Buying a Massage Center Business: Exploring All Avenues

Posted On: / By: Brian Knoderer
Buying A Business

Increased emphasis on health and well-being combined with increased disposable income has led to a busy couple of years for the massage service industry. In fact, from 2013 to 2018, the massage industry saw 5.2 percent annualized growth. If you’ve been considering buying a massage center business, now may be the ideal time to explore opportunities.

3 Opportunities to Explore When Buying a Massage Center

If you’re set on buying an established massage business rather than starting your own, explore these three options to choose which opportunity is best for you.

Buying an Independently-Owned Massage Business

First, explore independently-owned massage centers for sale or day spa businesses for sale in your area. In contrast to starting your own massage center from scratch, buying a massage center means you can skip the start-up process and begin enjoying benefits like established brand presence, immediate cash flow, and existing employees and customers. Plus, buying a massage center business that is privately owned will offer you the ultimate flexibility to make your own decisions and truly run every aspect of your own business.

Buying a Franchised Massage Therapy Business

Another option to consider is buying a franchised massage business. Buying a new franchise territory may be a fantastic opportunity if you’re looking for a way to become your own boss without the high risk of starting a business from scratch. Aside from minimal risk, other reasons many entrepreneurs love franchise opportunities include:

  • Established business model
  • Ongoing operational support
  • Marketing resources and website
  • Training
  • Established brand presence
  • Collective buying power

Some of the top massage franchises in recent years include Massage Envy, Hand and Stone Massage, and Elements Massage. All three of these franchises were listed on the 2019 Franchise 500, indicating the brands’ growth, financial stability, brand strength, franchisee support, and franchise costs.

Buying a Massage Franchise Resale

The third option is purchasing an existing franchise location, otherwise known as a franchise resale. Franchise resales are unique in that someone else has already gone through the process of setting up the center based on franchise standards, purchasing franchise-recommended massage equipment, training massage therapists, and establishing a presence in the community.

All that being said, it is critical that you take closely examine the franchise unit’s financials. If the franchisee is selling the massage center due to poor performance, consider whether the performance may be caused by an absentee owner, poor management, or location. If you feel the owner is actively involved in the business and doing all he or she can to make the business a success, this may be an indication that the territory is not right for this business model, or that the independent competition is too strong.

What to Look for When Buying a Massage Center

When buying a massage center– whether independently owned or franchised– look for these key criteria to ensure you’re making a wise investment.

  • Great location: Location is vital when it comes to a successful massage therapy business. Not only should a massage business be located in a high traffic area, but it should also be in a community that has a high level of disposable income. While visiting the center, assess the condition of the real estate to ensure it’s in mint condition. If you’d need to make updates to the center, consider how much those improvements might cost.
  • woman receiving a massageWide array of massage services: Be sure that the massage center you’re hoping to buy offers a wide variety of therapeutic massage services, including Swedish massage, hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, prenatal massage, and reflexology. If the business doesn’t already have these services, consider how difficult it would be to incorporate them into the service offerings and train the masseuses.
  • Other revenue streams: In addition to massage services, consider whether the business has add-ons that would enable you to up-sell customers and introduce new revenue streams. Add-on services might include reflexology, aromatherapy, skin care, or waxing.
  • Equipment included in the sale: Depending on the size of the center, new equipment for every massage room can add up quickly. If the existing center’s equipment is high quality and in good condition, be sure to ask the owner whether or not equipment is included in the sale of the business. This is especially important if you are buying into a franchised massage business, as most franchises require specific fixtures and equipment to meet brand standards.
  • Strong financial performance: As mentioned above, strong financial performance is essential when buying an established massage center. Work with your advisor, attorney, or business broker to analyze the financial performance of the massage spa you hope to buy. While poor financial performance may turn around under new ownership, it may be an indication of most fundamental problems like location, surrounding population, or customer perception.
  • Recurring business: Consider the number of recurring clients the massage business has. If there is a loyalty program, how many customers participate, and how frequently do they visit the massage center. The cost to acquire new clients in a competitive market can be quite high, so inheriting repeat customers is key when buying a massage and wellness center.

If you’re ready to begin your search for the best massage center for sale in your area, contact Sunbelt Business Brokers. We represent a number of sellers, as well as franchises, and can help you find the right opportunity for your lifestyle and budget. Not only can our team of experienced business brokers help you identify the right business for you, but we can also help you secure financing, negotiate your contract, and close a deal. Find a Sunbelt office near you today to get started!

Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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