A reflexology practice can become a very satisfying and financially rewarding business. Reflexologists apply pressure to the hands and feet to relieve muscle tension and stress in their patients. You can start a rewarding reflexology business by following some necessary steps.
Become certified as a reflexologist. According to the American Reflexology Certification Board, "certification distinguishes the professional from the non-professional, setting apart and bringing credibility to the practitioner who is committed to excellence." Find and enroll in an accredited program in your location to get certified. You will find a list of schools that offer reflexology programs in your state on the American Refloxology Certification Board website (see References section below).
Volunteer your services to gain experience. Hospitals, shelters, gyms and nursing homes are just a few of the places that may accept your services as a volunteer. Not only will you gain valuable experience, but you may even pick up few clients after you have completed your volunteer stint.
Get start-up capital. You have several options to get the money you need. Contact your family and friends for money if you do not already have the savings to start your business. Apply for a bank or credit union loan tailored for small business. Visit the Small Business Administration's website for information on guaranteed loan programs for small businesses. (See References section below.)
Obtain a business license. Many states and cities have specific individual requirements for practicing reflexologists. Although Tennessee and North Dakota are the only states that specifically license reflexologists, you'll still need a business license to operate a reflexology practice. Visit business.gov to apply for a business license in your state. (See References section below.)
Decide whether you want to have a physical location or make house visits—each situation presents advantages and disadvantages. If you decide to base your business on making house visits, it will take longer for you to acquire customers and trust but your operating costs will remain very low. A physical business will have high operating costs due to rent, electricity, equipment, etc., but will acquire and retain customers a lot easier.
Market your reflexology business. Use every resource available to let everyone know that your new business exists. Get a website, make and distribute flyers, and advertise in the phone book and newspapers. If your budget allows it, do not overlook the radio and television.
Encourage repeat customers. Always offer an exceptionally high level of customer service. The reflexology business is by its nature very intimate; take steps to ensure that your customers feel relaxed and welcome and that they will always come back for more. Offer discounts and specials periodically to all customers to ensure they return, for example.
Acquiring regular customers can take some time; budget your money wisely in the beginning.
An avid technology enthusiast, Steve Gregory has been writing professionally since 2002. With more than 10 years of experience as a network administrator, Gregory holds an Information Management certificate from the University of Maryland and is pursuing MCSE certification. His work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Chron and GlobalPost.