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Starting a Tanning Salon

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Starting a Tanning Salon

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A lucrative tanning salon needs only a few things to get started; the products, the proper start up business plan and proper financing. You might be interested in joining a local Small Business Administration charter for more information about starting a business. Before starting your own business, check for any local or federal regulations that govern a new tanning salon. Some states have specific regulations listed at the Chamber of Commerce websites or with local business information websites.


Starting a Tanning Salon - What Products You Will Need

The products will be the tanning beds, the tanning lotions and all the little extras you will need for your business. This may also include space available to you for starting your tanning salon. This may also include the location of the business. Your business may need: · A building to operate in · Tanning beds in both the stand up and the lie down styles · Indoor tanning lotions · Eye protection for each client · Safety signs and notices · Replacement parts for your tanning beds


Starting a Tanning Salon Business - Your Business Plan

The proper start up business plan for your tanning salon is your core business. This describes your ideas, the products you need, what your project business will be like and the profits you mean to make. A bit of research will help you figure out what to charge, where to market and how to handle customers that come in the door. The business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. In most cases the best way to write a business plan is to create a plan you will actually read and use. This can be as simple as a notebook with a checklist of all the processes you will have to go through to start your own tanning salon business.


Financing Your Start Up Tanning Salon Business

If you need additional funding for your own start up tanning salon business, check with local banks. You may be surprised at how open most banks are to new and entrepreneurial businesses. You'll need a form of collateral and a sensible business plan for them to consider, and you'll find that banks are interested in assisting you with financing your start up tanning salon business. If you come across problems financing your tanning salon, you might be able to find investors. Investors are people who would like to start a business, without being directly involved with the business. It may work out like a profit sharing venture, where you run the business and the investor puts money into the business. You both then split the profits.


How Much To Start Up a Tanning Salon

A new tanning salon business would cost around $20,000 of your own money and a sizable, reasonable loan from a bank for start-up costs. Some considerations for start up costs for a tanning salon may include buying or financing the tanning beds, the rental of the location of the salon, insurance and paying for employees. Tanning beds can cost up to $10,000, though you can find some tanning beds, even used commercial tanning beds, for as little as $1,000. Space rental can cost as much as $35,000 a year. If you are unprepared to consider these costs, you may need to rethink starting up a tanning salon.


Tanning Beds - Starting a Tanning Salon Business

A new business owner starting a tanning salon needs to understand all about tanning beds, including how they work and which tanning beds are the best for his tanning salon. Tanning beds come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There may be concerns when opening a tanning salon as far as available space and the price of some tanning beds. This may be important but it is also imperative to keep in mind the comfort of your clients. The best way to open a tanning salon is to check out other successful tanning salons. Check out the different tanning beds, know what the prices are and how a tanning salon operates. You may have to visit a couple of towns to check out different tanning salons to understand the different prices, regulations and the different kinds of tanning beds included.


Rotate Tanning Lamp Replacement - Starting a Tanning Salon

What sort of maintenance should be thought of when starting a tanning salon? Some people starting a tanning salon replace tanning lamps regularly, but if you can help it, regulate your tanning bed usage. Replace lamps in succession. New tanning bed lamp bulbs loose 20% of its effectiveness after the first 50 hours. The first 50 hours of a new tanning bed lamp may be much stronger and probably should only be used by someone not new to tanning. Keep track of when you have replaced the bulbs carefully. Do so by counting the hours up using specific charts. Charts can be bought from your local tanning bed retailer.


Starting a Tanning Salon - Tanning Bed Safety

When you are starting your own tanning salon, you should take note of all the tanning safety regulations. These are clearly outlined by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Tanning bed safety is most important, as you want your clients coming back! Avoid sunburns and other problems by paying attention to safety regulations like: · Providing eye protection for every client · Informing all new clients about skin types and proper sun tanning · Confirming possible risks and providing a waiver


Attracting Attention - Starting a Tanning Salon

Your tanning salon needs clients. Your clients may not even bet aware you or your tanning salon exists. You may need to get the word out about tanning and your salon. Many salons choose to send out advertisements in the newspaper and through postcards that offer a free tanning session for first time clients. This is a great way to get new clients, some who may not be familiar with indoor tanning. Additional marketing ideas might include television commercials and radio commercials, each of which could be very reasonable and could prove a return on investment after only a few airings. Your area of exposure should be focused to your local area within so many miles. Keep that in mind when focusing your marketing plan. Also remember your local phone book. Many people look for businesses this way, especially people new to the area. Advertising in your local phone book can be inexpensive.


