Tanning Salon Businesses: Considered Starting Your Own?

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tanning salon

More than 1 million UK adults visit a tanning salon every day. While small, independent salons service most of these customers, there's a gaping hole in the market for a well-branded business that customers trust and can find anywhere in the country. Here, we take a look at how you could go about starting your own tanning salon business that meets this demand.

Tanning salon for sale

If youre considering starting your own tanning salon, there are two main ways to go about doing so. The first is to follow the independent route. This involves either looking for an existing tanning business that's willing to sell up or finding suitable business premises and building your business from scratch.

While both of these options are entirely achievable, they require a great deal of hard work and good fortune. Theres no one to help and support you through this challenging process, so its necessary to go it alone and hope you have the expertise and experience required to make your business a success.

Tanning salon jobs with a franchise

The second possible route for would-be tanning shop owners is to set up a business in partnership with a franchise. Opening a franchised business ensures you receive the support you need to thrive. One of the main advantages of franchising is the high-quality support systems most experienced franchisors can put in place to ensure their franchisees have the best possible chance of success.

As a prospective business owner, you may not feel completely confident in your ability to run a company, or you may think that your expertise is strong in some areas but not in others. By providing you with the guidance and assistance you need, franchises give you the chance to run your own business and fulfil your ambitions. However, running a franchise requires a great deal of commitment and hard work. Before you open your business, there's a lengthy preparation process to go through.

How to open your own tanning salon business with a franchise

1. Do your research

Before you do anything else, it's necessary to research the options available to you thoroughly. This means looking at every tanning salon franchise on the market and finding out as much as possible about each opportunity. To do so, you can search online, in trade publications, or attend franchise exhibitions. Talk to those in the industry and find out what they've got to say about each option, too.

2. Contact those franchises youre interested in

Once youve performed a considerable amount of research, its time to narrow your prospects down to a shortlist. In some ways, this will occur naturally. Some franchises will be too expensive or wont have territories available in your region. These can be immediately discounted. Others you may have to think long and hard about.

Ask: What do you want from your franchisor? Do you need comprehensive training? Do you need to be supplied with equipment? How established do you want the brand to be? Having answered these questions and narrowed down your options, you can begin contacting those franchisors who seem right for you.

3. Perform due diligence

Once youve declared your interest in a franchise, the franchisor should send you more detailed information about the business. This will help you perform your due diligence the process by which you establish whether a company makes for a financially viable investment. This requires you to consider the business' profit-making potential, examine the financial projections for the first few years of business, and look at existing competition in the industry.

4. Discuss your future with the franchisor

If your due diligence checks out and it seems that your chosen franchise is a financially viable business, you're going to need to arrange to meet the franchisor in person. This is a crucial moment, as you'll have to develop a close working relationship with them as you grow your business. In smaller, younger franchises, the franchise management team may consist of just a couple of individuals, in larger, more established franchises its likely to be a big team. Whatever the size of the management team, it's vital that you're made to feel welcome and that you think they'll provide a high standard of support.

5. Talk with existing franchisees

At this stage, before you go any further, its a good idea to speak with existing franchisees about their experience of working with the franchisor. As a potential new franchisee, you will have been on the receiving end of the franchisors sales pitch. This doesnt mean that what theyve told you isnt true, but its important to remember that its their job to attract new franchisees to the organisation and to win you over.

Consequently, it's always sensible to corroborate the information the franchisor has provided you with existing franchisees. Any franchisor worth their salt will give you a list of franchisees and their contact information, so this process should be relatively easy.

6. Draft your business plan

The final stage of preparation before signing the franchise agreement is to draft your business plan. The business plan is used to apply for finance and guide you through the early stages of your business development. It should give you something to work towards and help you understand where you can expect your business to be in 6 months, a year, and then two years time. The franchisor should have a great deal of experience drafting such a document and will be able to assist you in doing so.

A case study The Tanning Shop Franchise

Its all well and good knowing how to apply to a franchise, but information is more useful when its put into the context of a real franchise. The Tanning Shop is one of the UK's most promising tanning franchises and a growing presence on high streets around the country. To open a franchise unit, a total investment of approximately £80,000 is required. In return, franchisees are enrolled in an extensive training programme and receive help selecting and launching their new business. The dedicated franchise management team also provides ongoing support and training.

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