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Basic Tanning Certification
Indoor Salon Certification
Regulatory Information
Business Resources
Salon Operations & Procedures Course Chapters

Salon Management
Hiring and Training Employees
Understanding Customer Behavior
Customer Relations
Operating Costs and Revenues

Selling Services and Products

Advertising, Marketing and Promotions
Creating an Image
Yellow Pages Advertising
Ten Steps to Profitable Print Advertising

Chapter 8: Creating An Image

The single most important resource a salon can have is its staff. Thousands of dollars can be spent on advertising and equipment and offer freebies to get customers into the salon, but if they're not treated well, they won't be back. And no salon can survive without repeat customers.

On the other hand, what better promotion can there be for a salon than to have courteous, helpful and attractive employees ensuring that everyone who comes in has an enjoyable visit? You've been in restaurants where the waiter ignored you, or in stores where the sales staff knew less about the product than you did. It didn't leave you with a favorable impression and you certainly don't want your clients to have a similar view of your salon.

Building the perfect staff starts with the hiring process. Staff your salon with friendly, attractive, healthy looking people. Tanning is a vanity business and the more you can appeal to your clientele's sense of beauty, the better off you'll be. Let your staff use the equipment for free. You will see two benefits: they will look better and will know more about how it works. Both help your salon.

Make sure they are well trained in the services they administer. Your customers, for the most part, don't possess a detailed knowledge of how the service works or even what it is supposed to do. They will be much more comfortable if your staff can answer their questions correctly and confidently.

Finally, give them some incentive to promote your business. A commission of a few dollars for introducing a client to a new service or for bringing a new customer into the salon is a very cheap way to improve your cash flow.

Your clientele is another excellent promotional resource. If you don't already offer them incentives to refer friends and acquaintances to your salon, start now. You're missing out on a huge network of potential customers.

Salon Location

The location of your salon is a critical decision. According to industry experts, location is probably the single most important factor in the success or failure of a tanning salon.

For years we've all heard about the importance of location. When choosing a location, companies like McDonald's and Burger King spend enormous amounts of money on studies that provide them with the information they need before a final decision is reached.

In the tanning business, most of us do not have the luxury and cannot spend the money on a study that will help us make a location decision. So how can you actually decide where to open your salon? Would it be more advantageous on a bustling commercial avenue? Nobody but you can answer these questions, and the answer always depends upon your own situation, goals and objectives.

However, there are guidelines that will help you in making this most important decision. The immediate goals of this section will be to provide you with the necessary guidelines that will help ensure the success of your new salon.

Keep in mind that your services are appealing to people who want to look better or enhance their image in the eyes of others as well as themselves. For these people, looking good is their top priority. Remember, the better the salon looks, the more comfortable people feel and the more your clients will feel that they are getting the most for their money.

There are five basic location factors that should be considered when selecting a business site:

(1) Population Density--This refers to how many people in the general population there are and, of that total, how many are actually potential customers.

(2) Population Income--Obviously, a high disposable income among your customer base is very desirable. The more disposable income a person has, the more free money, and probably time, they have for enhancing their looks.

(3) Competition--It is highly unlikely you will choose a location next to another tanning salon, but there's nothing to prevent you or a competitor from opening a few blocks away from each other. As indoor tanning becomes more and more popular, increased competition is inevitable. Your best protection is a well-respected, ongoing business based on exceptional service and outstanding equipment performance.

(4) Targeting Your Audience--If you want to target an upscale audience, the location should then be in an upscale neighborhood. If you want to set your sights on students, it would be wise to select an area near a local university or several high schools. Make sure you have defined your audience. When you know who your potential clients are, it will be easier to select a site where there is an abundance of these people. This is a key factor in the success of your salon.

(5) Selecting and Leasing/Buying a Building--In determining the size building you are going to need, consider the amount of money you have to invest and the amount of equipment that it will take to operate profitably. Also, before building or leasing, always check with the proper local offices to verify all zoning ordinances, building codes, etc. Prior to signing a lease, it is wise to seek legal help.

