Spray tanning business -what to look for when you want to open your own
If you are thinking of opening your own spray tanning business, there are few things you should consider.
Is it going to be a completely new spray tanning business, or are you just adding a new service to your existing services?
If you have never owned a business, you WILL be making mistakes at the beginning. No matter how much you read, some things you can learn ONLY on your own experiences (and when your own money is involved).
Mistakes are always expensive, that is why most of the time it is better to start small and later upgrade if necessary.
Spray tanning business is great in that it can be started from home. All you need at the beginning is a dependable airbrush spray tan machine, some training and practice.
You can provide mobile service for your area. It’s not all that profitable after you take into consideration travel time and the cost of petrol, but it is a great way to become an expert and build up a clientèle for your future salon.
You can still look really professional with great uniform (how about brown pants and T-shirt with a name of your business printed on it), magnetic sign on your car that you only attach when you go to a client, and a professional website (which you can easily write yourself even if you have zero experience in website building).
If you operate a beauty salon already that is quite busy, you have two choices.
a) if you have a spare room you can hire that space to a person who already does spray tanning in the area (they will not only supplement your income from hiring out a room but also bring additional clientèle to your salon that can use your other services – like waxing).
b)Buy your own booth. If you are already busy, buying a hand held airbrush unit for your salon would mean hiring extra staff and/or training your existing staff. That might not be that economical. You can buy perfectly good second hand booth or a new one on hire purchase. The beauty with the booth is that results for your clients will always be consistent, so you can be sure about client satisfaction. The skill (or lack of ) of your staff will not matter at all. Your spray tanning business can virtually run by itself, the client will watch a video to learn what to do in the booth, then hop into the booth and when finished come out to pay.
2. Your budget:
When you open your own business, it is normal to want it to be as great as you can possibly make it. However, you are usually limited by budget.
Most people make a mistake of spending 100% or more of their budget before they even open the door, and than have a beautiful salon, but no clients, because they did not leave any resources for promoting their spray tanning business. That’s the quickest way of going broke.
I know that you would want to have the best equipment, but think about which salon would you rather go to:
a) salon that has the latest equipment with staff that are efficient but cold or
b) salon with just normal equipment (still high quality, just not all latest bells and whistles), where you are welcomed as a friend, where people take an interest in your life, give you little presents (like samples) and/or send you thank you notes and remember your birthday?
I know where I’d rather go. There are many ways that you can compensate for not-the-latest equipment, but you need all the help you can get if your customer service is not up to scratch.
3. Promoting your spray tanning business:
You can do it 4 different ways:
a) Word of mouth - by far the best way. Spoil your clients; make them feel special and give great service. They will come back.
The only downside to this is that it takes time. However, everything you will put into this form of marketing will be returned 100 fold.
In my salon it amounted to 34% of the business. Huge!
b)Just do “bare minimum” of advertising. I tried it, it did not work. It simply covered its own expenses, so instead of growing my business, I was just paying local publications to make money. Few clients became regular, but most of it was just holiday traffic that never came back.
The only time it brought any real results was when I ran specials, unfortunately it attracted clients that were unable to pay regular prices when the specials finished so, for me selling my services cheap really backfired.
It amounted to 20% of my spray tanning business, but the cost of getting this traffic was almost equal to the amount I spent to get it in the door.
c)Do a massive promotional campaign. I found out about this method when I spoke to another business owner in my area.
She told me that two years previously she had a conversation with a professional marketing company owner, and he told her that if she wants to saturate the local market, she must have her image everywhere. She took out a business loan, and her logo was in every publication, local TV, radio, you name it, she had her ad there.
She almost went broke with spending so much money, but eventually she reached critical point where her salon was on the mind of every local business proprietor.
That way, if anybody came into any local business and asked “do you know where I could get a good massage in Byron Bay” it was the first place that came to our minds (Byron Bay is famous for its spas, and everybody that comes to our town wants to get at least one massage).
Today she has a very successful spa salon and she can finally afford the crazy prices for advertising.
I found it very interesting that the biggest effect that advertising had was not to attract new clients directly, but to create a situation where she would get business from world of mouth.
There is a huge drawback to this method. It costs really, really large amounts of money. Not everybody can afford it, and not everyone will be brave to do it (what if you run out of money just before it starts working?).
d)Build your own website"
The cheapest but most effective.
Notice that I did not say “Get a website built”, but “build your own website”.
You might be surprised to know that if you get the right program, and the right advice, it is very easy. Sure, you will need to learn few new skills, but if you can answer e-mails you are definitely going to be able to cope.
It took me 3 months to build the website you are reading (it had only 6 pages for a long time, only recently I have extended it to the form it is today).
I was really slow; most people (as I later found out) do it in 2-4 weeks.
Click here to learn how to build your own salon website that will not only look good, but also bring in a lot of clients.
It brought in just over 17% of new clients to my spray tanning business. They were not just ordinary clients, but because they read all my information online before they came in they were “presold”, so many bought extra products and than came back again.
They had a totally different frame of mind than regular walk-ins, most would arrive with a smile on their faces saying “I read your website, and I just had to come in for my spray tan.” We started off as friends before we even met.
One lady came every year for holidays to Byron Bay, and she always came in for her spray tan with a bottle of wine from her winery. Yes, she was my favorite client (wink, wink,nudge,nudge, say no more).
Would you like to know how much it cost me to have this website working for my spray tan business?
A measly $299 USD a year. About as much as putting one good size weekly advertisement in the local paper. What a bargain.
This was by far the best Return On Investment that I ever got.
I hope you will get some valuable information from my experiences.