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Old 10-23-2010, 12:03 PM   #41 (permalink)
 
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

Really? The flea market? I was thinking more of new stuff. but if this is a good idea, I will check it out.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:09 PM   #42 (permalink)
 
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

Ok here's the sitch I've been in the industry for 8 years. I have done everything from cleaning beds to location and district management for both small businesses and corporate salons. I'm going to open a salon whether or not the economy is "bad" becuase it's what I want to do. I live and breathe this industry. My question is I'm having an internal conflict because I know the area I'm in is not prime for tanning.... Franchise or do it myself? I don't want to get raped with fees etc that come w/ franchising but starting from scratch also presents a problem. Advice? Also @Brian I don't think you're a jerk at all I think your posts are just blunt haha I like it. :)
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:37 PM   #43 (permalink)
 
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Lightbulb Re: Do you want to open a salon?

I am going to lease a 3k sq ft. Space with 12 beds ranging from level 1 to 4 and a mystic. This buildout costed 350k from beginning to end, all which we are only paying a lease for the space and the equipment and etc come with it. The catch is we have a 3 month grace period to get the place running after a year being unoperated. We will have a new sign and name and it will be redecorated. We were told was a mismanaged business from a very irresponsible owner who sold it to the plaza it sits in before his devorced wife got hold of any of it. The tanning salon is in a plaza which has an upscale spa that specializes in high priced haircuts and massages etc. I can spare the equipment mix. This tanning place was a very nice salon in a demo of 5 mi. 212k 98% white population of a pretty rich area. There is a hole in the wall LA Tan a mile away. This salon we are opening is 2x the size of LA Tan with way better beds. We have ideas about o2 bars, led lights hidden under things, couches, waterwall, a wrap for our plain looking level 1 beds and a accessories and sunglasses boutique since there is ample space (without cluttering). So we get the beds with ample space and electricity and vent, we get 3mo. Rent free, we have advertising ready to get pressed and sent out. Any help is appreciated and I won't take criticism the wrong way, I just want some advice and searching for it here has been a tremendous help, thanks in advance!
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:55 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

How much is rent after the 3 months free? How long a commitment did you sign?

What are the demos for 1 mile away and 5 miles. And besides the "hole in the wall" LA Tan (who advertise like MAD, especially in your market), what other salons (e.g. how many, how many beds) are there within 1 mile, 3 miles and 5 miles?

Any Ultimate Exposure salons near you (they are very aggressive and nice)?

Are you going to be working the salon yourself? Or hiring others to do it? If you are doing it yourself, did you give up a paying job to take this on, and if so, how much salary/benefits do you have to replace?

What is your past experience in business ownership? Hiring? Training? Sales?

Are you open now? Sign up? Advertising in the windows yet? Advertising set-up with local coupon books (JB Dollar, Valpak,...)?

The decorating makes NO difference at this point - that should be the LAST thing you are spending time (or money) on!!! Oxygen bars were a fad quite a while ago and never did well - I'd stay away from those.

Sunglasses and "accessories" can do ok if you are really passionate about fashion and know it. Just bringing some in and putting them up for sale rarely does well.

Most importantly - specifically what equipment do you have?
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:05 PM   #45 (permalink)
 
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

Thanks for taking time to reply Sunsally!

Ok here goes..

I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor who teaches at night the nights I won't be at the salon my wife or an employee will be.

My wife and I own a high volume laundry and dry cleaners who do delivery and a large amount of drop offs and self serve.

We are doing great and we both tan and have thought about a salon for a few years now and here come's this great opportunity. We have not signed anything yet but are pretty close to signing *we have our lawyer looking over the 40 page lease as we speak*

The place is 2400 sq. ft. actually for a 2 year lease for $3700 per mo. for first year and $4000 per mo. for the 2nd year. We have an option for 2 years, another 2 year option after that. The Demo for the white population 1mi are 8,921, 3mi are 71,730 and the 5mi are 177,885 as of 2009. Roughly 90% white demographic with a median household income of $80,000.

The equipment here is in great condition and has been tested (they did take their computer but left the timers, we have the contracts of past customers in about 50 4 inch ring binders filed away).

Level 1: 4 Sunal 100w with 4 facials Big Frame as seen here http://www.tanningonline.com/perfect...ning-beds.html
Level 2: 3 Sun Capsle VHR Sixty / Nine Stand UP 60 160W. as seen here http://www.customtanningbed.com/used-beds.php?id=24
Level 3: 2 Ergoline Classic 600 as seen here http://www.imagetan.net/equipment/popErgoline600.htm
Level 4: 1 Saturn from 2008
Level 4: 1 UltraSun JetPower 17000 as seen here http://www.tanningsuppliesunlimited.com/jetpower.html
PLUS a Mystic booth

There are only 3 other tanning salons and they are located kinda off the beaten path all a mile or more from our spot. We will be however at a major intersection and in the same plaza that has a very high end salon and spa that do not have tanning. We will be close to a area that has a higher income level and there are no salons just west of where we will be. There are 40,000+ vehicles on average per day that pass this location.

