How to Start a Massage Business

Woman giving massage to clientWhether for therapy, relaxation or rehabilitation, massage therapists are in high demand. Many clients use massage therapy on a regular basis, while others for special occasions or medical treatment.

Sports Massage Therapy is a growing field and is one of the most profitable forms of massage services. Sports therapists help relieve athletes of pain, stress and can actually help them heal from injuries.

Getting Started

Get trained in massage. You will need to achieve a certain number of educational hours in massage in order to apply for a massage license, which you will need in order to become a massage therapist.

You can find out the licensing requirements for your state by visiting Find a massage school near you by searching on

In addition to your massage license, you will also need a general business license. Start by choosing a business name, register it with your county clerk and then apply for your business license with your city.

Liability insurance is highly recommended for massage practitioners, as you work one-on-one with clients on issues that may be health-related. You never know when a customer may have a complaint that where you will wish that you had insurance, so it’s best to be prepared. You may be able to get a discounted rate through the National Association of Massage Therapists. Be sure to compare before making a decision – use the box to the right.


Shirley Philbrick is a licensed and practicing massage therapist. She is also a good resource if you want to know what it takes to succeed in this field.

She shares her own business experiences plus lots of tips from other successful massage therapists so you can succeed. With her marketing advice, you’ll also be able to avoid the common problem of not being able to find clients.

Find out:

  • Step-by-Step: Renting work space vs massage therapy at home, plus massage therapy equipment and supplies you will need
  • Marketing: how to find customers for your massage business, get free media publicity, referrals and attract massage clients at health/wellness events
  • Tips for setting fees & accepting payments by insurance

Get Started Here


Professional Massage Tables and Equipment

If you are starting a massage business from home, you of course will need supplies and equipment – first and foremost a massage table. Whether you have clients visit your home or you go to your customers, portable massage tables work well because you can easily transport them and fold them away when not in use.

We’ve found that you can actually find wholesale deals via Amazon, so check out these items below for some pretty great deals.

Portable Massage Table on Sale (Save 80% Now!)

This massage table comes with an adjustable and removable face cradle, carrying case and has adjustable height. It is sturdy and can hold up to 450 pounds.

This table is not top of the line, but it is a high-quality bed and priced low for the value it delivers. Comes in multiple colors. See also:

Professional Portable Massage Chair (Save 64%)

This portable chair weighs less than 17 pounds, and you can conveniently roll it around with you – yet it supports a lot of weight. You can adjust the face cradle and pillow 6 different ways. This is a durable and high quality chair.

This chair is a great deal, but you can save about $100 with this chair here. It comes with it’s own carrying case, but it’s a little heavier, you can’t roll it around and it does not have the adjustable features of the previous chair. See also:

Reiki Portable Massage Table

This table comes with 4″ foam padding (compared to other tables that come with 2″ padding). Designed for professional business, it is a larger table at 77″ long and 30″ wide.

Comes with free adjustable headrest, face pillow, half round bolster, hanging arm shelf and carrying case.

Massage Stone Set

If you do hot stone therapy, these basalt hot rocks are designed for just that. Basalt rocks are ideal for massage because they retain heat so well compared to other stones.

This set comes with large stones, working stones and toe stones. See also:


Advertising Your Massage Business

An easy way to meet potential clients and get referrals for free without having to give a sales pitch is to get involved in your community. Join professional groups and industry organizations to network with others. Participate and plan events involving people in your local neighborhood.

The more active you are, the more word will get around about who you are and what you do. You’d be surprised that how the friendships you make can turn into business opportunities – simply because people like you.

How to Find Your First Massage Clients

Courtesy of Amy Roberts, Professional Massage Therapist and Massage Business Coach

Woman getting massage in backyardFor the past several months, you’ve been working very hard to get to where you are today. After hours of classes and exams, you’re now a certified massage therapist and you’re eager to get busy rubbing backs and making some money! But, how are you, as a massage therapist straight out of school going to get your first clients?

There are all sorts of methods that the new massage therapist can begin building his or her clientele. Many would assume that their first stop should be a printer where they have oodles of business cards printed up. This is a great move to make, but you can’t round up clients simply through business cards.

Nobody knows who you are or what you offer, so your business cards aren’t going to scrounge up a whole lot of clients for you. They will be good, however, for handing out to clients so that they can keep your name, number and pass that information along to their friends and family.

As a new massage therapist, the one urge you will want to resist is doing massages for free or discounted. People equate the cost of a massage with the quality of a massage, so you don’t want to discount your own abilities now.

What you can do is get a small handful of friends and family to get massages from you and then get them to spread your services via word of mouth. Word of mouth advertising is one of the key methods that new massage therapists gain their clientele.

It’s also important right now to create a target market. If you’re more interested in doing baby or pre-natal massage, then you want to advertise yourself in those areas. One method to do this is to simply create flyers or brochures and visit a few OB/GYN or pediatrician offices for instance. Ask if you can leave some information and your business cards there.< If you're target market is women or men in a certain age group, find out where they're like to hangout in your community and post your information in those massage therapy ebooklocations. You could even set up a massage chair and give ten minute neck massages at a nail and hair salon for an affordable rate to begin building your presence in the community. Of course, you need to talk to management before you set up shop!

As you can see, there are several ways you can get creative and begin marketing yourself, even if you have no prior business experience and even if you’re straight out of school. Plus, these methods aren’t going to cost you a whole lot of money.

Pick up Amy Roberts’ Free Massage Therapy Business eBook for more information on attracting massage clients.

Massage Business Resources:

FabJob Guide to Become a Massage Therapist
Step-by-step guide to start a massage therapy business
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