This Veteran-Owned Business Brings the Spa to You

Founded in March 2010 by U.S. Army veteran Jessica Dragan, Spa Massage on the Go brings spa-quality massage treatments directly to their clients. Dragan started the company to help veterans who are sick, elderly, disabled or in hospice. Being a veteran herself, she feels a calling and a love for her peers. Based in Milwaukee, Wis., they now have operations in Illinois, Maryland and Washington. A veteran-owned and certified woman-owned business with 12 employees, Spa Massage on the Go is growing and ready to keep taking on the world.

Running the business

What makes your business unique or different?

We are 100 percent mobile. Our niche is elderly, disabled, hospice and for everyone else, we do corporate and private events.

How did you get the money to start the company?  

It started with networking in the community. From there we used sales, credit cards, microloans and online funding.

How do you manage cash flow in the company?

We have a register, create monthly profit and losses, create a quarterly balance statement, and keep a close watch on bank and credit statements.

What’s the most challenging thing about running the company?

Hiring a team to grow it. The massage therapists are easy, the sales and administrative the most challenging. Our biggest challenge currently is downsizing even though we are growing. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about running the company?

The positive impact we have on the clients and their families. Giving people work so they can live their dreams.

Related: This Entrepreneur Made a Business of Grandma’s Recipes

Challenges of running the business

What personality traits or skills do you feel women have that make them good business owners?

Women have a love, grace and nurturing side that both men and women crave.

What are some of your best business savvy traits?  

Loving people and being able to understand everyone wherever they are at. Whether they are employees, clients, family members, retirees, moms and dads… every stage of life.

Did you come across any obstacles, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest obstacle was learning as I ran the business. I did not go to college to learn how to run a business and maintain it, all my training literally happened as life happened. I had time on my hands to learn. There was a time I was so bored and just praying that the business would keep me busy. Now it is and I wish I could go back to being bored sometimes!

To expand on what I did to learn, I read books, bought a website package and learned SEO marketing and how to build my own site. I went out in the community and listened to what other business owners were doing.

The only thing I did not learn about business was how to do my own taxes… I am scared to death to mess up with the IRS and be unable to recover from it, so I always hired professionals to handle that aspect of the business for me.

What advice would you give to other veterans thinking of starting their own business?

Join their local Veterans Chamber of Commerce.

Tell us about your transition from military life to one as a business owner.

I would say it was rather easy. I loved what I had learned in massage school, was good at my craft and the school gave us the basic skills and tools so we could make it out on our own.

What skills or traits did your military experience teach you that have helped you in your business?  

I really learned how to do everyone else’s job in my team and that trait kept with me in business because I literally was like six people in one. That is definitely an advantage when you are just starting out.

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Lessons learned

What’s the smartest thing you did when you were first starting out?

The thing I am most proud of is that I joined the Army before I ever considered owning a business. Because of my service, I will always have healthcare!

What advice would you give to other women who want to start their own business?

Do what you love, because it is going to consume you 24/7. When you get stuck, read a book. There is always someone who has been where you’re at and has written about what to do and what not to.

Future plans

What’s next for your business?

You have to call or follow us to find out!  

This article originally appeared on by Connor Wilson.

Feature image courtesy of Jessica Dragan

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