There are no UE salons near our salon but near my home right now I am talking with the manager of the UE and they bring in about $10,000 per month in EFT alone. They are a small, dirty salon who's best bed is a UWE S-Class. There is no space to change in their rooms either. We are members there and it sucks :). The LA Tan is the closest to our location about a mile away. They are in a small older run down shopping strip with no good stores in it. About 3 miles away on the other side of this large town we have another salon that isn't bad and their deal is any 3 sessions for $20, one can be in a autobronzer and their highest bed is unknown but he calls it the Big Red and it has the following specs:
12 minute tan time
48 170-watt reflector lamps
Four 720-watt facial lamps
High-pressure shoulder tanners
Aqua-cooling misters
Aromatherapy
Air conditioning

Their next level down beds are Diva, Bodyscan 4500 and Diva Jr.

I used to be a salesman and sold everything from cars, treadmills, newspapers, cologne and magazines on the street so I can interest people into a product they need anyway :)

We have no signs up and no graphics ready to go but we have an excellent graphic design shop that we use for our other business and we will have some very exciting ads direct mail, facebook, groupon, website, constant contact etc... We have a very large high price community college and a high school near by. We would like to billboard our ad possibly. We want to be the upper class salon as it was built to be! We don't expect to make our money back right away in 3 months just want to know if with the right effort in advertising we want to work there less than 2 days a week at some point. We plan to invest around $20,000 into advertising, computer and some furniture. Please tell me what I need to hear! Thank you in advance we want to be sure before we sign anything since we have 3 young kids to support and if this fails we are in some trouble... Nevertheless we think this is a great opportunity. It's the best salon I have ever seen as a tanner and a husband of a tanning wife. We have been to salons and this is by far the best in this area for 20 mi+
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:40 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

Pros:

1. You and your wife are already experienced business owners. I assume your other businesses (dry cleaning and martial arts instructor) are successful, you understand how to hire, deliver customer service, attract and retain customers, etc. This is important.

2. You are experienced in sales. This is a RETAIL business and that is critical. It also sounds like you have a good awareness of marketing.

3. Sounds like they previously had a large clientele - and you have those addresses (emails?).

4. Short term lease commitment. If it doesn't work out - you aren't tied into 5-7 years.


Irrelevant:

1. I don't see anyway this buildout was $350K, even including equipment (it appears most/all of the equipment was bought used since it is all fairly dated. It's value today is maybe $50K)





Cons:

1. You and your wife already have a LOT going on. 2 current businesses AND 3 small children. Are either of you "hands-on" at the dry cleaning business now? Sounds like you are already out of the house several evenings for the Martial Arts classes - does your family want you to be out the OTHER evenings to work in the tanning salon? Sounds like no family time left. You don't get back the "years with young kids" - once it's gone - it's gone.

2. Your equipment mix is very "average". The 7 level 1 and 2 beds are adequate - but certainly nothing special. And 3 stand-ups -- as the only "level 2" option - is not desirable. From what you're telling me and what I know of their operations, the UE, LA Tan and the local independent with "Big Red" all probably have equipment at LEAST as nice as yours. In the end, tanners are retained by a QUALITY tan - not an expensive buildout.

3. The "very high end spa and salon" may actually HURT you more than help - if they are heavy into the "tanning is BAD for you, as many are". Ditto the higher income level - many of them are highly educated and have been repeatedly been given the message "Tanning causes cancer and wrinkles" by "Doctors". Many of them have turned AWAY from tanning and won't let their kids tan either.

4. Your location is in a high traffic area - but not high residential. As you said - you go to a salon near your home. For SOME - they would rather go to a lower traffic strip mall where they can get in and out and park easily, then have to deal with going into the more congested area. Make sure you analyze what it will be like for people to try to park to use your salon, getting in and out of the strip given traffic patterns, etc. Tanning is a 'destination' business. The visibility aspect of your location just helps for marketing but not necessarily getting customers unless it is also convenient for them to use regularly.

5. You are getting late in the game. Unless you can open the doors NOW - even minute you waste is time of you "holding" it during slow season - and using your own money to front the place. Do you have adequate capital if this happens??


Continued in next post......
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:11 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

Other thoughts:

1. You keep talking about it being "the best salon" in 20 miles, the nicest you've seen, etc. Not sure WHAT is so fantastic, since it isn't the equipment. The buildout? Don't fall in love with decor or buildout - that's like house hunting and loving their furniture. Stay dispassionate and look at numbers.

2. You may feel UE is "dirty, small,..." - but they have the buying power that comes with multiple salons, as does LA Tans, and they can BOTH outmarket you by a factor of 10. Radio, billboards and other things that make SENSE for them with their number of locations - will NOT make sense for you (no to the billboard idea....). Don't think you will be able to just "fall into" $10K EFT/month. That takes time and a knowledge of exactly how to set up your pricing, your advertising, etc There are a LOT more salons around the country who do less than $1K/month in EFT's than there are that do $10K or more. Not saying it isn't possible or something you should TRY to do. Just don't have that as a "given" in your plans.

