Starting a Spray Tan Business

By Donald Michael Schwartz

starting a spray tan businessAre you considering starting a spray tan business? As more people become aware of dangers of long-term exposure to the sun or the ultra-violet rays of a tanning bed, spray-on tanning has become a more popular option. Spay tanning is the fastest growing segment of the beauty industry. In the spray tanning process, Erythrulose and DHA interact with the outer skin layer’s amino acids. Over time, this is what darkens the skin naturally without the exposure to potentially dangerous UV rays of sunlight or a sun lamp. You can buy tanning formulas with replenishing and re-hydrating properties for the enhanced health of the skin being treated.

Job duties

First thing you will need to do is learn how to operate the tanning air brush machine, then you will have to shop around for the right equipment. Deciding whether you will have an in-salon (or home) business or mobile operation will determine what kind of equipment you will buy. After choosing a location, you will need to set up your studio. If you decide to go with a mobile operation, then you will need to set up a strategy for where you will do the tanning once on location. If you hire others to perform the airbrushing, then you will have to make sure they are properly trained. You will need to make sure any of your customer service staff, in addition to the tanning staff, know the ends and outs of the tanning and related products. You should develop a strategy for selling customers after-tanning touch up and other self-care skin products.

Where you will be working

A spray tanning business can succeed anywhere there are people interested gaining a tan without the risks associated with overexposure to UV rays. College towns are a good choice. You could even provide your service in a beach town for those who are using sun blockers while on the beach. The best bet is a fashion conscious area.

Basic costs

The equipment and supply set up for a in-salon setup can start out at between $3000 and $4,000. You will also need to pay for your training on the airbrush machine and for anyone else who will be applying spray-on tans. You can get a mobile setup for under $1,000. You will also have the cost of renting salon space and/or maintenance of the vehicle for the mobile tanning operation.

Starting a spray tanning business tips

  • Learn about the related products– such as a pH optimizer for equalizing the skin’s various pH levels in order to get even results. A bronze intensifier can control the depth and customization of the tan. A DHA stain stopper can prevent tanning in unwanted areas, such as the bottom of feet or palms of the hands.
  • Shop around for the most professional spray tanning supply company– you will need not only excellent equipment and supply, but also marketing and technical support.
  • Up sell with after-care products – make sure customers leave with products they need to keep the skin healthy and touch up their tans between professional treatments.
  • Be well trained – not only do you want to be able to consistently give professionally looking results, but you also want to gain a knowledge in what products to which some of your customers may have a sensitivity. Get your certification from the manufacturer in skin preparation and cautions.
  • Be creative in your promotions– sponsor “I Wish I were There” beach-themed parties during spring and Christmas breaks. Have specials for bridal parties. Give talks on the dangers of overexposure to UV rays and the healthier alternative you are providing.

Advertising a Spray Tan Business

When advertising your spray tan business you can try out a variety of the following techniques to advertise your business. Be sure to keep track of their performance. Keep the methods of advertising that are working out the best for your business and dump the ones that are not :

  • Spray Tan Business Cards– Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears.
  • Word of Mouth– Word of Mouth can be a very effective way to spread the word about your spray tan business. Encourage word of mouth. Offer members discounts when they refer other members. Offer gift cards.
  • Signage– If you have a salon, make sure people can tell what your business is from the outside. This way you can make the most of passby traffic.
  • Website– You can decide to have a website to provide customers with general information about your spray tan business such and prices.
  • Social Media– Take advantage of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Flyers– Determine if you can put up flyers in local parks, bus stops, gyms, community centers, and more. It is best to ask the owner of these businesses for permission first. Also hand out flyers to passer byes on the street.
  • Partnerships– Form partnerships with local wedding and party planners and offer them commission for referring new clients.
  • Yahoo Local Searches– If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service in your local area your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in and click on the first link.
  • Google Local Searches– Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in and click on the first link.
  • Newspaper– You can consider advertising in your local newspaper.

Not sure about Starting a Spray Tan Business? See a list of small business ideas

Do you have a business story or experience you would like to share?

Share with us your story on starting a spray tan business.