10 Steps to Starting Your Own Tanning Salon
Submitted by beanstalk on Mon, 04/28/2014 - 2:14pm
Interested in launching a new tanning salon business? You aren't alone; the tanning industry is becoming more popular and lucrative each year, driven by a society that sees a tan as an attractive accessory to any person's appearance. If you are hoping to open a tanning salon, however, you will be going through a lengthy process that not only involves clearing the entrepreneurial obstacles that every business startup has to master, but also means understanding the scientific and safety implications of tanning. Here are 10 steps to help you along your way.
1. Research tanning salons to see how they operate.
It's common knowledge in the entrepreneurial world that you don't want to enter an industry that you have not researched extensively. The same holds true for prospective tanning salon owners, so visit several salons to gain an understanding of how these businesses work. Speak with owners about their experience in the industry, note the salon's staffing needs, and take notes on the facilities and the flow of the business as a whole.
2. Learn about the tanning process.
To run a good tanning salon, you need an understanding of the industry that goes beyond simple business knowledge. Since tanning is, at its core, a scientific process, you need to have a thorough understanding of how that process works before you go into business as a salon that offers tanning services. When you can explain the tanning process to clients, they will be more willing to give you their business because they will trust that you know what you are doing and that your salon, therefore, is a safe place for them to get a tan.
3. Prepare a business plan.
No entrepreneurial venture can get off the ground without a business plan that explains, in exhaustive detail, how the venture will operate. Industry research, staffing and equipment requirements, location information, financial analysis, and ownership structure are just a few of the pieces of information you are going to need to compose a successful business plan. Click here to learn more about business plan preparation.
4. Secure funding.
Part of the reason that your business plan needs to be sound is that you will use it when trying to secure funding for your business, whether from a lending institution like a bank or from a private investor. You need startup capital to get your business off the ground, so make sure you have the necessary funds before you move any further.
5. Choose a location.
You will want a business location that is visible and easily accessible from a high-traffic area, but you will also want a place where you won't have to pay the steepest rents in town. Look at a few potential office locations, keeping an eye out for offices that you won't have to renovate too much to turn it into a tanning salon.
6. Renovate and outfit your location.
Inevitably, however, every new office location needs a bit of renovating and outfitting before it can become a tanning salon. Equipment like tanning beds, lamps, and spray tan systems are important, but so are reception areas, nice bathrooms, and rooms where customers can tan in private.
7. Consider the promotional side of things.
From the name of your business and the signage outside of your office to billboards around town and advertisements in local newspapers and magazines (or even on TV), you will need to consider how you are going to promote your business to the public.
8. Hire the staff.
Even if you are the sole proprietor of your business, you will need a small staff to make your tanning salon run like a well-oiled machine. Receptionists and attendants are key to making sure that any tanning salon keeps moving at a steady clip.
9. Acquire insurance for your business.
In most cases, tanning salons are extremely safe, but user error or malfunctioning equipment can result in injuries, and in case that happens, you will need insurance to protect your business from liability. Property insurance is also a must to protect your premises and equipment from vandalism and theft.
10. Have your grand opening!
Once all the boxes are ticked on the checklist, it's time to have your grand opening! Invite friends and family in for a discount tan; set up advertising to announce the milestone. With any luck, you will have people pouring through your doors to see what your new business has to offer.