So You Want to Run a Massage Business From Your Home

I received my license and certification as soon as I finished school for massage therapy. I knew right away that I was going to start building my own practice out of my house as soon as I finished school (which is why a prerequisite of the home I was purchasing had to have an extra room for my business space). I built up my clientele and was quickly recognized as one of the top massage businesses in the area. Here’s how I did it…

First thing’s first. Find out what all the regulations and restrictions are for operating a massage practice out of your home for your community. This is extremely important, as some towns may not allow you to operate this kind of business out of your home without proper permits and business licensing, if at all. Make sure you obtain all of the necessary credentials, as well as massage therapy insurance, CPR/first aid certification and also home owners or liability insurance. If you are renting your home, make sure you also have written permission from your landlord for operating a business from their property. Some municipalities require specific building features, such as handicapped accessibility and the relativity of the location of your office to the entrance(s) of your home, as well as to the bathrooms. Most of this information can be obtained from your local Town Hall.

Next, write up a business plan. Even if you’re not planning on applying for business funds, it’s crucial to put your goals and ideas into a written format, using as much detail as you are capable of. When you put things into writing, the law of attraction will go to work to make sure that your intentions come to fruition. Whether you believe in it or not, there’s something almost magical about it. And if you don’t have any clue where to begin with writing up your business plan, don’t fret. There are samples, example, outlines and tutorials all over the internet at no cost to you.

Next, come up with a name for your business. This can be a bit tricky, as there are thousands of massage business names already in use. Do your research to be sure that you’re not using the same name as, or one that is similar to, another business near yours. Also, I recommend not using your personal name. Keep in mind that although “Massage By Jody” may add to the personal appeal, it hinders the professionalism of the business.

Once you’ve done all of that, it is highly recommended that you create an LLC for your business. This will take any liability off of you personally and keep it completely restricted to your business. Probably the easiest and most convenient way of doing this would be through an online legal firm. Just follow the links on their website for creating an LLC, fill in the blanks and submit your application with your payment. They’ll take care of the rest. It really is that simple. Then file your business with the IRS to receive your Employment Identification Number. After which you’ll be able to open a business checking account to keep your finances separate from your personal bank accounts. This makes it a whole lot easier when tax season comes around. This also gives you the option of accepting check and/or credit card forms of payment from your clients (this is a convenience that they will greatly appreciate).

If your goal is to operate a successful, long-term massage practice out of your home, you MUST have a space that is specifically designated for your business and your business alone. Don’t set your table up in your living room or your bedroom and then assume that it will be good enough for your clients. I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s not. That might be okay for your close friends and family if you’re limited on space, but for anybody else you’ll need to provide a safe, comfortable and private space where they are allowed to relax and feel at ease.

Keep it clean. It’s one thing to have a home that is lived in (because it is and most everyone will understand that coming into it), but if your house is cluttered and messy and scattered with your kids’ toys or pets roaming around and causing unpleasant aromas, your client repeat rate is going to be one that is slim to none. It won’t matter how good of a massage you give if your clients have to walk over or through your messes. So get your place cleaned up and organized if it isn’t already. And don’t be afraid to ask for outside assistance, even if it’s just that of an honest opinion from a trusted friend about what could be improved upon. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and see your space through their eyes from the moment they park their car to the time that they leave. Take it a step further and spruce up the decorating. Fresh paint on the walls, a nice throw rug, a vase of fresh flowers and tasteful wall art can do wonders for any room and it can be kept inexpensive.

Keep it quiet. There’s not much that is worse when receiving a massage than distracting noises. Turn off the ringer on your phone and disconnect the doorbell while you’re working. If you have children (especially little ones) it’s best not to be working when they are in the house. My kids have grown up with me working in our home, so they know to be quiet and considerate when clients are over. But I typically work around them so their lives are not always being inconvenienced by my career and business. Same goes for pets in the house. Keep them separated from your business area and train them to be respectful when visitors are over (I have two large dogs in the house and most of my clients are none the wiser). Barking dogs, crying cats and noisy birds do not set the tone for relaxation. If you do not have control over your pet’s (or kid’s) volume, you may end up having to decide how important (or not) your home massage business is to you.

Keep your rates reasonable, especially when you’re first starting out. The really nice part about working from home is the low overhead, so you don’t have to be compensated for extra rent or utilities (and our clients know this). Check out the pricing of other massage establishments in your area and charge accordingly. Stay competitive, but don’t undersell yourself. It’s perfectly acceptable to offer specials and discounts to new clients (such as $10 off their first visit or a buy-one-get-one at a reduced rate deal), but I would stay away from participating in mass offers such as Groupon or Living Social, and also don’t spend much (if any) money on print media advertising such as local newspapers or phone book listings. This can get expensive with little to no return. Word of mouth from your clients is going to be your best form of advertising. So impress them, because it’s free and fail-safe.

