Your executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it is a summary of all the important parts.
The point of your executive summary is to get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them what kind of tattoo shop you run and what its status is. For instance, are you a new business, do you own a tattoo shop that you want to grow, or do you run a chain of tattoo shops?
Next, give an overview of each part of your plan that follows.
- Give a quick summary of the tattoo shop business.
- Talk about the kind of tattoo shop you run.
- Detail your direct competitors. Tell us about your ideal customers.
- Give a quick summary of your marketing plan. Find the important people on your team.
- Give an overview of how you plan to handle your money.
In your business summary, you will explain what kind of tattoo shop you are running.
For example, your tattoo shop might be a specialist in one of the following:
- Tattoo shop in a busy shopping area: this kind of tattoo shop is in an area with a lot of people and traffic. Most tattoos cost more than the average tattoo.
- Neighborhood tattoo shop: This kind of tattoo shop is in a neighborhood and may not be as well known, but it serves customers who live in the neighborhood and come back again and again.
- A tattoo artist who has gained a following through TV, a tattoo magazine, or the internet can start a traveling tattoo business. He or she travels to different places to take part in tattoo conventions and make guest tattoo appearances at a local tattoo shop. While at a certain location, he or she only books a certain number of appointments.
In the company overview, you need to say what kind of tattoo shop you will run and give some background information about the business.
Include answers to things like:
- When did you start your business, and why?
- What important steps have you taken so far? Milestones could include the number of people who got tattoos, the number of tattoos that got good reviews, the number of people who got tattoos before a certain date, etc.
- Your business’s legal structure. Are you set up as an S-Corporation? An LLC? A single-person business? Tell us about your legal structure.
In your industry or market analysis, you need to give an overview of the tattoo shop industry.
Even though this may seem pointless, it has more than one use.
First, learning about the tattoo shop business gives you information. It gives you a better idea of the market you are in.
Second, market research can help you make a better marketing plan, especially if you use it to find market trends.
The third reason is to show readers that you know what you’re talking about. You do just that by doing the research and putting it in your plan.
In the industry analysis section, you should answer the following questions:
- How big (in dollars) is the tattoo shop business?
- Is the market going down or up?
- Who are your main rivals in the market?
- Who are the main market suppliers?
- What changes are happening in the field?
- How fast is the industry expected to grow in the next 5–10 years?
- How big is the market that matters? That is, how big is your tattoo shop’s potential market? You can figure out such a number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the population in your area.
In the customer analysis section, you need to explain who you serve and/or who you hope to serve.
People of all ages are examples of different types of customers.
As you might guess, the type of tattoo shop you run will depend a lot on the customer segment(s) you choose. Obviously, older adults would react differently to marketing campaigns than, say, college students.
Try to figure out who your ideal customers are based on how they look and how they think. In terms of demographics, you should talk about the ages, genders, locations, and levels of income of the people you want to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain what your target customers want and need. The better you can understand and define these needs, the easier it will be to find and keep customers.
In your competitive analysis, you should list your business’s direct and indirect competitors and then focus on the direct ones.
Other tattoo shops are their main competitors.
Indirect competitors are other things that customers can buy besides your product or service that aren’t in direct competition with it. This includes henna salons and local pot shops with tattoo artists on staff. You should also talk about this competition.
Give an overview of each competitor’s business and list their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you’ve worked at one of your competitors’ companies, you won’t know everything about them. But you should be able to find out important facts about them, like
- What kind of clients do they work with?
- What kind of tattoo shop is it?
- How much do they charge (high, low, etc.)?
- What can they do well?
- What do they do wrong?
For the last two questions, try to answer them from the customers’ point of view. And don’t be afraid to ask the customers of your competitors what they like and dislike about them.
The last part of your competitive analysis section is to list the ways you are better than your competitors. As an example:
- Will you take care of the tattoo afterward?
- Will you sell or provide things that your competitors don’t?
- Will you treat your customers better?
- Will you price things better?
Think about how you will do better than your competitors and write them down in this part of your plan.
Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, the price, the place, and the promotion. Your marketing plan for a tattoo shop should include the following:
Product: In the product section, you should repeat the type of tattoo shop that you wrote about in your company overview. Then, explain what products or services you will be selling. Do you offer piercings, CBD products, henna, or drinks, for example?
Price: Write down the prices you’ll be charging and how they compare to those of your competitors. In the product and price sections of your plan, you show what products or services you offer and how much they cost.
Place is the location of your tattoo shop. Write down where your business is and how the location will affect your success. For example, is your tattoo shop in a busy shopping area, a quiet neighborhood, a stand-alone building, or does it move around? Talk about why your site may be the best place for your customers.
Promotions: In the last part of your tattoo shop’s marketing plan, you’ll write down how you’ll get potential customers to come to your shop (s). Here are some ways you could promote your business:
- Advertise in the local newspapers, radio stations, and/or magazines
- Get in touch with websites
- Put out flyers
- Engage in email marketing
- Place ads on social media sites
- Improve your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) for specific keywords
In the other parts of your business plan, you talked about your goals. In your operations plan, you talk about how you will reach those goals. Your plan for operations should have two separate parts.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the things you need to do to run your tattoo shop business, like scheduling clients, designing tattoos, keeping an inventory of tattoo shop equipment, etc.
Long-term goals are the goals you want to reach in the future. These could be the dates when you expect to book your Xth session or when you hope to earn $X. It could also be when you want to open a new tattoo shop in a different city.
To show that your tattoo shop has the potential to do well, you need a strong management team. Showcase the backgrounds of your key players, focusing on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.
You and/or your team members should have managed tattoo shops before. If so, talk about your experience and skills. But also highlight any experience you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is missing something, you might want to put together an advisory board. A two-to-eight-person advisory board would help your business by giving advice. They would help answer questions and give advice on how to plan. If you need to, look for advisory board members who have worked in or run a successful tattoo shop.
Your 5-year financial plan should include a monthly or quarterly breakdown for the first year, then an annual breakdown after that. Your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement are all parts of your financial statements.
A more common name for an income statement is a Profit and Loss statement, or P&L. It shows your income and then takes away your expenses to show if you made a profit.
You need to make assumptions in order to make your income statement. For example, will you see 5 clients a day and/or offer piercings or other products? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% every year? As you might expect, the financial forecasts for your business will be greatly affected by the assumptions you choose. Do as much research as you can to try to make sure your assumptions are true.
The Balance Sheets
Balance sheets list what you own and what you owe. Balance sheets can have a lot of information, but try to boil them down to the most important parts. For example, if you put $50,000 into building out your tattoo shop, you won’t make money right away. Instead, it is an asset that you can use to make money for years to come. Also, if someone gives you a check for $50,000, you don’t have to pay it back right away. Instead, you will have to pay that back over time.
Statement of Cash Flow
Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of cash. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t realize that you can make money but still go bankrupt if you run out of money.
When making your Income Statement and Balance Sheets, make sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a tattoo shop:
- Price of tattoo shop supplies and equipment
- Payroll or wages given to employees Business insurance
- If you’re starting a new business, you’ll also have to pay for things like legal fees, permits, and equipment.