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Old 07-31-2006, 06:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So you wanna open a tanning salon?

Interesting read, I wonder how much still makes sense today, this was written in 2004:

So, You Want To Open A Tanning Salon? A Guide To Success!

By: Bruce Schoenfelder, Rayz Tanning Centre

Becoming A Tanning Shop Owner/Operator A Primer For Planning, And A Blueprint For A Successful First Year!

Our Goal is provide a new operator, or a potential operator, with a realistic and honest framework to assess the costs and potential profits from being a Tanning Shop owner. This is developed from a REAL Tanning Shop and will provide real numbers and planning information so that you will be able to decide the best strategy for your plans to join the tanning industry.

Why own a tanning shop?

So, you want to be your own boss? You want to drive a fancy car, have others do all the work for you, tan all day long, have money in the bank, give up having to be a "yes man" to some company? You have some money and want to open an easy business where success is all but guaranteed?

Well, you are NOT going to last in the tanning business!

This, like ALL businesses in modern America is tough, competitive, and will require MORE capital to enter, much more planning to survive, longer hours, more aggravation, employee problems, governmental headaches, and less bottom line profit than you anticipate.

So, why then, might you want to become a tanning shop owner?

Well, IF you do have capital to invest, or can beg, borrow, or partner with someone who does. IF, you are willing to plan ahead, do your homework, and take risks. IF, you are open-minded and understand the hours that you will work. IF you are willing to put up with a demanding, and fickle public.

THEN you can be rewarded with a very nice business. You will be the "boss" you will have some control over your destiny, you will have the joys of seeing your planning and work pay off, you will be respected in your community as a business owner, and you might even get to the fancy car….someday. But you will work hard to get there, and you should try to eliminate foreseeable problems and risks. The working environment is pleasant, the customer interaction generally quite enjoyable, and, don't forget, you will have a GREAT TAN!

Why I'm writing this guide?

I am an "old war horse of 50 " and got into the tanning business as a Commercial Real Estate operator/owner who took over a failed salon that lasted three years and who was a commercial tenant of mine. She closed up immediately after purchasing additional beds and running a ONE YEAR unlimited tanning package for $99.00 right when the slow season hit. Naturally, the 250 customers cheated out of their unused packages then distrusted ANY tanning parlor, this hurt the entire market. During the time before she closed, as her landlord trying to salvage the lease with her, we had numerous discussions where she lamented the fact that her "costs" were nowhere near what the tanning bed manufacturers had, in writing, led her to believe. She kept claiming over and over that she couldn't understand why she couldn't make a living and pay the rent too…after all, she was tanning MORE than the numbers per day that the worksheets given to her showed her that she needed to make a great living.

Unfortunately, when she got six months behind in rent, and owed over $10,000 to me, I was forced to close the shop and take her 4 existing beds as payment. While trying to decide what to do with a few used beds and how to get them sold, I attended the largest tanning trade show to try to sell off the tanning beds. But while there grin, yes …I fell in love with the concept of indoor tanning as a viable business and I did the exact opposite and purchased six more beds, and expanded rather than sell off the equipment and re-rent the space.

While at the show, I attended the training being offered by S.A.E., was certified, and talked with all the "old coots," like myself, who were battle hardened businessmen along with the starry eyed hairdresser dreaming of big bucks by adding a bed or two in the back of her shop. All had dreams of opening, expanding, adding to, or becoming larger operators in this service business..

By background is one of pragmatic business decisions, and the Commercial Real Estate industry has had its share of over hyped deals and commensurate losses derived from unrealistic "pie in the sky dreamers" the failures of the early '80's taught us the lessons of accountability only learned the hard way. And we in the Commercial Real Estate are trained to understand and accurately state the real costs of operating a business, after all, our "failures" cost everyone, banks, investors, and communities, literally millions of dollars: thus, we are put to an exacting process of income/expense verification and projection that eliminates much of the OBVIOUS potential for failure. Thus the Real Estate industry is served by fewer failures and the projects that ARE approved have at least met this fundamental test of business worthiness.

