Start a body wrap spa by following these 9 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple step guide to starting your body wrap spa. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
STEP 1: Plan your Business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the initial costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How long it will take you to break even?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you. Skip on ahead to the Business Overview for more detailed answers to all your questions.
Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your body wrap spa is sued. Consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
STEP 7: Get Business Insurance
Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
STEP 8: Define your brand.
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence
A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Body wraps, also known as body masks, are spa treatments that offer a variety of health benefits. Customers are wrapped in minerals such as algae, mud, clay, or seaweed, and then a secondary bandage wrap. Depending upon the minerals absorbed, the body is hydrated, skin is toned, and muscles are soothed. Some treatments call for heat supplements, via pre-warmed wraps or heated blankets.
Who is this business right for?
Body wrap spas offer clients a holistic way to meet their health goals. Success in this profession is realized by those who are fulfilled from helping others on their journey to a more healthy lifestyle. They enjoy interacting with others, seeing this as an opportunity to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.
What happens during a typical day at a body wrap spa?
While a relaxing environment, body wrap spas require a fairly regimented schedule. This ensures each client receives the full benefit from each session and that the environment is kept safe and clean.
The following items will require you and your staff’s attention on a regular basis:
- Consulting with clients regarding their treatment goals
- Scheduling appointments
- Performing wrapping services
- Educating customers regarding proper aftercare
- Cleaning and maintaining all spa equipment
- Replenishing inventory, placing orders as needed
- Analyzing current marketing efforts, modifying strategy when necessary
- Educating staff, managing their human resources needs, and managing their schedules
- Billing, accounting, and administrative duties
What is the target market?
This industry attracts customers from every demographic. When building your business plan, consider what is important to you. Do you want to help clients reach weight goals? Do you want to help customers who are in pain and in need of detox? What other health benefits impassion you? Once you’ve determined this, you’ll be better equipped to identify your target market.
How does a body wrap spa make money?
A body wrap spa makes money from clients with appointments, as well as walk-in clients, all of whom pay for body wrapping services.
What is the growth potential for a body wrap spa?
As part of the cosmetology industry, body wrapping businesses offer stability, financial security, and great growth potential. Business owners have an opportunity to expand their business to include a multitude of different services, in a variety of settings. Demand for these services extends across the globe, offering entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to keep their businesses small or expand internationally, based on their vision.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful body wrap spa?
Every body wrap business owner indicates the most important component to their success is education and experience. Whether you plan to stick to administrative work only or wish to be a practicing technician, it is critical that you and your staff be professionally educated. A reputable school will instruct you regarding techniques, products, industry standards, safety, and basic business practices. A well-rounded and knowledgeable business owner is set up for long-term success and has the potential to mentor those seeking to enter the industry.
Once you have received the proper education, certification, and licenses, hands-on training would prove invaluable. In the right setting, you’ll gain a greater understanding of your work’s healing benefits. This firsthand experience should also offer insight into your target demographic, successful marketing practices, operational procedures, and pricing.
Entrepreneurs must be business savvy and possess a leadership skill set that includes: communication, both written and verbal, attention to detail, and should be able to work efficiently and timely.
What are the costs involved in opening a body wrap spa?
There are a number of expenses you will incur while setting up your new business. When planning your budget, consider the following:
- Minerals and herbs
- Body wrap supplies, such as blankets, sheets, bandages, and heat blankets
- Specialized chairs/massage tables—consider purchasing gently used or inexpensive furnishing to start, upgrading as the business starts to grow
- Cleaning products
- Brick and mortar—Invest in a location that is easily accessible with ample parking.
- Furniture for reception and retail areas
- Business permits and insurance
- Website—this does not have to be a complicated site, but it should provide information regarding you and your staff’s background, services, and pricing sheet
- Marketing strategy and materials
Experienced professionals indicate start-up costs could range anywhere from $150,000 to $225,000, depending upon the services you wish to offer and your location. For larger investments, such as day spas, your budget will be $350,000 to $625,000. Franchising opportunities are available, with standard fees of approximately $50,000.
