Friday, April 12, 2019

What Do You Need to Start Your Own Business?

So you want to start your own bodywork business? Let me preface this post with the following:
"If you build it, they will come" is a terrible marketing plan.
You can have a beautiful space with the nicest equipment, lotions and oils, and decorations --
-- but if you don't have clients coming to see you, ensuring your rent gets paid and the lights stay on, those lovely doors will be closed in a hurry.
Marketing and choosing how and where you want to work are topics for separate posts. If you want to plan ahead, here is some of my advice.

To start your business on a barebones, shoe-string budget:
  • Sack away extra income to pay a first month's rent and security deposit. You can sell gift certificates, but using that money before they're redeemed carries a substantial risk. Similarly, try to avoid using lines of credit.
  • Furniture, linens, and decorations can be bought second-hand or sometimes found for free. 
  • Reach out to other massage professionals about any extra tables, massage chairs, or other equipment they may be willing to sell.
  • Buy quality massage products in affordable quantities -- these will be used on your clients and yourself, so this is one area where you shouldn't skimp.
  • Ask friends and family for gift certificates to your stores of choice.

For the back-end and marketing details:
  • Vistaprint (affiliate link) has some of the best deals on basic business cards.
  • Google Domains can get you set up with a .com address of your choice for as little as $12 a year, with connections to other web services at varying price points.
  • Square (affiliate link) offers gadgets and an app for accepting credit card payments, along with many other resources.
  • A basic MailChimp account is free and relatively easy to use for e-mail marketing. (Affiliate link, but only if you purchase a paid plan.)
  • Get a free Facebook Page for your business. (Please, oh please, don't register a new profile for your business; there is a difference.)
  • Use an online scheduling system (affiliate link).
  • Make your own graphics and use them on all of your business-related websites, social media pages, etc. to make a consistent "brand."