This ACCURATE and objective projection of reality is utterly missing in the tanning industry. Many equipment manufactures are guilty of promoting only those facts that skew the newcomers decision to purchase and operate their beds by financial projections that are in many cases, grossly distorted to indicate an unrealistic expectation of future income and expenses, of course, these are magnitudes higher that you or ANYONE in the industry really achieves.

So what is the REAL TRUTH?

In the interest of the long-term financial health of our industry I have attempted to put my years of planning, development, and business opening skills to show how you can enter into a wonderful and rewarding career as a tanning shop owner and operator. I have covered all the steps you will need to find, layout, lease, construct, open, equip, operate, maintain, advertise, staff, hire professionals, train, and succeed with a typical 10 unit tanning shop. Using this basic guide, you can at least anticipate and avoid many of the traps that would cause your business to be a failure. Hopefully, by planning ahead, and knowing upfront what you will need to do, your shop will be one that makes money, provides the satisfaction of being your own boss, and gives you community recognition as a successful business owner, and most importantly a GREAT TAN!

Step One: Before You Have A Shop

Site Selection And Tanning Demographics : You all have heard the real estate axiom, location, location, location? Well, in tanning, this is only partly true, what is actually more important that top location, with top rental charges going with it, is INTELLIGENT SITING. This is because tanning is a destination event, people seek you out, and after getting them to come the first time, is rarely an impulse shopping decision. They leave home to come to you. So you can actually rent a second or third tier location and achieve the rental savings over the site on the heavily travelled main shopping street or mall location. You will need to be WITHIN a great tanning population pool of tanners, but not necessarily in the most expensive site in town. What do I mean by this? Tanning is primarily a young white female activity. You will find that approximately 70% plus of your tanners will be female, of those; the bulk will be in the 18 to 34 year old age bracket. So you will want to locate in an area with demographics that will support this conclusion and provide you with the closest mix to your intended demographics in this market. Another consideration is the area that you will draw from. Unlike other businesses, your customers will be coming to your shop many times each and every week. Therefore distance, and access are key considerations. They MAY come to use your place a few times and drive some time and distance, they WON'T keep on coming more than 10 minutes or so. That means in the city a potential market of only 3 miles radius, or in the country, 7-8 miles. These are the facts of life. Yes, you "may" get the oddball outside of these constraints who loves you and drives to tan, but 95% of your tanners WILL fall within these guidelines and you cannot ignore this in your planning. So, how do you determine what the tanning population is in any given site radius? There are many companies that can provide you with this information, one that is particularly good at this is CACI of Arlington Virginia, they can be reached at 800-292-2224 and will provide you with a SITE REPORT on any intersection in the nation. This report will give you the population by age, race, income, sex and other statistical information that will identify any site as to the demographics. These reports generally cost $150 each. A sample of this report is attached as an appendix to this guide.

Another key consideration is parking. Tanning shops, need and use, more parking spaces than other comparable retail activities. Since they will be visiting your shop many times each week, any incontinence in parking is aggravated by the need to face this problem over and over each time they come to tan. You will need to find rental space that provides easy free parking within 100 yards of your shop entrance. In the busy season you will be overwhelmed with customers and will have all your staff working. So you WILL need to find a location that has OPEN parking of 1.5 spaces for each tanning bed you will have. These will be needed during the hours of 4-10 PM for approximately 4 months each year. During the rest of the year you can get by with ½ or less, than this ratio. Remember, if they can't park, they won't come.

So, by understanding SITING rather than location, you can put your salon in the right area, but in a location that costs ½ or less than that corner location that the impulse retail store needs. This savings goes right into your pocket, and in the off season, the reduced rental charges may make the difference between your staying in business or closing.

