How to Start a Tanning Salon In 11 Steps

In this post, we’re going to take a look at how to start a Tanning Salon and how to run it effectively. Looking to start your own tanning salon business?

It can be a rewarding venture, but it’s important to do your research and preparation beforehand. In this article, we’ll take you through the 11 essential steps to starting a tanning salon, from market research to grand opening day.

As an experienced entrepreneur who has started and managed multiple successful businesses, I have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process of starting a tanning salon.

I understand the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship, and I’m excited to share my insights with you. If you’re wondering how to start a tanning salon, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get your business up and running, including choosing a location, creating a business plan, securing financing, and selecting equipment and products.

Also hiring employees, marketing your salon, and more are also included in the list.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to opening a successful tanning salon that attracts and retains customers, generates revenue, and provides a high-quality experience for your clients.

So, let’s dive in and get started on your journey to becoming a successful tanning salon owner!

1.      How to Start a Tanning Salon In 11 Steps

Starting a tanning salon is a great business idea for people who are passionate about beauty and wellness.

With the right planning and execution, you can set up a successful tanning salon that caters to the needs of your clients. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the 11 essential steps you need to take to start your tanning salon.

1. Conduct Market Research

Before starting any business, you need to research the market to understand the demand for your services. Analyze the existing tanning salons in your area, their services, pricing, and customer reviews.

Identify the gaps in the market and how your business can differentiate itself from competitors.

2. Develop a Business Plan

A business plan is a blueprint for your business that outlines your objectives, strategies, financial projections, and operational plans. It helps you stay focused and organized and is crucial when seeking funding from investors or financial institutions.

3. Register Your Business

Register your business with the relevant state and federal authorities. Obtain the necessary permits and licenses to operate a tanning salon in your state.

You may need to register for sales tax or obtain a resale certificate, depending on your state laws.

4. Secure Funding

Starting a tanning salon requires significant investment in equipment, inventory, and marketing. You can either self-fund your business or seek funding from investors or lenders.

Prepare a detailed financial plan that includes your startup costs, operating expenses, and revenue projections.

5. Choose a Location

Select a location that is easily accessible, visible, and has ample parking space. Consider the demographics of the area, foot traffic, and competition when choosing a location.

Also, ensure that the space meets all safety requirements and has adequate ventilation and lighting.

6. Purchase Equipment and Inventory

Invest in high-quality tanning beds, spray tanning machines, and other equipment needed to run your business.

Purchase a sufficient amount of lotions, oils, and other tanning products to cater to your clients’ needs. You can also consider selling retail products to increase revenue.

7. Hire Staff

Hire staff who are knowledgeable about tanning and have excellent customer service skills. Train your staff on the proper use of equipment, safety procedures, and customer interaction.

You can also consider offering incentives to retain your staff and motivate them to provide exceptional service.

8. Develop a Marketing Strategy

Create a marketing plan that includes both online and offline strategies. Utilize social media platforms, email marketing, and search engine optimization to reach your target audience.

You can also offer promotions, referrals, and loyalty programs to attract and retain customers.

9. Set Prices

Set pricing that is competitive yet profitable. Research the pricing of your competitors and consider your costs when setting your prices. You can offer discounts for new customers or special promotions during holidays or slow seasons.

10. Maintain Quality Control

Ensure that your salon is clean, hygienic, and safe for your clients. Perform regular maintenance on your equipment and replace worn-out parts promptly.

Train your staff on the importance of quality control and encourage them to report any issues.

11. Continuously Evaluate Your Business

Track your progress and evaluate your business regularly. Analyze your financial statements, customer feedback, and employee performance to identify areas that need improvement.

Continuously adapt and refine your strategies to ensure the success of your business.

How to Start a Tanning Salon

2.      Cost of Starting a Tanning Salon

The cost of starting a tanning salon can vary depending on several factors, such as location, size of the salon, equipment, and supplies needed, and permits and licenses required.

Overall, the cost of starting a tanning salon can range from $50,000 to $250,000 or more, depending on the factors mentioned below. Here are some of the costs you may need to consider:


The cost of renting or purchasing a commercial space for your tanning salon will depend on the location and size of the space. The cost of renting or purchasing a space can vary greatly depending on the area, but it can be a significant expense.


You will need tanning beds, chairs, spray tan booths, and other equipment. The cost of equipment can vary depending on the quality and quantity of the equipment you need.


You will need to purchase tanning lotions, goggles, towels, and other supplies. The cost of supplies can also vary depending on the quantity and quality of the products you choose.

Permits and licenses

Depending on your location, you may need to obtain permits and licenses to operate a tanning salon. The cost of permits and licenses can vary depending on your location.


You may need to budget for marketing expenses to promote your tanning salon and attract customers. It is important to create a detailed business plan and budget to determine the specific costs of starting a tanning salon in your area.

How to Start a Tanning Salon

3.      Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Tanning Salon

Starting a tanning salon can be a lucrative venture, especially in areas where the sun doesn’t shine all year round. However, it’s easy to make mistakes that could damage your salon’s reputation, affect your income, and ultimately lead to business failure.

