Selling Your massage business is not something that everyone thinks about when they are just starting a massage business but it should be taken into consideration. Every massage business can be sold if you approach it right and build it with selling your massage business in mind. The challenge in selling your business though is that you are the sole proprietor doing all of the work especially all of the massage. People buying a business will have trouble keeping your clients because it is you that they are coming for. There are ways to deal with that.
The difficult part too can be the idea that your clients will be going to someone else and that you will be losing control of the service that you provide. You won’t know for sure if the new owner will be good enough for your current clients.
One of the things you can do to build a better massage business that is worth selling are simple things like keeping a mailing list with all of the contact details including names, addresses and phone numbers but also the date the client came in and the date of their last visit. Keeping track of clients who come in often will be part of it so that you can show how loyal your clients are first off but to also show how many clients you consistently work on each week. You might be able to find some software that does that these days for you. If nothing else, you can sell your mailing list when you are ready to move on or retire.
The most likely person to buy your massage business would be a massage therapist who is just starting out or one who has been an employee and wants to start out on their own. When considering buyers the best thing to do is to find someone who does the same style massage as you. Better yet would be to train them in the type of massage that you do so that your current clients will continue to see them making it more appealing to the buyer.
An extra step that you can take to make your massage business more sellable is to hire an independent contractor or person to sublease your office space from you. That way you can start referring people to that person making the business less dependent on you.
To prepare your business for sale you also need to have your books in order to show how many clients a week that you see and what kind of money you make. Buyers will look at things like how long you have been in business and how much your business grows each year. They will want to know how much money you make and from what services. They will want to look at profit and loss statements, tax returns and previous years accounts as well. You will have to decide if you will include equipment like your table and office furniture and any other equipment. You will also be including your website and marketing materials. If you lease a space you will have to find out what you have to do to turn the lease over to someone else and would the management be willing to renew a lease with a new owner.
The price you set to sell your business will need to be determined. When I was selling a website business of mine, the thing I learned is that it’s value was really how much someone was willing to pay. Even with presenting all of your paperwork, in the end the price will be just that – what someone is willing to pay. You will have to decide what your bottom line is and what is the minimum amount you would take for your business. If your business is strong and viable it may take a few years to sell but it will be worth taking the effort to get everything in order. As far as pricing goes make sure you consult with a tax attorney and other financial advisers to help you set a fair price and what you need to get out of the business. There are some general formulas that say the price should be 3-7x the past three years of income – whether that is gross or net depends on the strength of the business.
There is little information on selling a massage business so if you have bought or sold one please share your stories in the comments section!
I did find an article on Selling Your Massage Business at www.massagetherapycanada.com by Don Dillion a massage business coach. It does mention a book Success Beyond Work, Colleen Holloway which is the only book I could find that talks about selling a massage business. The information in it is brief and very exclusive to the sale of her own business. It is actually poorly written especially the mismatch in title and the information provided. I would think a book titled Success beyond Work would be a book on getting out of the job market and being self employed or something like that. The other resource I found was an article on buying a massage business at www.massagetherapy.com by Felica Brown a spa marketing coach of www.spalations.com – a website for learning how to market your spa and