The salt therapy industry is growing significantly each year and is already an established and successful therapy in Europe providing people, from young and old, a safe, effective and alternative way of being well.
If you’re looking to understand everything about starting a salt cave business, this is for you.
Halotherapy is one of the top five trends in wellness in the United States and has been growing in recognition over the last decade. Due to its minimal operation costs and high returns, more and more spa and wellness facilities are adding halotherapy to their services.
Adding salt therapy to your practice is relatively simple. Almost any closed room can be converted into a salt room.
What is a salt cave business?
A salt cave business involves a room or series of salt rooms or caves with walls made of sea salt bricks and the ground made up of a looser salt.
All salt cave businesses are unique and may differ in size and layout, but most caves have a similar structure and are made up of the same basic components. There’s typically a “fireplace” built entirely of salt stones and filled with salt rock lamps or lights.
A salt cave session of up to 45 minutes can cost between $25 to $70 with the caves using various lighting or darkness to provide a relaxing, spa-like environment and the atmosphere of a large unheated sauna.
Customers in the health and wellness space are drawn to salt caves to have halotherapy, the treatment where dry salty air is inhaled into the lungs which can help to treat, cure or prevent various ailments, skin disorders and respiratory conditions including sinus infections, allergies and asthma as well as improving their sleep.
Who can start a salt cave business?
To open a salt cave business, a degree or certificate is not a requirement. Prospective business owners only need a salt room, equipped with a medical grade halogenerator to offer Halotherapy services.
Dry salt therapy can have low labor and maintenance costs and having a salt therapy business can be very beneficial due to this rapidly growing space and its natural, drug-free remedies.
There are two basic ways to enter the dry salt therapy business:
- New businesses focused on dry salt therapy and/or wellness and spa remedies
- Add-on to an existing business, such as a wellness center, spa, fitness resort, yoga studio, massage center or health clinic
9 tips for opening a salt cave business
1). Start your business
During your business creation process, you will have to choose a business type that works for you (LLC or C-corp). An LLC will ensure your personal assets are protected from any business liabilities. For further information on this, check out our comparison of different company formation firms.
When choosing your company’s legal structure you will have to take into account all the parameters of your project.
Legal platforms such as Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness have been specially designed for professionals who wish to carry out their company creation process online. You can also choose to set up your business on your own.
2). Find and convert a suitable space
If you are not a current spa owner, or have existing space you can utilize, then you will need to consider renting or even buying a suitable space if your budget permits a commercial unit to start your salt cave endeavor.
Once you’ve found a suitable space, you’ll need to convert the room or rooms into a salt cave. In the event you are working with an empty canvas, you can hire a general contractor (GC) first to construct all of the necessary rooms (bathroom, reception, salt cave, massage room).
The rooms will need to be properly insulated with sound deadening insulation materials and the appropriate heating and cooling capabilities (HVAC) equipment installed. A thermostat on the wall is a good indicator that a room or building has HVAC.
If your unit has a basement, then the floor will need to be reinforced, in order to accommodate the weight of the salt used to build the salt cave. This is usually something your salt cave builder can do.
An average salt cave consumes approximately 11,000 pounds of Himalayan salt. The cost to reinforce is marginal. If your unit is on a concrete slab, no additional reinforcement will be required.
3). Build a salt cave
There are three components to a proper salt room or salt cave:
- The Halogenerator (the primary equipment that crushes, grinds, and disperses pure sodium chloride into the room)
- Room modifications, technical requirements (HVAC), and environmental concerns
- Salt décor (the largest variable expense) and furnishings.
When building a salt room, many factors should be taken into consideration. Unlike regular bricks, salt bricks can be unstable in certain environments, is not an easy material to build with, and must be handled with special building practices and special environmental control measures.
For this reason, and for optimal results and longevity, it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional salt cave builder. Look up and contact spa owners or visit a space cave to get a feel of the type of work you can expect from your builder.
Salt rooms can range from small rooms (up to 150 sq. ft.) to larger relaxation and multi-purpose rooms (up to 450 sq. ft.). The size of the room will determine which halogenerator is best, as well as salt décor quantity and other furnishings such as seating, lighting, music, etc.
