Dynamic Duo: they created the “uber for massages”

- January 2, 2017 6 MIN READ

In today’s 24/7 always on world, finding a moment of peace can be tough. Making the time to locate, schedule and go to a reputable massage therapist is even harder. Thankfully ZenNow, a new premium massage on-demand service, is delivering top quality massages to the comfort of your home, office or hotel.

Dubbed the Uber for massages, ZenNow was developed by Co-founders Melissa Rohlfs and Matthew Doyle. It offers a number of different massage services, whether it be Sports, Swedish, Remedial or Relaxation, that users book on-demand straight to their preferred location. All it takes is a few simple clicks through the app or website and your masseuse will be on their way.

All massage therapists are certified, fully qualified and pre-vetted massage experts, ensuring they deliver the perfect Zen moment direct to your door.

Co-founder Melissa Rohlfs believes the new on-demand massage service will provide a better, simpler and easier way for you to have your moment of Zen:

“we developed a platform to empower therapists.”

#1. It’s about finding harmony…
I was working for large company and was playing with the idea of branching out and developing a company of my own. Matt and I happened to meet at a networking event and got to talking about our future plans and business ideas. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were starting a business together.

#2. It’s about realising a life-long dream…
I’ve worked at a number of businesses over the years in different roles, but I’ve always known I wanted to start my own company. I was lucky to be able to learn directly from senior leaders in these corporations and develop the skills necessary to become an entrepreneur.

Matt is very passionate about business and has built up many skills over his career, identifying good ideas and bringing them to market. He’s always on the look out for the next big thing but he’s been very passionate about ZenNow and a great mentor to date.

#3. It’s about following your bliss…
I’ve always been a fan of massage therapy and have experienced the benefits myself in improving your health, wellness and lifestyle. However, as a busy working professional, finding the time to locate, schedule and go to a reputable massage therapist can be tricky. I’m a bit picky when it comes to these sort of things and thought there must be a better way.

With the rise of the on-demand economy and inspired by our own needs, we thought we’d apply the model to the massage industry. We wanted to deliver high quality, premium massage services to consumers straight to their home or office. That’s when the idea for ZenNow was born.

We needed massage therapists on board to be able to offer this service to consumers, so we looked into the massage industry to see what their pain points were. According to research published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, just over half (55%) of massage therapists reported massage therapy as their sole source of income, yet the massage profession in Australia remains largely part-time with practictioners earning less than the average Australian wage. Many self-employed therapists have also stated they did not have the time or resources available to source regular bookings.

Therefore, we needed to develop a platform that would empower the therapists. We wanted to offer them greater flexibility to suit their lifestyle needs, provide them with greater confidence and comfort around their safety, as well as provide a regular income above industry standards. We wanted to create an offering that would appeal to the best massage therapists in the industry to ensure we had the right talent to offer a premium on-demand massage service.

“we developed a platform to empower massage therapists.”

Once we had that, we were ready to hit the ground running and offer consumers on-demand high quality, premium massages to fit around their hectic lifestyles. All our massage therapists are qualified and pre-vetted to ensure we maintain the high standards of service we want to achieve.

massage-shot-female-2#4. It’s about making something tangible…
It’s funny looking back now at the initial stages, when ZenNow was just an idea we had. People have ideas all the time but they rarely come to fruition. We just started the ball rolling slowly, taking a look at the industry and developing the initial idea, and it soon snowballed into a fully-fledged business.

For me, it was when we started to design and develop the app that it became a reality. All of a sudden, there was something extremely tangible and real to get a hold of. And that’s when the really hard work began and the realisation that this was no longer an idea but our own company.

Now I’m just excited about the next path on our journey, opening up new states and continuing to improve our platform for consumers and therapists alike.

#5. It’s about empowerment…
Initially, it was about making massage therapy more accessible. Like I said, I loved massages but couldn’t find the time to search for, book and go to a reputable massage therapist.

However, after looking into the industry, it was apparent that massage therapists could benefit more from our service than consumers. The drive for the company shifted focus, as we really wanted to help improve the standards for massage therapists and allow them to be their own bosses, to take control of their own schedules and income.

That’s what drives us today. We want to be able to empower massage therapists and provide them with an alternative, to benefit from new working models and capitalise on the increasing demand for high quality massage therapists.

“We have disrupted the traditional massage therapy model.”

#6. It’s about innovation…
The biggest challenge has been disrupting the traditional model of the massage therapy industry. Understandably some therapists have been hesitant about the unique working model we offer, but quickly understand that our business model works to cater to today’s customers who seek convenience.

Building our own reputation has also been a challenge, as for any new business in an existing market. But, we know we are able to provide customers with the convenience and quality they are looking for. Raising awareness of our offering and getting people to try the service is definitely a priority for us at the moment.

massage-shot-female#7. It’s about handling the hurdles together…
Constant communication has been key to keeping us motivated throughout the process. If one of us is having a bad day, the other one will be optimistic and positive around the business to get them out of the negative mood. There’s always going to be hurdles when starting your own business but thankfully, having two of us means there’s another pair of hands to help with the challenges and find solutions to any issues.

“It’s about thinking big!”

#8. It’s about how your skill sets complement each other…
Though we have a shared vision for ZenNow, Matt and I have been able to each focus on different aspects of the business, to ensure success and quality for both customers and therapists. Matt’s background in business and his extensive network has been integral to building a strong foundation for our company. He’s definitely helped point the company in the right direction, so we can fulfil on our guarantees to therapists and continually improve the reliability of service. My focus has been ensuring our vision is carefully and accurately communicated, successfully on-boarding high quality therapists and ensuring day to day operations are running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

#9. It’s about creating quality solutions…
To be able to order a massage on-demand after a hard day’s work straight to my home.

No, in all seriousness, it’s about finding pain points and developing solutions, so we can offer a flexible and profitable solution to therapists. It’s also about being the top provider of massage therapy to consumers. We want to provide a consistent and quality service to consumers, firstly in Australia then the world.

#10. It’s about thinking big…
At the moment, we just want to focus on providing the best possible service in the areas in which we operate – Sydney and Melbourne. We’ve already received interest from other states. So, once we have ensured our service levels are meeting our own high standards, our next step will be rolling out the platform nationally.

Should our success progress as it is, we plan to eventually expand internationally as we believe the quality of our standards meet a worldwide need.

Could you imagine having an app on your phone that will enable you to book a reputable, quality massage anywhere in the world? That’s the dream.

ZenNow offers on-demand massage services, starting at $75 for 45 minutes to $135 for 90 minutes. The service will be available in Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas initially, with plans to expand to the rest of Australia over the coming months. The app is available through Apple’s App Store, with plans to make it available for Android users in the coming months.

For more information, visit or download the app via the Apple App Store here.

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