How to Write the Best Massage Therapy Business Plan in 10 Simple Steps (with Free Template)
Starting a new massage business or revamping your existing venture? Being bombarded with advice from your friends, family, and well-wishers?
“Get your documents in order!”
“Pick a catchy name”
“Is this your layout?”
And maybe most importantly, “So, what’s your plan?”
Let’s think about that question in detail for a bit. What is a plan or more importantly in this context, what is a massage therapy business plan?
A massage business plan is a document that describes the operational as well as financial objectives of a massage business. It can be considered a road map to your success as it encompasses detailed plans and budgets that show how the objectives will be realized.
It is quite easy to misunderstand that all a new venture requires is great equipment, good staff, accessible location, etc. To be fair, these assumptions are true to some extent but if you want your massage center to succeed in the world, you need a business plan.
What’s the big deal with massage therapy business plans?
Let’s be honest here, you are more likely to trust and follow a person who has a plan than someone who is happy-go-lucky.
Having a massage business plan will help you achieve the following:
- It’s a map to your success
- If you were starting at location A and business success lies at location B. A business plan will help you reach from A to B.
- If you were to chart your path on a piece of paper in the form of a well-laid-out plan, it will be easier to foresee any possible obstacles and help you solve them preemptively.
- Help you hit milestones better
- Milestones are important in any business to measure your success.
- Keeping track of your profit and losses is sometimes not enough to see if your business is actually growing.
- A massage plan with clear milestones will help you achieve your goals much more efficiently.
- You’ll always have a future goal to look forward to and work towards.
- Proves you are serious
- Anyone can start a business but not everyone becomes successful.
- Having a detailed massage business plan can help you garner support and give you the motivation to continue.
- If you are planning on bringing in partners or investors, hiring staff, or borrowing money from the bank, then having a plan will give you the credibility to make a case for yourself.
- You will need to prove that you are serious and have a well-laid out plan to return the borrowed money or reap profits within a stipulated period of time.
- Easy to write, easier to update
- You don’t need a business degree to write a plan, anyone can write it. It’s that simple.
- There’s no wrong way to write a massage therapist business plan. There are best practices and sometimes for official documentation, you may have to follow a certain template. Beyond that, it’s pretty much anything that can range from one page to a hundred.
- The plan is easy to update. In fact, it is recommended you revisit your document periodically to make changes and insert better projections. It is a solution that fits all the problems.
Now that we have established why we need one, let’s dive in and learn how to write one.
Here’s a list of sections in a business plan that we are going to cover in this blog,
- Executive Summary
- Overview and Objectives
- Services and Products
- Market Analysis
- Customer Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
- Sales and Marketing Plan
- Operations Analysis
- Financial Plan
1. Executive Summary
This section will cover the introduction to your massage business plan. It sets the context for the rest of your document. Even though this is the first section, it is generally the last section you pen down as it contains the summary of each of the sections.
- The goal of your Executive Summary is to capture the attention of the reader.
- Think of it as an elevator pitch, the prospective investor/reader must be hooked by the executive summary to keep reading further.
- The reader must get to know the gist of your entire business from this section alone. They should understand your overall strategy, goals, mission, vision, etc.
- It should also explain what type of business you are operating and its status. Eg: are you a first-timer or a veteran with a proven track record, are you planning to open at one location at a time or at multiple locations, etc.
- The size can range from one to many pages, depending upon the length and depth of your entire plan.
- Use the Executive Summary section to build out your entire business plan, write the subsections first, and then slowly expand them. This would give direction to the whole plan.
- If you want (provided you already have a clear understanding and direction), you can also create the executive summary by picking the important details of all the other sections at the end.
- Don’t forget to talk about niches, operating style, business model, strategy, etc.
2. Overview and Objectives
In this section, you will deep dive into your business and talk about its objectives.
You will essentially discuss what the massage center’s brand represents, what your company is as a whole, and who are going to be your customers. If the executive summary was a brief overview of the business plan and its contents, then this section is the same but focused more on your practice.
- Detail what your business is going to do and how it is going to operate.
- Describe why you started the business and what you aim to achieve through it.
- Write about your milestones and how many you have achieved so far.
- Pen down your short, medium, and long-term goals.
- Make sure to include information regarding how your business is structured as well (Eg: Are you incorporated as a sole proprietorship, S-Corp, LLC, etc. ?)
- Write the values that you want to propagate in your business and through it.
- Give a detailed account of your target market as well.
