Running a small massage therapy business can be an extremely rewarding profession. Not only will you have the freedom of being your own boss, but you get to hone your technical skills to help people recover from pain, stress, and injury. Massage therapy is all about identifying the pain-points and providing a solution, whether that be by improving circulation or restoring emotional balance to your clients. This is why mastering your massage techniques is essential in order to build your reputation in your area. But running a small business involves a whole different set of skills. From sorting out your business plan to ensuring your small business is protected from the risks you face by getting adequate massage therapy insurance, there is plenty to learn. This business guide will give you some tips and tricks as a massage therapist that will help you not only build your technical skills but solidify your processes as a small business owner.
Knowing the basic techniques
Ensuring you have a thorough understanding of your technical massaging skills is essential to being a successful massage therapist. There are plenty of courses out there that could help you upskill or specialise in a particular area such as remedial massage or sports therapy.
Working smarter not harder
One trick that will keep you in business for the long run is to work smarter not harder. While massaging will require a bit of elbow grease, it doesn’t have to come at the cost of your body. As a qualified massage therapist, you know the importance of having relaxed muscles when doing physical activity. And since your job is physical, you will need to ensure your body remains limber enough throughout your career. Stretching your legs, shoulders, and back before and after a session will keep your body fresh and relaxed, hopefully reducing the risk of injury. Another thing you can keep in mind during your massaging session is your body positioning. Massage therapy does not require strength but rather technique. Avoid using the strength of your arms for your massage, as it will likely lead you to quickly tire and could result in an inconsistent massage for your client. Instead, use your body weight to drop into your client as this will reduce the energy used and apply consistent pressure.
Basics of small business
While you may know massaging techniques like the back of your hand, you will need to ensure you’ve got an understanding of the basics of business in order to be successful. One of the first things you could think about is creating a solid business plan. This will be the blueprint for the future of your business. think about whether you plan to recruit or if you are going in alone. This will help you decide on what business structure you will commit to, whether that be a sole trader or a company. Write down a summary of your business and your vision of what you set to achieve. Identify not only your strengths and weaknesses but also your opportunities and threats as this will provide a clear picture of where you sit in your local market. From there, think about how you will advertise your business. Social media can be a terrific tool to generate new leads and offers a two-way communication model where you can interact with your past and future customers.
Sort out your massage therapist insurance
One thing you could consider early on is sorting out your massage therapist insurance. Whether you are going into people’s homes or operating from a store front, you will likely have a range of risks that could threaten your business. You’ve worked hard to establish your business so it only makes sense to protect it.
Here are three tips for when it comes to insurance for massage therapists:
- Consider protecting your business against negligence claims – Your clients depend on your expertise and knowledge when they book a session. You are working with your clients’ bodies, so the service you provide comes with a lot of trust involved. But sometimes things can wrong. And if your clients suffered financial loss due to your ineffective or incorrect service, you could be held liable.Luckily, this is where Professional Indemnity insurance comes in. It protects against financial losses for legal action taken against you due to a breach of your professional duty. It covers legal and defence costs, court attendance costs, public relations costs, damages awarded against you, and loss of earnings.
- Consider protecting your business against third party injury and property damage claims – Since you are working with people, it’s almost inevitable that someone will enter your professional environment, heightening the risk of injury to your clients and their property. A customer could slip over some leftover oil that you forgot to clean up or you could knock over your client’s expensive vase when working from their home. These situations could result that client making a claim against you, which could be financially damaging to your business. Public Liability insurance is designed to cover this risk, protecting you against claims from third parties by covering any compensation costs as well as legal and defence costs whether you are found responsible or not.
- Protect against unintentional breaches of regulations – From tradies to massage therapists, one thing that all small businesses must adhere to is to abide by the regulations that govern them. While it’s nearly impossible to remember all of the New Zealand Acts of Parliament that may apply to you, ignorance of the law is no excuse and you could be held liable to any breeches you commit. For example, some common statutes that you may want to be wary of include Health & Safety in Employment Act, Consumer Guarantees Act, Fair Trading Act, Privacy Act, Resource Management Act. This is where Statutory Liability insurance can safeguard your business, as it protects you and your employees against unintentional breaches of certain statutory acts. It also covers investigation and defence costs, as well as fines or penalties arising from prosecution for an offence under an insured statute.
The bottom line
While being a massage therapist requires you to know the required techniques, being a small business owner has an entirely different set of skills. This guide will hopefully set you on your way so you can combine these tips and tricks and establish a successful massage therapy business in New Zealand.
*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. BizCover Limited is owned by BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975)