Salon Layout And Design

In the retail world, a great deal of attention is given to the packaging and presentation of products. Snack companies spend millions of dollars determining the exact amount of air that should be used to "puff" up a potato chip bag so it looks fuller to the customer. Clothing manufacturers produce tons of display aids annually to make their individual brands sell better.

In the indoor tanning industry, lotion and skincare companies work carefully to label their products attractively and, in many cases, make coordinated display devices available to the salon. Lotions are but one example; the same can be said of almost every accessory item sold in the salon.

But what about the atmosphere of the tanning salon? The design and decor of the salon itself, inside and out, do as much to influence the buying decisions of the customer as does the packaging of a consumer item for its particular audience.

When a customer walks into your salon for the first time, several things are going to contribute to his first impression. One of the first things is the reception he receives from the salon attendant. It bodes well if the attendant is courteous and gives the impression of being knowledgeable about tanning. However, no amount of nicety and proficiency on the tanning process will induce that customer to return if the salon itself seems dingy, gloomy, claustrophobic or otherwise makes the client feel uncomfortable.

Almost every aspect of the salon can play a role in encouraging or discouraging initial or repeat business from potential customers. When deciding on the features of the facility, then, do things with a sense of purpose. Whether examining the idea of remodeling or planning a salon from scratch, choose your materials for specific reasons. Some of the most important considerations in the design of the salon are space utilization and layout, decor and furnishings, lighting, use of color and environmental control. The successful synthesis of these elements will result in a salon that presents a quality image of tanning as a healthy and pleasant way to look and feel better.

Space should be the first and best used feature of the salon. Its use and misuse can help or hinder the customer's passage through the salon, better or worsen his mood, increase or decrease his level of comfort and affect his overall perception of the business in a variety of other ways, probably all without his even being aware of it.

One of the most widespread complaints in regard to tanning salons is the claustrophobic feel people experience in the tanning rooms and even tanning units. Even though extreme claustrophobics are rare in society, few of us truly can relax in confined spaces. When most of the space in a small room is taken up by the tanning unit, the odds of a relaxing tanning session are greatly reduced.

If, for some reason, you can't avoid placing a unit in a room that is too small, whether it be for tanning, a wall-sized panoramic print on one wall can lend a feeling of space. The effect of the same technique in a somewhat larger room is better still.

The layout of the entire salon should be designed to facilitate the flow of traffic. Tanning rooms should be clearly marked and easily accessible. An island arrangement is an interesting layout option. In such a setup, the reception area is located directly in the middle of the salon, allowing the clients quick and easy access back to the desk. It also makes it easier for you to observe and monitor operations.

The reception area should be planned with the display of accessories in mind. Waiting areas should be comfortable and should be supplied with some sort of diversion, be it television, current copies of popular magazines or newspapers.

The Advantages Of Hiring A Designer

Many of you already have a successful salon which you either designed yourself or did with the help of an architect. If your customers and salespeople aren't complaining, and sales seem to be adequate, you may not need any help. On the other hand, if new packages aren't selling and sales are down or have reached a plateau, and your neighboring salons are bragging about their new sales peaks, it would be wise to look at your salespeople, your advertising, your pricing, and, of course, your salon. Is your salon too dark? Are all the lights glaring florescence? Is the carpet worn and stained? Do you use showcases to feature your retail products?

If you are planning a new look or are opening a salon, don't hesitate to consult a store designer. Look for a designer that specializes in retail operations, rather than office or home designs. The cost will be offset rapidly by the increase in sales that a new look will bring. A salon designer has a multitude of functions. First, this designer must work with you to understand your product, customer and your competition. Then, he or she must ascertain just what it is that you want; a new salon, a revamped salon with a hi-tech, contemporary or all natural look. Do you want a discount operation, or are you selling quality, performance and service with less of an emphasis on price?

All of these are factors that the designers must consider when laying out the salon. Most important, however, is determining your budget. If you do not supply accurate estimates of available dollars, both you and your designer will spin wheels in working out a design that may not be buildable due to lack of funds. Conversely, if you indicate a smaller budget than you actually have, you may not get the desired look. Calculate a realistic budget, give it to your designer and then try to stick with it.

