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Start a tattoo business


Starting a tattoo studio requires careful preparation. The process reminds launching any other startup. Thinking about the main aims, planning step by step, and keeping the discipline is essential. However, the business has some peculiarities. Becoming a tattoo master is a challenging task. It is relatively easy to master the creative part. Then the organizational one starts. That is the moment when most of the businessmen face troubles.

First of all, there is a must to understand who you are in the tattoo niche. There are several options:

  • Those who dream about mastering the business.

  • Tattoo artists who have some experience and already work as hired specialists.

  • Artists who have opened a tiny cabinet to serve clients.

In any case, there is a high chance to succeed in the tattoo business. The niche is in demand. Tats are trending, inspiring numerous people to get them. This article will cover the main stuff to know when launching a tattoo business. Keep reading if you'd like to dive into the field, learn some tips or get a deeper view of the tattoo industry.

Clients with acne, dermatitis, or psoriasis cannot get tats. Keloid scars are also a no-go.

The tattoo business is a rather profitable niche. The average income of professional tattoo artists is about $5000 monthly. The yearly revenue is about $60 000. Sure, there is a chance to get less or more. It depends on the location, tattoo artist's creativity, and experience.

The price is very dependent on the tattoo size and the artist's pricing. There is a chance to get a tiny tattoo for $40 – 50. At the same time, bigger ones can cost you up to a few thousand.

As any beauty salon tattoo business also needs the good booking software. One of the best options for opening a tattoo studio – EasyWeek Salon software. It is possible to try it for free.

How to master the tattoo business from scratch

Let's start with the beginners who'd like to enter the tattoo world.

A beginner tattoo artist has to:

  • Complete any professional tattoo courses that allow working in the field.

  • Choose and buy consumables.

The next steps:

  • Choose the right location. It is better to be a place with a good flow of customers. Areas near transport hubs and malls are beneficial. Afterward, it's time to think about whether you can afford to open a tattoo studio or a cabinet. There is always a chance to negotiate the rent with the landlord and get better premises for pleasant pricing.

  • Think about client attraction and retention. It is essential as you'll work with people. They are pretty changeable, so require various treats to choose your service among the thousands.

The fact to remember! Tattoo business is under governmental control. There is not even the tiniest chance to work from home. The fee may cost you more than the legal form of a business organization.

The best a beginner can do is to write down a business plan. Thoughtful work planning is the only way to avoid various client interaction issues.

Initial investments to start a tattoo studio

  • Basic tattoo course. Its price will depend on the teachers you'll choose. It starts with $500 and can go up to $2000. The training will take you a few weeks. And then the most critical – practice! Take your time to master the theory. A skillful tattoo artist has to work well practically, not theoretically.

  • Consumables. Quality materials will help to offer the best service. Purchasing quality ink, a tattoo machine, and some medicine will take time. Usually, it costs up to $3000. After you choose the main stuff, think about furniture. Visitors have to feel well in your studio. Get convenient tables, couches, and good light. It will cost you about $1500.

  • Location & renovation. Choosing the place to start may look hard for many. Yes, it is. Good that we have a few tips to simplify the process. First and foremost, never rely on landlords who would like to be entitled to your business. Yes, it happens! Negotiate this moment at once. Premises have to look modern and be spacious. You will have to renovate the rooms. Tattoo studios often choose loft to stay modern and minimalistic. The design may look similar to some barbershops' styles.

  • License. Maybe the essential thing to obtain. Prepare $500 – 1000 to deal with all the legal requirements.

The initial investments are usually high. To start a tattoo studio, you'll have to invest about $50 000. The ROI is about 12 months. You can fasten it thanks to thoughtful planning and effective marketing.

You will have to decide on the legal form of the business organization before opening. There is no point registering an LCC as you'll mostly work with private individuals. Consider registering sole proprietorship. It will minimize taxes without any additional troubles.

After that, you'll have to cope with tax payments. The best thing to do is contact local authorities and get professional help. Then, there are several documents to get:

  • Tattoo or medical license.

