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Why The Elements Massage Brand Is a Strong Franchise Opportunity for 2020

An in-demand offering, streamlined model and exceptional support combine to provide franchisees a uniquely lucrative opportunity.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:22PM 08/18/20

The Elements Massage® brand was originally founded by a licensed massage therapist Michele Merhib, who decided to open her own business after being unable to find a place that would feature her therapeutic massage services. Merhib went on to open a retail massage business in Aurora, Colorado and then a second location in Centennial, before Elements Therapeutic Massage, LLC acquired her studios  and subsequently began offering franchises under the Elements Massage brand name in 2006. 

The Elements Massage brand has since grown to over 250 studios nationwide and has distinguished itself as a dominant player in the massage therapy industry, with double-digit same-store-sales increases across the system over the past decade and plans to expand its footprint by at least 30 studios before the end of 2020. Despite an unstable economy, Elements Massage is a stronger investment than ever thanks to multiple competitive differentiators, including a team dedicated to helping franchise owners navigate an unstable economy, a recurring revenue model through a membership-based offering, innovative and therapeutic massage services, professionally trained therapists, an eCommerce resistant and simple business model and second-to-none franchisee support. 

A Focus on Innovative Products and Services

The increasing consumer demand on the therapeutic line is exactly why the Elements Massage team continues to innovate. “We’ve been able to leverage our corporately-owned locations in Colorado to develop new products and services before rolling them out systemwide,” said Stanton. “For one, the Elements Massage brand is the first franchise brand of its scale to offer CBD massage through its HerbalRitual™ service to provide all the benefits of cannabidiol, such as helping to ease muscle and joint tension, decrease inflammation and ushering in a relaxing sense of emotional calm. The brand is also rolling out cupping therapy across its studios in the upcoming year, and it  launched AromaRitual®, an aromatherapy service enhancement , in 2018.”

To continue on this innovative mission, Elements Massage is the first brand in the industry to appoint a Chief Wellness Officer in Eric Stephenson, an experienced massage therapist himself. Stephenson innovates services and improves upon what the brand offers with a singular goal to deliver the best massage experience possible across the U.S. “25 percent of my job is innovation,” said Stephenson. “We are always out looking for the next big thing in massage in order to position franchisees ahead of the curve and keep clients satisfied.”

A Dedicated COVID-19 Task Force

As the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Elements Massage brand is implementing several new initiatives to continue serving clients with premium, therapeutic massage services, especially as wellness becomes more important than ever. The “new normal” in the days of COVID-19 requires the brand to examine every possible way to increase safety and sanitation protocols so that the overall client experience is relaxed and worry-free. As a result, the Elements Massage Brand has created a COVID-19 support team responsible spearheading the rollout of curbside check-in, health screening questions, client and team member temperature checks, protective face coverings and thorough cleaning and disinfection guidelines. 

The brand is heavily focused on helping Elements Massage studio owners understand the economic situation in their specific markets and making sure they have the resources they need. This help includes providing rent relief resources and tools and templates for reaching out to landlords, as well as for navigating the CARES Act and the SBA relief loan program. The brand is also holding regular webinars and reaching out to individual franchisees. 

“We will greatly enhance our online booking experience, continue to offer the highest quality massage therapists and most importantly, offer the safest environment for massage therapy to be practiced in with our enhanced safety and sanitation policies,” said Stephenson. "2020 will find a laser focus on offering the highest form of customized massage therapy for Elements Massage clients,"

A Thriving Industry and Recurring Revenue Streams

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 American Massage Therapy Association 2018 findings indicate that the $18 billion wellness industry is projected to grow at an average of four percent per year through 2022. The brand’s  singularly focused approach aligns optimally with the demand and economic reach of a thriving segment in a major industry.

“Demand for massage therapy services continues to grow and grow, especially as wellness becomes a larger part of everyone’s lives,” said Matt Stanton, Chief Development Officer of WellBiz Brands, Inc.. “As more and more customers look for weekly or monthly massage services, the Elements Massage brand utilizes a membership model that helps position franchisees for recurring revenue. With the Elements Wellness Program™ membership model, neither the owner nor the guest suffers if an appointment is missed because unused massage sessions  rollover. Plus, while eCommerce has really made retailing difficult, our membership-based massage services create an eCommerce proof model through on-site services customers can’t get online.”

