Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Travis Jackson, Owner of Longevity Massage Specialists, located in Knoxville, TN, USA.

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

Our business is massage therapy, where we provide therapeutic massage services in a comfortable and welcoming spa atmosphere. Our primary goal is to help our customers achieve relaxation and promote their physical and emotional well-being through our specialized massage techniques.

Our customers come from various backgrounds and have different needs. Some of our customers come to us to simply unwind and relieve stress from their daily lives, while others seek therapeutic massage to recover from injuries or chronic pain. We cater to individuals of all ages, genders, and walks of life, including athletes, office workers, retirees, and anyone in need of some relaxation and healing.

Our team of highly skilled and experienced massage therapists is dedicated to providing personalized services to each customer, tailoring our massages to their specific needs and preferences. We strive to create a warm and inviting environment where our customers feel comfortable and at ease.

Overall, our business is centered around promoting relaxation, healing, and rejuvenation, and we take pride in serving a diverse customer base seeking the benefits of therapeutic massage.

Tell us about yourself

My journey into the massage industry began in 2000, with a goal to pursue a career in the sports industry. However, things didn't go exactly as planned. After completing my training in massage therapy, I landed a job at a new spa in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Initially, I saw this as a temporary gig, a way to get valuable experience before moving on to bigger and better things. But as I started working with clients, I found myself drawn to this type of clientele. There was something deeply rewarding about helping people relax and unwind, about working with them to overcome their aches and pains.

Over time, I became the massage lead at the spa and then the spa director. I spent 14 years with that company, building my skills and reputation as a massage therapist and a leader. During my time there, I was voted best massage therapist in Knoxville, Tennessee, 18 times by four different publications. It was an incredible honor, and it showed me just how much people appreciated the work that my team and I were doing.

In 2014, I decided to strike out on my own, opening Longevity Massage Specialists with my wife, Mary. We started with just four employees, but we had big plans. We wanted to create a company that was known not just for great massage therapy but for excellence in all areas of the business. We wanted to provide a space where our clients could feel truly cared for and where our staff could feel valued and appreciated.

Over the years, Longevity has grown beyond our wildest dreams. We now have two locations and over 50 employees, and we've become the go-to choice for massage therapy in Knoxville. But what motivates me every day isn't just our success – it's the incredible team that we've built. Watching our staff grow and develop, seeing the contributions that they make to the massage industry and to our brand, is the most rewarding part of this journey.

Of course, it hasn't always been easy. There have been plenty of challenges along the way, from finding the right people to join our team and have the same philosophy, But through it all, Mary and I have remained committed to our vision. We know that there will always be more to learn, more to do, and more ways that we can improve.

Looking back on my journey into the massage industry, I never could have predicted where it would take me. But I'm grateful for every step along the way, for every client who trusted me with their care, and for every staff member who has helped us build our dream. It's been an incredible ride, and I can't wait to see where it takes us next.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment has been the vision to pursue a goal that many did not believe was achievable and working hard to become an industry leader in our market. Despite facing initial skepticism and doubt from others, we remained focused and dedicated to our vision, and through perseverance, determination, and a lot of hard work, we were able to succeed and achieve our goals. Being recognized as a leader in our industry is a testament to our team's commitment and the strength of our vision, and it is a source of great pride for me personally as a business owner.

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

As a business owner, one of the hardest things to deal with is the pressure to stay ahead of the game in your industry. It's easy to fall into the trap of seeing your competitors as your enemies, but it's important to realize that they are also fellow entrepreneurs with their own goals and aspirations.

One of the most challenging aspects of being a business owner is learning how to appreciate your competition. You must understand that your competitors are not the enemy but rather a team of fellow entrepreneurs trying to make your industry better. It's essential to have a good understanding of what your competitors are doing, how they're doing it, and why it's working. This knowledge will help you identify gaps in the market that you can fill, and it can also inspire you to innovate and improve your business. However, you also need to be aware that you need to stay ahead of your competitors. It's not enough to simply keep up with them; you need to be a step ahead to ensure that your company is the one that others look to. This means being innovative, agile, and always looking for ways to improve your products or services.

In summary, while it can be challenging to appreciate your competition, it's essential to do so if you want to succeed as a business owner. By understanding your competitors, you can identify areas where you can improve, innovate, and stay ahead of the game. Remember that your competitors are not your enemies but rather fellow entrepreneurs working towards the same goals as you.

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

  1. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Determine what sets your massage business apart from others in the market. Your USP could be anything from offering unique massage techniques to having a relaxing ambiance. Highlighting your unique selling proposition will help you stand out from the competition.
  2. Build a strong online presence: In today's digital world, having a strong online presence is essential for any business. Create a professional website that showcases your services, prices, and location. You can also consider leveraging social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with potential clients and promote your business.
  3. Offer excellent customer service: Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools. Providing exceptional customer service is one of the best ways to ensure that your clients keep coming back and referring your business to others. Always greet your clients with a smile, listen carefully to their concerns, and tailor your massage services to their individual needs.

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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