Legal setup

We live in a litigious society, you will be dealing with the general public. For maximum protection and for certain tax advantages you should set yourself up as a Sub Chapter "S" Corporation. This, essentially, is a pass through vehicle, and your income and expenses will not be taxed at the corporate level, but "passed through" to your personal income tax and you will file as an individual. You become an employee of your own company. However, should you be sued, you will have the protection of your personal assets shielded behind a corporate firewall.

Tanning is not an especially high risk business if properly run, and you will have insurance to protect you from most minor problems, but planning NOW is worth everything down the road if the worst should ever happen. You should allocate funds for planning with your attorney, and filing as a Sub S corp. We estimate that this will run you $750.00 including filing, advertising, and professional fees.

Don't forget to register will all taxing authorities and governmental entities in your area. This will include building inspection departments, fire departments, occupancy departments, sales and use taxation departments for your state and city governments. Make sure you get and post any and all required disclosure and signage that any might require you have to display.

Landlord negotiations

Now comes the interesting part. You will need to estimate how much space you will need, and how big a salon you want to operate. I suggest STRONGLY that you now go as large as you can, space wise. If there is one mistake that new operators make, it is UNDERESTIMATING the size shop that they will ultimately want. I would even go so far as to say you should lease AT LEAST 25% more space than you need in the beginning.

Fact: Tanning is a SEASONAL business, you will do approximately 60% of your entire years volume in four months immediately preceding spring and the upcoming tanning season, and the early part of summer. [see appendix for tanning seasonality distribution chart ] That means that once you fill your beds, your income is "maxed out." If you don't have the tanning slot capacity in the peak periods, you cannot tan additional customers and they will go somewhere else. Your existing customers will be upset if they cannot tan when they want to tan, but are forced to tan when you have openings, hours from when they wanted to come. As your business grows you may want to add beds, but cannot if you haven't rented enough space in the beginning. You should allow AT LEAST 120 Square Feet for each tanning room you intend on having. This will allow for common space such as halls, lobby, retail area, and laundry, storage, and office. A sample shop layout for a ten unit salon is attached as an appendix.

Your landlord will quote you space in terms of dollars per square foot per year. Usually you will have an additional landlord charge called a CAM Charge (Common Area Maintenance Charge) this is to compensate the landlord for certain expenditures he makes such as mall advertising, improvements, and certain repairs. THIS CHARGE is critical. It can, and usually does, add at least 20% or more to your base rent, so negotiations on limiting the CAM is as important and in the long run MORE important than the base rental. My suggestion is that you look for a space no smaller than 1,000 feet, and 1,500 feet if you can possibly afford it, paying rent and expanding the following year is much cheaper than relocating. Beware: many tenants actually get LESS space than the landlord tells you. Take a tape measure yourself and cross check the space for area. About 50% of the landlords will overstate the area by 5-10% and claim " harmless error" if you catch them, if you don't you will FOREVER be paying rent on phantom space that you never got at $/SF/Yr X Lease Term = BIG BUCKS down the chute.

You should engage the services of a COMMERCIAL [not residential] Real Estate Broker, familiar with the current commercial situation in your area. He will be paid for by the landlord, not by you, for bringing the landlord a client. Make sure the Broker signs what is called a "Buyers Broker" agreement with you, you don't have to understand what that means, the broker will, and then he will earn his fee if he is any good and will SAVE you money. Doing this phase by yourself without representation is usually a big mistake and could end up costing you money for a service that you could have had for free if you had engaged them in advance of your space finding explorations.

Generally your landlord will want the longest possible lease from you that he can get. You don't want to be tied in forever, so you want shorter term lease. Compromise, ask for a short term initial lease, like two or three years to begin, WITH "lease extension options" where at YOUR ELECTION only the lease will extend for another term such as 2 to 5 years with some pre agreed to rental increase. That way you can stay if you chose to, you know what it will cost, your landlord cannot squeeze you, and if you want, you can up and leave with no further payments to the landlord. Ask for at least 2 option periods before you sign the lease. If you don't get them, your landlord can, and most likely, WILL raise your rent big time after the first rental period figuring that you will stay and pay the penalty rate rather than go through all the hassle and costs of relocating. So, plan now, or pay later.

