Proven Career Tips for Massage Therapists

There are many things to consider when you are working as massage therapist. Having dedicated many years of your life to establishing a career in this industry, it is important that you make a decent living or you will quickly start to hate it. Massage therapy is a very lucrative field if you approach it correctly, and the tips in this article will definitely help you maximize your earning potential.

There are many job opportunities for you as a massage therapist. You could work at a massage therapy facility as well as all sorts of other establishments such as clinics, spas and health clubs. Some massage therapists are also employed by chiropractors and hospitals. Many therapists also want to set up their own massage therapy business at some point.

That being said, not every massage therapist is cut out to be a business owner. What is given however is that being a massage therapist you would know the ins and outs of the massage profession. You would not only have received training for different types of massages while in school, but also learned how to deal with the different types of clients in the best possible way.

When running a business however, there are many other things that you need to keep in mind, most of which are not specifically taught in all massage schools. This is why you have to think carefully and decide whether or not you have what it takes to be a successful massage business owner.

Just because you are an expert massage therapist doesn’t mean that you will be able to set up a successful business of your own. It requires a completely different skill-set. In fact, when you are in the middle of the research stages for a massage school, make sure you ask about each school’s approach to business education if starting and running your own business is your goal down the road.

Regardless, the most important thing you need to consider from a financial perspective is whether or not you can maximize the potential your career offers. As mentioned above, there is no dearth of job opportunities for massage therapists. Apart from a massage facility, there are jobs available in places like health clubs and even cruise liners. Wherever there are people who need a massage, there is a job opening for a massage therapist. So, unless and until you have explored all opportunities available to you, it doesn’t make sense for you to consider starting your own business quite yet. Take that as a career tip from us.

Despite this fact, many massage therapists do express the desire to start their own business at some point down the road. There are only so many years they can work for someone else and the opportunity to make more money and be your own boss can be quite tempting. In an industry where setting up a business is not too complex, there is no reason for you not to give it a go either. You can start off with a small setup; get an office for yourself and contact your regular clients to come to you for massages. You also have the option to go to people’s homes to give massages. In that case, you won’t need to rent or buy an office.

In any case, it is important that you consider a few points before you decide to take the next step in your massage therapy career. There are numerous factors that impact your decision. Let’s look at some of the most important ones:

Determine Your Level of Motivation

First and foremost, you have to assess the level of motivation you have. Do you have what it takes to put in the time, money and effort required to set up a massage business and make it successful? It is not going to be a cakewalk, make no mistake about it. If you don’t have the necessary motivation to go ahead with running a massage therapy business, there is no point in investing your money and other resources into it.

It may take some time before you experience success. A common mistake many startup massage business owners make is to give up if they don’t taste success overnight and lose the motivation to continue their business. Not only do they give up on their business, they may even make an effort to switch careers. So, unless you are motivated enough to go through a rough phase early on and put in the required effort to make your business a success, you shouldn’t consider setting up your own business.

We are not saying that you will face failure. We just want you to be ready for it in the event it happens. It takes time to establish a profitable business. Things are always a bit difficult at the onset because this is the time you are ramping up the business and actually creating it. If done right, this business can become profitable and yield rewards for a long time to come.

Determine Your Willingness to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

To become a massage business owner, you have to become active and visible in the industry. If you are not up for networking and showing up at industry events, starting your own business is probably a bridge too far for you. There are numerous events you have to attend in order to build your network and get more customers. Otherwise, your client base could stagnate, and you might have a hard time increasing your profits.

This is where some massage therapists feel right at home. They have the personality needed to be a business owner. If you feel you don’t have what it takes to be an active member of the massage community and cannot make the effort to promote your business, you are not cut out for running your own establishment. It may take some time, but these extracurricular activities become easier to manage over time and you might even start enjoying them.

Determine Whether You Have the Interest to Learn People Management Skills

When working as a massage therapist, you only need to take care of the needs of your clients which basically involve making sure that they get what they expect of you – a good service that benefits them. However, this will change once you start running your own business.

You not only have to keep your customers satisfied, but also the people who are working with you. Not to forget that you will have to deal with other people as well, including vendors and suppliers. You will also have to attend industry events, which is another area where you need to show your people management skills. If you don’t have the skill set and personality to manage people, you may not be able to successfully run your own business since you will have to rely on people – whether they’re your partners, vendors, suppliers, cleaners, employees or even your own clients.

Determine Whether You Have the Motivation to Improve Your Organizational Skills

Last but not the least you need to have impeccable organizational skills to run a business. You have to be disciplined in your routine and personal life, as well as be good with money management. This is something you can judge yourself better than anyone else can.

As a business owner, you wear all the hats. You can be the accountant, therapist, cleaner and the administrator. You need to determine whether or not you have the necessary organizational skills to run a massage therapy business based on the different roles you will have to play.

If you are comfortable with the material in this article, then starting your own business may very well be the next logical step in your career progression. Otherwise, you are better off working for someone else at least for right now until you gain more experience, comfort and confidence. Do recognize however that just like in any other professional career, there are office politics to consider even in massage. Make sure you are aware of these to maximize your chances of success.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

Posted in Career Considerations
2 comments on “Proven Career Tips for Massage Therapists
  1. Michael Lee says:

    Wow, this is a really informative article on massage therapy in general. I mean, understanding how competitive the field is put my mind at ease wondering if my message therapist is skilled enough to do the job, with all of the competition, if they got me, they must be good! Thanks to the author for taking the time!

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