How to Start a Massage Therapy Business

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how to start a massage therapy business

We want to help you answer the question:

“How do I start a massage therapy business?”

Your thinking…

…”it’s a hectic and painful world, and we all need to relax, unwind, and get relief from our pain.


how to start a massage therapy business

how to start a massage therapy business

The answer is:


That’s why starting a massage therapy business could be a profitable venture for you, or joining a professional clinic that is already well established by searching for physical therapy jobs near me in the pursuit of freeing people from their pains.

As more and more people become aware of the negative effects of stress on their lives, and the benefits massage therapy can provide for acute or chronic pain, this service could be the right next business for you. If you have never managed a large number of employees then it can be overwhelming to begin with. But don’t panic as services like CloudPay help you manage and analyze your payroll.

In order to start a massage therapy business however, you will need to know where to start.

Read on as we share your options for running a lucrative massage therapy service.

How to Start a Massage Therapy Business Step 1: Get Training, Get Certified, Get a License

Medical Massage Schools & Training

There are a variety of schools available with differing levels of instructors and training. Make sure you not only google the school, but show up and meet the teachers and staff and try to find out what references are available from former students. Tuition isn’t cheap and it will pay to find the best professional training you can. is not a valid training source, as that’s not the type of massage you’ll be giving!

Get Certified

certified Massage TherapistYou may be an expert masseuse, but it’s highly advisable to get some form of registered and accredited certification before you start this business. Since you’ll be dealing with people’s bodies and there’s always room for something to go wrong, having a certification is always wise, and you may even require one to legally operate (you certainly do if you’re in the United States).

In the Unites States, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) is the governing body overseeing all certifications.

Get Licensed in your state

Most states also have their own licensing regulations.

Look it up!

Get this right from the get-go,

or it could mean problems down the line.

If you can’t invest the time, hire someone who can or who is already certified.

Step 2: Pick a Medical Massage Business Model

spa and medical massage therapy businessThere are several ways to run this business. You can establish your own facility, join a spa or healthcare provider team, or a home-delivery-style service. Each of these business models have their pros and cons.

1) Establish Your Own Facility

Running your own facility or spa will be much more expensive to start, but will give you a credible business presence. If you’re worried about the potential costs of having your own facility then visit to see if you could save money on your energy bills for your future facility.

Running a spa also allows you to offer add-ons such as a jacuzzi or sauna if you wish to include these in your business.

2) Join a Spa or Healthcare Provider Team

Some healthcare or spa services that could provide synergistic clientele include:

  • Other Massage Therapy Practice
  • Aesthetic Spa
  • Chiropractors Office
  • Physical Therapy
  • Primary Care | Geriatric Practice
  • Wellness Center | Fitness or Gym
  • Sports Medicine

3) Home Massage Services

whereas running a home delivery service will lower your expenses dramatically, but you’ll lose out on some customers who are shy or hesitant about inviting a stranger into their homes.

Running a home-delivery-style business will limit you to massage.

Don’t forget that if you decide to offer people massages in their homes you will need a vehicle to get there. Be sure to budget fuel and operating costs in your business plan.

You will also want a PORTABLE MASSAGE TABLE to take with you.

Step 3: Design Your Place

If you decide to go with a bricks and mortar spa, even if it’s just at home, setting the theme and tone of your spa will be crucial to the client’s experience.

Ideas for designing your massage therapy room

You want to make this as relaxing as possible. Tranquil music, the sound of running water, natural sounds such as birds chirping, and burning incense and candles are all features you can use to set the mood.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be highly expensive. A soft massage table, a place for clients to shower after being rubbed down with oils, and a stereo system could be all you need to create a relaxing environment in which your clients can loosen up and unwind.

Step 4: Market Your Massage Service

Select a Niche and Target a Specific Individual or Need

There are more types of massage than you might think. From well-known, popular ones like Swedish and traditional Thai massages to reflexology and massages for specific maladies, you’ll have to consider exactly what you’re going to offer and what you can’t.

Depending on what massages you are expert in, you may want to put together a team of qualified, professional masseurs to help you broaden your range of services.

Massage Types & Modalities to choose from/ offer:

  1. Trigger Point Therapy
  2. Swedish Massage
  3. Deep Tissue Massage
  4. Sports Massage
  5. Medical Massage
  6. Reflexology
  7. Prenatal Massage
  8. Geriatric Massage

There are many more types of massage. Investigate them thoroughly.

Get the Word Out – Online

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If you live in a big city, you’ll want to promote your business through traditional means like flyers, magazine advertisements, classified ads and online campaigns.

If you live in a smaller town you can combine these with the power of word of mouth by offering freebies or promo discounts to friends and family. Word spreads quickly and if you’re great at what you do, you’ll find much of your business comes through word of mouth.

If you’re offering specific types of massage such as geriatric massages or sports massages, think about where you might find clients. Hint: At a facility for the elderly or at a gym, in this example.

Other Marketing Ideas

Pro-Tip: Budget 10% of your revenue to advertise and grow the business and use a variety of means for greatest impact. Since this is a service business, one effective tool to market is affiliate sales. Give agents a coupon code associated with a promo or discount, and for every client they send you, pay them a flat fee. This can help word spread remarkably quickly.


So now that you know the options how to start a massage therapy business, weigh the pros and cons for your circumstances and give it a try.

You’ll be doing something which helps others relieve their stress and pain and be creating a business of your own!