If you are interested in massage therapy, one thing you might have considered is whether you should start your own practice. Once you’ve completed your certifications and become a certified massage therapist, it is time to make the plunge into acquiring clients and setting up your own business.

While you can always work for another massage therapy practice, the truth is that having your own massage therapy business gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of the hours you set and the rates you charge. However, learning how to start a massage business comes with its own challenges, including finding a location, creating a business plan, and acquiring and maintaining clients. With that in mind, here is what you need to do to set up the beginnings of a massage therapy business for continued success.

Find a great location

You may have heard the term ‘location, location, location when it comes to setting up a physical business. For massage businesses, this term is extra imperative, as you need to make sure that you find the perfect spot in the right neighborhood for your clientele. Look at where you think that you can acquire clients, and then hone in on that area. See if you can find any good commercial real estate deals, and make sure you are not in direct competition with any other massage businesses in your local area.

Create a comprehensive business plan

It may seem like a massage business is simple to set up, but the truth is that there is a lot more complications than you may first realize. As such, you will want to come up with an executive summary, a marketing plan, an overall business strategy, as well as a SWOT analysis and financial plan for your massage business. Doing so will not only help you be prepared for potential pitfalls with the business plan and give you a greater understanding of what will work and what you may struggle with.

Find the right clients through marketing

Any business is only as good as its clients, and a massage therapy business is no exception. To find clients, you’ll want to invest heavily into a marketing strategy, which should include a professional website, extensive online reviews, and ideally a client referral program. This professional digital presence along with a great referral program will help your massage business thrive in a local area and gain traction in a particular neighborhood.

Before you know it, your massage therapy business will begin to thrive. However, you need to be patient and lay an excellent foundation in order to make sure that the business succeeds. In doing so, you’ll not only to set up a sustainable business but you’ll also be able to grow your business’s reputation and possibly expand into other areas.

However, before getting ahead of yourself, it’s important to scout out an excellent location for your massage therapy business, create a comprehensive business plan, and put budget and efforts into your marketing plans. This includes a built-out client referral program and an online review system to facilitate reviews. By offering this social proof, your massage business can make inroads in a local community and work to help people with various ailments and conditions that massage can help treat.