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Start a Business - Part 2

As people become aware of the risks of overexposure to the sun or UV rays, many are looking for safer ways to tan. While there are plenty of tanning salons that offer the traditional tanning beds, over the past few years spray tanning, or airbrush tanning, has gained popularity. Starting a spray tanning business is extremely lucrative for an outgoing entrepreneur who is willing to learn how to operate a spray tanning machine (or hire someone who is). Start-up costs in terms of setting up a business, can be fairly low, prices can range from $850 - $4,000.

1. Decide on the type of business
Determine if you will operate a mobile or fixed business. A mobile spray tanning business can save on overheads, but it means you will need to go to your customers.
Incorporate your business and protect yourself.  Contact your local accountant, Enterprise Centre, WINZ or do some research on Google about running a business.
Find your location.  If your spray tanning business will be fixed, look for high traffic locales such as shopping plazas near universities and apartments. Your tanning salon should be convenient for customers.

2. Purchase your Equipment
Purchase your equipment and supplies. For a mobile business, salon or spa, check out business kits in our Online Shop for a kit that includes everything you need to set yourself up in a spray tanning business. At the very least you will need:

  • Pop up Tent
  • Spray Tanning System
  • Spray Tanning Solution
  • Disposables

You may also need a merchant account such as those offered by your local bank so that you can accept EFTpos or credit cards. Other supplies that you may  need for your business include display cases for any accessories you may sell (such as lotions and sunglasses), invoice receipts, a cashbox, signage, business cards, tropical plants and other supplies to help create your store front theme.

3. Become an Expert
It is vital that you become knowledgeable about spray tanning. Take a spray tan training course. Some of your customers may be sensitive to the products you use, a spray tan training course can help you understand skin preparation, important ingredients and application of the solution. OnlineTanShop offer a Spray Tanning 101 Workshop through the Training Studio in Albany. You will be provided with a Training Manual which covers the Theory of Spray Tanning, and knowing the theory is as important as the practical aspect of spray tanning..

Attitude is 95% of any sale so be nice! Your location and the customer service that you provide will determine whether or not your business is a success. Being friendly and knowledgeable about your products will assure customers that you are a professional and ensure repeat business. Networking is extremely important in this industry.

4. Calculate your costs
Ring around a few salons in your area and find out what the common charge is for a spray tan. That is the ‘market rate’ and is what you should charge. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you charge less you will get more clients, that way people are only coming to you because you are cheaper and when someone else offers a tan for less then you lose those clients.  Never devalue yourself, you are offering a service and there is no reason why you should not sell your services at the market rate. You can offer an introductory discount as long as you remember it’s always easier to reduce your prices than to increase them!
5. Market Your Business
Advertise your spray tanning business on Yellow, Google Maps, in local online directories, on bulletin boards at Laundromats, on college campuses and at grocery stores. Advertise on Trade Me, the radio and in newspapers. Create a profile on the vast range of social media sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc.
To find clients you just have to ask yourself some pretty basic questions like:

  1. Where do my clients shop?
  2. What do they read?
  3. Where do they go?

Finding clients for this service is just about putting your advertisements where they are. A lot of your clients probably do at least some of the following; they shop, they go to the gym, they read health and beauty magazines, etc., Post A4 leaflets on notice boards or our Client Information Leaflets (with your contact details on the rear) to hand out to people. We also have our 0800 Service to help you develop a client base.
However, a good place to start is with friends and family. Check out your Contact List in your mobile phone and send them all a text inviting them for a spray tan. It’s a great starting place.

6. Create a Unique Selling Point
Offer them exactly what you would want - Great Service! If your appointment is at 2PM, then you need to make sure that you are there, set up, and have informed the client of everything before your session begins. You need to be ready to actually begin spraying by 2PM, which shows that you place a high value on the clients’ time. You also want to offer them everything that they will need before, during, and after their tanning session with you. Also offer something unique e.g.  ‘A No Gossip Policy’ in other words, what is said and seen in a tanning session, stays in a tanning session!  Something different about your service that will make clients keep returning to you.