Just as with any business endeavor, owning and operating a tanning salon can be extremely challenging, and business owners are constantly looking for ways to increase profits. In today’s tough economy, many who run their own salons fear that indoor tanning will be one of the first things to go when costumers decide to cut back on expenses. By looking at the secrets of the most successful tanning salons, business owners can thrive even in the midst of these desperate times. Implement the following five characteristics of a thriving tanning salon into your own business to begin experiencing financial and professional success.
Highly Visible Location
Finding the right location for your tanning salon is one of the most important factors, as it will play a crucial role in the amount of business you receive. People tend to choose tanning beds that are close to work or home, so successful salons are the ones that are near other businesses and/or residential areas. Be aware of the surrounding businesses and avoid areas with competing tanning beds. Instead, look to situate your salon near complementary businesses such as hair salons or spas. This is a great way for customers who frequent beauty-related businesses to notice your salon. Search the demographics of possible locations for your business to assist you in locating the ideal spot for your salon.
Foolproof Business Model
A successful business model goes well beyond the basics, helping your salon to stay profitable and competitive for years to come. When it comes to tanning salons, the most successful businesses are the ones that have planned for unexpected costs such as timers, cleaning products, and voltage boosters. It is recommended that you budget for at least 20 percent more than you think you will need so that the hidden costs do not create a financial strain.
Focus extensively on the financial aspect on your business plan and utilize the help of an accountant or financial advisor. It is important to establish early on the number of tanning beds you will want and to also include the cost of your lease, insurance and wages into your financial plan. The most important thing to remember is that your business model does not need to be overly complicated. A successful plan is one that you will be able to frequently reference throughout your business career.
It is highly important to stay competitive in the tanning industry. It is not difficult for a disgruntled costumer to find a new salon, and according to Forbes, obtaining new costumers is five times more costly than retaining the ones you already have. Let your customers know they are important, speak to them on a first-name basis and keep them up to speed on all of the latest deals.
For a tanning salon to be competitive, it must stand out and be able to offer something the competing beds cannot. Perhaps yours has the most high-pressure beds or the fastest service in the area. Maybe you have the widest range of options for lotions, beds and services, or your salon provides a one-stop shop, offering tanning, facials and massages. Find a way to make your salon unique and work to become the best at that particular specialty.
For salons that are just starting out, it is important to start a website right away and to begin aggressively advertising your grand opening. Research indicates that businesses are more likely to succeed if there is an opening event to initially draw in potential customers. Once people are in the door, you’ll be able to tell them about your monthly packages and deals. Send out a press release prior to the event and don’t be afraid to boldly advertise outside of your building with large signs.
It is crucial to continue advertising after the opening event with just as much intensity. To stay truly competitive, you will need to consistently offer new tanning packages. Work with charities in the area such as food pantries and offer an upgraded tanning session in exchange for food donations. Advertise these deals on the radio, television, and newspaper so that your salon’s name stays well known in the surrounding area.
Extensive Knowledge of the Industry
Successful business owners do their research and find out everything there is to know about a particular industry. Visit as many tanning beds as possible and talk to other salon owners to find out the inside scoop. Learn about tanning bed safety, the tanning laws in your state and the many benefits of indoor tanning. Knowing as much as possible about the ins and outs of tanning will allow you to stay up to speed on the newest trends and help you to better serve your costumers.
Even in the midst of a less than ideal economy, tanning salons that follow these important tips are finding tremendous success. Begin utilizing these strategies to help your own salon to become a thriving and competitive business.
Image by Victor Habbick from freedigitalphotos.net
About the Author: Maddie Rockwell is a contributing writer and tanning salon owner. She suggests other salon owners visit Miami Wholesale Sunglasses to find the highest-quality products.