil or a wobbly table. Ensure you find quality massage equipment and a reliable supplier to ensure your treatment sessions run smoothly for both you and your clients. Gentle reminder to also take measurements of your treatment room so the equipment you purchase can comfortably fit. If not, it might be worthwhile revisiting ideas on where you are choosing to operate from.

7. Find an Affordable and Comfortable Space

With the increase in working from home arrangements and mobile insurance policies that allow you to operate from a third party venue or your own home, finding an affordable and comfortable space to work from doesn't have to be a burden. To help with your decision-making, do some research in your local area and liaise with other massage therapists. Some points to consider:

  • Is there a co-working space where you can share the rent with another practitioner on alternate days?
  • If considering an at-home practice, where are you located? How easy is it for clients to find you and access your building? (Don't forget to consider parking and accessibility needs of your clients)
  • Do you need a permanent space, or would a remote/mobile service suit you better? Are there offices near you where you could offer your services in-house, or go to your clients' homes?

8. Market Your Massage Business

So, you've got your qualifications, registered with a professional membership body, got your insurance, ABN, business name, equipment and have found the perfect space for your practice. Great! Now you're ready to invest your time and money into marketing your business, so even more clients can find you and be treated to your massage services.

You don't have to do this all on your own; enlist help from family, friends, or you can hire someone to help you. But the following items are important to the development and visibility of your new business practice.

Social Media

Social media can be a great tool to introduce your new business. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok are all viable social media marketing options. On many platforms you can also include a booking service so when people find you online they can view your services and book in right away!

Flyers and Business Cards

Perhaps this method seems dated, but it can certainly work well for local businesses - particularly if you are in a smaller town with a tight-knit community. People can easily pass around business cards or promotional materials as they pass on through (utilise your friends and family too!). You can also drop flyers at local shops and cafés (always check with them before leaving materials though).

Create a Website

It is crucial to build a website as part of your marketing strategy. Online searchers are on the lookout for services, so having your website will help you get noticed. It doesn't have to be expensive to build a website, and you can build one for free with a number of providers.


Interested in becoming a Massage Therapist?

Massage therapy involves kneading or manipulating muscles and other soft tissue to improve overall health and wellbeing. Various cultures throughout history, including Ancient Greece, Egypt, China, and India, believed in the health benefits of massage. There are a number of massage therapy styles and techniques that have developed throughout the ages. Some, such as Ayurvedic, Lomi Lomi or Balinese originated thousands of years ago and the techniques are continued in practice today.

The massage therapy industry has continued to grow and evolve in recent years with IICT now providing membership and access to insurance for over 70 massage modalities alone from a wide range of approved Training Providers teaching practitioner level qualifications and courses.


Find a Massage Therapist Near You

The IICT Directory can help you find a massage therapist near you. With over 1,400 practitioners and organisations in its database, you're sure to discover a reputable and talented massage therapist that meets your needs.


Start Your Massage Business Today

IICT is a professional industry body that provides membership, access to insurance, resources, tools, and support to grow your massage and complementary therapy practice. Join IICT here or visit www.myiict.com to learn more about becoming a member and receiving professional industry support and credibility, no matter where you are on your journey.

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