The Elements Massage® brand was originally founded by licensed massage therapist Michele Merhib after she overcame adversity to realize her dream of owning her own massage business. After obtaining her license, Mehrib began offering massage therapy services at a nearby country club where she rented a private room. When the country club was sold to new owners who weren’t interested in massage services, Mehrib took the loss and turned it into an opportunity. She went on to open a retail massage business in Aurora, Colorado and then a second location in Centennial. In 2006, Elements Therapeutic Massage, LLC acquired the rights to franchise the Elements Massage brand from Merhib in order to make the benefits of therapeutic massage accessible through franchising.
Since then, the Elements Massage brand has grown to over 250 studios nationwide and has distinguished itself as a dominant player in the massage industry, with double digit same-store sales increases across the system over the past decade. The single-service model drives revenue through a membership-based offering that affords clients a discounted membership rate on massage sessions. Expertly trained massage therapists promote open dialogue to empower clients to request adjustments—an approach deemed “The Elements Way” that benefits both guest and therapist alike. This unique outlook has made Elements Massage brand an employer of choice for many massage professionals in the industry. And, unlike other massage brands that split time and resources across multiple services, Elements focuses its service offerings exclusively on massage therapy.
Although Elements Massage can boast many competitive differentiators and factors that contribute to the success of its franchisees, four emerge to underscore why Elements is a standout franchise opportunity: profitability due to a growing demand for massage services and recurring revenue; curated massage services; an Amazon-resistant and simple model; and second-to-none franchisee support.
Profitability Due to an Ever-Increasing Demand for Massage and Recurring Revenue from a Membership Model
While massage services benefit all ages and demographics, an increased focus on health and wellness by the nation’s prime demographic, the millennial consumer, has translated to a growing demand for the benefits of massage therapy. The purchasing power for this demographic is on the rise: By 2020, millennial consumers are projected to leverage a combined purchasing power of $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30 percent of total retail sales. Furthermore, The American Massage Therapy Association 2018 findings indicate that the $16 billion wellness industry is projected to grow at an average of 4% per year through 2022. Elements’ laser-focused approach therefore aligns optimally with the demand and economic reach of a pocket-deepening segment in a major industry.
The Elements Massage brand also utilizes a membership model that positions franchisees for recurring revenue—which, Dan Demolli, VP of Development for Elements Massage, says is the model that benefits all parties and which consumers increasingly seek. “With our membership program, neither the owner nor the guest suffers if an appointment is missed because we offer rollover.”
Furthermore, the Elements Massage brand demonstrates a proven track record for continued success: the brand has enjoyed double digit same-store sales over the past decade and has already grown to 250 units and counting. The time is ripe for future franchisees to join the Elements Massage system and expand into a lucrative industry.
A Singular Focus but Never a One-Size-Fits-All Approach: The Elements Way®
Demolli explained that massage has transitioned from something one does only on vacation to an important part of one’s wellness routine.
“Take, for example, a golfer over the age of 50 who overswings. Their massage therapist at an Elements Massage studio would know that,” Demolli explained. “The therapist keeps notes based on a guest’s needs and information, and then those notes informs the massage therapy service.”
That curated-to-consumer experience is a critical driver for millennials, who increasingly expect customizable and high-quality offerings. Not only is Elements optimally positioned to tap into millennial demand, but unlike competitors, the brand’s client-therapist alliance—the Elements Way®—meets guests where they want to be met.
An Amazon-Resistant and Simple Model
As e-commerce juggernauts like Amazon increasingly change the landscape across industries, business owners seeking longevity must turn to brands that are naturally resistant to the well-documented “Amazon Effect.” Elements Massage’s service offering is tech-resistant and can’t be supplanted by automated systems. This translates to an Amazon-resistant model that can reliably carry franchisees forward.
But why Elements Massage instead of a competitor? Because unlike other competitive businesses in the space, the brand doesn’t offer facials or other services beyond massage therapy, and Elements studios maximize volume within 1,300 to 2,000 square feet of studio space.
That means that franchise owners aren’t stretched thin by complex hiring and scheduling needs, nor navigate a bigger footprint with more overhead costs. The simplicity of Elements’ model is its greatest strength: all marketing fees go toward a one-service offering; franchisees enjoy a more affordable investment level and a smaller footprint. From a comparative investment standpoint, Elements can obtain similar volumes as other major players such as MassageEnvy and Hand & Stone at one-third to one-half the size.
“Because the brand is just focused on massage therapy services, we can offer superb services in a 1,300 to 2,000-square-foot model. We went smaller instead of bigger because we’re focused and we obtain what we need for a strong return on investment,” Demolli said. “From a simple numbers perspective on what you as a franchisee have to put in compared to competitors’ investment level, it’s a no-brainer.”
Demolli also explained that Elements franchisees enjoy the potential to maximize profits thanks to a well-understood labor matrix. Elements franchisees are trained extensively on how to maximize the potential for profit via strategic therapist scheduling while maintaining a targeted capacity for walk-ins.
To keep things running smoothly, a Wellness Membership Advisor (WMA) makes outbound sales calls while coordinating inbound scheduling requests and a manager oversees daily operations..
All these elements combined translate to an opportunity that leaves competitors in knots.
Growth-Friendly Franchisee Support
Given the demand for massage plus Elements’ streamlined model and offering, the Elements Massage brand is well-positioned for explosive growth. Even better news: Elements prioritizes franchisee training and support, offering several key assets to help ensure that franchisees achieve success.
In order to help prepare franchisees, Elements utilizes a business development team that franchisees can tap to help them drive their location’s growth, and which is readily available to them. The Support Center offers a variety of communication tools with franchisees, including webinars, newsletters and video communications. In addition, Elements franchisees enjoy access to a system-wide intranet loaded with resources.
“Our ideal franchise candidate understands that we’re not like other massage brands in the space,” Demolli said. “Massage therapists are typically seasoned and naturally source others from their community to join the brand, because they recognize that ours is a great system. The brand seeks franchisee candidates who understand the importance of that; who understand how to support their therapists and maximize scheduling because they know that they’re in the wellness business, but what makes the difference is the customer service.”
Elements Massage provides continued support to equip its franchisees not only to excel within the framework of their current footprint, but to expand as well: “We currently have 250 units open, but there’s easily room for considerably more in the U.S. alone,” Demolli said.
All of these factors combined mean that Elements Massage signifies much more than just a rejuvenating treatment—it’s a sublime franchise opportunity.
The total initial investment for an Elements Massage studio ranges from $225,350 to $374,350. For more information on franchising opportunities with Elements Massage, please visit https://elementsfranchise.com/our-brand/.