Tanning is big business in the UK. With the sun rarely making an appearance, many people turn to artificial sources of sunlight to help them get that summery glow. If you’re thinking about opening a sunbed business in the UK, you could be on to a profitable venture. Once established, the running costs are minimal, which means you’ll enjoy much higher profit margins. Read on to learn the essential steps you’ll need to take in order to start a thriving sunbed business.
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You need to pick a spot that is well-populated, but not overly saturated with existing sunbed companies. If there isn’t a sunbed company in the area, do your research to ask why. Perhaps the local demographics aren’t right for this type of business, or perhaps the location is awkward to get to. If you’ve done your research, there is high demand and no competitors in the local area, then you’ve found your sweet spot.
Sunbed businesses tend to be more private than a salon, so you don’t always need a large display window at the front. However, you will need some visibility on the street to advertise your location and attract those passing by.
Investing in the latest equipment is essential for success, however, you may be able to cut costs by choosing second-hand equipment sold by closing down sunbed companies. You may able to be able to lease the equipment, but this will eat into your profits.
It’s a good idea to have a few different tanning options for different customers. This could include upright, horizontal and sunless tanning options. You can also invest in smart technology to help make tanning safer. This allows customers to scan their skin to determine the safest level of UV to avoid skin damage and burning.
You need to be aware of the regulations surrounding tanning and make sure you have processes in place to keep your customers safe. A core part of your business should help to educate customers on safe tanning so they can make informed decisions. You should provide information on safe tanning on your website and in your tanning business.
Don’t assume that customers have read the information when they arrive, make sure they are given the information and given the time to read and understand it before their appointment. Using smart technology such as skin scanners will also help customers to make informed decisions about their tanning choices.
Tanning company staff need to be comfortable talking to customers and able to help with technical issues at the same time. They should also be well-versed in tanning and beauty so they can provide personalised support.
Tanning businesses don’t need that many members of staff to be able to operate safely, so the staff are really present in a supervisory capacity. This means you need to look for workers who are comfortable working alone sometimes. However, you also need to make sure they are able to take a break, so working in teams of two or more is advisable. Finding the right staff to set the tone for your tanning business can be tough, so don’t be afraid to be picky as you find the perfect, bubbly personality to represent your business.
You have your location and your team, so you’re finally ready to start accepting bookings. You need a strong web presence to make this happen. Social media will no doubt be useful for spreading the word, but you should also consider the role of SEO in boosting your visibility. While SEO might cost more to get established, once you have a strong web presence, you’ll get an ongoing stream of leads landing on your website to make bookings.
You can also run seasonal promotions to help drum up business. While you might think that winter is the only time people might be looking for artificial sun, summer is also very popular as people are preparing to go on holiday and want a base tan. And those who aren’t going away on holiday might want to fake it.
Reviews are essential for businesses like tanning salons. Customers turn to reviews to make purchasing decisions, so you need to make sure they find glowing reviews when they start looking for their new favourite tanning salon. Customers typically don’t leave reviews unless they are requested, so make sure you include this as part of the follow-up aftercare.
You could set up automated marketing emails that trigger one week after a customer has attended an appointment. This email should include a thank you note, tips for caring for their skin after tanning, and then a request for a review. This is a great approach as it includes something valuable to the customer and isn’t purely transactional.
Once your tanning salon is well established, you can begin to think about adding services to your salon – or expanding to a new site. Once you have an established name, you can begin to think about expanding your business.
Opening an additional site will need further investment, but it could also hugely increase your profit margins. Adding extra services to your existing salon is an attractive alternative. For example, you could offer makeup or nails to the same location, allowing individuals to get glammed up in just one visit. Make sure you have an open dialogue with your customers so you can learn more about what they want from your business and identify key opportunities for growth.
Running a tanning salon business requires passion, expertise and hard work. But once established, it is a profitable and sustainable venture. By keeping on top of the latest tanning trends, you can be at the forefront of the industry and offer something unique and valuable to your customers. It takes hard work and determination to make any business venture a success, but if you’re passionate about beauty and tanning, this could be the ideal avenue for you to explore.