Life Of A Business Owner
Many of you would be surprised to learn I did not plan on living the life of a business owner. When I graduated massage school- I wanted to work for someone else. I didn't want to run a business, in fact, my lowest grade in massage school (a 'C') was in business class. For those who had business class in massage school, do you remember when you had to write a business plan for class? Well, I didn't even complete mine.
I was perfectly content working for someone else. I enjoyed going home every evening and having a free schedule on the weekends. About two years into my massage career, I was working part time at two different locations. Both places shut down at about the same time and I was left without a job. I looked around for another month or two and still couldn't find work. So, I opened a practice so that I could have work. Yes, I started my business so that I could continue doing massage.
And here, more than ten years later, I can't imagine not owning my own business. It has been a rewarding experience lasting almost ten years and in two states.
Massage Business Responsibilities
Running a business is not for everyone. I see many colleagues over the years lured into quitting their jobs to open a massage business. They are seduced by the idea of creating their own schedules, being their own boss, and taking home all the money brought in for each session. What most don't realize is that your schedule turns into a full 18 hour day/ 7 days a week, the boss (you) has to do everything, and the money you get to take home goes into overhead, bills, equipment, etc, leaving you with little to take home.
Some of you reading this will succeed, but many will not. The idea of having your own business sounds romantic and cool. The reality is that it is difficult work and not for everyone. If you are considering starting your own practice, here are some important things to consider:
- You will need to keep track of all your expenses and purchases. Not only for tax purposes, but also to learn where your budget needs trimming.
- All marketing has to be done by you- this means going outside of your comfort zone and learning to build relationships with other businesses. You will need to learn how to self promote your work to strangers in public places. It also means you need to stay on top of technology and learn how to use it so your business can grow.
- Marketing your business will become an all time consuming project. Especially when you are booked solid for weeks at a time, you still need to market your business to prevent slow periods.
- Paperwork needs to be completed before you leave the office or it will pile up and overwhelm you. This means you may not be getting home until 10pm.
- You are responsible for EVERYTHING, including, but not limited to:
- Cleaning the office
- Ordering supplies
- Keeping files
- Creating and maintaining a tight budget
- Performing massage sessions
- All customer service issues
- Handling appointments
I would like to add that even though you take home 100% from each massage session, at least 50-70% of that income goes right out to business expenses and taxes. So, essentially, you can make more money by working for someone else. Especially if they supply most everything that is needed such as table, linens, receptionist, etc.
What You Can Earn As A Massage Business Owner
Managing a business can be a rewarding experience, but it's important to consider some the realities because it is not for everyone. If you are thinking of starting your own massage business, I encourage you to think carefully about what you are getting into. It's not easy work and can easily drain you and your family of much needed finances.
My friend and colleague, Rhonda Henry, has a wonderful little e-book out titled, How Much Can I Earn As a Massage Therapist, and I strongly encourage anyone who is considering starting a practice to read this short, informative book. This is not an affiliate link, I'm sharing it because I've read the book and think it really helps to break down and explain what you can expect to make as a massage therapist.
The life of a business owner is tough work. If you are considering opening your own business, make sure you understand all the requirements, both negative and positive. If you enjoy having your weekends and evenings free to pursue other activities- you may prefer working for someone else. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!