Simple business plan for a Massage Therapist

In Massage business strategies by KellyLeave a Comment

Before you start a massage therapy business or any business,  the absolute first thing you should do is write a business plan for your new small business. When starting a business there is so much to do, this is why you need a business plan to help guide you through the process.

Your massage therapy business plan is the foundation for your entire business, it is the road map that will be there for you if you start to feel lost. You small business plan will help keep your thoughts and fiances organized as you take on one of the biggest challenges in your massage therapy career.

Within your massage therapy business plan you will have sections that outline things like, your goals for year 1,2, and 3. You will write down what is you’re business purpose and things like, who is your target client.

I will break this down step-by-step in a moment but first I want to cover why a business plan is important even if you are a small business.

Why you need a business plan? 

If you don’t know where you are going, then how will you get there? Without a comprehensive business plan you are setting your massage therapy business up for failure. Say you don’t write a business plan, what would be the worst case scenario?

You might be thinking, it’s just me wanting to rent a small space and take a few clients, why would I need a business plan for that?

OK, so you want to start a small massage business and rent a small studio or lets just say you want to rent a room from an existing business in your area. That’s great, low overhead to start with, I think that’s a perfect way to begin your journey toward owning your own massage business.

This sounds pretty straight forward, renting a room out of someone else’s officer. OK first question, do you pay your rent to the person leasing the space or do you pay the owner of the building directly? Does rent include utilities, trash, or internet?

Who is responsible for cleaning the shared area, i.e. waiting room, bathroom, kitchen area (if there is one)? These are the type of things that go in your business plan and your leasing agreement. Do not over look the small details, it will bit you in the butt down the road if you don’t ask questions! 

What type of payment do you plan to except?:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Credit cards
  • Health savings
  • Flex spending
  • Insurance
  • Gift cards

And how will you take payment?:

  • Square
  • Stripe
  • Credit card system through your bank

These are important details that need to go in your small business plan. By creating systems before you open your doors, you will save time and lots of headaches down the road. I have much to cover in this article so lets get started!

Click here for your free ready to go massage therapy business plan

Sample business plan for a massage therapist:


This section is pretty straight forward to fill out on your own. Be sure to check and see if you’re desired business name is available before you start ordering business cards and brochures! Do a simple Google search by typing in the business name you want to use, then check social media groups to make sure it is not being used there either.

Finally once you have determined the name is available, click here to purchase your domain name so no one else can claim your unique business name before you are ready to launch your new business.

When I was choosing my business name I had trouble coming up with a name that was creative, unique, but most importantly available!

When it comes to our industry as massage therapist, your name needs to reflect what you specialize in to help you stand out but you don’t want it to be cheesy and you most certainly don’t want it to be misleading!

I played around with a lot of different words and rearranged them a few times before I came to Full Motion Bodywork and Massage.

Having the word massage in your title is not a requirement but it does help, the full motion represents my style in that I do a lot of stretching and sports work. I could have used sports massage somewhere in my name if I wanted to but I didn’t want to limit my clientele pool.

If I used the words sports massage, that would likely lead someone to believe that is all that I do and I could miss out on  prospective clients.

Although sports massage is my primary function, it is not all that I offer which is why I did not include it in the title. It is a helpful marketing tool to take a firm approach when creating your brand.

So if you mainly want to do cupping massage, consider putting that  in your name. If you want to focus on Shiatsu massage include that, so on and so forth. I recommend getting a pencil and a piece of paper outand start writing words down and saying them out loud and see what sounds good to you.

Your name tells people everything about your company so put some time into it and like I said, buy your domain quick because good ideas get swooped up fast in the internet world!

Your domain is your web address, so When you purchase your domain name you get the rights to that name for one year or there are plans that you can get longer terms if you want. One year is just fine when starting out. You can purchase your domain from a number companies like

Newbie tip, AMTA and ABMP offer their members one free website with the option to upgrade to a monthly free that includes your personalized domain and it says they help your optimize your website. Optimizing meaning they help boost your website so it’s more search able, do not upgrade!

I absolutely recommend you take advantage of the free website but the rest of the stuff they say you need to make your website great I can show you how to do this stuff yourself for under $200, I will get more into that later.

Since you have a free option I say make one, it’s free! When I made mine from AMTA’s site it took me a few hours and it was done, since it is a free website you can’t really change anything but you get a few pictures to choose from.

One thing with a free website, the domain name you are given is really long and it looks unprofessional. So if you are wanting to keep things on the cheap in the beginning use the free website but definitely buy a better domain name.

