News & Reviews

Q&A

Answers to your small-business questions

Q: I am a new subscriber who's interested in finding some more information about the mobile massage industry. Where can I get detailed information on how to start this kind of business? Where can I get preliminary training? Do I need a certificate or license to practice? Can I get a certificate through a correspondence course, and if so, where can I apply for it? Does this type of business require a lot of start-up capital? Can you help me? I appreciate your help.

Ramon A. Moreno

Ft. Bragg, North Carolina

A:Provided by Katie Armitage, executive director of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), a national association dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of massage and bodywork.

Our association offers detailed information about entering the massage industry through a variety of publications. Our Touch Training Directory ($15.95) lists over 600 schools throughout the country and the world. It also provides information about starting a career in this industry, including regulation and licensing requirements, listings of the many associations geared to the industry, and descriptions of the variety of massage and bodywork therapies.

Correspondence courses for massage training are difficult (although there are a few), because massage requires "hands-on" education. Specialized training is available at the Skilled Touch Institute of Chair Massage (800-999-5026) and the Seated Massage Experience seminars, presented by Touch IV Productions (800-868-2448). These programs sometimes offer training at different locations throughout the country. Many other schools offer on-site training as part of their massage therapist curriculum.

Providing on-site corporate massage offers an excellent income opportunity with a modest investment. On-site corporate massage is usually a 10 to 20 minute "stress buster" which relieves tight neck, back and shoulder muscles resulting from stress and tension. Hourly rates for the service range from $40 to $60 per hour, with about four to five massages per hour. One or two sessions per client per week are typically performed, with stress-reduction benefits being cumulative.

The costs involved with starting a mobile massage business vary. There will be expenses associated with your training, possible licensing and registration costs (some states require testing--at an additional cost--prior to issuing a license), and the cost of your equipment (such as an on-site massage chair, lotions, oils, etc.).

For more information about ABMP, or to order Touch Training Directory, call (303) 674-8478, or write to 28677 Buffalo Park Rd., Evergreen, CO 80439-7347.

Q:For some time now, we have pondered the idea of starting our own business. Since we are both avid fishermen and enjoy fish aquariums, we came up with the idea of a combination fishing bait shop and aquarium, but we don't know where to start. Do you have any information on who we could contact to get information on starting inventory and equipment?

Mark and Phyllis Hayne

West Terre Haute, Indiana

A:Provided by Geri Mitchell, director of communications for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council in Washington, DC.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) is the pet industry's legislative watchdog and, in its mission of education, information and advocacy, is the clearinghouse of information on the pet market. Available (for a nominal fee to cover postage and handling), are various information packages on industry statistics, resources for suppliers of fish (and all kinds of pets), products, demographics, instructions on how to reach regulatory agencies, trade publications, trade associations and trade shows.

PIJAC also publishes a series of animal care reference manuals for pet retailers and conducts animal care seminars and co-sponsors retail merchandising seminars around the United States. For an order form or membership information, contact PIJAC at 1220 19th St. NW, #400, Washington, DC 20036, or call (202) 452-1525.

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This article was originally published in the October 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: News & Reviews.

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