Are you an experienced massage therapist thinking of starting your own business? Or an entrepreneur who wanted to jump into the $18 billion dollar massage industry?
Then this guide is for you.
One of the biggest barriers in starting a massage therapy business is the cost of renting or purchasing a property to set up your massage clinic, but you can eliminate this issue by opening a mobile massage business.
The concept of mobile therapy, not only mobile massage, has increased in popularity in recent years. According to a recent survey by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), 59% of massage therapists in the US have served at least one client at their home or office.
In this guide, we will discuss all you need to know about starting a successful mobile massage business. By the end, you’d have learned about:
- The concept of mobile massage business
- The legal requirements of opening the business
- Register your business as a legal entity
- The equipment and infrastructure you’d need
- How to market your business
Without further ado, let us begin right away.
Mobile Massage Business: The Concept
The basic idea of a mobile massage business is that it’s the massage therapist that comes to the client’s current location – wherever the client is located – to serve a massage therapy session.
In short, the massage therapist is mobile.
This is as opposed to the traditional business model of a massage therapy business, where it’s the client that comes to a stationary place offering massage services: a massage clinic, a spa center, a hotel, a massage therapist’s home, and so on.
How a mobile massage business works is fairly simple: a client books an appointment (by phone or via an online appointment booking solution, then a massage therapist will visit the client in a location defined in the appointment’s details.
Typically, mobile massage appointments are to client’s homes, but serving clients in hotels is also common for tourists and traveling clients. Some companies might also book mobile massage services for their employees (corporate massage service).
To summarize, when you offer any massage session where the massage therapist travels to the location of the client, it is a mobile massage service.
A mobile massage model offers unique benefits for both the massage therapist/business owner and the client:
For the client, they get the flexibility of getting a massage service wherever they are. For the massage therapist or massage business owner, this can eliminate the need to rent or purchase a stationary location for the massage business. A win-win situation.
Mobile Massage Business: Legal Requirement
Most states in the US would legally require you to be a certified massage therapist before you can serve clients, including as a mobile massage therapist. You can check this list for the exact requirements per state.
To be certified, most states would require a specific number of hours of in-class training. The actual number would vary by state, but typically between 500 to 1,000 hours. If you plan to get certified, make sure to receive your training from a nationally recognized school or a program that is accredited by a credible agency.
The legal requirements for insurance would also vary depending on your location. Yet, even if you are not legally required to be insured in your area, we’d recommend getting at least basic insurance protection to protect yourself and your business in the event of accidents and legal disputes.
Establishing an Online Presence
As a mobile business, especially if you don’t have any physical location at all, establishing a strong online presence is crucial for your business. If your client doesn’t know you exist, you won’t get any business, period.
You should establish your mobile massage business’s online presence in four ways:
- Professional website
You must have a well-designed, functional, and reliable website. Even if you already have a strong presence on relevant social media networks, your social media pages are not direct replacements for your website.
Nowadays, setting up a professional-looking website is pretty easy and affordable, and there are services like Wix that will let you build a website with ease, even without any programming knowledge.
Your website should include complete information about your services and your prices, high-quality images and videos about your services, and an online reservation function.
- Online reservation
Make sure it’s as easy as possible for potential clients to book your service.
Attracting them is already hard enough, and we wouldn’t want them to cancel booking our massage session just because it’s hard to find out how to book one. Integrate an online reservation and appointment management solution to your website, so you can offer 24/7 reservation taking.
- Social media
Pretty self-explanatory. Make yourself available on relevant social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but also leverage other platforms like uploading demonstration and testimonial videos on YouTube.
If possible, you should also invest your budget in paid social media ads and influencer marketing.
- Local SEO
For queries like “massage services near me” and similar ones, Google pulls queries from Google Maps and will place them on top of organic results. This is where Google Maps SEO or Local SEO can help your listing climb higher the Google Maps ranking.
While local SEO might seem daunting at first, you can actually perform it in just four key steps:
- Claiming and verifying Google Maps/Google My Business listing
- Optimizing your Google My Business Listing, focus on providing accurate and complete information for your users.
- Building local citations by listing your massage business on relevant online directories
- Getting more reviews from existing clients, especially on Google Maps but also on relevant review sites/platforms
Starting a mobile massage business can be very lucrative. However, you’ll still need to plan your business carefully and especially learn how to market your business and yourself as a massage therapist to attract more clients.
By following the tips we’ve shared above, you can start a successful mobile massage business right away.