Where can I find a business mentor?
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a body wrap spa?
Consider the following industry advice for starting and managing the business:
- There are three things that will help define your success—the quality of customer service delivered, proper marketing, and setting business goals.
- Keep in mind that, regardless of their personal health goals, your clients are there to relax. Pamper them and offer hours that accommodate their needs.
- Take pride in your business venture by keeping up with the latest industry trends and offering a level of service above your competitors.
- Ask for customer feedback and take action.
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Growing Your Business
How to promote & market a body wrap spa
Experienced professionals have found success implementing a well-rounded marketing strategy. Joining professional organizations, such as the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, will help you get listed with online spa directories. They also offer educational courses and networking events that stand to help boost your company’s overall profits.
Your marketing strategy should focus on current customers. Word of mouth is a wonderful marketing tool. Offer gift certificates and discounts for referrals, acknowledging loyal clients.
Draft brochures that target business professionals, wedding parties, and other wellness professionals. Create packages geared towards their needs. Host special events and offer drawings and giveaways. Donate a portion of the proceeds to a local charity. Such events are mutually beneficial and will attract both new and existing customers.
Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.
How to keep customers coming back
A social media presence is critical for staying connected with clients. Share news regarding upcoming specials and industry trends. Send out email blasts and personally email clients who haven’t been in for a while. This will remind them you’re here and that your business cares about them and their patronage.
Prove your loyalty to each customer by offering a membership. This should include special pricing and membership benefits. As part of your fee structure, offer package options—most spas offer a series of 3, 5, or 10 visits. This benefits both you and the customer. They feel as though they’ve gotten a deal and commit to the necessary number of sessions to truly realize results. It takes time to detox the body and lose weight. Be upfront with them about their sessions, which will help build a relationship based on trust and honesty. When they see the desired results, word of mouth will take over.
How and when to build a team
When you are ready to starting building a staff, make sure each team member is professional, both in appearance and attitude. Each employee should be properly licensed and passionate about their work. A great place to find dedicated workers is at your local cosmetology schools. Those still attending school could perform administrative duties, learning the procedures of your company. Those just out of school will be looking for work and offer a fresh outlook on your growing business.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a body wrap business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Maintain Personal Asset Protection
Don’t think that just forming an LLC, or any other type of business, will save your personal assets in case of a lawsuit or other matter by itself.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Two of the simplest steps that will protect your business, and yourself, are to:
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
Release of Liability
To avoid liability and potential lawsuits, body wrap businesses should have their clients sign a release of liability. Here is an example of one such form.
Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional release of liability form for your body wrap business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.
Certificate of Occupancy
A body wrap business is generally run out of a spa in a storefront. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a body wrap business.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your body wrap business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
How much can you charge customers?
Most wrap sessions last sixty minutes and range anywhere from $80-$200+ per session. Packages average $225 for three sessions, $350 for five, and $500 for ten.
What are the ongoing expenses for a body wrap spa?
Budget for the following ongoing expenses when considering a body wrap business start-up:
- Marketing supplies
- Lease, utilities, phone, and other administrative fees
- Payroll, taxes, and employee benefits
- Replenishment of spa supplies
- Maintenance and cleaning of equipment
- Continuing education
Specific costs vary depending upon your location, number of employees, and number of services offered.
How much profit can a body wrap spa make?
Many small spas report seeing fifty to sixty clients each week. Each technician you employ stands to generate more than $30,000 per year. Offering the sale of retail products and expanding your services will significantly increase your organization’s annual profit.
How can you make your business more profitable?
To increase your company’s profits, consider implementing the following strategies:
- Include a variety of other holistic cleansing and/or beauty salon services
- Create your own body wrap blends
- Sell additional products to enhance the experience
- Turn your spa into an educational facility