Whether you’re opening a tanning salon or buying one, you’ll need a well-researched business plan in place. This requires a thorough understanding of your target market, finances, competitors and more.
Your tanning salon business plan should include everything from your marketing strategy to what salon management tool you’re going to use. Remember, if you’re looking for funding, potential investors will want to know every last detail about your company.
If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll walk you through creating the perfect sunbed shop business plan in 8 simple steps.
1. Write a Company Overview
If you’re wondering how to start a salon business plan, the first step is to write an overview of your company. Begin with your tanning salon’s name, location and a description of what you do (i.e. your mission statement).
Next, highlight your unique selling point (USP) as a tanning salon. Business plan example: are you the only 100% vegan salon in town? Do you offer fully bespoke tanning courses, tailored to each client’s skin type?
Explain the legal structure of your business, and who runs and manages your company. Provide some background information about you (the owner), and discuss your employees and their responsibilities. Finally, finish with your main objectives – e.g. where you see your business in a year’s time.
2. Conduct a Market Analysis
All good tanning salon business plans include a thorough market analysis. This is split into three key sections:
- Market size analysis. Analyse the demography of your local population – their age, income, etc. How much money do people in your area spend on beauty treatments, and how many are likely to visit your salon?
- Competitor analysis. Are there any other tanning salons in your area? How do they operate, and how successful are they? Explain how you plan to differentiate your salon from your competition
- SWOT Use the above knowledge to identify your business’s main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
It’s important to paint a realistic picture of any challenges your tanning salon might face, and how you’ll overcome them.
3. Create Your Ideal Customer Profile
Your ideal customer profile (ICP) is a detailed description of someone who’s likely to visit your tanning salon. Include things like their age, gender, location, income and values. Here is an ICP example of a business plan for a salon:
“Sun Glow’s ideal customer is a woman aged 18-39, living in Manchester. She is a young professional with no children and a minimum income of £30,000. She is active on social media and is health- and beauty-conscious, taking pride in her appearance. She tans regularly to improve her self-confidence, especially before holidays and social events.”
Identifying your typical client’s characteristics will help with customer segmentation later on. This means dividing your target market into groups to create targeted marketing campaigns.
4. List Your Products and Services
Next on your sunbed shop business plan, list all of the products and services you plan to sell. For most tanning salons, the main source of income will be UV sunbed sessions and longer tanning courses. You should provide the make and model of each of your sunbeds and the lamps they’re fitted with.
If you sell retail products (e.g. moisturising lotions), describe each item and where you source them from. You should also discuss any potential products or treatments that you plan to introduce in the future.
5. Outline Your Sales and Marketing Strategy
Your sales and marketing strategy explains how much your products and services will cost, and how you will promote your tanning salon. Include:
- Your opening date
- The price of your sunbed sessions, tanning courses and retail products, and profit margins for each
- Details of advertising strategies you will implement (e.g. digital marketing, leaflet campaigns, social media promotions) and the projected return on investment (ROI)
- How you will encourage customer loyalty – e.g. by offering discounts to returning customers, or by implementing a tanning salon referral program
Finish with a sales forecast for the first 12 months, broken down into sources of revenue.
6. Describe Your Business Operations
The next step in creating a business plan for a tanning salon is to describe your operations and logistics. For example:
- What are your tanning salon’s opening hours?
- How many sunbeds or tanning booths does your salon have? Do you own or rent them? How often will they be cleaned and serviced?
- What other equipment will you need to hire or purchase?
- How can customers make a booking?
- How will you store your client records and manage your bookings? Will you have tanning salon management software (e.g. ActiveSalon) in place?
- Who are your suppliers (if selling products)?
- How much inventory will you keep on the premises, and will you have a stock control system in place?
- How many employees will you have and how will you train them?
Don’t forget to explain how you will ensure your salon complies with legal policies and tanning industry guidelines.
7. Produce a Financial Plan
Any business plan for opening a tanning salon should always include a financial plan. This is an overview of your tanning salon’s expected revenues and expenses. It should include:
- Your start-up costs – e.g. purchasing equipment, buying stock and marketing your salon
- A projected income statement (profit margins and revenue over the next 3-5 years)
- A balance sheet containing details of your business’s assets and liabilities
- A monthly cash flow forecast
- Details of any ongoing costs and expenditures – e.g. rent, electricity, phone bills, staff salaries
- A break-even analysis (how many sunbed sessions you have to sell to cover your start-up costs, and when you expect this to happen)
If you’re starting a new business, it’s important to explain how you calculated these figures. For example, have you consulted other tanning salon owners or industry experts?
8. Write an Executive Summary
Finally, write your executive summary. This is a concise overview of your entire tanning salon business plan (no more than one page long).
Your executive summary should briefly review your business concept, goals, target market, marketing strategy, products and services. It should also include a basic forecast of your finances over the first year.
Place your executive summary at the beginning of your sunbed shop business plan. That way, potential investors or lenders can get a general idea of your company before delving deeper.
Opening a Tanning Salon? Try ActiveSalon Free for 3 Months
If you’re starting a tanning salon, try ActiveSalon: the UK’s leading salon management system designed specifically for sunbed shops. Our secure, cloud-based software provides every tool you need to help your business succeed.
ActiveSalon is packed full of useful features, including a comprehensive client database, quick POS system and much more. Control your sunbeds remotely through T-max manager or view your daily sales reports with the touch of a button. Accessible from any device, ActiveSalon is fully multi-site compatible, with real time data syncing across locations.
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.