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Published: 28 July 2017

Tips for Starting Your Own Massage Business

Are you thinking about starting your own massage business and are passionate about what you do?

If you like the idea of taking control of your own destiny and the satisfaction of creating your own employment AND doing something that you love then setting up your own Massage Business can be the ideal wealth creation for you.  Providing you have enough get-up-and-go and the commitment to see things through, running your own business is an extremely positive and rewarding experience.

 Here are 10 top tips you’ll be glad to know about.

  1. Become Certified

Before you can lease out a treatment room you will need to have qualifications in either Certificate IV in Massage or a Diploma of Remedial Massage.

  1. Register with an Association!

There are lots of different massage associations out there, and some require certain qualifications before you can apply to join. This is a good thing, becoming a member will give you credibility. Additionally, there are some associations that will be compulsory to join if you want to get a rebate with HBF and other private health insurance funds.

We suggest you check out the following two Australian member associations:

  • Australian Association of Massage Therapists – aamt.com.au
  • Australian Natural Therapies Association – atms.com.au
  1. Get an ABN

Before starting your own business, you’ll need to register for an ABN. This is quite a simple process. Check out this site for more information: www.business.gov.au

  1. Now the fun stuff: choose & register a business name

Deciding on your business name can be heaps of fun, however, think carefully as names are important. You want it to be easy to remember and catchy enough not for people to forget, but certainly not crazy. Stay away from names too difficult to pronounce and try to come up with something that hasn’t been overdone in your local area and city. Practice answering the phone saying your name, see if it feels right.

Remember - keep your name real and keep it memorable.

When it comes to registering a business name, this is a relatively easy process, but it is recommended that you apply with a couple of different name options up your sleeve, in case they refuse your first choice.

  1. Aim to get your own provider number

Patients will want to claim their massage with their health funds so they can receive a rebate. To make this possible, you’ll need to contact Medibank and Hicaps to obtain your provider number.  You will need to complete the appropriate forms and if your application is successful, you will receive a unique number which the health funds used to identify you when they are processing the rebates back to your massage clients. Having your own eftpos machine linked with Hicaps will provide your patients with fast efficient service and this is an extremely attractive benefit to your clients to come back to you.

  1. Allow time and money for marketing

Creating a budget for marketing is essential for almost every business, particularly when you start out. However, we cannot stress enough that you need to be careful in this department and don’t get too excited throwing money around. Before you invest in any marketing idea, think it through, read any data on the success of the marketing campaign (e.g. if it’s a newspaper ad or online directory see what the readership is) and don’t make the mistake of thinking that the more you spend, the more you’ll make. It simply isn’t true!

There are some recommended types of marketing that you may wish to look into though:

  • Build a basic website. This needn’t be elaborate when you are starting out. Today there are some fantastic platforms out there that enable you to literally build a website yourself. Check out wordpress.com or squarespace.com for two great examples. You don’t need to be an IT expert to get this together, but if you do run into trouble you could always look for someone local that could give you a hand. An excellent idea is to put up a job profile in the universities in your city, detailing exactly what you would like to be done. Students of Graphic Design Degrees are always looking at gaining their experience in the market with a reasonable hourly rate.  Contact the uni’s for more information on how to go about this.
  • Social media. It’s also a good idea to open up a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account (you can connect the two so whatever you post on Facebook will go on to Twitter) and make sure you have a Google Plus local page. With Facebook, you may consider some Facebook ads, but again go slowly and carefully and keep track of the results. Remember, Facebook is 90% entertainment so make sure your posts are entertaining and shareable. Don’t go overboard with promotion or people will simply ‘unfriend’ you.
  • Cheap flyers & business cards. This may seem old-fashioned, but for local businesses this method works. Word-of-mouth is great for marketing, so if people have your business cards or some type of promotional material in their wallet, they can easily share it with their friends. Likewise, cheap flyers can be dropped around local businesses and cafes and before you know it you have customers who will tell their friends and work colleagues and so on…
  1. Find an affordable commercial space

If you’re ready to find a property, rather than working from home, remember that you do not always need shop frontage. Certainly a good location that is quiet, easy to get to, has parking and public transport nearby and is close to shops is a good idea. Remember to do your research in your local area and don’t be afraid to negotiate with your landlord.

  1. Furnishing your clinic

When it comes to tables and other furniture, check out second-hand options first like Gumtree and Ebay. You may be pleasantly surprised at what’s available out there.

  1. Documents & Filing

Keep all your receipts/invoices in a safe place and take the stress out of tax time by keeping all your receipts filed away neatly. You can even keep your bookkeeping expenses down by using clever bookkeeping software like Powerdiary which is a software system which keeps all details of your clients, accounts, emails and even sends text message reminders.

  1. Get Mastery at Rebooking!

Once you’ve got the important things in place, it’s time to get massaging. So enjoy your time with your clients, do an excellent job and remember that repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising is the cheapest and best way of building a business. You never get a second chance at a first impression.

Your Vibe

There are way too many myths surrounding business ownership, mainly spread by well-intentioned friends, family and colleagues. Some involve their own experience of business disasters, long involved paperwork with the ATO, staff challenges, long hours with little returns. Others go in unprepared, seeing only a dream of total fulfilment, financial reward, and lots of flexible hours and eventually they fall into complete overwhelm. Remember to always trust your own intuition when making decisions and consult professionals when you need to.  Running a business is not rocket science, but it certainly requires you take a professional approach, offer a fantastic personable service and above all make sure you are passionate and knowledgeable about your industry and the service you are offering, because at the end of the day this is what client’s will come back for. Your vibe.

Another handy tip:

Spotify: This Company needs no introduction and streams millions of music tracks online. Build your own playlists, or make the most of ready-made playlists made by others that have similar tastes or similar purpose to you – including ready-made music for massage. You can play it on all your devices, and it’s super-easy to use. You can listen for free or pay a minimal amount for the premium version. https://www.spotify.com/au/

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