If the space has been vacant for some time, say six months or longer. The Landlord will be very anxious to secure a tenant. Remember he rents space and time. Every day of no income is a day he cannot ever recover from. Understanding his anxiety over a vacancy can be to your advantage. Most Landlord's will quote you a space price on an "as is" basis. You, however, do not have to take that initial offering. But it is common for a potential tenant to ask for, and receive a "construction allowance" approximately equal to one half the first year rental charge. This can be in landlord paid improvements, or in lieu of that free rent for a period of time. Remember, if you don't demand and ask, you won't get.

Shop Layout And Design

Once you have a potential site you will need a preliminary design to give to the landlord for his use in quoting you a final price with HIM doing as much of the construction as you can get him to do. You can usually do this with the landlord's architect, or you can use the services provided by most bed-manufacturing firms. Or, as an alternative, you can usually do this yourself using one of the off the shelf self design
computer programs. One that is especially good for this and easy to install and use is Broderbunds HOME ARCHITECT. This can be used for rough drafts and can then be used over and over till you get a layout that is usable, this will serve as a layout for most small contracting firms and usually all that you will need. Don't forget to visit the local building office and see what requirements that they have relating to parking requirements and safety issues.

Electrical Requirements

A tanning shop uses massive amounts of electricity. This is a realistic fact. You will need to install up front electrical service sufficient to run the planned number of beds that you will EVER need, in addition you will need a much larger air conditioner than a normal business of your size. Figure that you will need 200 Amp service for a six-bed salon and 300 Amp for a ten-bed salon. Also plan on installing at least ¾ ton of AC per bed in the north or 1 ton of AC if your location is in the south or southwest, add and additional ¼ ton per bed if your site has a flat roof and is low to the existing final buildout height or you have plans to install beds that have more than 30 bulbs each.


Tanning shops are complicated to construct. They are basically lots of small rooms with heavy wiring and air-conditioning layout requirements. You should take your final plans to two small contractors and get firm written bids for the build out of the salon. Use drywall and metal studs for the walls, they are cheaper and allow for more rapid construction than traditional wooden studding. Many find that walls should NOT go to the ceiling but should be open to allow for better heat distribution. Use wooden slatted doors on the rooms for better airflow and better esthetics. Make sure your construction planning allows sufficient money for an attractive Formica and glass front desk, these custom cabinetry requirements can be expansive, but this is the first thing your customers see and you should NOT skim here. Each tanning room will need 220 volt service, and at least a fourplex outlet for lights, footfans, timers, and other electrical requirements. This is a good time to also plan for the music system, tanners will appreciate a good stereo system in each room and having one centralized music source will estimate the cacophony of each room using a separate music source, and YOU will appreciate not having to turn off a stereo in each room after each tanner. You should estimate spending approximately $15-20 per square foot for construction and finishing of your salon. Use carpeting in each room, since tanners will have bare feet, but try to use wood, tile, or easy to maintain materials for the halls and lobby areas since they will be high traffic and will easily become very dirty given the in and out of tanning. A good rule of thumb is to allow two weeks per 500 feet for this phase of your opening. Don't forget to install paddle fans in the ceiling to keep the airflow moving, a must in a hot place like a tanning salon.

