Projecting Startup Costs

Projecting Startup Costs, Projecting Startup Costs, futureLMT.comThe costs of starting and running a business can be daunting, which is why many people opt to work for others. According to a 1993 report published by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the median startup cost for a solo business owner to open the door is $6,000. In 2006, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Survey showed startup costs were closer to $10,000.

Actual startup costs depend on the scope of the business, the location and build-out costs, and the requisite equipment. A massage practice is one of the easiest to set up, particularly since initial costs tend to be minimal. In many instances, you can operate out of your home, rent space by the hour or provide on-site work. People often build their private practices slowly while working for another company. This is an acceptable route to take as long as you develop an action plan for attracting clients and actively market your practice. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a permanent part-time practice.

In determining how much money is needed for startup, include operating and personal living expenses for at least six months. Research other massage businesses and seek advice from a realtor, accountant and lawyer. Also contact your local SBA, Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). While identifying these costs, decide whether they are essential or optional. A realistic startup budget should only include items that are necessary to start the business.

Initial expenses: opening a business checking account; telephone; equipment (you should already have most of this while you are in school); first and last month’s rent and security deposit; permits; business cards, stationery, brochures, logo design; opening promotion package (e.g., direct mailers, ads in local papers, magazines, radio, etc.); decorations; office supplies; furniture; music system and CDs.

Annual expenses: property insurance; business license; liability insurance; professional association membership; legal and accounting fees; and website hosting fees.

Common monthly expenses: rent; utilities; telephone; bank fees; supplies; networking club dues; education; promotion; Internet access; postage; repair and maintenance; business travel; inventory; and business loan payments.

Click here for a sample chart of actual estimated business expenses.

About the Author

Cherie Sohnen-Moe is an author, business coach and international workshop leader. She has been in business since 1978. She was in private practice for many years as a massage and holistic health practitioner before shifting her focus to education and coaching. In her coaching/consulting practice, she has worked with individual therapists to small wellness centers to day spas that have multiple locations. She has served as a faculty member at the Desert Institute of Healing Arts and the Arizona School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and is an adjunct professor at Clayton College of Natural Health. She has written more than 100 articles that have been published in more than 15 national and international magazines. She is the author of the book, Business Mastery, which is in its fourth edition, has sold more than 325,000 copies to date with 650-plus schools requiring it as a text. She is also the author of Present Yourself Powerfully and The Art of Teaching. She is co-author of The Ethics of Touch, with more than 300 schools requiring it as a text. She is also a contributing author of Teaching Massage: Fundamental Principles in Adult Education for Massage Program Instructors, and was interviewed for a chapter of SAND TO SKY: Conversations with Teachers of Asian Medicine. Sohnen-Moe is a firm believer in education and as such serves on the exam committee of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) and is a founding member of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE). She can be contacted through her website,