Most professional organizations require massage therapists to complete a specific number of continuing education credits annually. There are many types of courses and ways to complete them—you can attend seminars, take classes in traditional settings, do research, or complete home study programs, among others. In an effort to ultimately operate your business they way you choose, the classes you select should be dictated both by professional requirements and personal interests and goals.
For example, if you work in a spa setting but would like to open your own practice someday, you will have different goals than a massage therapist who is looking to expand her business and begin offering spa services. As you plan your CE course load, think about what types of business-related classes will help you reach your professional goals.
Training to be a massage therapist entails learning about muscles, bones, and the human body—it doesn’t necessarily include learning about tax deductions, billing software, or business organization. However, professional organizations are generally aware that such training is necessary for LMTs to be successful.
Possible business-related courses include:
- billing and bookkeeping
- business concepts
- business organization
- budgeting, forecasting, and planning
- malpractice information
Being a business owner entails making complex decisions, setting up systems, and learning about all areas of operations. Even if you decide that you should play to your strengths and hire people to help with the areas you either don’t like or don’t feel confident about, you still need to have a thorough understanding of how things work.
In addition to the types of courses most business owners need, massage therapists also have options when it comes to how their businesses are structured to operate on a day-to-day basis. For example, you can own or lease space to work out of, you can go to your clients, you can lease space from someone else—the list goes on. Considering all of your options, learning about the legal and business aspects of each one, and then making a decision that suits your personality and goals is far better than just letting the wind blow you from here to there.
CE courses can help you plot your career path according to your personal goals, and choosing courses based on where you would like to be next year, in five years, and in 10 years will help you get there.