Furnishing and Fitup

Remember, the first thing to keep in mind is longevity of equipment. You will have tens of thousands of tanners each year using your furnishings, and lobby furniture, so only purchase and install furnishings that will withstand the wear and tear of kids, drinks, feet,
lotions, and the other abuse your furnishings will endure in your shop. Allow for two seating places per 5 beds for those waiting to tan. You should also install a drink dispenser and candy or snack section for additional income and to provide liquids for those who will invariably be thirsty after tanning. This is a money maker so variety and eye appeal will result in more revenue. Another thing to plan for, if you have the space, is for a small child play area, young women usually have kids, and you can increase your daytime business by providing a small area for these kids to pay in while mom is tanning. Plan for artwork in each room, and the lobby, a pretty shop can charge more for a tan than an ugly one can. You will also need plants and such to set a tropical mood for your customers. One area that you must plan for now is your retail area. Lotion sales will provide you with an estimated 20% or more of your gross annual sales, do not treat retail as an afterthought, but plan NOW for the nicest display area you can afford, glass cases are a must as is lighting for these products. I would allow for at least 4 feet of shelf space per 5 beds for this important item. You will also want to provide for swimsuits and clothing items in an attractive display, you can use slat wall units or freestanding display racks for this purpose. Tanning Beds

This is where you will need to plan and evaluate very carefully! This will be your biggest expense in opening your salon. Remember, any mistakes you make in this phase of your planning will be with you for years to come. There are literally dozens of bed manufactures that will be willing to sell you tanning equipment. These range from international firms, to national distribution firms, down to fly by night operators. Evaluating the offerings and selecting the right equipment can and WILL be a large undertaking for you. When I first decided to open I attended the largest tanning trade show which is held each October in Chicago, hosted by Looking Fit magazine. There are thousands of attendees, and dozens of manufacturers exhibiting
lotions, beds, and other tanning supplies. I spent days going from booth to booth talking with manufacturers and securing brochures and promotional materials. Each night saw me going back to my room laden with pounds of information to be evaluated and compared. Without attending a trade show the task is even more daunting.

What you want to purchase, is equipment that is well built, heavy plastic or steel construction, easy to maintain, simple to fix, and competitive in your intended marketplace. By talking with existing owners and operators you will pick up the "scuttlebutt" on the reputations that manufacturers have regarding longevity of equipment, ease of repair, and most importantly the after sale support you can expect. However, at this stage of the process, they ALL will tell you how great they are; and believe me, they aren't all good or reliable.

In the past the standard tanning bed came complete with 24-26 bulbs. In their day, these were sufficient for your business, however, nowadays, I strongly suggest that you consider the MINIMUM bed for a professional salon to be 28 bulbs, and realistically for competitive reasons you should really consider only purchasing a bed with 30 or more bulbs. That way, you will be able to market a better tan than most of your existing and potential competitors. This is for your basic tanning salon.

Most successful operators today find that a range of equipment from basic beds to the new massive
VHR beds, and if you can afford it, Hi Pressure units, will produce the highest income and maximum return on your investment. A good ratio is to consider 80% basic beds and 20% upgrade equipment. That way your customer base can 'graduate' from the basic beds to the larger and more profitable equipment when they reach a tanning plateau and want to achieve the maximum color for their skin type.

You will also be faced with deciding between laydown units and
standup units. Where standups are often more efficient in space utilization, you will find that MOST tanners will reject an equivalent standup in favor of a laydown, this is a function of the psychology of the tanning market; most will tan for relaxation as much as for color, so try to max out your laydowns instead of over planning for standup units. At MOST figure putting in a maximum of 10% standup units.

The newest trend in tanning is the upscale bed with Very High Output Reflective [VHR] bulbs. These are 160-220 watts per bulb instead of the standard 100 watts per bulb. In addition, these bulbs are coated on the back and sides with reflective material, thus, forcing ALL the outputted light directly onto the customer. These beds produce a fabulous tan and bring in prices several times the amount that a standard bed will command. When equipped with facial tanning units the beds will prove immediately popular and will pay for their price in several months of active use in the tanning season. If you have these in your salon, you will command the respect of your customers and have an endless supply of willing tanners. In addition, the year round serious tanners will be loyal to you, instead of the competition because you have upscale equipment, and the off season in our industry is where you will need to maximize every potential customer. Because of the sheer number of beds and styles available in the marketplace, and the ever changing offerings of the manufacturers I will not try here to cover the range, styles and varieties that you can equip your salon with, I only want to stress the need to verify after sale support and longevity of the purchase you eventually make.

