The chair massage business can be an exciting and well-paying way to gain extra income. However, in order for it to work as one’s full time job requires a lot of work. For years, massage therapists have used chair massage as a way to generate money, market themselves, and help to fill their appointment books with longer sessions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A massage license (for nearly all states)
A business license
A massage chair
A timer or clock
*Receipt book (for those who ask for a receipt)
*Music, candles, mood enhancers
If you’re not a massage therapist, becoming a therapist is going to be your first and most important challenge. In most states, you have to obtain licensure from the state or city/county in which you are living. In order to get licensed as a massage therapist, you will need to get some training. Many massage schools provide programs that go over the number of hours required by the state, but you may find several schools that offer only the precise number of hours that are called for. You may very well find courses as short as 7 months long. Various colleges are now offering massage programs as well. Ensure that the school is accredited and has decent reviews.
In addition to the massage certifications, etc., you will need an occupational license. This permits you to accept money for services rendered. You will find many therapists who work “under the table,” but you are legally responsible for claiming your earnings. A business license allows you to accept money, but it also means that you have an official business and that you are responsible for paying taxes on this business.
Of course, if you’re going to have a chair massage business, you will need a chair! A massage chair can run anywhere from $100 up to $600 or more. If you’re just starting out, I would not recommend buying the expensive chairs just yet. And when browsing for a chair, try to find one that is easily moveable (wheels are a plus).
Cleaning supplies will include things like paper towels and some spray cleaner. I have used a variety of cleaning solutions in the past, and I’ve found that a 50/50 mix of alcohol and water works well. You will also need hand sanitizer.
Most chair massages are around 10 to 15 minutes long. But, the time might vary depending on the client, the event, etc. So it is important to keep a clock or timer within eyesight. You don’t want to keep the next client waiting too long. Many therapists also invest in face-cradle covers for their chairs. They are comfortable, but I found the select-a-size paper towels to be more cost effective and most clients don’t really care.
Always remember that this is your chair massage business, so you can run it however you choose. However, you will probably want business cards to hand out, an appointment book nearby to schedule longer massages, and possibly a receipt book for those who want receipts. You may also want to bring music for your clients to listen to, maybe some candles, aromatherapy, and anything else that will give them the best experience you can give them.
Market yourself wherever you think people would be benefited by chair massage. Many corporations would love to have a chair massage during lunch breaks. Golf courses, radio stations, sporting events, art festivals, malls, grocery stores, and airports are all great locations for a chair massage business. However, all of these venues will require you to go through some red tape before you can set up.
After all is said and done, you should have fun and enjoy meeting all the different men and women you will encounter with this type of business. If your heart is in it, it will show through your hands, and people will come back again and again.