You have 2 options to start a tanning salon. One is to buy a franchise and another is to open one from scratch. Getting a franchise means you will need less work getting the business off to a good start, but you will also have to invest more money. You can save by starting from the bottom because you won't have to pay expensive franchise fees. Starting from scratch also means you will have to work harder training staff, buying equipment, finding a location, and promoting your tanning salon business.
Some people prefer to open a tanning salon using their own concept and ideas. If you prefer this option, you can start by creating a business plan. A business plan can guide you through the process. A business plan is also necessary when you need to borrow capital from a bank. A good business plan will have details about the expenses for rent, maintenance, utilities, tanning equipment, wage, and estimate profits for the next couple of years.
You can have a beautiful salon with excellent service, but if your location is not good, you won't get many customers walking in. Excellent locations are more expensive than others. The pay back is getting more clients and profits. A good location should have parking, foot traffic, a clean store front, and visibility from the street. It helps to open a tanning salon where there are also other establishments, preferably not another tanning salon.
A tanning salon uses up a lot of energy. Find a location where electric rates are not too high. Ask the utility company about the rates. Find out the average monthly bill in the area for the past 6 months. Try to find the previous tenant and ask him about his average utility bills. Find out if they used up more energy than others in the area.
Make sure you get a commercial space with just the right size. If it is too large you might end up paying more for electricity too cool or warm the place. Get just enough space for the estimated number of clients you think you will have. Include space for storage of supplies and cleaning materials, a break room for employees, and a waiting lounge.
Calculate costs for rent, staff salaries, tanning equipment, advertising, supplies, and construction. Find out where you should direct the flow of money and which areas will need more investment. Find out where you can cut corners. It's important to divert cash to marketing to get customers to walk in. Let people in the neighborhood know that you will open a tanning salon.
Check zoning laws and get permits. Search the Internet and newspapers for bargains on tanning equipment like used tanning beds. Buying new tanning beds will not secure profit, but it can add costs that you could have spent on more important areas like marketing. Do the checks and balances before you open a tanning salon and learn more about the tanning business.