Educate Clients - Starting a Tanning Salon

With all the articles and information about tanning, some people believe that tanning is dangerous. You can attract clients to your salon by publishing the facts about tanning and being exposed to UV rays. The Indoor Tanning Association helps to inform people about the benefits of tanning, including how it is used to cure conditions like Acne and Psoriasis. Help spread the word about tanning with other people by providing free information to them in flyers, advertising space in newspapers or by word of mouth. You may find that by educating people about tanning will improve your client base much more than regular advertising.


Starting a Tanning Salon

If you are starting a tanning salon, you will need the following:

Commercial space
You will need to rent or purchase a commercial space for your tanning salon. Make sure there's ample room for a front waiting room, as well as the tanning area. Be sure to check for the local government to see if you need any additional licenses to run a tanning salon in your area.

Insurance
To operate a business, you should have commercial liability insurance. You should also have some sort of umbrella policy to cover in case of an accident or injury on the premises. Consult an insurance agent to find out insurance requirements in your area.

Tanning beds
You will need to purchase a few tanning beds. You do not want your customers to have to wait long to get a tan. Therefore it's not realistic to start with just one or two beds. Tanning beds can cost as much as $10,000 each.

Tanning supplies and office equipment
You will need to purchase protective eyewear, tanning lotion and other tanning bed supplies. Additionally, you will need a telephone system, front desk and other office furniture and equipment. You should also hang safety signs at the salon, and have customers sign a waiver agreement about the risks of tanning.


Opening a Tanning Salon


Before opening a tanning salon, you should consider taking a few business courses and writing a start up business plan. Basic business courses will teach you how to develop a business plan and determine if it's financially reasonable for you to open a tanning salon.

You will also need to select a location for your tanning salon business. You should choose an area of the city that is busy enough that you will receive some walk-in traffic, but not such a busy area that the rent is astronomical.

Consult with successful tanning salon owners in your area. Visit their salons and discuss with the owners and/or managers about day-to-day business operations and start-up costs. Also talk to them about different tanning beds and make note of how much they charge for their services. This will give you a better idea about what you are getting into by opening a tanning salon.


Financing a Tanning Salon Business

You may not have the capital to finance a new tanning salon business on your own. The main start-up costs include the cost of tanning beds, space rental and insurance. Some tanning beds can cost up to $10,000 each. Even if you find used tanning beds, they will be at least $1,000 a piece. If you don't have the cash to start the business on your own, you can still open a tanning salon.

Find a business partner or investor.
If you have a good friend or associate who is looking to go into business, you can develop a business partnership. Be sure to have a formal business agreement drawn up that outlines how the assets and debts of the business will be handled. Also, determine if the person will be a working partner or just a financial investor.

Take out a bank loan.
If you have developed a sound business plan, many banks may be willing to loan you the money to start up your tanning salon business. Before signing a loan agreement, be sure you understand the interest rate, terms of the loan and timetable for repayment.

Consider opening a franchise.
Instead of starting your own tanning salon business from scratch, you should also look into tanning salon franchises. The advantages of franchising are the business model is already proven, plus the company name is known to potential customers. Consider starting a Hollywood Tan franchise. Hollywood Tan is the leading tanning franchise in the country with over 300 locations nationwide.


Be Aware of Tanning Bed Safety


When you are starting your own tanning salon business, you need to be aware of tanning safety risks and regulations. The regulations are outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

You should warn all your clients about tanning safety by posting safety signs prominently throughout your salon and providing brochures about exposure to UV rays. You also must provide eye protection for each and every client. Confirm when the client signs in that they understand the possible risks of tanning and have them sign a waiver.

Talk to each new client about their skin type and have them start out with very short tanning sessions. You want the clients to come back, therefore you can't risk them getting sunburned at your salon.


Finding Out About the Tanning Salon Business


Before deciding to open your own tanning salon, you should find out as much as you can about the tanning salon business. By doing your research, you will be sure that are willing to take the time and monetary risk to get your business up and running. You will also get ideas about developing a business plan to insure the success of your tanning salon business in the future.

One of the best ways to find out about the tanning salon business is to visit several salons. Visit as a regular paying customer. Take mental notes about everything concerning each business, including prices, customer service, safety warnings, cleanliness, makes and models of tanning beds and more.