A Singular Focus on Therapeutic Massage

“The Elements Massage brand focuses solely on offering premium massage services,” said Stanton. “Previously, the massage therapy industry was predominantly made up of either high-end spas or mom-and-pop places. Concepts like the Elements Massage brand brought massage therapy services to the masses in an affordable way but in an environment that’s comfortable and clean. Customers are not paying for all the high-end frills of a spa, but they’re getting all the benefits of therapeutic massage. Today, the Elements Massage system sets itself apart from its competitors by focusing on those therapeutic benefits.”

There are many membership-based massage therapy franchise concepts in the industry, but the Elements Massage brand is the only brand that focuses on massage therapy without complicating its simple business model with other service offerings. Still, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, the brand  is focused on offering clients a variety of different therapeutic massage services to address the specific needs of the clients while building long-term relationships.

“Massage therapy services used to be more about simply pampering and relaxing,” said Stanton. “While that is still a major factor, more and more people are using massage therapy for helping with personalized pain management and working out issues on their bodies. As we see more nationwide health and wellness issues it is important to offer non-pharmaceutical solutions to pain. More and more doctors and patients are seeing the need to incorporate  massage therapy into  their overall health and wellness regimen.”

Highly Trained Massage Therapists

The Elements Massage therapists are trained to channel the healing and restorative powers of massage therapy as an integral component of overall health and wellness. In addition to providing assistance to studios recruiting dedicated local massage therapists who bring years of experience to their practice, the Elements Massage brand also  provides massage therapists with training guides in The Elements Way®, a client-therapist relationship-building process that prioritizes meeting guest expectations every step of the way. This unique outlook has helped make independently owned and operated  Elements Massage  studios an  employer of choice for many massage professionals in the industry.

The Elements Massage learning and development team has worked hard to put together meaningful career advancement opportunities for our massage therapists,” said Stephenson. “In 2019, we launched the Elements Massage Online University, which equates to a graduate level school program to expand each studio massage therapist’s  technical skill set as well as their personal career goals. Whether it be learning how to communicate with a client, meet business metrics or adopt advanced massage techniques, there is no other training platform in our industry that provides such an in-depth education.”

A Strong Corporate Infrastructure and eCommerce Proof Model

The Elements Massage brand prioritizes in-depth franchisee support offering several key assets to help ensure that franchisees achieve success. Studio owners are able to utilize a readily available business development team to help drive their location’s growth, as well as customize their marketing spend to best address their own specific advertising needs. This personalized marketing strategy includes everything from geo-targeted pay-per-click advertising and organic social media support to personalized email campaigns or assistance with massage therapist recruitment

The Support Center offers a variety of communication tools, including webinars, newsletters and video communications. In addition, the Elements Massage franchisees enjoy access to a system-wide intranet loaded with resources for their use.  

“From a real estate support perspective, the brand is in a great position because shopping centers and commercial landlords love that  clients visit on a regular basis, which gives it a slew of choices in comparison to other brands who don’t see the same type of repeat business,” said Stanton. “Our real estate team spends a lot of time educating their network about our brands. For new owners in the network, we’ve been able to secure a space in the general trade areas they want to be in.”

This winning franchise opportunity isn’t going unnoticed in the industry. The Elements Massage system was recognized on Entrepreneur's latest Franchise 500 List, and now, the brand  is continuing to grow through franchising, especially in markets where the brand already has a presence and franchisees are looking to expand, including Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, Arizona, Florida and Maryland. 

With the simplicity of the business model, the expertise of the leadership team and the momentum of the massage industry overall, now is a great time for new business owners to own their own Elements Massage studio and build something for themselves while providing great customer care to the clients they serve.

With a single-unit investment range between $251,950 and $491,350*, the Elements Massage® franchise was recently named one of the Top 10 Best Franchises to Buy in the medium investment category by Forbes® Magazine. To learn more, visit

*As stated in the March 30, 2020 Franchise Disclosure Document. 

Elements Therapeutic Massage, LLC. 9780 S. Meridian Blvd, Suite 400 Englewood, CO 80112

This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction. MN File No. F-5517. This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by a prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law. THESE FRANCHISES HAVE BEEN REGISTERED UNDER THE FRANCHISE INVESTMENT LAW OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.  SUCH REGISTRATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE APPROVAL, RECOMMENDATION OR ENDORSEMENT BY THE COMMISSIONER OF CORPORATIONS NOR A FINDING BY THE COMMISSIONER THAT THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HEREIN IS TRUE, COMPLETE AND NOT MISLEADING. Each Elements Massage® studio is independently owned and operated.  Elements Massage®, Elements Massage + design, HerbalRitual™, AromaRitual® and The Elements Way® are trademarks owned by Elements Therapeutic Massage, LLC.