Top 10 Things You Need to Start a Tanning Business
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
June 8, 2011
Filed Under Business
Contributed by Korina Rossi, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Sporting a healthy bronze tan has become an indispensable sign of wellness.
Everyone from professional bodybuilders to leisurely soccer moms patronizes tanning salons for that endless summer look. With this lively demand for tanning salons, there’s never been a better time to open your own.
Here are the top 10 things you need to start a tanning business:
10. Business plan
Before test driving tanning beds or shopping for space, invest a few hours designing a business plan for your new salon. Estimate the cost of your monthly expenses and set sales goals for yourself so you don’t get burned.
Finding a storefront in a chic mall is paramount, but consider the location and your likely clients. If you’re hanging your sign in a business district, plan to have the bulk of your customers coming in for lunchtime services. Opening your salon in a residential area will change your clientele and your hours.
When decorating your salon, choose trendy but calming color schemes. A few new cans of paint are a cost-effective way to spruce up any space, but natural stone tile and other high-end materials will give your salon élan. Make sure your waiting room is equipped with comfortable chairs or couches, and that the ambient lighting is flattering. You won’t have happy customers if the lighting makes them look green!
7. Tanning beds
Tanning beds come in a variety of models with options for payment plans. Investing in quality tanning beds will translate to years of longevity, higher profits, and lower costs of repair. Do make sure to also include a generous supply of the right tanning bed ballasts (lights) to keep your beds running at peak performance. Having a bed or two down, even for a day, can cost you in the short term. And if it happens to often, your long term success could be at risk, too.
Make the grand opening of your salon news by offering promotions for free tans on local radio stations. Call nearby businesses and offer discounted tans as perks or prizes for their sales teams. Don’t forget to call your friends and family with an offer for a complimentary tan if they bring a friend.
You’ll also want to figure out where your prospective customers hang out online. Placing your content where they’re likely to see it can go a long way towards bringing in new faces, ready for a golden tan.
Boost your profits by offering complementary services at your salon: adding a sauna, hiring a facialist or manicurist, or selling skin care products can cushion your bottom line at the end of the month.
Building partnerships with your local gym and hair salons can bring a windfall of new clients to your salon if you can offer promotions to their clients. You can also cross-promote with boutiques, travel agents (who wants to go on a cruise all pale!), and even talent agencies (specific roles may require a tan overnight!)
Billboards, newspaper ads, and radio spots are the traditional methods of advertising; purchasing ads on the internet and search engines can bring in more customers for less of your budget. And don’t forget blogs and social media. That’s where many people start their shopping these days.
2. Tanning sprays
Some clients crave a tan but are leery of tanning beds. Keep these clients coming to you by carrying spray tan products.
Successful salon owners usually attract new clients with their oodles of personality. But they sometimes err in hiring employees without customer service experience. Remember that your employees should be as enthusiastic and obliging as you are, and your business will grow itself.