By Brandon Cardinal, Norvell
As salons across the country see a steady increase with their spray tanning clients, we continue to pose the question, “How do we continue to grow our sunless business?” It’s a valid question and one that we will explore.
To grow your sunless business, you must diversify. First, you have to treat your spray tanning as a business of its own. As you will have some crossover clients, the majority of your spray tanning clients will not participate in UV tanning sessions. We need to then separate these sunless clients from our UV customers and be relatable and relevant to their needs.
There are three, true diversifying options for your sunless spray tanning business. These include customized handheld spray tanning, automated spray booths and sunless retail products. Each of these options can attract similar customers, but will also sustain themselves due to the overwhelming amount of clients that will prefer one over the other.
Customized Handheld Spray Tanning
The national average for this service in the United States is $40 to $45 per standard spray tan. The service can take a technician an average of 5-10 minutes, also allotting an extra few minutes for clients to change their wardrobe. Depending on the colors and shades you have, the service without labor is under $3. Cost is definitely a positive with this service. You can get started with a kit that includes training for under $1,000. Our clients love handheld spray tanning due to its precise nature and the technician’s ability to give them a more even and thorough spray tan. The negatives are that you must employ a technician for application and your customers will be unclothed in the service room. For this reason, many of our customers pass on a handheld spray tan due to feeling exposed.
Automated Spray Tanning Machines
Thousands of tanning salons in our industry have various versions of a spray tanning booth. The national standard price for an automated booth spray is approximately $30.00. Many salons will offer packages and EFT’s in relation to their unit to draw in a larger numbers of clients. The positives to this service are that no additional staff is needed for the application and that the unit is fully automated and voice controlled. The negatives to the startup can be the cost of the unit itself, fear your clients may have of various positions they have to exercise while in the unit or making a mistake while alone in the room.
Retail Sunless Product Sales
One of the largest portions of sunless profits is retail. There are several applications, colors, brands and uses. Any salon can retail sunless products and make them available to your customers. Consumers that use retail versions of sunless tanners are always looking for a great color and simplified application of products. Selling sunless retail is more than taking dollars in exchange for products. Successful retailers train the clients in the best method to apply the products, when to use the products and the best process to retain the color of the products. Salons that retail the best also have staff using the products to give feedback and testimonials. The positives to retail products include a very low startup to pay for the inventory. The negatives are that the customer is applying the products at home without an expert monitoring their application.
Diversifying your sunless offerings does not always take a large amount of money or require hiring a lot of new staff members. To begin diversifying your spray tanning, first evaluate what you have and what you are missing. Make slight adjustments, and when you need to, pull the trigger on adding more spray tan rooms, additional shelving for retail products and train your staff on the benefits of sunless. Sunless continues to grow at a fast pace. Don’t let the customers pass you by and go elsewhere. Seize the opportunity today.