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How to Start Your Own Massage Therapy Business In Lagos

Massage therapy as a business can be very lucrative. In this business, you can work independently or with a healthcare professional, such as an orthopedic doctor or chiropractor (those guys who focus on the wellbeing of the spine and its surrounding structures).

Massage spas in Lagos

You will be surprised to find that there are different types of massages – Swedish, deep tissue, and so on. Most people in Lagos can’t tell the difference and simply opt for what is affordable. Affordable means anywhere between N5,000 and N15,000 for a one-hour session. Usually, the higher the price the happier the client in the end.

It’s a very ‘hands on’ endeavour, requiring upper body strength and a genuine care for the wellbeing of others. Given the nature of the business – darkened rooms, warm oils, few if any clothes left on, air conditioning, soft music –  people view massage parlours with suspicion. And this is the case in every country, not just Nigeria. Far too many massage parlours end up as glorified ”gentlemen’s spas”. Yet, many people, especially amongst the busy working class, find massage spas very useful.

There are very few better stress busters than a good massage. And in a stressful environment like Lagos, it can come in handy eventually. Relief wise.

Interestingly, masseuses (the wonderful professionals who actually give massages) are almost exclusively women. Young attractive women in fact. Frankly, a massage clinic which opens with unattractive or middle aged women, or worse still – men, can expect to fold up almost as quickly as it opened. Rather like the 2nd generation banks, the more attractive the “customer service” personnel, the more people will patronise the establishment.

So by all means have your business plan in place, and your branding manual and marketing strategy. The one sure way to massage your way to success is to hire dedicated attractive young women. With good upper body strength.

How to Start Your Own Massage Therapy Business

Step 1: Research

Thoroughly research the massage industry in your area and decide the kind of massage services that you can offer to clients. There are many different types of massage therapy you can focus on, such as remedial massage therapy, sports massage, and the famous “relaxing massage”.

While some massage therapists choose to operate out of their homes or do out-calls, others may decide to open their own spa or massage parlor.  Note also, that massage therapists undergo training for up to two years sometimes.

Step 2: Draw up a Business Plan

Draw up a detailed business plan. This should include your business name, goals, as well as a timeline.

Remember, many investors and banks will want to see your business plan before providing funding for your venture. If you are not sure about how to create a business plan, you can pay a professional to draft it for you.

Step 3: Register your business

Find out all the legal requirements to open a massage business. You can check with The Lagos State Chamber of Commerce to determine if you need a business license.

Step 4: Location

Look for a location to rent that meets your needs. Be sure it has a waiting room, treatment rooms, and supply storage space. To succeed as a massage business, you will need to create a relaxing atmosphere. However, you do not want to spend all your capital on the location alone.

You don’t need to have an elaborate shop front or be in an expensive neighborhood. Instead, look for affordable locations that are in areas that are easy to get to with easy parking.

Step 5: Buy equipment and supplies

This should include massage tables, oils, lotions, and robes or towels for your clients. You will also need chairs or sofas for your waiting area. If your funds are limited, consider used furniture. You can try to save money by buying second hand equipment and furniture.

The softer issues:

Step 6: Apply for a business loan/raise funding
This is the hard part. Not many people – friends or family – will take the idea of a massage parlour serious. You may in fact be accused of trying to get into seedy business through the back door. Worse still, you want them to invest money in it. Without a track record in hospitality, it is just as unlikely that any bank or commercial lender will be willing to put money in your venture.
To start a massage business, you may need to start with your own funds. Keep your books tidy and then when up and running, show prospective lenders as you plan to expand.
Step 7: Get liability insurance
Imagine working on an older person who gets too relaxed or too excited depending on the service, and then slumps on your  massage table. It is important that you protect yourself in the event you are sued by a client or have to claim damages or issues on your insurance. Typically for a small business, God is the best and only insurance policy taken. Unfortunately, even this particular policy may prove difficult given the underlying business.
Step 8: Start your business
You must hire beautiful hard working staff, and be prepared to train them and pay them well. Typically, a masseuse is paid a basic stipend, but will also share profit with the owner. This way, the staff themselves are motivated to market for the company and ensure old customers are happy, and that new ones are converted to regulars. Everyone is happy in the end.
Step 9: Market your business
The best form of marketing for a massage parlour is ”word of mouth”. This means your services must speak for you. A few fliers placed in popular locations and hangouts will help in the beginning as well. But ultimately, it’s about the experience you offer, your staff and the services they render.
Get the mix right and you can be certain to keep the business well oiled and supple for a long time to come.
Edited By: ODIRA ONYENSO
Source: www.wikihow.com
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