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Opening a tanning salon can be a lucrative business venture. There are thousands of sunbed shops in the UK, serving millions of customers every year.
So, how much do tanning salons make a year (UK)? This is a complex question with no universal answer. The size, location and services on offer can all have an impact, as well as how the business is run.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the profitability of tanning salons and their main revenue streams. We’ll also explain how ActiveSalon can help you monitor and boost your profits.
How Much Is the Tanning Business Worth?
While there’s no precise answer to “how much money does the tanning industry make”, its worth is estimated at around £1 billion. With 3,000 – 5,000 tanning salons in the UK alone, it’s certainly a profitable business.
Approximately 1 million UK men and women visit tanning salons every day, with 10% of adults classified as regular sunbed users. Furthermore, recent trends suggest that sunbed use is increasing year on year.
So, is there profit in a tanning salon? Undoubtedly, the answer is yes, though the success of any one location depends upon several factors.
How Much Do Tanning Salons Make a Year?
To figure out your tanning salon profit margin, you’ll need to subtract your expenses: sunbed rental cost, utilities, staff wages and so on. You’ll then need to consider how much to charge per session, depending upon:
- Demand in your area
- Your competitors and their rates
- Your salon’s size and reputation
The main consideration when setting prices is the standard of your sunbeds. If the salon has brand new, top of the range megasun beds, they’ll be able to charge more than old second hand beds. Typical prices range between 40p – £1 per minute for one-off sessions or 30p-80p for block bookings/courses (where a client buys minutes in bulk, upfront). There are outliers at both ends of the spectrum though.
An average salon has 5 sunbeds, and sees around 100 clients per day; the average session length is 9 minutes.
So, how much does a tanning salon make? A typical price per minute is £0.40 – £1.00. As an example, at 70p per minute, selling 720 minutes a day (80 clients averaging 9 minute sessions) would generate £504.
Assuming your salon is open seven days a week, this means £3,528 per week – or £183,456 per year. Adding in other sources of income such as creams and retail sales, the potential is incredible.
What Are the Main Sources of Revenue for a Tanning Salon?
For your tanning salon to be successful long-term, you’ll need an understanding of how tanning salons make money. Here are the most common sources of income for any tanning salon in the UK.
As you may have guessed, the main source of tanning salon income will be its sunbeds. Most salons offer single “pay as you go” sunbed sessions, charged at a set price per minute, as well as longer tanning courses.
Tanning courses are usually sold at a discount, with longer programs offering the best value for money. You can also offer special offers and limited-time deals to encourage customers to spend more. For example, a 10% discount on retail products when they book a longer tanning course.
A good salon software system can help you track clients’ remaining credits, purchase history and upcoming bookings. You can also use it to identify customers who haven’t visited in a while and send them tempting deals.
Another important source of tanning salon revenue is retail sales. Best-selling products often include tan accelerators, oils, moisturisers and after-sun lotions. Many salons also sell related beauty products such as makeup, skincare and swimwear.
You can also sell gift cards for your salon that clients can purchase for friends and family. This comes with the added benefit of bringing new customers through your door.
Some tanning salons provide additional beauty and wellness treatments alongside sunbeds. Spray tanning, teeth whitening, infrared saunas and nail treatments are some popular examples.
While many salon owners prefer to stick to sunbeds, offering additional services can attract a wider range of customers. It also creates the potential to upsell extra treatments to your regular clients. You can offer them individually or create treatment bundles at a discounted rate.
How to Make Your Tanning Salon More Profitable
The question of “how much money do tanning salons make” is dependent on the way you run your business. Some of the most important tactics for increasing a tanning salon’s profits are:
- Having a solid understanding of your revenue sources, profit margins and sales trends
- Implementing client retention strategies (such as special offers, discounts and rewards)
- Investing in marketing campaigns to attract new clients
- Reducing lost revenue however possible (missed appointments, expired stock, etc.)
Digital tanning salon software can assist with all of the above and more, through features such as referral schemes and automatic appointment reminders. It can also be used to track your sales and monitor stock levels, helping you identify areas for improvement.
Discover the Amazing Benefits of ActiveSalon Software
ActiveSalon is the leading provider of software for tanning salons in the UK. Our cloud-based system gives you the tools necessary to understand, track and boost your salon’s profits – accessible from anywhere, anytime.
Easily analyse your sales trends, including your most and least profitable products and courses. View your revenue over time with full reporting, identify your best customers and send out customised offers to tempt patrons.
Loukas has been a part of the tanning industry since 2013; what he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing! As a Director of SolarTrack Systems, his responsibilities don’t just include ActiveSalon, but a variety of different tools and packages.