If you really want your clientele to grow leaps and bounds, learn how to market your business. Building a website for your business, being active on social media and creating local listings online are sure fire ways to get things moving. Have business cards made as well as brochures with a list of your services and their prices. Make sure you answer your phone when you can. Set up your voicemail or answering machine with your business information in the outgoing message and be sure to respond to messages promptly so you don’t lose out on that business. Same goes for email. Have a separate email address for your business and keep your correspondence professional yet personal. Refrain from using all caps and abbreviations or “text talk” in your emails.

If your town allows it, it’s a good idea to have some type of business sign in your front yard so that your clients (or potential clients) know exactly where you are located. Keep it simple with just your business name, logo (if you have one) and phone number. You could also include your web address if you have one, but it isn’t necessary since chances are that anyone who is going to want to find you online will simply enter your business name in their search engine anyway. The more ways people have to get a hold of you, the better.

Practice what you preach. You ARE your business. If you’re instructing your clients to get regular massage, YOU should be getting regular massage. If you’re telling your clients to drink plenty of water throughout the day, YOU should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re suggesting to your clients that they eat a well balanced diet and do moderate exercise, YOU should be doing the same. When you take better care of yourself, you’re better able to take care of your clients and they will keep on coming back because they’ll want to look and feel just as good as you do.

Appearance isn’t everything, but it’s definitely something. Practice good personal hygiene and grooming. Keep your hair well-kempt (including facial hair for you male therapists) and your teeth brushed. Shower regularly and keep your fingernails trimmed and clean. If you work barefoot for grounding energy, keep your feet clean and toenails trimmed and neat, too. If underarm odor is an issue, use deodorant daily. Don’t douse yourself with cologne, perfume or body spray. These fragrances may disturb your clients or cause allergic reactions that disrupt their massage. If you are in need of a more pleasing aroma, a dab or two of essential oils can be mutually beneficial to both you and your clients. Dress appropriately as well. We can be flexible here, but do yourself and your clients a favor and save the ripped, stained and/or holey clothes for other occasions.

You have the potential to be a walking/talking billboard for your business any time you leave your house, so these guidelines can carry over into your everyday life and benefit your business if you allow them to. BE the type of business you want to have and the rest will follow.

Affiliate Marketing: Tips For Making This Career Successful For Stay-At-Home Parents

In today’s society, more and more parents are looking for stay-at-home work opportunities. Stay-at-home opportunities can provide the perfect work/life balance, and allow more time to be spent with your children. Internet savvy individuals can find a great stay-at-home career in affiliate marketing. In this article, we will discuss some valuable tips which can help you join the ranks of the stay-at-home affiliate professionals.The first step to making your affiliate marketing career a successful one is to set up a great work space. Make sure that your work space is quiet and away from the distractions of the day. Have a comfortable work space that is well stocked with the tools you will need, such as a desk, chair, and well equipped computer. Having a work space that is comfortable, quiet, and distraction free can help you to become more productive, and more successful too.

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Once your space is set up, it’s time to consider your schedule. When establishing what your work-at-home day will look like, always think of your children’s schedule. Try to work when the children are out of the house if possible, maybe during school hours or activity times. Consider hiring a Mother’s Helper to keep your children occupied while you work if there are not times when they will be away. Nap time can also be a productive work time if younger children are involved. If you are able to find time to work while your children are otherwise occupied, you will help to prevent distractions. You will also prevent your children from feeling as if your career is taking time away from them.Besides considering your work schedule versus your children’s schedule, you need to incorporate some time into your day for research and education. Affiliate marketing is an interesting career choice, but it can be a tricky one. Without taking some time to learn the tricks of the trade, you will never be successful. Make sure to plan time for reading, research, classes, or web-based seminars. This will help to build your confidence, and your career.Another valuable resource for stay-at-home parents who choose an affiliate marketing career can be forums and blog sites. Look for sites that incorporate tips from other parents, particularly other affiliate marketing parents. This can give you a place for advice, discussion, and support. Any business professional will tell you that these are valuable tools of any trade, and affiliate marketing is no different.

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Our final tip is to get a good grasp on affiliate marketing basics. Use the educational tips we have provided above, and be sure to find other avenues for enhancing your understanding of the basics. Building from the basics of affiliate marketing will allow you to compose a strategy that will work for you. An effective strategy means an easier time doing business, and more time for that valuable work/life balance that you are striving to achieve.Affiliate marketing can be a wonderful career for any stay-at-home parent. It requires little in the way of equipment, and can provide a wonderful work/life balance for your family. In this article, we have discussed some valuable tips that any parent should consider before starting their affiliate marketing career. Use them to achieve the success you are looking for.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!