As shown above you can purchase a domain from a number of places GoDaddy is really popular and they advertise really cheap rates but in my experience they raise there rates quite a bit every year. Host Gator is also good and they have nice deals if you bundle a domain and website together.

Site Ground and Blue Host are the top runners when it comes to hosting (were your website lives) and domains. Blue Host has several options that are really affordable and that is what I use for my site now. Blue Host is really fast!

In the very beginning when I was using the free website still I purchased my domain name from GoDaddy and that’s when I learned about there price spikes every year! Choose whatever is best for you but definitely lock in your domain as soon as you come up with a great name for your business.

Now that we have covered what a domain is and how to get you free website started, let’s make a business plan.

Massage Therapy Business Plan:

Business name:

Business address:

Business email:

Business Structure:


Proprietor’s address:

Executive Summary


1: My Business Purpose:­­­

This is where you will summarize the key points about your business, you will highlight the exciting parts.

Example: My massage business will offer sports and deep tissue massage for athletes and anyone who has sustained an injury that is affecting their quality of life.

I will provide a unique treatment plan for that client to decrease the pain and suffering they are experiencing.

(You should go into greater detail then I just did but you don’t need to write a book in this section as other sections will cover individual topics as we go, lets continue)

2: I plan to organize my business as (Corporation, Partnership, or LLC)

This is completely up to you but when you are starting out, staying a Solo Proprietor is just fine in my book but down the line you might be interested in becoming a limited liability company (LLC). The best thing to do is have a free consultation with a attorney in your area.

After my second year my business really started to take off so I felt it was in the best interest for me and my family to become a LLC. That way I know I had an additional level of protection as I continue to grow my business

3: I have been in business since or plan on starting on: This is the date you started taking clients  under your business name.

4: My experience as an owner is:  If you plan to get a business or personal loan for your new business a lender may want a background of your abilities and experience in running or have been in a managerial position in the past.

This is also nice to fill out so you have a clear vision of who you are and what qualities you possess to refer back to if you start to doubt yourself.

5: Services offered: List all the modalities you are certified in; Sports massage, Deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, Trigger point therapy,  Shiatsu, Thai massage, Craniosacral therapy, and so forth. This list can be altered down the road as you take CUE’s

5: Research: Don’t under estimate your competition no matter how small it may be, also don’t be afraid to enter the massage therapy game if it looks like there is to much competition. There is enough business to go around you just need a solid foundation and  good marketing i.e. a great website and a strong presents on social media and local groups like

6: Business goals: It is important to make short and long term goals in business. Short term goals could be:

  1. Set up a website
  2. Branding
  3. Join a BNI group (visit a few groups before you join)
  4. Cold call local businesses
  5. Create a Facebook marketing campaign
  6. Set up a Google my business
  7. Get ALL your friends and family members to write a review on your google business profile

I want to talk about google reviews for a second, I have a awesome website for my business that I spent countless hours on and people have commented on how nice it is. BUT, it is google reviews that draw prospective clients in. Most people won’t even click on your website unless they see great reviews first.

Think about how you Google things, if you are looking at a new restaurant, what’s the first thing you look at? The reviews, then the pictures, and then the menu. Your massage business is no different.

Once you set up your Google my business account; get your brother, sister, cousin, best friend, whoever to write a review on your business! You also need to include some pictures of yourself and your business. I’m not saying you need 17 selfies, I’m saying professional images of you doing massage, of your office, or any special equipment you may use.

You simply need a few images to illustrate who you are and what your business is about. It took me less then a hour and I haven’t touch it since, that was 3 years ago. Once people see your images and read some awesome reviews, then they will click on your website and see who you are.

7: Hours of Business:  You can make your hours whatever you like but know that people need consistency.  Make your scheduled whatever you want, just don’t change it ever other week, that’s a turn off to clients and makes your company look wishy-washy.

8: Personal experience: What is your massage background? What are you’re experiences up to this point? Why do you want to start a massage business now?

9: How will your business compete with others, who is you’re completion?

Look at your competition but do not get intimidated by them, look at what you think they are doing right, what are they specializing in? What do you think they are lacking and can you fill that void in the market? What do there websites look like?

Size them up and see how you can do it better. Don’t look at the Massage Envy’s or Hand and Stone, they are out of your league but that’s OK. A lot of people don’t like big franchises, they want small independent business like yours, trust me there is a need for massage businesses!

10: Location (will you have a home base business, office, or travel):

It is completely your option weather you rent a space, work from home, or travel. Travel can be taxing but no overhead. Working from home gives you more deductions come tax time but then you have people coming and going from your home.