In order to get the most from your designing dollars, it works best if you do some research yourself ahead of time. Select two or three color schemes that you like so the designer has a starting point. Investigate different carpet qualities--you want something low-maintenance and wear-resistant, but still attractive. Also check out a variety of wall treatments, both for appearance and maintenance requirements. This way you'll be able speak the designer's language a bit better, which results in a design you'll really be comfortable with, less time to get the design done and less cost to you in both the near and long term.

Once your needs, wishes and budget are determined, the designer will begin drafting the store plan. This plan usually will include a space layout including a reception area, a waiting room, tanning equipment, washrooms, a utility room and product showcases. Floor and ceiling treatments will be selected, as well as lighting requirements for display. In addition, the storefront will be planned including signage and if required, mechanical drawings for heating, air conditioners, electric, plumbing, etc. The plans must be detailed sufficiently to allow both a contractor to bid the work, and for you to understand what it is that you're getting. Blueprints are not enough, make sure that you get renderings.

Experienced designers can demand a high hourly fee, and some experts suggest that a flat-fee basis is the best way to go. A complete salon plan, excluding mechanical drawings, is based on the square footage, the type of salon, its size, etc. Ballpark figures are rough in this business, and we would urge that you get a firm bid prior to contracting the job.

You might ask yourself the question, is a professional designer worth the investment? The answer is sometimes yes. A well-planned and thorough salon always will do better than a poorly designed operation if all other factors are equal (location, price, etc).

For those owners who don't feel they require a designer, we would advise that you work with competent tanning unit manufacturers. These people usually have been involved in the design and supply of hundreds of salons and are a fount of knowledge when it comes to available equipment. Many manufacturers don't charge for their time. Instead, they hope you will buy your equipment from them. They will work with you on laying out your salon in much the same manner.

Planning your own salon requires an initial layout of the floor area and all wall elevations. Use grid paper and a 1/8-inch or 1/4-inch = 1-foot scale. Draw a very accurate plan of the floor indicating architectural elements. Then do the same for the walls in an elevation drawing.

Now draw in the washrooms, tanning rooms, reception area, waiting area, product display area and utility room. Make sure that the washrooms and utility room are somewhere to the rear of your facility so the front is left for sales and display. At this point, we can start to detail the salon.

Floor Coverings. Floor coverings are one of the first things your customer will see when he/she walks in the front door. A few suggestions: Use a dark, neutral, subtly patterned, commercial carpet for the bulk of your salon. It looks good, is easy to work on and won't show the dirt. Don't skimp on price. If you buy a cheap carpet, it will not last and will look miserable soon after you install it, and will have to be replaced shortly.

Ceilings. Most salons are not in the business of selling ceilings, so unless the ceiling is quite low, paint it a darker color than the walls. This tends to make it disappear. If your ceiling is quite high, we would suggest spaceframes or banners to bring it down. In addition, get rid of all glaring fluorescent lights. Either replace them with standard or low-voltage track lighting or cover them with diffusers to direct light down to the floor where it should be.

Windows. Windows also are important because they pull customers in. If possible, use a professional window trimmer monthly or set up an exciting display yourself. Many successful salons have been built around creative windows. A good window trimmer will cost up to $100 per visit, but is well worth it.

Showcases. Showcases also can be very attractive because they not only display product, but they identify merchandise as having enough value to be put behind locked doors. Make sure your cases imply value; in other words, buy quality showcases. Light them using mirror doors and color coordinate the bases with the rest of your salon. Showcases come in virtually any size or finish and can be used on the salon floor or up against the walls of the store. Showcases sell lotions, jewelry, sunglasses and other small impulse items.

Washrooms. Since you cater to male and female customers, it is advisable to have two washrooms that your customers can use either before or after tanning. Always keep them clean. Your customers will appreciate it.

Utility Room. Because you do provide each tanning customer with several towels, it is a good idea to have a washer and dryer. These are optional items, however, it will make it much easier for you to provide your customers with fresh, clean towels.

