The tanning industry is incredibly seasonal. Summer is the peak time for business as clients rush into the salons seeking that golden glow, whereas in the winter, when things get cold, tanning takes a backseat to holiday shopping and spending time with family. With business that is this volatile, marketing your tanning salon can definitely be a challenge. It's tough to know when to spend the money and where to spend it. Unfortunately there's no easy answer, but here are some guidelines.
#1) Go where your customers are-The best way to reach out to customers is to meet them face-to-face. Research your target market and find out their interests, hobbies, etc. By participating in these activities, and possibly sponsoring local events, you'll show your customers that you care about who they are and what they're into. In return, they will be more-likely to support your business. In addition, sponsorships generally result in advertising opportunities by using vinyl banners, flyers, postcards, etc.
#2) Mix it up-Marketing is much more successful when a variety of tactics are used. Try a variety of different mediums to find what works for your salon. Since your customers come from all over, you never know where you'll reach them! Some will hear a radio commercial and head your way, whereas for others your storefront signage will attract them since they shop near your location already. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket and hoping it works, it's generally more-effective to spread out your efforts.
#3) Be an industry leader-Customers respond positively to businesses that are on the forefront of their industry. Tanning is constantly-evolving as new methods are developed which are easier, produce better results, and have less negative side-effects. By embracing these methods and investing in new technology, your business stands apart as someone your customers can trust to be effective and worthwhile. Show this to them by listing your newest services or professional certifications on your storefront windows with a vinyl decal.
#4) Push the slow season-Summer is the busy season, and when things get colder business takes a hit. Use these times to promote your best specials to get customers in the door! Your bills don't go away, so unless you save very carefully you're going to need to stay steady throughout the winter. Not everybody wants to hibernate while it's chilly, so use window graphics that display images of beautiful beaches and the summer sun to catch the eye of customers and draw them into your salon!
#5) Spend your money wisely-It's very easy to get carried away when marketing your business. Creating a formal marketing plan isn't a huge challenge, and it can be very effective to keep you on track. Set a reasonable budget and stick to it as much as possible. Spend smart, pursuing high-return marketing methods like business signage and social-networking ads.
If you have yet to pursue marketing your tanning salon, now's the time to start! You can very easily increase your business by advertising strategically and planning carefully. When all else fails, ask your current customers what attracted them to your business and focus on expanding and enhancing those techniques.