Starting Your Own Tanning Salon

So you've decided you're ready to start your own tanning salon? You may feel overwhelmed, and like you're going through a big undertaking, but like any independent business, if you're patient and diligent, a tanning salon can be very profitable.

What is your competition like?

If you're going to be the first, or one of the very few tanning salons in an area, you've already got one advantage. Scout out your town and the surrounding area to see how many tanning salons are around you. Become patrons at each as well. What are they doing that you like? What would you do different? How does their layout work? Can you afford to beat their prices and still make a profit? What are you going to do different that will attract people to your salon? All very important questions to consider.

Does your tanning salon have enough management experience to be successful?

Are you a natural born leader? You're going to need at least a couple employees to help you run the salon - you can't possibly be there all the time. You need to understand the kind of management you're going to need if you do not think you can do it. The most successful business owners recognize the qualities they lack - and then hire someone to compensate for those qualities. Make sure if you're not the manager type, you have someone trustworthy in mind who is.

Do you understand all the costs associated with a tanning salon?

As people who have owned a failed business will tell you, most of them did not fully understand the costs associated with running that business - and were not able to make ends meet. You may be considering opening a tanning salon because you think it sounds simple. Here are some things to consider: you need office space, so you're either buying property or renting. You're going to need to decorate your space to provide a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere to your patrons. You will need business insurance. You need beds, booths, and other supplies (lotions, goggles, cleaning supplies). A tanning salon needs a strong ventilation system. You're also going to be using a lot of electricity. You'll need to hire employees - which have other costs associated than just their hourly wage. Costs like these are just the beginning. Make sure you fully understand where each penny is going.

How much capital do you need to make a profit?

Budgeting is one of the most important things you can do. Your charge for a tanning session is going to ultimately determine how successful your business is going to be. Are you charging more than any other tanning salon in your area? You better be offering something than no one else does. Get with a financial planner to help to fully understand and calculate what you're going to charge.