If I was going to start a tanning salon what would I need to do?

What is the minimum square footage the store would need to be? Is there anything special I need to take into consideration when designing the interior? Is it better to buy or lease the equipment?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A business can be summed up as follows:

    Market (who are you selling to or in other words, who wants to buy what you want to sell - irrespective of this being a product or a service - where and for how much?)


    Product / Service


    Revenue Model (financials i.e. how much does it cost you to run the business and deliver the value you intend to and how much can you charge, to how many people you can serve ==> throw this is in a simple equation on a spreadsheet)

    Based on the above understanding, you can now can make a serious decision on whether:

    1) you want to be IN THIS "tanning salon" business or not;

    2) it makes financial sense to be in the "tanning salon" business;

    3) it can "breakeven" and make money within a short/relevant period of time before you grow frustrated

    4) if this is a full time business opportunity or a sideshow that generates decent "extra" money.

    5) Why you are doing this - i.e. starting a tanning salon business - makes sense or does that answer to the question "why?" need a relook? is this because you have expertise in this area, or you have money to invest etc...

    That was the first stage of decision making and the most important part. Once you seriously know "Why?" you are in this, rest all is administrative and easy.

    The minimum square footage for your store would depend on your estimation (by experience, market research and your financial model) on how many customers you can get attention from, attract into your salon and serve at any given point in time. For example: How many tanning stations/equipment do you plan on having? How many experts do you need to work with these equipment? Are you going to run the business on the basis of appointments or walk ins? What is your financial health and budget for renting or buying a salon? Is this going to be a -strategically speaking - real estate play or service business play? What term are you looking to sign up the lease (if renting) with the landlord? Be extra careful on the lease front, business people from Sam Walton (kicked out of his first succesful variety store by landlord who did not renew the contract) to regular johnnys who have had bad locations with long leases slammed on them...

    Therefore, the minimum square footage the store would be a function of all of the above...but in general, a regular retail outlet with 30feet x 60 feet space for about $3000 to $5000 is normal.

    For designing the interior, again focus on the customer/client...for example, kids hospitals/doctors clinics, nurses wear winnie the pooh shirts / trousers/pyjamas and have disney themed wall papers ..same way, you need to have either a random beach, latin american, carribean or other "Sun & open spaces" based themes or just the colors without a picture...use red streaks, yellow shades and sky blue a lot...

    Buy or lease equipment: Is based on your specific financial modeling and short/long term plans.

    Lease if:1: low on cash 2: write the lease of as expense each month 3: you have a short term lease with your landlord

    Buy if: have cash on hand 2: you want to use depreciation on capital investment method for accounting and if this is a large amount 3; long term lease on hand through the break even time required and also if you are confident that your location is the perfect one.

    The following points are useful for you to note:

    Next, go to the website of your local state government, if you are in the USA, else to a legal counsel or account (CPA) to help with the basic decision making and advise on:

    1. Formation of the company: name, capital structure, accounting formats/software, financial year etc.

    2. Deciding on sole proprietor, partnership, S Corp, LLC or C Corp

    3. Financial health required i.e. cash flow analysis, financial projections, financing needs and loans etc.

    Then comes the execution part:

    1. Marketing ==> advertising ==> budget and reaching out to your market/audience constantly.

    2. Sales ==> Getting big projects ==>cold calling, meetings, deal closures

    3. Business Development ==> partnerships, networking, swapping warm leads with other non-competing allies outside of your business / market area for a referral fee / affiliate commission.

    4. eCommerce and eBusiness: an online angle to your business, to generate revenues online as well as take your offline business online in some way or the other.

    Last comes in HR / Production / Operations: Looks like you are experts in this area already. Just keep these in mind:

    1. to grow your company, you HAVE to hire new people, trust them (even if you are burnt multiple times...keep hiring), train them and try to get out of "you" out of the business and let it run on a systematic daily reports oriented effort...i.e most companies that are run by entrepreneurs / founders die when the founder leaves because the founder(s) was/were the company...therefore, on the operations front, put in an IT system in tandem with a Culture in place that can run the show on its own without your interference in the business decision making, revenue generation, order fulfilment and customer support. Also it is absolutely must that you get a T1 or higher internet with VoIP service for communications.

    All in all, always remember that the seed you are planting already knows how large it can get, the one who plants may not be so aware of which seed he/she is planting...so, your tanning salon business can take the model of a local hair cutting salon or a subscription based monthly fee model...you have to design this business model /seed before you launch.

    Good luck with your venture...nothing ventured, nothing gained...go for it...the learning would be fun after its been learnt...hindsight is 20/20...I can keep advising till the cows come home...having been there done that...for you, just do it :)

    Sanjay Saggere



    www.bizdevsystems.com click on eBusiness


    1. For eBusiness eSsentials go to www.bizdevsystems.com click on eBusiness or email sales@bizdevsytems.com

    2. For eCommerce / offline retail merchant accounts go to www.wynpay.com or email sales@wynpay.com

    3. For phone & Internet VoIP services visit www.eBolo.com

    Source(s): Source(s): 1. For eBusiness eSsentials go to www.bizdevsystems.com click on eBusiness or email sales@bizdevsytems.com 2. For eCommerce / offline retail merchant accounts go to www.wynpay.com or email sales@wynpay.com 3. For phone & Internet VoIP services visit www.eBolo.com
  • 1 decade ago

    The best routes to take are to research the process of starting a business as well as the industry you're interested in.

    I recommend checking out the SBA, Entrepreneur, The Start Up Journal & Nolo. All 4 are great informational resources for the new/small business owner. I posted links for you in the source box.

    Associations may be a good avenue to explore. These organizations will address many of the thoughts, questions and concerns you'll inevitably have as well as many you haven't anticipated yet. See the source box for some relevant links.

    Research, research, research – this cannot be stressed enough. Read as much as you can about the industry. Here are some book titles that are relevant:

    * Spa Business Strategies: A Plan for Success by Janet M. D'Angelo

    * SalonOvations' Day Spa Operations (S Business Series) by Erica Miller

    * Start Your Own Hair Salon and Day Spa by Eileen Figure Sandlin

    * 101 Media and Marketing Tips for Salon Owners, Stylists and Managers by Nanette Miner

    There are plenty of free informational resources out there. Check the source box for links to articles.

    Hope that helps! I wish you much success & happiness in all your ventures!

    Source(s): http://www.sba.gov/ http://www.entrepreneur.com/ http://www.startupjournal.com/ http://www.nolo.com/resource.cfm/catID/9FA25870-14... -- Nolo’s Starting a Business – Resource Center Associations: http://www.artsmembership.com/ -- Association of Responsible Tanning Salons http://www.tanningtraining.com/ -- National Tanning Training Institute http://www.theita.com/ -- Indoor Tanning Association Articles: http://ezinearticles.com/?Creating-A-Winning-Tanni... – Creating a Winning Tanning Salon Business Plan by Shaunta Pleasant http://ezinearticles.com/?Producing-A-Successful-A... – Producing a Successful and Complete Salon Business Plan by Shaunta Pleasant http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Make-Your-Tanning... – How to Make Your Tanning Salon More Profitable by Robert Geoghegan
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.