Additionally, the following are a few basic requirements for setting up your salt room:
- The room needs a fixed ceiling
- There should be adequate ventilation
- Proper placement of the halogenerator
4). Securing financing
Before speaking to a lending institution, you’ll need to properly budget your costs. Building a Salt Cave can range from $5,000 to $18,000 depending on its size and complexity.
This greatly depends on the space and technology required. For example, a smaller single-room conversion will cost much less than a multiroom salt cave.
Your various capital investment costs can include:
- Physical space, real estate, possible build-out
- Salt therapy equipment for Halotherapy (halogenerators, individual salt therapy equipment)
- Interior, salt décor and furnishings
- Initial start-up expenses
- Phone, internet, computer, software and other technology
- Marketing, website, basic printing
- Other equipment, general maintenance and supplies
- Licenses, filings, insurance
- Operating expense reserve
5). Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying a need and identifying a target audience go hand-in-hand, because it’s a specific group or groups of people who will need or want your service.
And those groups are your target audience. These are the people who you’ll spend every day trying to engage and connect with. The better you understand those people, the stronger your chances of securing and keeping them as customers.
Do your research until you understand both the demographics and psychographics of your target audience.
6). Write Your Salt Cave Business Plan
A good salt cave business plan outlines:
- Who you are as a company, including your team, company mission statement, and what you offer
- What you’re trying to accomplish, including specific, actionable and measurable goals
- Why you think the company will be successful (this is where your market research comes in)
- How you plan to meet your business goals, backed by specific steps and strategies
Ideally, your salt cave business plan covers the first three to five years of your business, giving you something to work toward.
7). Market your business
After identifying your target audience, you’ll need to promote your business to attract these customers. This can be achieved through organic promotions on social media or paid means using Facebook or Google Adwords.
A successful salt cave business, like any, should include advertising costs in the budget, especially for a startup — this will help get the word out, at least until you generate repeat business.
Online advertising is a great way to kickstart your marketing campaigns. Consider even conventional mediums like newspapers and business flyers.
8). Launch your salt cave business
You’ve done your research, found suitable premises, built the salt cave facility and are ready to go! Time to launch and don’t be shy in promoting your opening day/week/month.
Invite your friends, colleagues, neighbors and more to your business opening. Create a hashtag and encourage all attendees to post it on their social media accounts, highlighting this wonderful new health and wellness facility in their neighborhood.
Your job now is to drive new and repeat customers as well as business maintenance. The ongoing costs of a salt therapy room are much lower than many other new services offered by wellness facilities.
Aside from insurance and maintenance costs, labor and inventory are the only costs that cut into your bottom line.
Labor costs are relatively small as hiring new employees is rarely necessary to staff your salt cave since existing workers can handle the light cleanup required between treatments. Additionally, there are no special certifications required to operate the halogenerator.
One 10lb container of salt for the halogenerator costs only $25 and is typically enough for several hundred treatment sessions. One of your current employees can handle the responsibility of replacing the salt in the halogenerator as needed.
Other requirements for opening a salt cave business?
Equip yourself with the right tools
If you choose to open your own independent salt cave business, you will have to think about investing in your own equipment. Among the essentials, we recommend a credit card reader to accept debit and credit cards as well as a cash register specializing in ready-to-wear.
Consider also accounting software from our comparison to allow you to keep an accurate view of the financial health of your store.
You will also have to take into account all the costs related to the decoration of your business such as:
- Waiting room decor
- Decorative armchairs
- Changing booths
Open a business bank account
Among the essential steps for the successful opening of your clothing store, you will need to choose a business bank account.
Thus, you will be able to estimate your professional expenses and manage them without taking the risk of losing yourself between your professional and personal expenses.
How much do Halogenerators cost?
Salt chamber halogenerators range from $5,000 to $6500 each. Purchases of multiple halogenerators may qualify for additional discounts.
How long does salt therapy last?
Sessions usually last for about 30 to 45 minutes. A device called a halogenerator grinds salt into the air to be inhaled. These salt particles can absorb irritants, including allergens and toxins, from the respiratory system.
What kind of salt is used in a salt room?
Only 99.9% pure grade sodium chloride (salt) is to be used with halogenerators which are the machines that crush and grind the salt into microscopic particles and disperse into the salt cave.
Tom is the founder of Gottagrow.io. He reads the offers, deciphers the details including features, pricing, included services and more to find you the best products and services.