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How honeymoon massages opened a newly-wed’s eyes to a lucrative future

How honeymoon massages opened a newly-wed’s eyes to a lucrative future

What began as a dream on a honeymoon in India has turned into a reality - and a very lucrative one – for Mark Coldham

He’s now the owner of The Massage Company’s highly successful centre in High Wycombe with such a demand for its services that he’s already considering opening a second centre. 

But back in 2017, after years as a contracts project manager, Mark wanted to take his career in a different direction. 

“My wife and I had been discussing starting our own business for a long time,” he says. 

“We knew we could run a business really well but didn’t really have industry experience or a product to get our teeth into.

“We had no idea what we were doing or what we were looking for, but we felt that health and wellbeing was on the up in the UK and the marketplace wasn’t really following up with that.

“We’d been on our honeymoon in India and had a massage every other day and it was fantastic. 

“So we wondered if we could bring a massage therapist over to the UK and start our own business. 

“It looked difficult and we were tempted to scrap the idea, but then I saw an opportunity on a jobs board to become a franchisee of The Massage Company. 

“Nobody else was doing membership-based massage in the UK, and The Massage Company was offering exactly what we needed. 

“Every question I asked, they had an answer for. Everything I probed had been thought through, and there was a response and a reason why the brand does what it does.

“We went for a discovery day and saw all about the brand operationally, what it looked like from the customer perspective, and how it felt to go through the massage experience.

“The franchisors had already done the thinking on the product, the industry, on what massage is, what they can deliver, and how to do it well.

“We had a lot of help with finding the right property in the right location and support on working with landlords to get the right deal on the property. 

“We also had really good support in building this centre exactly the way I wanted it, opening it with loads and loads of customers ready and waiting for us and a really good team of therapists.

“There was a flood of customers through the door to start with, no problem finding people looking for a high-quality regular massage, and we got straight on with the membership conversions as well. 

“The Massage Company gave us a lot of support right from the beginning, working out everything from the cashflow, the numbers and the viability to the working capital to get us through to profitability and beyond. 

“There’s no question that The Massage Company High Wycombe is a terrific success and is continuing on its growth curve the way I wanted it to be. 

“With 600 members already, we’re well on our way to profitability. It’ll become our launch-pad for potentially opening centres in other towns.”

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