Bed Warranties

Tanning beds are machines. Machines break. When they break they need to be repaired…simple, huh? But SOME tanning beds break a lot more often, usually those made by certain firms with a reputation for low initial price and high plastic part construction. Remember, your salon will be running almost non-stop from opening to closing for several months a year. These beds will take a lot of punishment, be subjected to hundreds of tanners a day lying on acrylics, and have the hinges or pistons flexed up to 40 times a day during peak periods. They WILL break. And when they do, two things confront you. First, your tanning customer flow is disrupted. You cannot accommodate the number of tans you have booked and agreed to. Secondly, you will need the part to fix the bed, and you will need it NOW.

Most new beds come with a manufacturers warranty. These vary greatly in terms, length of contract, and other details. The minimum warranty generally issued nowdays is one year, parts only. Labor is almost never part of the warranty. The better firms will extend the warranty selectively up to three years on the electrical components in the "drawer" containing the ballasts and relays. The metal and plastic parts are usually not warranted over one year. The plastic or acrylics as the industry calls the clear sheet the tanner lays on is generally warranted for a year. However this is a "pro-rata" warranty. This means that if it breaks or cracks in the sixth month of use, you will get a replacement, buy only by paying for ½ the cost of a new one, and you will generally pay the shipping, which on an acrylic is high, because it is heavy and bulky.

Make sure you understand the value of extended warranties. I would generally estimate the value of a three year extended warranty at $300 in value and gladly pay that much more for one than for a bed with only a single year warranty.

Bed Freight

Tanning beds are bulky, heavy, and large. Thus getting them from the manufacturer to you is quite an endeavor. Most manufacturers have negotiated yearly rates, or discounted rates, with a bulk carrier. You will usually get a very good rate via the designated carrier used by the manufacturer. You have several ways to possibly even further reduce this rate more. First, you could rent a truck and deliver the beds yourself. This is practical if you live within a reasonable distance from the plant. Secondly, some manufacturers have trucks that they use to deliver beds to trade shows, if you can convince the manufacturer to use their own truck and deliver to you that way as a condition of making the sale, savings are possible. If you do use a bulk carrier, make sure you inspect in great detail the shipment looking for damage, smashed corners on boxes, rattles, or broken sounding boxes and note on the shipping bill of lading the damage before accepting the order. Without such notations on the bill of lading, filing a damage claim with the carrier will be much harder if you find damage upon opening of the cartons.


Now is the big day! The truck pulls up, it is full of huge boxes. What now? First, I would advise having many, many strong men sitting around your salon waiting for the shipment. The truck driver is not expected to do more than open the rear tailgate of his truck. It will be up to you to unload the shipment and transport the beds to their respective rooms. You will need an area to uncrate the beds and a place to put the shipping materials pending final decision that they are acceptable and not needed returned, which will necessitate using the shipping boxes again.

There will be mass pandemonium this day. The instructions for assembling the beds will be somewhere in the boxes. You will have men, and electrician, and others all standing around waiting for the instructions. So, one of the things I recommend is that you have the manufacturer send you the installation booklets ahead of time, that way you, your electrician, and the assembly team will have a chance to familiarize themselves with the basic procedures and make sure such needed items as custom electrical plugs, cords, and tools will be purchased and ready on the big day. I would like to stress this, since the bed hooks up behind the bed, and once the bed is placed, getting access is very difficult. So you must know IN ADVANCE what will be needed to connect the bed to the power supply. This is almost never provided with the bed, so planning here will make the installation day much more productive. Remember, you will be paying lots of folks to stand around that day, waiting for parts if you don't do this.

One of the tips I recommend is that before the equipment arrives, call the factory, ask for the name and phone number of a "installation specialist" get his name, work number, cell phone number, home number, fax number and email address. Arrange for him to agree to be "on electrical call" the day you will be doing your installation. You almost always will run into problems, or the installation instructions will vary from the reality of the bed. Parts will be missing sometimes, or wiring harnesses won't match what the instructions say they are. Having a number with a knowledgeable live technician on call will
help, and give you the help NOW while you have the men and electrician on hand to talk with him to resolve any installation problems.