After you leave each salon, put your notes down on paper, paying attention to what you liked and didn't like about the salon.

Another way to get insight into the tanning salon business is to get a part-time job working at a tanning salon. With hand-on experience with the day-to-day operations of a tanning salon, you can learn about pricing, staffing and all the other activities and problems that go along with owning a tanning salon business.

A third method to learn more about the tanning salon business is to consult with other tanning salon owners. Be honest about your desire to open a tanning salon and discuss the joys and pitfalls of the tanning salon industry.


Advertising Your New Tanning Salon


Once you have decided to open a tanning salon, have found your commercial space, bought your beds and supplies, and hired your staff, you are ready to open your business.

So, how to do you get customers?

You will need to advertise. You can place an ad in your local newspaper, hand out flyers, and even buy local television and radio time.

One of the best things to do is offer some type of grand opening special offering a free tanning session to first time clients. Once people are in the door, you can sell them on monthly tanning packages and build repeat business. But you need to get them in the door first! Everybody loves something free. By offer one free tanning session, you will be able to get your client base off on the right foot.

Look for free places to advertise such as your church flyer, free neighborhood newspapers and free online ads.

Another way to advertise is by creating a website for your business. The cost of creating a basic website is relatively low. You will need to select and register a domain name, then create a basic webpage with information about your tanning salon. Be sure to update the website regularly with the latest specials and prices.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Franchising a Tanning Salon


If you are considering opening a tanning salon franchise, you need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Franchising
Your business will be based on a proven idea.
Your brand will be recognized by clients.
Risk is reduced and shared by franchisor.
The franchisor will provide training, set up assistance and support.
Banks are more likely to lend money to franchises.
Relationships with suppliers are already established.

Disadvantages
Royalty payments may be high.
Franchise agreement may restrict how you run the business.
Franchisor could go out of business.
Other franchisees may give the brand (and you) a bad rep.
Reduced risk usually means reduced profits.


Using Tanning Salon Software


To make the day-to-day operations of running your tanning salon easier, you should consider using tanning salon software. These special software programs are designed specifically for tanning salon business owners.

Tanning salon software keeps track of tanning sessions, sales, clients, inventory, timers and appointments. By using these type of software programs, you will have a Point of Sale system for tracking all your sales and customers, as well as an appointment scheduling system to help your customers tan more efficiently. Tanning salon software can also track the hours on all your tanning beds and bulbs.

Popular tanning salon software include: TanTrack, Helios, SalonPro and Salon Iris.


Choosing Commercial Tanning Beds

When you are opening a tanning salon, you will need to purchase several commercial tanning beds. Tanning beds come in a variety of styles, brands and models. Some tanning beds allow customers to stand up while others allow them to lie down.

The best commercial tanning beds will let your customers relax while getting an even tan in shortest time period possible.

When choosing commercial tanning beds at Master Tanning, you look through the selection of tanning beds online, and then compare the specifications of several models by clicking the convenient "Compare Beds" button.

Differences in tanning beds, include:

  • Tanning bed size
  • Maximum exposure time
  • High speed face tanners
  • Cooling systems
  • Timers
  • Lamp designs and sizes
  • Voltage
  • Warranty
  • Other factors



Tanning Salon Maintenance

When starting a tanning salon, you should consider the maintenance involved.

Replacing Tanning Lamps
You will need to replace your tanning bed lamps regularly. You should also be aware that new tanning bed bulbs lose 20 percent of their effectiveness after 50 hours. Therefore during the first 50 hours, clients that are new to tanning should not use the beds with new bulbs. At about the 500-hour mark, the efficiency of an average tanning bed lamp is close to 50 percent of a new lamp. For this reason, it is recommended that you replace your lamps at somewhere between 500 hours to 800 hours. Most lamps lose the majority of their effectiveness over 1,000 hours. You can use tanning salon software and timers to track the hours used on each of your tanning beds.

Cleaning Tanning Beds
After each tanning session you should clean the top and bottom acrylic with disinfectant. You should also clean the exterior of the bed on a regular basis. At least once a month, you should do a more thorough cleaning of the acrylics. And yearly, you need to remove the acrylics from the tanning bed, clean the tanning lamps and reflectors. You should also clean out the vent holes of the cooling fans and make sure they are in working order at this time.