Building a massage business, especially from home, requires a lot of patience, determination, and hard work, but in addition to those qualities, you also need the right equipment and supplies. Unfortunately, when you have a tight budget, purchasing necessities isn’t always simple. Keep in mind, you don’t need to purchase everything you want right away. Instead, limit your startup list to these items — things you absolutely need to run a massage therapy business.

Massage Table

Whether you plan to schedule massage clients for massages in your home or theirs, a good massage table is the most important thing you can purchase. Online supply stores, such as Earthlite, make it easy to purchase a table online. If you are running your business entirely out of your house, consider buying a permanent massage table. However, if you’re visiting clients homes or you don’t have a ton of space, opt for a foldable table instead.

Covers and Warmers

Table and pillow covers are extremely important because it makes it easy to sanitize your massage table between clients. However, you don’t need to buy numerous sets when you first start your business. You need at least one, maybe two. To determine your needs, look at your schedule. How many clients to do you plan to book per week? Do you want to book several clients on the same day? If you limit yourself to two clients per day when you start, you only need two sets of table and pillow covers — but this may increase as your business grows.

While you want your clients to be as comfortable as possible during their massage, you don’t really need a fancy table warmer. Instead, use items that you already own to take the chill off of the table before a client arrives — blankets and heating pads should do the trick until you can afford a table warmer designed for your massage table.

Lotions and Oils

When purchasing massage lotions and essential oils, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to stock a wide variety. Start with unscented massage oil and lotion. This gives your clients two options.

As your business grows, expand the type of products you use. For example, after you land a few regular clients, you might consider investing in scented lotions or the supplies needed to for hot stone massages to offer your clients more variety. Being limited on what supplies you purchase may frustrate you at first, but scaling your business on a limited budget can actually make you a better entrepreneur in the long run. You learn to be thrifty with your company’s money and to really think about the purchases you make.

Other Necessities

Your clients need to feel comfortable before, during, and after their massage. This means you need to have robes on hand, as well as sheets to keep them covered during the massage. However, you don’t need to purchase robes with your business logo on them or specialty sheets. When you first start your massage therapy business, purchase a couple of cheap robes and flat sheets. Of course, you need to wash them between clients, but you can always purchase more fancy items in larger quantities later.

Candles and light music can be used to create a relaxing ambiance for your massage clients. Choose lightly scented candles in vanilla or lavender, as well as a few non-scented candles so your clients have a choice. You don’t need to purchase anything special when it comes to music. Simply download relaxing sounds or soft instrumental music to your phone, tablet, or computer to use during your session.

Starting a massage therapy business isn’t free, but it doesn’t have to break the back either. As long as you purchase the supplies you absolutely need right away, you can purchase additional accessories, equipment, and supplies as your business grows.