Pre Opening Advertising Graphics and Promotional Materials


Make sure you and your landlord agree on signage before signing a lease. Also check for community signage restrictions before signing. Signage is the single most effective advertising medium. It works for you and your business 24 hours a day, every day. Signage should be large, eye catching and display your logo, name, and phone number. Most effective is internally lighted signage that will show well at night, and remember, for many months of the year, you will be open in the evenings and only internally lighted signs show well after dark. Allow for $3,000 for a good custom made lighted sign. You will also want to purchase one or more of the standard tanning neon signs that are available, these provide street level advertising and really catch the customers eyes. You will need to provide lobby graphics for your company name and logo, so don't forget to budget for that.

Promo Material And Brochures

You will need to have an easily identifiable logo, it is your identifier to the world. This is the symbols or unique typeface that will identify your salon as being different from others. This will be used over and over in all your advertising, signage, and handouts. Keep it short, and make it easy to see in small print. This is the one area where real professionals are very helpful.

You will want to have a professionally done brochure for handing out to potential tanners, allow for $1,500 to design layout and purchase enough of these to last at least for the first six months. Allow for 100 brochures per tanning bed. You will want to have designed free tanning cards to distribute to your customers to give to their friends, the "Refer A Friend" program is the single most effective marketing tool you will have, there is nothing like having a customer in your shop who knows how nice their friend already looks and wants to start NOW! Allow for $500 to purchase a professional supply of these cards and signs for each tanning room. You can save a fortune now and in the future by purchasing a
computer graphics program and learning how to produce and layout your own advertising and promotional materials some excellent ones exist and are relatively inexpensive, in fact, you will pay for the entire program with the first ad or brochure or handout you create and don't have to pay for a designer. One that is especially easy to use is Microsoft Publisher. It will produce advertising, brochures, and even your internet web page. You will be producing acceptable looking output within an hour after starting. For those with more advanced computer skills you will want to purchase and use Adobe PageMaker for layout and design. CD Roms full of clipart and tanning photos are available for very reasonable rates. You will come to love making your own advertising, it is a relief from the humdrum word of weekly day to day tanning operations.


You are now open, the world doesn't know you exist. How to overcome this problem? Advertising, that is the only way to go. You should have a professionally designed series of Pre opening, grand opening, and open ads designed before you open. Plan on running these ads in a general circulation medium, one that is particularly effective in reaching your intended audience of young females is a Pennysaver or other direct mail paper with a weekly circulation. Plan on reserving a cover, half a cover, or the back of the magazine. They cost more, but many throw it away without opening it and the extra money is well spent and will bring returns. Advertising is cumulative, that means that it is the result of seeing your ad over and over that will bring the customers, don't be discouraged if your first few ads bring small results, give it time. Avoid TV and radio, they are not effective for most salons. Also, don't forget to offer a FREE INTRODUCTORY tan as the incentive to get customers to come to YOUR salon, even if they are tanning somewhere else and are otherwise satisfied. On an ongoing basis, you should budget 5% to 8% of your GROSS sales for ongoing continuous advertising…both to grow, and prosper.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
I love Derf!!
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

too long to read.....all i got from that was..

Don't open a tanning salon......it's not worth the headaches.....but spend your money on hookers and booze. Now that's a lifetime investment. 2 industries that will never die and always succeed.


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Old 07-31-2006, 07:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

Paraphased it huh? Nice!
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

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Old 07-31-2006, 09:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

wow,alot to read..
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure is. Interesting stuff though.
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

i read it and was impressed... we just opened a 3 bed tanning salon
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

good info, alot of it is useful to hear...
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

I remember reading this right before I went into business. Thats right..BEFORE. Stupid is as stupid does.
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: So you wanna open a tanning salon?

Uncle Snappy had his good points too..comon guys ease up on him.
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