Going into your own aromatherapy business practice is exciting and rewarding in so many ways. You have the opportunity to help heal people, bring balance and wellness into their lives and bring peace, soothe troubles away and in short, make a rejuvenating difference in their lives.
You can work with the wider community, or narrow your skills to working with older people, children or in an occupational therapy setting. The choices you have are 1000% unlimited. You may even choose to work your aromatherapy skills on a cruise ship for example.
There are many opportunities for a skilled and qualified aromatherapist to practice, and how and where you choose to work will depend on your personal circumstances, your personality and preferences. These may change over time and with experience.
The Aromatherapy Business Choices Available
Aromatherapists work in a variety of different circumstances and settings, including:
- In a room at home
- Alongside others in a group practice such as a complementary therapy clinic
- As a mobile therapist, treating clients in their own homes
- Self-employed with own premises, perhaps employing others
- Within a general medical practice or hospital
- In a health spa / leisure center or beauty salon
These are not mutually exclusive options: private practitioners may spend a day a week working in a hospital, or also offer home visits, for example.
Working In An Aromatherapy Clinic
This can be a good way to start if you feel you might need support when you are starting out being self employed. Different clinics are set up in different ways: you might be employed or self-employed, part of a partnership or simply renting a room in shared premises.
A clinic will probably have the services of a receptionist for bookings, which can be very helpful, and colleagues may be able to cover for each other in case of illness or other emergencies.
When making inquiries at possible local clinics, ask about the set-up, what kind of clients they attract, how independent you would be: for example, would you be able to advertise yourself and what you offer, and to what degree you be able to set your own hours?
Wherever you work, a good telephone manner is important for booking in clients. An aromatherapist should be friendly, helpful and professional at all times.
An Aromatherapy Business In A Doctors Surgery Or Hospital
This can also include hospices and homes for the elderly. It is usually preferable to have some experience before working in this type of setting, although an aromatherapist with a nursing or medical background would be more comfortable with patients from the outset.
Some hospitals welcome volunteers who offer aromatherapy treatments, although there may be an amount of paperwork needed before you are accepted to work there. You would need to decide which area you are interested in working in and speak to the appropriate person involved about what you offer and the benefits of aromatherapy for the people.
Setting Up Your Own Aromatherapy Business
An aromatherapy business is perfect for those wanting to be self employed. Before branching out and renting a premises, you could work from home, or, do home visits for your clients which many people highly value the pampering benefits of not having to travel.
This can be an exciting prospect, but involves much planning and decision-making.You will, among other things, need to find yourself premises, buy equipment and advertise your services.
Quite a significant number of therapists work at home. If there is a suitable room that can be used for treatment it is not such a challenge as running a separate premises, and can often fit round your lifestyle — but it can be lonely as there is no other person to discuss any special needs of the client. Being self-employed means you will be responsible for outgoings, health and safety and taxes.
You will need to take into account:
- Professional equipment and setting up costs of, including a massage table and sufficient supply of thick quality cotton towels
- Extensive range of essential oils
- Any possible planning permission or license to run a business from your home
- Answering machine
- Peaceful and relaxing professionally presented environment
- If you will set up your aromatherapy business at home or use a salon setting- renting a room or offer mobile aromatherapy treatments
Will Your Aromatherapy Business Offer Home Visits?
If you plan to do home visits, you will also need to equip yourself with a lightweight and sturdy portable massage table, as well as your important accessories and be well organized to ensure you have everything you need with you.
You will also need to consider how far you are prepared to travel — this may depend on the area in which you live and the number of other therapists working locally — and how to charge for traveling costs and time.
If possible, it is a good idea to try to book several clients in the same area, to minimize a lot of journeys to and fro.
Another idea is to offer to provide your aromatherapy business to people not in their own homes, to their place of work. Providing ‘mobile’ massage, or treatment is gaining in popularity and workers who are sitting all day in front of a computer screen, or in a call center or at a check-out may particularly welcome you.
Organizations are increasingly open to such an idea, but you may still need to work hard to sell yourself and your service to employers, and convince them of the benefits to their staff.
Running your own business means you will have to develop book-keeping and stock control skills.You will also be responsible for the health and safety of your clients.
Before committing to a particular course of action, first ask yourself some questions:
- Can you work anywhere, or are you tied to the home or a certain locality?
- Do you want to work full-time, or will you wish to fit your practice around other commitments, such as family or further study?
- Are you prepared to run your own business?
- Do you like the buzz of a community atmosphere or do you prefer to work alone?
- Does your main interest lie in working alongside medical professionals, or as part of the world of health and beauty? (You may not yet have sufficient experience to answer this
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but it is important that you consider honestly what is likely to suit you best before embarking on your chosen route into aromatherapy practice.
Researching And Assessing The Aromatherapy Business Market
Setting up in a neighborhood already over-supplied with aromatherapists will make it difficult to attract clients, however, so will introducing aromatherapy to an area that has no experience at all of complementary therapies.