3. Services and Products
This section is to highlight the products and services that your business is planning to offer once it begins operations. It’s probably going to be the easiest section to fill out as you’d have a deep understanding of what services you want to offer and how.
- List every service that you are planning to offer.
- If you are going to sell any products, merchandise, add-ons, etc. add them as well.
- Add the pricing of the services and products.
- Give details regarding expansions in terms of services and products in the future.
- You will probably have a list lying around that details the above information. Copy-paste and match the content to the section.
- This section will help you later if you are setting up a website and want a catalog section.
- Make sure the quality is kept high as a business’s value is only ever as high as the services it provides.
- Detailed descriptions will help the reader to understand what the business actually does on a daily basis.
- Make sure the description are not very massage jargon-heavy and even a layman can understand its contents.
- Make sure to keep the pricing of your services relative to the income level of your region. Studies have shown that while 36% of those who make $100,000 or more got a massage in 2020 while only 19% of those who make $50,000 or less got a massage.
- Overpricing your services and products can lead to a negative impact on your business.
4. Market Analysis
This section will give a brief overview of the massage therapy business as a whole. This section sometimes tends to be a bit challenging and you might need the help of someone else to gather all the information and to understand the insights.
- Understand the general state of the economy the location you expect to do business in Eg: Is this neighborhood ideal for my massage business to flourish?
- Gain an estimation of the size of your target audience. This will help you understand if the location is oversaturated in your niche and if you can break even pretty soon.
- Figure out the growth rate of your target market. Eg: Will traditional massage businesses cease to exist in 3-5 years when automated machines arrive in the nearby mall?
- Don’t pick up random uncomparable data. You will both waste your time and end up with a bunch of insights that won’t make any sense.
- Ask yourselves the following questions.
- What is the size of the massage therapy industry (in your local currency)?
- What trends are affecting the industry presently?
- Does the graph for market penetration and growth go up or down?
- What is the massage therapy industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 to 10 years?
- Who are your key competitors in this market?
- What is the relevant target market size? A rough estimate of your target customers in that locality.
5. Customer Analysis
This section deals with your target audience. For example, young adults, athletes, mothers, working professionals, etc.
It contains 3 sections:
- Identify your target customers
- Perform an in-depth into their needs and requirements
- Describe how your service eliminates their problem or bridge an existing gap
- Helps you support your market choice and avoid entering a section of the industry that is either too broad or niche.
- Lets you focus on serving your target audience rather than waste resources in trying to please a broad category and finally end up satisfying the needs of no one.
- Prioritize which segment of the target market you need to focus on and the effort required to achieve them.
- Enables you to further devise a marketing strategy for each of these segments.
- Identify the demographic, geographic location, and income slab. This will help you cater your services better and set your pricing accordingly.
- Customer needs could take the form of past and present actions, future projections, and/or implications of using your services before.
- Understand a customer’s decision-making process and then try to incorporate that into this section.
6. Competitive Analysis
This section will highlight the competitors you face both directly and indirectly as well as those that are present in the industry currently and prospective ones that may join in the near future.
For example, direct competitors are other massage therapy businesses in your locality while indirect competitors are other options that customers can go to as a substitute for your business. This includes spas, chiropractors, gyms, and health clubs.
- Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your business can be quintessential when you encounter new competitors.
- Figuring out your competitor’s weakness can help you step up your services and offer what others don’t.
- If you are confused about what services you should provide, taking a look at your competitors can help you curate a list that is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming.
- The first paragraph should contain an outline of your environment with respect to the competitors, the market share they control, and other relevant details.
- Document where all you have competitive advantages and where all you face a disadvantage.
- The writing needn’t be extensive but it should be enough to convince the reader that you are knowledgeable about your competitors and you aren’t the business blindly.
- Check out the free massage therapy business plan example attached at the end of this blog to get you started on your competitive analysis.
7. Sales and Marketing Plan
This section will be used to highlight how you plan to sell your services and market them. The entire process will be broken down here for the reader to examine.
- List all the marketing strategies you intend to implement. For example, social media and email marketing paid advertising, billboards, etc.
- Help you identify resources that you would require to take your business forward.
- Decide if you need outside help to formulate your marketing and sales plan or hire additional team members.
- Build a buyer’s persona based on your customer analysis and then tailor fit your sales and marketing plan to them.
