The Industry Outlook for the Massage Business in 2017

If you’re looking into opening your own business and want to be your own boss, there’s a lot of time and consideration that goes into making your decision. One of the biggest decisions is choosing what type of business you’ll run. Furthering that, you need to have a good understanding of the industry climate and whether your business will make money.

This blog is one in a series of posts in which we’ll be exploring the prospects of a few of the different revenue streams that Marilyn Monroe Spas offers. We began with a general industry outlook for the salon business as a whole, which included projections for this year and the next few to come. For more details, check out the blog post here.

Next, we examined the hair industry on its own – a business that research shows Americans deem as necessary an expense as anything else in their life. For more details, read our blog post here.

Now, we turn our focus specifically toward the massage industry – one of Marilyn Monroe Spas’ most popular services. Here’s a closer look at the industry outlook for the massage business in 2017 and beyond.

Growth and Trends

People love massages, and in 2017, we’re obsessed with health and wellness of both body and mind more than ever before.

That’s why it’s no surprise that the massage industry is thriving in a competitive market space. In 2016, consumers spent approximately $16 billion on massages according to IBISWorld, and the number is only expected to grow. That mirrors the trend that’s been building for years: In the past five years alone, the massage industry grew a whopping 7.1% annually, massively outperforming the general United States economy. Improvements in the macroeconomic landscape and a growing connection with the healthcare sector have greatly benefitted the industry’s rise.

As the industry continues to pair itself with the healthcare sector, the industry will continue to grow. However, this trend brings good news even for businesses that only offer massages for the comfort and luxury, not medical or health-related, like Marilyn Monroe Spas: As massages become more popular and commonplace, their commonality will quickly spread to other consumers. It’s as simple as word of mouth expansion or the fear of missing out: Customers, especially loyal ones, will breed more customers. IBISWorld puts it into the light as a consumer confidence theory – if you know someone who has gotten a massage, you’ll be more likely to get one yourself.

Still, the massage industry is described as a “discretionary income service” – in other words, a benefit afforded by disposable income. But with the economy projected to thrive and per capita disposable income expected to continue to rise, so too should spending in this industry.

massage table

The United State Bureau of Labor Statistics provides some further insight into this anticipated growth, projecting a 22% growth in employment in the massage industry by 2024.

And while a figure like “22 percent growth” seems a bit outrageous, it’s not exactly unfounded. Why? Because we weren’t kidding when we said people love health and wellness – and that’s exactly the category the massage industry falls under.

Women’s Marketing dubbed the health and wellness industry “the next trillion dollar industry” when they looked at the incredible revenue of several health and wellness-related fields, and the NASDAQ is seeing “sweeping trends” in investments in the health and wellness industry. As WM put it, “wellness is now a status symbol among consumers, who prioritize maintaining their well-balanced physical and mental health.”

The great thing about massages, though, is its broad variety of benefits that really tailor to the health and wellness needs of everyone. Getting a massage can remedy or be helpful for everything from mental health issues like anxiety to muscular problems like back pain or soft tissue injuries to internal health problems like headaches or digestive issues, according to Mayo Clinic. It’s truly a one-stop shop for the consumers’ wellness needs.

Investing in a health and wellness staple like the massage industry is beneficial because everyone is spending more money on it. A 2015 report showed that employers had boosted spending by 17% on wellness year over year, and with the meteoric rise exemplified by the numbers provided by IBISWorld above, it’s clear that spending will only increase from there.

A 2014 study showed that consumers who spend more than 40 percent of their budgets on health and wellness-related expenses generally make up 61 percent of the population spending money in the industry. Classified as “superusers,” this means that once you’ve grabbed a consumer spending money on wellness, they’re very likely to continue spending significant money on your products and services.

Plus, millennials – the largest generation in American history – are obsessed with wellness, and they’re just coming into their prime spending years. Studies show that they’re reshaping the health and wellness landscape, and with their $1.4 trillion in annual spending power, that can only mean bright things for the future of the industry.

For more information on franchising with Marilyn Monroe Spas, contact us today and set up a meeting with a representative.

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