In this blog post, we will highlight some common mistakes to avoid when starting a tanning salon.

1. Not Conducting Proper Research

Before starting a tanning salon, it’s essential to conduct thorough market research to determine the demand and competition in your area. You need to know who your target customers are, where they are located, and what their spending habits are.

You also need to identify your competitors and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. This information will help you develop a viable business plan, including pricing, marketing, and location selection.

2. Choosing the Wrong Location

Location is critical when starting a tanning salon. You need to choose a location that is easily accessible to your target customers, has ample parking space, and is visible from the main roads.

Avoid locations that are in low-traffic areas, have limited parking, or are difficult to access. Also, check the zoning laws in your area to ensure that you can legally operate a tanning salon in your chosen location.

3. Not Investing in Quality Equipment

The success of your tanning salon depends heavily on the quality of the equipment you purchase. Investing in high-quality tanning beds, spray tanning machines, and other accessories is crucial.

Cheap equipment may save you money in the short term, but it will cost you more in the long run due to frequent repairs and replacements.

Moreover, investing in quality equipment will ensure that your clients get the best tanning experience, leading to customer satisfaction and repeat business.

4. Failing to Train Your Staff

Your staff is the face of your tanning salon, and their interactions with clients can make or break your business.

Failing to train your staff on tanning procedures, customer service, and sales techniques can lead to poor customer experiences and negative reviews.

Take the time to train your staff on all aspects of running a tanning salon, and encourage them to provide excellent customer service at all times.

5. Ignoring Safety and Health Regulations

Tanning salons are subject to state and federal regulations regarding safety and health. Ignoring these regulations can result in fines, legal action, and damage to your reputation.

Ensure that you comply with all regulations, including providing eye protection for clients, following proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and providing adequate ventilation.

6. Not Marketing Your Salon Effectively

Marketing is crucial when starting a tanning salon. You need to create awareness about your salon and attract new clients. Failing to market your salon effectively can lead to poor sales and slow growth.

Invest in effective marketing strategies such as social media, email marketing, and local advertising to reach your target audience.

How to Start a Tanning Salon in 4 steps

4.      How to Succeed in a Tanning Salon Industry

The tanning salon industry is one of the most lucrative and fastest-growing industries in the world.

With the rise of the fitness and wellness industry, more and more people are looking for ways to achieve the perfect sun-kissed glow without spending hours in the sun.

If you’re considering starting your own tanning salon business or working in the industry, there are a few things you need to know to succeed. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to succeed in the tanning salon industry.

1. Understand the Industry

Before diving into the industry, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into.

The tanning salon industry is incredibly competitive, and it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, regulations, and best practices to ensure your business thrives.

Take the time to research the latest technologies, products, and services that are popular in the industry. Attend trade shows, seminars, and other events to learn from experts in the field and gain insights into what’s working and what’s not.

2. Develop a Solid Business Plan

A solid business plan is essential to the success of any business, and a tanning salon is no exception. Your business plan should include detailed information about your target market, competition, marketing strategy, financial projections, and more.

Consider factors such as location, pricing, and branding when developing your business plan. You’ll need to decide whether you want to offer a luxury experience or cater to budget-conscious consumers.

You’ll also need to think about the equipment and technology you’ll be using and whether you’ll need to hire additional staff.

3. Invest in Quality Equipment

Investing in quality tanning equipment is essential to providing a safe and effective service to your clients. Choose equipment that is easy to use and maintain, and that is designed to deliver consistent results.

Consider factors such as bulb life, ease of operation, and safety features when choosing your equipment. Be sure to purchase from reputable suppliers and manufacturers, and invest in equipment that is certified by industry standards.

4. Offer a Variety of Services

Offering a range of services is essential to attracting and retaining clients. Consider offering a range of tanning options, including spray tans, UV tanning, and sunless tanning products.

You can also offer additional services such as skin care treatments, sauna sessions, and other wellness services to create a comprehensive experience for your clients.

5. Focus on Customer Service

Customer service is essential to the success of any business, and a tanning salon is no exception. Creating a welcoming and friendly environment for your clients can help build loyalty and attract new customers.

Train your staff to be knowledgeable about your products and services, and encourage them to provide personalized recommendations and advice to clients.

Be sure to listen to feedback and address any concerns or complaints promptly and professionally.

6. Market Your Business Effectively

Marketing your business effectively is essential to attracting and retaining clients. Consider using a mix of online and offline marketing strategies, including social media, email marketing, print ads, and more.

Partner with other businesses in the wellness and fitness industry to cross-promote your services and reach a wider audience. Offer promotions and discounts to encourage new clients to try your services and incentivize existing clients to return.

Success in the tanning salon industry requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and hard work. By following these tips, you can build a successful and profitable business that provides a valuable service to your clients.

How to Start a Tanning Salon

5.      Conclusion

In conclusion, the most important thing to remember when starting a tanning salon is to be patient. The first few months will be tough. You will be learning a lot and making a lot of mistakes.

It’s hard to learn from your own mistakes if you aren’t willing to make them.


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