- Utilize the 4 P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion
- Product – Describe the massage therapy services in detail that you had mentioned in the company analysis. Make sure to include further details on add-ons (hand massage, foot scrub, aromatherapy, etc.), exclusive services for members, loyalty programs, merchandise, etc.
- Price – Document the prices that you are planning to charge for each of your services (relaxation, deep tissue, sports massage, etc.) and how they are in comparison to your competitors.
- Place – Here you should include how your location might play an advantage to your business and how it can offer a steady flow of customers. Location details and how it impacts your success is an important part of this subsection.
- Promotion – Describe how you intend to draw customers over to your business and what mediums or strategies will you use to achieve the same. For example, advertising in local papers and magazines, flyers, massage-related social media posts, influencer marketing, local radio advertising, etc.
- Make sure to check out Appointy’s blog on massage marketing so that you can get a headstart on your marketing campaign if you haven’t started already.
8. Operations Analysis
This section is used to highlight how you will run your business on a day-to-day basis. You can talk about everything from how you will interact with your clients, acquire new ones, book appointments, manage your team, maintain your business premises, etc.
- Chart out everything in detail so that your reader can get a better understanding of your business.
- Compare and contrast different types of equipment, third-party services, etc.
- Explain how you will meet the goals set by the earlier section.
- When deciding how to handle your operations and documenting them, it’s a great idea to get a massage booking software that will help automate your booking process and daily admin.
- Try making this section into a step-by-step easy-to-follow guide. This would help on two fronts,
- Make it easier for you to create a staff training manual later down the lane.
- Enable the readers to grasp the daily activities in a much more digestible way.
- Make this section as elaborate as possible as this would be the most accurate representation of your business at a grassroots level.
- You can find the attached sample business plan for massage therapists and use it to document your day-to-day activities.
9. Financial Plan
This section should be all about numbers. It should cover everything from planned expenses to unforeseen overheads and justifications for your budget. It should be as realistic as possible and account for worst-case scenarios.
- Describe the sources of revenue and the strategies to achieve them.
- Understand where your business stands and how to allocate your resources better.
- Help make your readers (bankers, investors, etc.) understand how the money flows and how you intend to use them so that they can decide if they want to give you a loan or invest in your business.
- Financial planning is different from accounting. When accounting takes a look at the past, financial planning looks at the future.
- Your financial plan will have 3 major components: a cash flow projection, income statement, and balance sheet.
- If you are not familiar with financial planning and how you can go about it, you can either follow free tutorials and blogs or use a financial planning software to formulate the same.
- Doing a breakeven analysis and identifying your assets and liabilities is an important step in this process that shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Creating a visual representation of your financial section can greatly improve the experience of understanding and analyzing it.
This section is used to provide supporting documentation to your business plan. This will generally include documents, visuals, reports, charts, etc. that you didn’t want to put in the above sections.
- Make the business plan look less cluttered with information and make it as professional as possible.
- Give context to the summarized projections you may have added to the business plan by showing the entire projection.
Make sure to add the following and more (if applicable),
- Customer Testimonials – If you already had/have a business in the same niche, customer testimonials can be leveraged in the appendix to add value to the document and boost the confidence of prospective investors to put their money down.
- Intellectual Property Documentation – If you have patented technologies, methods, products, etc. this section can be used to validate those claims.
- Management Details – You can add details regarding your hired team, their experience, qualifications, etc.
- Location/Shop Details – This can include blueprints for the massage center, further details regarding the location, building compliances, registration documents, etc.
The market size, measured by revenue, of the massage industry in the US alone, is $16.6bn. A huge opportunity lies there for potential business owners to leverage their resources and guide their massage business to success.
Think of your business plan as a guide, map, or even as a friend who’d act as a reference when you lose your way. It should be a written document that gives information regarding how you are going to start your business and where you want it to be in the future.
Make sure to download the free massage therapy business plan template that we created to help you get started.
Business plans are only as effective as their user. Make sure you revisit the document as often as possible and make constant updates to it as you grow. Your milestones would be very different today from what they were 5 years ago (if they are not, you might want to reconsider and formulate a different plan).
In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable– Former U.S. President General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Spending more time in the process of planning and writing your document will surely help you understand your business and its feasibility much more than sitting and contemplating it.
Once you have formulated your massage therapy business plan, it’s time to take your venture to the next level. Appointy’s massage scheduling software does exactly that for you.
Be part of smart massage business owners around the world and take service bookings like a pro. We hope this blog helps you in drafting your own business plan with ease. Best of luck!
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
We love a good talk!