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People like to look like they’ve been in the sun, even when it’s cold and they have to stay inside for a long time. Recently, tanning shops have exploded, and the US tanning business has grown by almost 75% in the past few years.

To ride this wave, you could start your own tanning shop and make a living while helping people look their best. You could open a business like Palm Beach Tan or South Beach Tanning Organization, or you could start your own tanning shop without any planning.

Any way you look at it, you should know how to start, sell, and run a business before you do anything. As you get ready to send off your tanning service, this step-by-step guide will give you all the information you need.

Step 1: Find Out if this is the Right Business for You?

Positives Vs Negatives

People like to tan, so there is a big desire.
Good Money – Several Ways to Make Money
Build up your business, and then sell it to make it grow.
In a crowded market, there are many well-known spas to fight with.
Tan beds are an expensive purchase.

  • Size of the industry and how it has changed in the past: The US tanning shop business is worth $3.9 billion in 2022, after growing 75% in the last few years.
  • Growth prediction: The US tanning parlor business is expected to grow 4.9% by 2022.
  • Number of businesses: There are 7,052 tanning shop businesses in the US in 2022.
  • Number of people employed: In the US tanning shop business, 61,770 people will be working in 2022.

Cost of Starting Tanning Salon

A tanning shop can cost between $50,000 and $95,000 to start up. Costs include renting a place, setting up the room with tanning booths, and buying tanning equipment.

Investment Items:

  • Tanning tools that use water
  • Business tanning beds
  • Creams in stock
  • Protective glasses
  • Clocks

Is Tanning Salon Profitable?

A membership to a tanning salon usually costs about $40 per month. Your net income should be around 30% after rent, above, and work.

In your most exciting time, you could sell 400 shares, which would bring in $192,000 a year. Taking that 30% edge into account, this would be worth $57,000. As your reputation grows and you get recommendations, the number of participants could go up to 1,000. If you made $480,000 a year, you’d make a great profit of $144,000.

Entry Barriers

  • How much it takes to set up your space and gear.
  • Getting a position in the crowded market for tanning salons

Step 2: Create a Strategy

Identify a Gap

Do some research on the tanning shops in your area to find out about their services and products, prices, and customer reviews. You want to find a gap in the market to fill. For example, the local market might miss a tanning salon that also has a beauty studio or a tanning salon that is open longer hours.

This could get people talking about you and bring you business right away.


You can give one-time use tanning beds and shower tanning, or you can have people sign up to use both. You can also make extra money by selling things for face care.


A single visit to a tanning service will cost about $20. Each month, it costs about $40 to take part. After paying for rent, utilities, and work, you should aim for a gold edge of around 30%.

When you know your spending, you can use this Bit by Bit overall income number cruncher to figure out your increase and final sticker costs. Remember that the prices you use at send-off should be open to change whenever the market says so.

Target Market

Your target market will be large, even though it may be mostly made up of younger people. You can promote on sites like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.


The location of your tanning center can play a big role in how well it does. Look for a place that will get a lot of attention, like a busy business area or near a well-known attraction. Think about the socioeconomics of the area, such as how old the people are and how much money they make.

Think about the layout and design of the area. It should be both interesting to look at and useful.

By choosing the right location for your tanning center, you can set up a successful business that not only gives customers a sun-kissed glow but also helps them relax and take care of themselves. Sites like Craigslist, Crexi, and Moment Workplaces can help you find business space to rent in your area.

When choosing a place for your business, you might want to follow these general rules:

  • Focal area open because car is open
  • Open and well-ventilated, with a lot of great light
  • Flexible rent that you can pay as your business grows.
  • Ready-to-use room that doesn’t need any major changes or repairs

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Every company need a strategy. This will serve as a manual to help your business through the launch process while keeping you focused on your primary objectives. A business plan also helps potential partners and investors understand your company’s mission and vision:

  • Executive Summary: A brief summary of the full business plan that should be produced when the plan is completed.
  • Business Overview: A description of the organization, including its vision, mission, ownership, and corporate goals.
  • Product and Services: Provide detailed descriptions of your offers.
  • Market Analysis: Conduct a SWOT analysis to evaluate market trends such as variances in demand and development potential.
  • Analyze your top rivals’ strengths and shortcomings, then produce a list of the benefits of your services.
  • Sales and Marketing: Look at the unique selling points (USPs) of your business and come up with sales, marketing, and promotion plans.
  • Management Team: An overview of the team’s tasks and professional backgrounds, as well as a business structure.
  • Operations Plan: Your company’s operational plan includes how it will get supplies, where it will put its office, what its most important assets and tools are, and other practical details.
  • Financial Plan: A three-year plan for money, including start-up costs, a break-even analysis, predictions of profits and losses, cash flow, and a balance sheet.
  • Appendix: Add any other papers related to money or business.

Step 4: Create a Marketing Plan

Some of your business will come from people who walk by or find you online, but you should still spend money on marketing! For new companies, getting the word out is especially important because it will bring in more customers and make more people aware of the brand. 

Once your site is up and running, you can link it to your social media accounts. Social media is a great way to get the word out about your business because you can make interesting posts and sell your products.

  • Facebook is a great place for paid ads because it lets you target specific groups, like men under 50 in the Cleveland area. 
  • Instagram has the same advantages as Facebook, but its users are different.
  • Website: Search engine optimization (SEO) will help your website show up near the top of relevant search results, which is important for making sales. Make sure that the calls to action on your website are the best they can be. Try out different words, colors, sizes, and places for calls to action like “Book Now.” This has the ability to boost sales by a lot.
  • Google and Yelp: Getting mentioned on Yelp and Google My Business can be very important for businesses that depend on local customers to get more people to know about them and buy from them.
  • Signage: Make sure your business and spot have signs that stand out.
  • Email advertising/brochure: Send regular texts to customers and possible customers. Make each one unique.
  • Make a blog: Make a blog and add to it often. Change up the content you sell and put it on different sites.
  • Look for references. Give new clients reasons to get references from past clients.
  • Paid ads through virtual entertainment: Choose places where your target market is likely to be and do specific marketing there.
  • Pay-per-click marketing: Use Google AdWords to make your search engine results better. Do research before you use a term.
  • Powerhouse marketing: Pay people with a lot of online entertainment fans to spread the word about your tanning business. There are small powerhouses with smaller fan bases and lower prices.