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Old 04-08-2006, 03:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Serious Question, not a Joke...

Hello all,

I'm new to the site and new to the tanning industry. My wife and I have been researching the Tanning Industry for a couple years now, but just recently started hitting it pretty hard. Our plan is to open a Tanning Salon mid 2007 in Las Vegas NV (Sin City). My question is real basic and may come off childish, but that is not my intention. I just want an opinion. The question revolves around me being Black. I want to know, how consumers and managers view a black male working in a Tanning Salon. When I run my idea, of opening a tanning salon by my co-workers they laugh and think I am joking. I personally see it as a problem because I don’t tan, so how can I give advice on tanning? I told my wife it's kind of like when I went into a GNC and asked for some help on some good muscle building protein, and a guy about 5'8" 104 lbs recommended a brand and I kindly said thank you and made sure I didn’t buy that brand. Is it the same thing? Will people look at me the same way when I tell them how important UVA rays are oppose to UVB rays? Or how a HP bed will give them a long lasting tan? I was also thinking about getting a job at a Tanning Salon first to maybe get an idea of how things run. Will a manager really want to hire me, even if I had the best people skills out there? I guess one benefit is he'll never have to worry about me abusing the Free Tan for employees’ policy...:lol: lol. But seriously, I would like everyone’s real, blunt, and honest opinion... Please do not hold back, because this is my future. Thank you in advance.

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Old 04-08-2006, 03:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

As much as I would like to believe that racial stereotypes no longer exist in this day and age, I am sure that they do. Sad. But you shouldn't have any trouble learning the same things (Smart Tan) that any caucasion salon owner did and pass that knowledge on to your clients. Your skin color may even give you an advantage: "Ma'am, I was 100 shades lighter this morning when I came in, then I hopped in the XYZ Mega Super Duper tanning unit, and look at me now! lol". People like to laugh, and get what they pay for, if not a little more. I don't think your skin color will make much of a difference one way or the other for the majority of your clients. Good luck. -Belvy
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

We've had a few black girls tan with us. Dancers. Actually, it does even out their skin tones. I assume that dark skined people still benefit from the vitamin D3 created by uv light. Give it a shot. What's the worse that can happen? Loose your entire investment? We took the same risk.
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

I don't think the issue would be you being black but a non tanner. It would be like me hiring a Goth chick who can't give input on her favourite bed or lotion. Do you plan on actually running it? I think owning it would be fine but you can't sell something you don't use.
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Old 04-08-2006, 04:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

I hired a black guy 2 seasons ago (I believe in that equal opportunity thang and I'll prove it) -- he did tan--did the clients react differently to him as opposed to the white guy or the hispanic guy I also hired or the trio of cute chicks behind the counter--yes--does he still work for me--no. Tanning is a Tactile activity and SALES(wo)manship is what makes or breaks you in this business. Tanning is seeing and believing--my color looks good--clients say--what do you use--regardless of what I say--CT7, Ionyx, Spellbound--whatever--they buy it. Are you planning on being behind the counter or just in the background--shuffling paperwork and keeping the equipment in tip top shape? What roll are you wanting to play in this endeavor?

I personally don't think your skin color is going to be your biggest problem in Vegas--I think the over saturation of the Vegas market is going to be your biggest obstacle--there is a major franchise opening 20 Big Boy salons (20+ beds)--get your ducks in a row and REALLY think about this--with people like an attorney and an accountant--this can EAT you alive--personally, financially and emotionally.

good luck.
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Old 04-08-2006, 04:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

Thx for the quick and honest replies.... Like I said before, I think I will be behind the scenes as much as possible. With very little customer interaction as possible. But the wife feels differently and we all know whose boss.

Mojo...thank you for the info, we will surely look into those big boy salons.
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Old 04-08-2006, 04:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

I personally don't think it would be a problem. I've had several black people tan to get even darker. At first I thought they were kidding, but they were very serious. They felt that weren't black enough and they also thought it worked wonders for their skin. But okay, those are customers, I never had a black person working at the desk however so I can't comment on that.

I have an overweight person working at the desk and I assure you, people don't stay away in the fitness because she is overweight! They even really like it, because she knows what they are going through. She can have the diet talk like nobody else can and she sells great! Of course this is not totally comparable, but I thought I would share it anyway :-)
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

You're welcome PT.

Just to stir up the pot--Could you add a stripper pole and slot machines to your salon concept?--that's the ONLY way I would try to capture any part of that market.
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

Yeah, hehe, because you always find loose slots hanging around stripper poles, and the looser the better, IMHO. ~It's a gift~
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Re: Serious Question, not a Joke...

Mojo - Slot machines are a possibility but as far as Strippers.... We don't have any Strippers in Las Vegas, we only have respectable Dancers:) and entertainers...lol

Sandi Girl: The Goth girl thing is a great Analogy, I gotta tell my wife that one....lol

Mr. B. Funny, but I'd rather not comment...lol

Clubtan - Thx for the encouraging words, your right, its just my investment... You wanna partner up?????...lol...jk

Marca - I see your point...

Thx for everyones help... Please keep the comments coming.

Also got another question... Are managers and owners willing to hire free help in exchange for experience. I really want to research this industry, but you cant do this from the outside looking in. If Im gonna make a 200G investment, I gotta really be sure I can do it, let alone enjoy it. My wife said something about, some owners have you sign a contract when you get hired that states, you won't open a Tanning Salon in the same vicinity for a certain amount of years... Has anyone heard the same thing??
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