Advertising And Promotion

With the concern for higher profits and increased revenue per venture, the modern-day entrepreneur constantly is seeking avenues for increased income. One of the most successful ways that tanning salon owners have conquered the dreaded spector of "seasonality" and tamed the rising and falling tides of business flow is through diversification.

Reorganizing a business that has been solely focused on one service can be tough. A lot of thinking has gone into creating profitable addenda to tanning that increase profits, provide stability, smooth the peaks and valleys of the tanning cycle, provide a long-term potential for continuing business and generate opportunities for businesses that can branch off from the main salon operation.

The point is that accessory enterprises do not detract from the owner's commitment to tanning, they increase the sales power of the tanning environment and broaden the base of the entire industry.

This section should not be misconstrued as an inclusive assessment of all the options open to the tanning salon owner. It is hardly that. Instead, the editors of LOOKING FIT have looked at some of the most popular and profitable sidelines and the ways to market them in order to provide the owner with some options that can work for a variety of salons. Most notably, this list tries to encompass some diversity, but be forewarned, that the type, style and amount of accessory products are limited by only one factor-the imagination of the owner.

Regional geographical and cultural approaches are diverse and abundant. What success a Northeastern tanning salon might have with T-shirt accessories in a summertime promotion, might not be repeated by a Florida salon with abundant suppliers of T-shirt lines all over. The designation of consumer goods is broad. What could be a convenience purchase or a shopping item in one shop would be a specialty item in another locale. For example, T-shirts might be a convenience item in the South, but in the colder Northeast, during some months of the year, they could be a specialty item.

Just as important as the idea of what to market is the responsibility for how to market accessories. We consider the marketing of retail items to be a business quite different and in many ways more complicated than tanning. Marketing knowledge is crucial.

Although accessories and auxiliary businesses aren't the answer for everyone, for the non-purist, the accessories game makes good sense for bringing in solid sales and repeat business.


The move to retail selling is not for everyone; however, the versatility and flexibility that sales can add to the service-based salon operation can be an invaluable source of capital during lean times. The promise that retailing holds is not realized in every instance, but if the salon owner has practiced good selling techniques in marketing the salon operation itself, retailing is not that great a leap.

More often than not, salon owners talk themselves out of retailing for fear of taking on an entire new industry. Selling is selling, and in each case, the salon operator has a product. It is either an intangible product like a tan or a tangible one like a garment. Obviously, some of the most successful salon operations are ones where the barriers between retailing and servicing are broken down and melded into one seamless enterprise.

This is not an impossibility, but it takes a firm commitment to both aspects of the operation and an awareness of the similarities and differences between the various operations.

Retailing vs. Service

The perception is that retailing is a vastly different business than a service business. In truth, the two are very much the same. The retailer and the service company both offer a product.

The retailer offers a tangible one, some form of goods, the service business offers a service which affects the consumer. Both involve some facility, a marketing plan and a price structure. Most importantly, both involve selling. The salon operator who is not able to sell the salon's service will likely have little better luck at selling a product.

To be more analytical about it, the retailing business takes some form of product, manufactures it and sells it. The service business utilizes processes that do not change the physical form of materials, but merely manipulates them. At the consumer level, the retailer buys a product (usually from a wholesaler) at one price and moves the product along to the consumer at another price. The service industry (tanning) performs a professional, personal or financial function (in the case of tanning: personal) that does not normally create a new end product.

Though the retail and service industries share much in common there are some important differences that the salon owner must understand before entering the retail operation.


While the salon needs trained personnel, the actual operation of a tanning salon need not be labor intensive. That is, few people really are needed to keep the salon going on an hourly basis. This is not true of retailing. The labor demands are much more intensive and often involve a lot of leg work. In the salon process, the salon attendant need only check in customers, accept payment, show the facilities and turn on and clean the machine, but the requirements for the retail worker are much more substantial.

First, the retailer must man the shop area. The sales floor need not be a large area, but it should invite the customer in and make that customer comfortable. In this environment, the retail worker must stock, sell, take inventory, re-stock, work the floor and register sales. The salon owner carefully should weigh the various responsibilities that a service and retail worker have and decide what the appropriate labor force would be for these two separate enterprises.


