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How to open a massage studio


Massage therapy studios are trendy as massage makes people happy. Massage procedures are always in demand because they help to get both healthy and fit and, of course, because of the relaxing massage effect.

Massage is provided:

  • in hospitals,

  • in a beauty salon,

  • in spa centers,

  • in yoga studios,

  • in bath complexes and some other places.

However, you have to remember that this kind of business is strongly regulated as it is considered medical. Therefore, this article explains how to avoid the main mistakes of opening a massage salon.

The cost of opening a massage studio can vary widely depending on location, space size, equipment needed, and whether or not you plan to hire employees. However, starting a massage studio can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands or more.

Please read our guide in the EasyWeek blog for salon naming tips.

Indeed, online appointments can be handy for the success of a massage studio as they can make it easier for clients to schedule appointments and save time and resources for the business. In today's digital age, many clients prefer the convenience of booking appointments online, and this option can help attract and retain clients.

Advantages of opening a massage therapy business

Massage business has a list of advantages:

  • Its target audience is people of any ages, sex, and social status.

  • No need to invest a lot.

  • Good self-efficiency.

  • It is possible to organize this business alone, so you can work for yourself.

Remember that almost all kinds of massage require a medical license.

Massage business requirements

Massage therapy business is strictly regulated by state law. That is why before opening a massage cabinet, you have to research which licenses and permits will be needed in your area. Usually, you will be dealing with several sets of licenses:

  • for massage therapists who work individually,

  • for a massage business.

In most cases massage is considered to be a medical service, so you will also need a degree to provide a medical-massage. Any massage that is aimed at restoring the health of certain organs is a medical one, for example:

  • massage of the cervical-collar zone of the spine with osteochondrosis,

  • joint massage for diseases and fractures.

There are also types of massages that are considered aesthetic rather than medical. So, it is allowed to provide them without a medical license as SPA services. These types of massage can be provided in beauty salons, SPAs, tanning studios, etc.

Types of massage that do not require a license:

  • SPA massage,

  • aesthetic facial massage,

  • hardware massage,

  • head massage.

Key requirement: massage can be provided only to healthy people. If there are any signs of medical manipulation, the massage parlor can be fined for doing business without a medical license.

The legal form of business

To open a massage studio, you can just get the status of self-employed. For salons that hire staff, it is needed to get a sole proprietorship or LLC. If you have a higher medical education, feel free to obtain a medical license to expand the list of services.

Massage studio business plan

When opening a massage salon, it is essential to do all the needed preparations. As an additional hint, you can use the checklist on opening a beauty salon. The steps are almost the same.

Decide on the types of massage that will be provided in your new massage studio

There are 2 main approaches – European and Eastern.

The European one implies massage of the whole body or the specific body areas.

This includes:

  • Therapeutic massage restores the body after illnesses or injuries.

  • Sports professional massage is done to athletes as a preventive procedure before and after training.

  • Hygienic massage is done as prophylaxis and strengthening of the body.

  • Classic massage relieves mental stress and excessive muscle tone.

  • Cosmetic massage improves skin turgor and complexion. It is usually performed in beauty salons.

The Eastern system implies the massage of biologically active areas of the body and the energy fields.

This could be:

  • Massage with crystals, sticks, stones.

  • Ayurvedic.

  • Massage using sound bowls.

Determine the target audience

It is very important to understand who will visit your new massage studio. It will help to create the right advertising campaign and an effective promotion strategy.

The audience can be distinguished by:

  • Income level.

  • Sex: for instance, anti-cellulite massage is usually chosen by women.

  • Locations: If you provide a unique type of massage that is impossible to get anywhere else, clients will come even from the other side of the city. But, usually, clients of massage studios are locals who are satisfied with the location and visit the salon regularly.

Research competitors

Collect the information about the services, products, prices, and promotions that the nearest competitors provide. It will be good to test the service and see what you can take from the competitors and what is better to avoid. There are many types of massage salons, so no need to be afraid, if there are some nearby. Customers will find you anyway!

To stand out, you can use a salon booking system. It is handy both for clients and massage parlor staff.

Is it better to buy a franchise?

Buying a ready-made business is a good idea for beginners. You will get a business plan, support from the management company, and a well-known name!

The easiest way to find a franchise is the online one. Start with comparing brands, initial investment, and period of self-efficiency. Promotion strategy, design, and management will be provided by the seller. Also pay attention to the distribution of income between the management company, and the business owner. All the details have to be mentioned in the contract.

Massage therapy equipment

Selecting location

Receiving clients at home is not the best idea for any business. To look professional, you will need separate premises. You can rent a cabinet in:

  • Shopping mall,

  • On the ground or basement floors of residential complexes,

  • In the fitness center,

  • In a beauty salon.

It is possible to rent premises and repair them, or you can also get a ready-made massage cabinet.

Renovation and design

Massage is directly related to relaxation rest, this determines the selection of the color scheme of the interior and furniture:

  • The design is better to be done in calm, deep colors.

  • Select quality furniture for the guest area.

  • Take care of aromatherapy.

  • Provide comfortable climatic parameters.

  • Offer customers tea, coffee, water.

It is just perfect when the interior helps to relax. But, don't forget that the work environment has to keep the atmosphere. An online appointment scheduling software helps a lot in reducing stress as the program automates the routine business processes for you. No more misunderstandings about time, overlaps, and inaccuracies. And the best that now you can try EasyWeek salon booking software for free! Test it and decide whether it works well for your company.


In addition to the decor and furniture at the reception, the massage studio should be equipped with:

  • Massage chairs and tables.

  • Shower cabin and sink for handwashing.

  • Bathroom.

  • Screen room dividers.

  • Racks for towels and equipment.

Massage salon staff

After the opening of a massage studio, you can work alone. It is good for small massage cabinets that will work with one client at one time. If you want to open a bigger salon, there is a need of hiring professional employees:

  • masseurs,

  • administrators,

  • cleaning service.

When hiring a team, you have to pay attention to:

  • higher medical education and courses,

  • experience and previous jobs,

  • ability to use various massage techniques,

  • politeness and communication skills.

A well-chosen team can get customer loyalty and take your massage salon to a new level of quality. And that is what we need!

How to promote your massage studio

A catchy salon name and original signage can easily attract the attention of any client.

To promote a massage parlor, we recommend:

  • Minimalistic website. EasyWeek booking app will help you with getting a beautiful website. It takes up to an hour to create a site and the best that all the data is taken from your account, so there is no need to work too much to create a personal page. The program does it automatically, once you sign up for a service.

  • Profiles on social media. You can start with Instagram, for example.

  • Booking widget. Do not lose any client!

  • Cooperation with the nearest beauty salons, fitness centers, gyms, etc.

  • Targeted advertising will help with driving traffic to your website. Make sure that online booking, client base, and quality of the services are on the highest level. Only this way you will get more real clients and, of course, profit.


To stand out in the massage business you have to provide the best quality services and keep the communication rules. Working with customers is essential: truth builds loyalty, so stay open, friendly and select a good CRM to satisfy your loyal audience.

A salon booking system is a great helper for any business. EasyWeek online appointment scheduling software saves your money, time, and nerves. As it optimizes all the business processes, allowing your team to concentrate on quality services.

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