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FranchiseKnowHow Spotlight Franchise:
Elements Therapeutic Massage

Interview with Scott Wendrych, SVP Franchise Development


Massage therapy is a growing business in the U.S. and this growth extends to franchising. Learn how Elements Therapeutic Massage is achieving success in the massage therapy sector through franchising.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy was estimated to have generated $9 to $18 Billion in 2009. It’s estimated that 48 million Americans had at least one massage between July 2008 and July 2009. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Labor projected employment of massage therapists to grow faster on average among all occupations from 2006 to 2016. Gone is the image of the seedy massage parlor. In fact, 43 States and the D.C. regulate massage therapists or provide voluntary state certification.

The franchise industry is capitalizing on the growth of massage therapy with a number of franchisor systems in operation.

One of the franchisors experiencing success in this industry is Elements Therapeutic Massage, with 80 locations in 26 states and 10 more due to open in the first quarter of this year. The franchise was based upon an original business model established by a certified massage therapist. This factor aids in recruiting therapists.

As part of the 15 year-old Fitness Together Holdings group, Elements continues the company’s focus on health and wellness franchising.

Recently, we spoke with Scott Wendrych, Chief Franchise Development Officer.

According to Scott, Elements Therapeutic Massage has a strategy of franchising to those individuals who can operate 3 to 5 locations in a specific market area.

The typical location has 6 to 8 rooms and is around 1,800 square feet. Our profile of the franchisee is a business person who can manage the locations. They can hire a lead therapist to direct the massage therapists. The franchisee can then direct their attention on increasing memberships by converting first time clients and prospecting for new business.”

Scott told me, “We are focused on providing a therapeutic massage that provides pain relief and stress reduction. We’re not looking to offer other services at this time but rather prefer to stick to our core service.”

The emphasis on this approach is supported by reports from the AMTA that more than two thirds of massage therapists report that they receive referrals from health care professionals.

The number of hospitals offering complementary and alternative medicine grew from 7.7 percent in 1998 to 37.3 percent in 2007. Of those hospitals that offer these varied therapies, massage therapy was offered by 70.7 percent.

Clearly, the demand and increased use of massage therapy provides ample significant opportunities.

Elements franchisees also offer continuing education classes for their therapists to improve their skills. Scott indicated that the Item 19 earnings disclosure in the Elements Franchise Disclosure Document provides individuals certain information about the financial performance of Elements studios they can review before purchasing a franchise.

Local franchisees market to medium and large employers and also to related health clinics as a way to grow their customer base. Elements Therapeutic Massage is currently providing certain insurance reimbursed services and expects to expand those services in the future, which will set their locations apart from the day spas.

In an industry that is undergoing significant growth, Elements has designed a franchise program that fits the market and the times.

© 2011 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com


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