Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sandra Rice, Owner of Norwich Massage Therapy, located in Norwich, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We primarily do Medical Massage Therapy. We have clients of all ages, with the majority over age 30 and 70% are female.

Tell us about yourself

I have always been an entrepreneur, starting at age 10, doing all kinds of jobs. As a teen, I got into weightlifting and bodybuilding. I loved everything about muscles and health... our bodies are amazing machines! After attending college for business, I went further for physical medicine, not knowing exactly which field I wanted to concentrate on-- just with a goal of being my own boss once again. In Physical Therapy classes, I learned that patients got the most relief from pain via massage therapy since it's all hands-on muscle manipulation. That was the moment I realized I needed to change courses and enroll in a massage school since colleges did not offer classes or degrees in Massage Therapy- that was in 1994. I graduated in 1995, started my practice, and slowly gained a clientele. That list has grown over the last 28 years with plenty of repeat clients. Every day is a different challenge to fix a pain or stiffness issue, which keeps my job exciting. People are happy when they arrive and happy when they leave.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Keeping a happy, steady clientele for over 28 years is very satisfying. Most people contact me before their Dr. so they can get relief quickly from a headache, stiff neck, sore back, etc... no drugs are needed! I went from a one-person, one-treatment room practitioner to building a three-treatment room office with three other therapists renting space/ working with me.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

You are Always working if you are a business owner. Calls, emails, texts, letters, and walk-ins can happen 24/7 all year long-- especially when your office is attached to your home. If I'm home, I'm working if I'm away-- I'm still answering texts and emails. Giving yourself permission to take real time off is the hardest part.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Be prepared to work more than 40 hours a week. Even if you are not right there at the office/store, your time is needed to grow, connect with others, and plan. Don't give up; it takes a couple of years minimum to build a reputation- word of mouth is your best advertising. It can also take five years before your business makes a profit knowing that you can set yearly goals to expand. When starting out, utilize newspapers to write articles about your business (it's usually free- just contact them!) Also good to join the local Chamber of Commerce and other business networking events--- have business cards and/or brochures ready to hand out. I also provided free seminars at lots of local places to demonstrate and discuss what I do, plus all the benefits. Lots of organizations welcome new business leaders to do short speeches at their events-- lots of luncheons.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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