3. Ongoing Operating Budget -

$4K rent
$3K payroll
$2K Electric, gas, water, internet, phone, software tech support
$1K CC fees, supplies, misc
$1K Product, Mystic juice, ....
$1K Advertising
$1K Lamps

$13K/month or approx $150K/year for BREAKEVEN.


4. Opening Budget

You have said you would spend $20K in computer, software, furniture and advertising. DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN A TEENY TINY FRACTION OF THAT MONEY ON DECOR!!!!!!! Initially, you need to get the doors open and every dime should be spent on GENERATING REVENUE. Look for used furniture on Craigs list, decor items from your home, etc. IF IT GETS UP AND RUNNING AND MAKING A PROFIT -- you can go BACK and add hidden LED lights, waterfalls, nicer lobby furniture, etc!

Instead, I see your opening budget as:

$5-10K on lamps.

You have no idea when they were last changed - if they were last changed. You can buy meters to test them (recommend this) but assume some will have to be redone. Your level 1 beds will cost approx $250-400 each to relamp. The standups may be $750 or so each. The 600's are about $1000 each. Close to $2K each for the Saturn and the Jetpower. A new jug of Mystic is approx $250.

$3K on computer, software (recommend Sunlync), cameras

You need to be able to watch your business remotely when you aren't there. I'd put in security cameras for your counter (and for you to view your staff/customer interactions) and Sunlync so you can see, in real time, what is going on in your business (sales, how long equip has been dirty and not cleaned, etc).

$7K on advertising

Pay someone to input all the addresses into a database and do a direct mailing to those former customers and/or current addressee (use Chronos Marketing for best results on the postcards!) as well as others in their neighborhoods. Hit a local coupon mailer NOW (JB Dollar, Valpak, Money Mailer,....). Vinyl signs in your window saying "now open", "coming soon", pics of your Level 3/4 equip and Mystic, etc)

$1K Attorney, vendor's license, new business established,...

$3K Credit card machine (see ebay, craigs list?), Outside signage

$2-3K Start up inventory, forms, gift cards?

$1K MAXIMUM - interior "decor" or furniture


Total 22-30K


Unless you get open yesterday (or darn soon!) - and you get the advertising, signage, etc going yesterday --- plan on you will NOT make enough initially to carry you all the way through the slower months --- and so beyond the initial $22-30K investment, plan on putting in up to $50-75K in "Carrying costs" to get it through the first year. If you can pick up some of the hours to reduce the payroll (which doesn't make it 'profitable' but reduces cash flow) then this can decrease that number somewhat.

The current local salons are already "locking in" the customers you want. They have them on memberships, etc. It will take time to make them aware of you, get them to try you, and get them to switch. That may take a year. Budget as if it will - be pleasantly surprised if it is less than that.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:06 PM   #48 (permalink)
 
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

IM LOOKING FOR SOME HELP!!!!!

DOES ANYONE KNOW THIS GENTLEMAN MARC WILABY AND PATRICK FROM SUN ITALIA?????

MARC WILABY WORKS FOR PATRICK AT SUN ITALIA SELLING HP UNITS I PURCHASED 2 HP UNITS FROM THESE
GUYS AND I WAS TOLD I HAD TO PAY UPFRONT FOR THESE UNITS I PAID OVER 78,000 NOT INCLUDING SHIPPING
FOR A STANDUP AND MAGIC 636... NOW I FOUND OUT HOW MUCH THIS GUY MARC WAS TRYING TO
OVERCHARGE ME FOR SOME OTHER BEDS THAT I FOUND USED ONLINE AND SINCE I DIDNT
OVER PAY HIM FOR THESE OTHER MACHINES HIM AND PATRICK WILL NOT SHIP ME MY 2
SUNITALIA MACHINES THAT I HAVE A PAID IN FULL INVOICE FOR??? THEY WANT ME SEND
SEND MORE MONEY FOR THE BEDS I DIDNT BUY FROM HIM OR THEY WONT SEND ME THE
EQUIPMENT THAT I ALREADY PAID FOR!!!!

IS THIS NORMAL IN THE TANNING BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:12 PM   #49 (permalink)
 
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

I would hustle my butt over the Spa, give owner and employees free tans from the start and set up some kind of referral system with them that works for both. If done correctly they can feed you.

Also, "Big Red" is an Ergoline 600.

Lotsa luck!
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:17 AM   #50 (permalink)
 
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Re: Do you want to open a salon?

I take trips to Chi-Town and thruout Ill several times a year. Always tan @ a different UE whenever time permits. I have YET to find one as you describe.

Also, Sunal beds are old and outdated.
Everything SunSally says, is right-on

This is NO time (and doubt there will be again) to open a tanning salon. I am in a high end area, Atlanta, GA. They are closing everyday. The 'build it and they will come' days are long gone.
It sounds as if your lives are full with so much on your plates, why add more?

In the end you will do what you want. If you go through with this, I could gurantee after 6 months you will ask yourselves, "what did we get into"

best of luck!
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