Renting a office or a room is more overhead but for me that’s my jam, maybe not for you but I love my office. I don’t want people in my house and I’m to old to travel and lug all my equipment around town. That’s what works for me but it could be different for you, all options are good, I have done them all I just love my office tho, it’s my little slice of heaven.

If you want to travel to businesses and homes you better start cold calling and building a name for yourself so you can start creating a re-pour with local businesses

If you work from home I hope you have a separate entrance and make sure you have a plan in place if someone gets squirrely.

If you go with a office make sure the location is convent for most people, don’t sign a long term lease ( in the beginning) and keep your office simple to start with and just focus on marketing.



1: Customers:  Who is your ideal client? My ideal client is someone who likes deep tissue sports massage with a splash of stretching. I do not like working on clients who want feather light pressure, it bores me. For you this could be completely different and that’s fine. Just outline who you want as a client and go after that group of people!

2: What is the market for massage like right now in your area and as a whole? 

You will need to do some research, how many places offer massage in your area? Do you feel like your area could support anther massage business?

Some of these section seem redundant but they have a purpose, you don’t need to have everything filled out right away, so if you don’t have a answer that’s OK you can come back to it later.

3: How will clients find you? 

How do you plan to market your business:

  • Website
  • Social groups
  • Yellow pages
  • Yelp
  • Paid adverting (not recommend in the beginning)
  • (free, totally worth investing some time here)

4: Pricing Strategy:

The going rate is a dollar a minute but you can charge extra for enhancements like hot stone massage, aroma therapy, or body wraps. You can also charge more once you develop your skill set, people will pay top dollar for a good massage therapist!

You can also offer memberships if that’s your thing or just pay as you go, it is completely up to you how you want to structure your business.

5: Operating procedure if you plan to have employees (who will do what?):

I do not recommend you take on employees in the beginning, just focus on yourself and develop your business then when your business grows to a point you are turning people away because you are so busy, then you can consider bringing on an employee.

Financial Plan:

When preparing to start your business, you should have 6 -12 months of financial resources set aside for all operating cost. So before you sign that lease, add up all monthly expenses then round that number up by 10{aa85435535b2bb3a4ba78547bb21fc32eb7710b0e77a951858af600607b97eba} for a cushion.

General Expenses:

  • Rent/ mortgage
  • Office supplies (cream, lotions, toiletries)
  • Merchandise you plan to sell
  • Landline, Internet, Utilities
  • Taxes ( property, business, income)
  • Insurance (liability, renters short term disability, health)
  • Membership fees
  • Continuing education
  • Laundry service
  • Equipment purchase
  • Employees’ pay
  • Marketing material (business cards, signs, brochures, ect)

I recommend creating an Excel work sheet of all your monthly expenses and a separate worksheet for your yearly expenses as some things you only pay for once a year. Also consider adding a little extra funds for the “oh dang moments” because the oh dang moments happen a lot in the beginning.

Startup expenses:

Massage Equipment:

Computer/ Tablet:




Misc office supplies:


Balance Sheet:

(This is your start up capital)

As of (your start date)

Assets: (equipment, the big stuff)

Current assets:

Cash: (how much you have in your business account prior to opening your business, i.e. $10,000)

Breakeven analysis:

Add up all your monthly expenses and subtract your income from that and that is your profit for that month.


Monthly exp      $900

Gross earnings $1,500

Earnings minus expense: $600 profit

It is not unlikely to lose money in the first 6-12 months of business. This is why having a cushion is important to keep you up and running while you are establishing your business.

Your first few months will be your most expensive ones. My best advice it to buy things gradually so the upfront cost isn’t so harsh and I can’t stress enough the importance of having a financial safety net.

Many businesses fail because they don’t plan for the dark days, and in the beginning sometimes it seems like there are more dark days then sunny ones.

If you plan ahead and work your butt off, you will succeed.

 Just keep working at it, till it works!

It’s just that easy:

Well, not that easy. Creating a business plan is the first step towards starting your business. It can really set the tone for your success or failure in business so please take this part serious. Once you get everything written down you will be well on your way to making your massage therapy dreams comes to reality.

Owning you own business is a huge goal, don’t let fear of the unknown stand in your way of starting your own business. It is hard in the beginning but it gets better. Fill this business plan out, save the money you need, create a brand, and get your website up asap!

I hope you found this article helpful and if I can be of any assistance to you please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading and stay tuned as I post new articles every week! Thanks for reading!












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