If you’re considering starting a tanning salon, you’re surely wondering – are tanning salons profitable?

The profitability of a tanning salon depends on many factors like its location, products, services, pricing, competition, opportunities to cross-sell and upsell, and others.

You will also need to understand your target audience and mostly understand the reasons why people visit tanning salons.

In this article, we will look at 10 factors that can affect the profitability of a tanning salon. You can use these factors to decide whether starting and running a tanning salon is the right investment and business move for you. 

When Are Tanning Salons Profitable? – 10 Factors Affecting Profitability

The top 10 factors that affect the profitability of a tanning salon are:

  1. Location of the Salon
  2. Targetting the right customer
  3. Running Costs (especially Rent and Utilities)
  4. Products and Services Offered
  5. Pricing
  6. Competition
  7. Opportunities to Cross-Sell and Upsell
  8. Advertising and Marketing
  9. Customer Service
  10. Maintenance and Upkeep

1. Location of the Salon

The location of your tanning salon is one of the most important factors affecting its profitability.

You will need to choose a location with high foot traffic and good visibility. The salon should also be easily accessible by public transportation, have plenty of parking, and be in a safe neighborhood.

Most people will choose a tanning salon that is close to their home or work or at least along their daily office commute.

2. Targetting the right audience

As with any business, you will need to make sure you target the right market for your tanning business.

If you try to appeal to everyone, you will likely end up attracting no one.

It is important to know who your target market is and what they are looking for in a tanning salon.

Once you have the profile of your ideal customer, you can tailor your products, services, and marketing to appeal to your target market.

By doing this, you will be more likely to attract the right customers who will keep coming back regularly.

3. Running Costs

One way to quickly start making losses is to lose control of your running costs. For a tanning salon rent and utilities will be the running costs that will most impact profitability.

Before selecting the ideal location for your tanning salon, research the neighborhood to find places with the best rents and lowest utility costs.

Keeping running costs low will be most beneficial during slow business hours or during an economic slump when the business may not do as well as you had hoped.

You can use the extra money saved to reinvest in the business or offer promotions to attract new customers.

4. Products and Services Offered

The main reason a customer will walk into your tanning salon will be because of the products and services your offer. So, needless to say, these will have a profound impact on your profitability.

If you offer a wide range of products and services, you will be able to appeal to a larger audience and draw more customers to your store.

Some popular products and services offered by tanning salons include sunless tanning, spray tanning, tanning beds, and airbrush tanning.

You may also want to consider carrying products like lotions, spray, and gel that people can buy. This can give you a nice revenue bump each month.

Most of all you will need to make sure that the products and services you offer match the needs of your ideal customers.

5. Pricing

No discussion about profitability is complete without talking about pricing.

If your prices are too high compared to your closest competitors, you will discourage potential customers from using your services.

On the other hand, if your prices are too low, you will not make enough profit to sustain your business.

So make sure to research the market to set the best prices for your products and services.

The goal will be to generate a healthy profit margin while still being affordable to your target market.

6. Competition

The greater the competition in your neighborhood, the greater the pressure you will face on your prices and your profitability. And vice versa.

If you operate in a highly competitive environment, you will need to find a way to differentiate your salon from the competition.

This can be done by offering unique products and services, having lower prices, or providing a better customer experience.

7. Opportunities to Cross-Sell and Upsell

The opportunities to cross-sell and upsell are also important factors affecting the profitability of a tanning salon.

If you can offer customers additional products and services that complement their tanning experience, you will be able to generate more revenue.

Some popular items that are often cross-sold or upsold in tanning salons include lotions, oils, and protective clothing.

Some tanning salons also offer teeth whitening as a way to generate more revenue from a profitable service.

You will need to make sure that you have these items available for purchase so that you can take advantage of every opportunity to increase your profits.

8. Advertising and Marketing

Your advertising and marketing strategy will have a direct impact on profitability.

If you spend too much on advertising and marketing or on the wrong things, you will hurt your profitability in the short term without gaining any benefit in the long run.

On the other hand, if you do not promote your salon enough, you will have a hard time attracting enough customers to become profitable.

There are many different ways to market a tanning salon, such as online marketing, print advertising, and word-of-mouth.

You will need to decide which marketing channels are most effective for your business and allocate a budget accordingly.

9. Customer Service

The quality of customer service provided by your tanning salon will also affect its profitability.

If customers have a positive experience at your salon, they are more likely to come back and recommend it to others.

On the other hand, if they have a negative experience, they will be less likely to use your services again and may even spread the word about their bad experience, which can damage your reputation.

You will need to make sure that your staff is properly trained to provide excellent customer service.

10. Maintenance and Upkeep

Last but not the least, the maintenance and upkeep should not be ignored as they directly affect the customer’s impression of your salon.

If you do not keep your salon clean and well-maintained, customers will be less likely to use your services.

You will need to make sure that you regularly clean and disinfect your tanning beds, change the bulbs, and do any other necessary maintenance.

You will also need to keep your salon looking its best by regularly cleaning and stocking the shelves.


So, are tanning salons profitable? As you can see, there are many different factors that affect the profitability of a tanning salon including the location, competition, pricing, products, services, and quality of customer service.

You will need to carefully consider each of these factors when deciding whether or not to start a tanning salon.

If you do decide to start a salon, you will need to make sure that you take all of these factors into account so that you can be successful.