  • Contracts with suppliers.

  • Rent agreement.

  • Fire and other licenses.

Fact! In the USA, you can work with a tattoo license only. Obtaining a medical one is beneficial but not compulsory.

Selecting tattoo parlor location

The tattoo industry differs from others. Let's compare a beauty salon that clients can choose spontaneously and a tattoo studio usually being chosen for months. Tattoo parlors have a significant advantage as they do not require the most expensive locations. Transport hubs and parking are still essential, but that's it.

Make sure you promote the business. Then it'll be alright even without the best location.

Anyway, choosing the premises make sure:

  • There is a metro or bus station nearby.

  • There is free parking.

  • There is a space to place signage.

A good idea is to 'draw' a portrait of your audience. It will simplify the location selection and related processes.

Experience with working in a tattoo parlor

Experience in real work is the best helper in launching a startup. For example, many tattoo artists start in local tattoo shops. Then they can open their salon using the skills they've learned.

Why should I work in a tattoo studio before launching my own:

If you are in a good relationship with your boss, ask for his advice. This person has more experience than you do. It means (s)he can help you to avoid troubles (s)he faced.

Tattoo services

Every tattoo parlor has some main and additional services.

Basic tattoo services:

  • Tattooing,

  • Tattoo removal,

  • Piercing.

  • Additional services:

  • Offering space for rent.

  • Selling cosmetics for tattoos.

In most cases, clients will get creams and other stuff to apply. So provide them with these essentials and increase sales.

Tattoo salon team

To start working, you will have to hire an administrator, a photographer, an SMM manager, and a targetologist. Then, sure, two or three skillful tattoo artists, cleaning staff, and an accountant.

It cannot be very easy for beginners. Firstly you can delegate the photographing and SMM tasks to your administrator. The quality may suffer a bit, but you'll still cover your needs.

If you wouldn't like to compromise quality, think about tattoo studio software. In this case, the staff will have more time to spend on business promotion. It's possible because routines will no longer require any human help.

Benefits of tattoo studio CRM:

  • It deals with timetables, so the staff is well-organized.

  • The system motivates employees. Those who do better will get more.

  • The service tracks consumables and signals when you need to order more.

  • It helps to launch an affordable and effective marketing campaign.

Purchasing consumables and saving without compromising quality

Business appreciates taking into account every trifle. Starting work, consider collaboration. For example, offer it to the local tattoo shops. So, you'll promote each other for free. The main rule is to choose the salons with a similar background and size. There is no point in contacting luxury parlors. They are barely interested in helping beginners.

Calculating the savings, you may notice that the revenue is pretty good. Saving a bit every day helps to scale without any effort.

We advise calculating the income yearly. It is much more efficient as you'll see the average revenue. In the tattoo business, some months are more profitable than others. It is normal. Ensure you know how to measure the budget and analyze the performance well.

There is an easy way to simplify this process by selecting a proper CRM.

EasyWeek salon software offers handy business analytics that includes the financial part as well. Understanding how much you made this year helps to scale in the upcoming period.


Now, let's conclude the information we've collected for you in this material.

To start a successful tattoo studio, you better work a year or two in an existing tattoo salon. It will give you a lot of experience in the field. Practice is the main thing to remember. Train as much as you can. The theory takes only 20% of success. Mastering it is way more important.

After experience and skills, pay attention to the team. People you will work with have to support you, not waste your time. The employees shouldn't be the best tattoo artists in the town. Sure, do it if you can, but teaching skillful staff maybe even more beneficial. On the one hand, the employees will feel tightly connected to the studio. On the other hand, they are more likely to work passionately to show that they appreciate your effort.

Tattoo online appointment software is an excellent choice to stand out from the crowd. 24/7 online appointments boost sales. At the same time, convenient business analytics allows better planning. So take time to choose the one that suits your tattoo studio best. EasyWeek team wishes you good luck and welcomes you to try tattoo studio software for free!

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