Research your chosen area, find out what, if any competition there is, what other complementary therapies are on offer and the type of clients you are likely to attract. Remember that medical centers, hospitals and offices all hold potential clients.
Once you have assured yourself of the viability of setting up an aromatherapy business clinic, and perhaps inspected possible premises, draw up a business plan.
Discuss your plans with a friendly bank manager and/or accountant, who should be able to advise and help. Remember to add detailed information on your training and qualifications together with some idea of your charges or a comparison with a competitor’s charges.
The Right Aromatherapy Business Premises
Although it is important for your business that you are easy to reach, the location needs to be quiet enough for you to offer nurturing and peaceful treatments and that means eliminating all distracting noise.
Check out car parking facilities and restrictions and also accessibility by public transport. Suitable premises need not be large, but the treatment room should be spacious enough to accommodate:
- A massage table with enough space around it for you to move freely
- A massage stool or mobile chair for yourself
- Trolley for oils, towels and accessories
- Comfortable chairs for the client, and probably a table, so that you can both sit comfortably and you can take notes and a consultation
- In addition, there should be toilet facilities nearby, also a wash basin with hot and cold water, ideally in treatment room, for you to use during treatment
Make a floor plan, working out carefully where electric and plumbing points are or need to be. It is unlikely everything will be just as you require it, so get quotes for all possible work from alterations, decorating options and floor coverings….
A Basic Aromatherapy Equipment Checklist To Start You Off:
- Massage table with small cell, high density foam bed with a ‘face hole’
- A massage stoolor mobile chair for yourself
- Client chair
- Trolley or small table-with drawer, if possible
- Wardrobe or hooks for clients clothes
- Small footstool, to assist clients onto the couch
- Quality thick cotton towels in soft pastel or white colors
- Massage table sheets
- Heated massage table warmer
- Blankets and pillows of different sizes and thicknesses
- Paper towels
- Extensive range of top quality essential oils
- Quality carrier oils
- Glass measuring cylinder and glass bowls for mixing oils
- Glass stirrers
- Cotton wool , facial tissues, testing strips and sanitizing agents
- Cleanser and floral toners
- Dark glass bottles to hold blended mixtures along with labels
The Right Ambiance
Your aromatherapy business should present your professional services you are offering. The rooms preferably feel comforting and relaxing the moment the client walks in the door as first impressions are crucial and subconscious.
Clients who leave feeling rejuvenated and pampered will become repeat customers which is what you want to achieve. Even more importantly, they will be happy to spread the word of their fabulous experience to their friends and families.
Color And Lighting
Be sure to choose soothing and nurturing soft pastel color schemes when decorating your aromatherapy business. Remember the client is generally facing up to the ceiling so avoid a glaring hard white for the ceiling and choose a lighter version of the wall color instead.
Lighting is preferably soft and subdued. A dimmer switch is a great idea for when you are treating your client as a warm and cosy gently lit room is incredibly relaxing. Try to avoid harsh overhead lights.
Your aromatherapy treatment room should be a comfortable temperature t0 suit the client, especially if you are treating them to an aromatherapy massage. Heating which is easy to adjust is excellent, and also think about your cooling options for the warmer months of the year. Open windows may let in too much noise and sometimes air conditioning can be noisy. The room should be draft free.
Soft and soothing unobtrusive music is optional and always make a point of asking your client if they would like to listen to music during their treatment. May people prefer to have silence, or, may be too shy to ask for silence…
Music is very helpful for relaxation and can be a useful tool for healing. Soft carpeting provides a touch of luxury and helps to muffle sounds, but it may not be a practical hygienic element in your aromatherapy business.
Aromatherapy Business Insurance
Business insurance is essential for your business and yourself. The premises needs to be insured and you will need insurance for yourself and your clients. Being a member of a professional organization will give you any benefits and one of those is business insurance advice. Sometimes they can offer good deals on insurance. They can advise on professional indemnity insurance and any other applicable types of insurance to cover your personal situation.
Final Thoughts On Setting Up Your Aromatherapy Business
Setting up your own business, especially and aromatherapy business is exciting. Its often been said being in your own business is self development on steroids….you learn a lot about yourself. Take you time to thoroughly investigate and cost every angle and make sure you know exactly what you need to do step by step when setting up your aromatherapy clinic. This way you will alleviate most nasty surprises and know how to deal with the when they crop up.
Most of all have fun and enjoy yourself. Always be highly professional, warm and friendly and offer top notch healing service. Word of mouth is crucial and can keep your aromatherapy business flourishing, eliminating the need for advertising which can be time consuming and expensive….Make sure to invest in quality materials and accessories, they will repay in a short period of time and are well worth the money invested. And keep learning. Keeping up with new methods and the latest in aromatherapy news will keep you inspired and offering outstanding service to your loyal customers.