If you already own a massage practice or find yourself no longer wanting to be an employee, you may want to model the massage business practices of successful franchised massage chains without sacrificing quality.
What the Franchise System Does Well
- Affordable pricing
- Membership with advantages
- A variety of services
- Access to multiple locations
- A designated receptionist
- Ongoing marketing and advertising strategies
- Massage availability with day, evening and weekend hours
- Part of a larger network
What You Can Add to Your Massage Business
It is very unlikely that a sole proprietor can provide all the services listed above—but what the sole proprietor can provide includes:
- Individual long-term care highly focused on the client
- Continuity of care for the client
- An important therapeutic relationship with the client
- Development of a massage specialty or niche market
- Multi-session packages, marketed as membership
- Discounts and special offers that, when promoted well, could attract new clients.
The Cooperative Alternative
Another business model that may prove successful for a group of sole massage therapists is a cooperative. Cooperatives are common in the health care, retail, agriculture, art and restaurant industries and a cooperative is a legal business entity.
Often in massage, an informal cooperative relationship is set up where a group self-employed massage therapists shares facility, advertising and receptionist costs.
Don’t Fight Franchises
Instead of seeing yourself in competition with franchised massage businesses, borrow what they do well, within reason, to boost your own business and attract clientele.
About the Author
Sandy Fritz is a founding member of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, and the author of massage textbooks including Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage; Mosby’s Essential Sciences for Therapeutic Massage: Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics, and Pathology; and Sports & Exercise Massage: Comprehensive Care for Athletics, Fitness, & Rehabilitation. She owns and directs Health Enrichment Center massage school in Lapeer, Michigan.