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Open a tanning studio


Almost everyone knows about the benefits of vitamin D and loves the sun. However, getting the needed sun dose and feeling healthy is only sometimes possible, considering the constant weather changes. That is why so many people would like to get tanned differently.

A solarium is an easy solution for many. This way, almost everyone can get a beautiful sexy tanned body and vitamin D, essential for feeling well. Usually, a tanning business is very profitable as there is a constant demand for this kind of service. That is why a tanning bed is an excellent idea for investing in. But, of course, you have to know specific details about it. Plus, it is simple and suits aspiring entrepreneurs.

The cost of opening a tanning studio can vary depending on location, size, equipment, and staffing. Generally, the most significant expenses include leasing or purchasing a space, buying equipment such as tanning beds, spray tanning machines, furniture, and hiring staff. Other fees include insurance, marketing and advertising, permits and licenses, and utilities. The total cost can range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Online appointments can be a valuable tool for running a tanning studio business by making booking more convenient and efficient for customers and staff. With online booking, customers can easily schedule appointments, increasing the likelihood of booking. It also allows a team to manage their schedule more effectively, reducing the chances of double bookings or missed appointments. Additionally, online appointment software can provide valuable data and insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can help businesses optimize their services and marketing strategies.

Tanning business features

Compared to a beauty salon, barbershop or nail studio, opening a solarium is way easier. The advantages of starting a tanning studio are:

  • Even a person who knows nothing about the beauty industry and tan business can open a solarium. All you need to have is good organization skills together with the management ones. It will be better to hire professional administrators who will work with customers, finding solutions to all the situations.

  • To open a tanning bed no need to rent or buy big premises, it is possible to open a solarium starting from the 30 meters premises. So, there is no need to spend a lot on the location.

  • Opening a solarium is a fairly simple task; a potential owner will not need a large package of permits and licenses as it is required for a beauty salon business.

Control point! It is very important to check all the equipment documents as if there are written “medical equipment”, you will definitely need a medical license.

It is possible to open a tanning studio both in the center or residential area. Smart advertising and effective management will lead you to success in any case!

Think about the work hours of the future tanning studio in advance. It is important to understand when you will get more customers. For instance, if you open a solarium in the center it is more likely that the visitors will appear at lunchtime or after work. A solarium in the residential area is more likely to be visited in the evening or during the weekends. You should always think about it while creating a business plan and marketing strategy.

To equip a small tanning studio, there is no need to spend a lot. You will need a tanning bed, cabinet equipment, bathroom equipment, reception and guest area furniture. Plus consumables.

Talking about staff, it will be enough to hire one professional administrator at the first time, later you can hire more employees. If you decide to expand, you will also need to hire cleaning staff.

There are also possible services to add, like, for example, manicure and pedicure, hair removal services or eyebrow care.

And one of the best advantages – no need to create a complicated website. It will be enough to select an online appointment scheduling software, with an online booking feature that creates a landing page automatically.

How much does a tanning bed cost

Nowadays, there are 2 main types of solariums:

  • vertical

  • horizontal

Usually, horizontal solariums look better and get more attention, but they will also need a more responsible approach. During the procedure, a client will touch the equipment with the whole body, so disinfection and cleaning after each guest are a must-have.

If you want to open a small tanning studio, get a vertical tanning bed. Customers, who understand how solarium works, will definitely trust this type of solarium more.

Equipment price

  • Vertical tanning bed: $1500 - 3500

  • Horizontal tanning bed: $2000 - 4000

If you are low on budget, consider buying a second-hand tanning bed. In this case, it is very important to check the warranty, functionality and appearance of such equipment.

How to expand business starting from one solarium and up to a chain

Every niche has its own unique characteristics. Before developing a marketing strategy, be ready theoretically. First of all, let's decide how to answer the most common objection – solarium is evil, it harms too much!

It will be useful to check how similar businesses are organized in other countries. Just check the websites of foreign solariums to find out how it works. If you don't know any foreign language, don't worry – a browser will offer translation of the page. Also, research the nearest competitors – note all their advantages and disadvantages.

When opening a tanning bed, it is important to focus on two important aspects:


  • Change the tanning lamps every six months. The fact is that after long-term use, the lamps begin to harm health. Plus, the longer they are in use, the worse the effect. To calm your clients, you can put a lamp replacement schedule near the tanning bed.

  • Be attentive to the safety and health of customers. The administrator has to offer and make sure that the visitor wears special tanning glasses during the procedure. If the client has no desire to do it, it will be better to explain all the harm the artificial sunlight can do to the eyes and then ask him to keep the eyes closed.

  • Monitor the regularity and quality of cleaning. Be sure to purchase detergents for this. This will prevent the spread of fungal diseases.


  • Equip your tanning studio with music or radio. It will help your visitors to relax while tanning. And remember that a good mood and a positive experience is a guarantee of a return visit.

  • Install a water cooler, offer tea/coffee while clients are waiting for the procedure. It is not expensive but creates a positive image.

  • Provide customers with disposable hats, slippers, napkins and stykis before the procedure. It will be better to include the consumables in the price to avoid awkward situations with extra fees.

  • If the premises are big, install a shower cabin next to the solarium. If there is not much space, just get a sink for washing hands after the procedure. And remember to hang a mirror, put up a clothes hanger and a chair/sofa.

  • You can also sell pre- and post- tanning products.

The key to success is simple: satisfied clients create a positive image and a good reputation, which will later help to recoup the investment and expand the business.

How to open a tanning studio and stand out among the competitors

Buying a tanning bed, you have to remember that this niche has many competitors. That is why precise planning is essential.

There are several options to stand out among competitors:

  • Create a catchy name.

  • Do not choose a location next to competitors. Sure, they can appear later, but let's do all we can to get the best result for now. Think about pedestrian traffic and create a schedule that allows serving more visitors.

  • Understand your target audience and create a loyalty program. It's a good idea to make season tickets. Explain to your visitors how comfortable and valuable regular visits are with seasonal tickets. It will be convenient both for them and you.

  • Run seasonal promotions and get a loyalty program. For example, run a promotion while opening.

  • Make sure you know the psychology of communication in a tanning studio: be polite and friendly. Always pay attention to clients' feedback and reviews to see the problem if it happens.

  • Offer customers tanning and skincare products. Find a cosmetic brand to work with.

  • Sign up your solarium on social media: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.

  • Select an online appointment scheduling software. This way, you will get all clients. Customers can book a service 24/7 via a widget or website. You can also place a booking link on social media. With EasyWeek you'll get a website, notifications, business analytics, and much more. And the best, you can try the system for free!

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