Although the salon environment can exist in a relatively small area with tanning booths or beds tightly bunched for maximum space utilization, the retail environment needs an aesthetically pleasant space. This needn't be an opulent setting with a luxury decor, but it must be an environment that lets the consumer know this is a store. You shop here. Too often, the salon operator treats retail sales as an inferior partner. There is no window display, no interior display area and no aesthetic arrangement of sale items. Space must be provided to give the impression that retailing is a primary function, not a secondary bail-out to a floundering tanning business.


If the addition of a retail division is a new item in the salon, it is mandatory to announce it. Promotion by way of in-store flier, direct mail, radio, television, magazine and newspaper ads will let the community at large and the clientele know of your existence. Opening a retail division without adequate promotion can seem like not opening at all. Remember that the results of advertising are often invisible except when one looks at the year end receipts.

Constantly look at the big picture and remember that promoting the tanning operation will draw customers to the retail establishment and vice versa. Promotions should take advantage of the tanning salon's name, character and industry. Cross promotions that link tanning products to the tanning act are especially successful. Promotions should play upon the lifestyle sales technique. Blend all promotions under the banner of "looking good" and consumers will see each purchase as an aspect of personal "image enhancement." Remember that promotion can be synonymous with perception sometimes and that a salon identified with healthful products can build an entire cottage industry under that banner.

Product Lines

What to sell? There are as many tanning and tanning related products as the smart retailer can imagine. What is an off limits item? Virtually nothing so long as it promotes an image consistent with the salon's identity and the tanning customer's mental image of himself/herself.

These are a few products that have been tried:

  • tanning products (lotions and skincare)
  • clothing for tanning
  • activewear
  • juices, health foods
  • frozen yogurt
  • coffee bars
  • goggles/sunglasses
  • swimwear
  • home tanning equipment
  • fitness equipment (home)
  • cosmetics and nail products
  • perfume
  • jewelry
While these are some of the typical offerings, other lifestyle add-ons also could be beneficial.

Consider these additional options:

  • promotional posters
  • new age music
  • crafts
  • cards
  • books on fitness and health
  • video tape rentals
Again, the list of possible products is bounded only by the imagination of the salon owner. Sometimes customers will request products if a suggestion box or other means presents itself. By catering to a customer's needs you are keeping a potential profit maker in the store longer.


Unfortunately, the most fantastic product available will not help the salon owner without the necessary commitment. The new retail operation will require as much, if not more work than the salon operation. Retailing is not a panacea and thinking that a retail concern will bolster a salon simply by wishing it, will not work.

The commitment must be exhibited at all three levels. First, the level of buying and displaying adequately. Then in terms of superb promotion. And finally, in terms of day-to-day selling. The retail shop must receive the same attention that the salon operation receives.


As often as not, the salon owner doesn't consider that a retail operation will have its own costs. It is presumed that the costs of retailing will just be a part of the total salon operation. It is important for the business to set a budget for each aspect of the business and account for each separately. This will check the relative profits of both companies and illustrate where improvements and adjustments must be made in the merchandising plan. Here are some sample analyses of basic costs for both a salon operation and a retail business.

SALON • rent • utilities • professional services • telephone servic • insurance • advertising • labor • equipment (tanning)
RETAIL • rent • utilities • professional services • telephone service • insurance • advertising • labor • stock (inventory)

At a glance, one can see that a number of the expenses are the same. Rent is a constant, although the retail addition to a salon could necessitate gaining a larger environment so the retail operation can grow and achieve full partnership status with the root business. Utilities must be paid for both operations. For the salon, the utility bill is increased because of the power used by the tanning machines. In the retail environment, power will be consumed by display lighting. Just as a fully functional tanning unit is necessary to the complete function of a salon, so excellent lighting produces the right atmosphere to feature merchandise. Lighting can almost make a sale.

Professional services will differ. For the salon, professional services may include the advice of a lawyer, realtor and several tanning professionals in your local association. With the retail aspect, professional advice may include a designer to create the store section and consultation with local retailers or consultants in retailing who know the regional market. Professional advice puts the business on a solid footing and hopefully starts it in the right direction.

The salon probably will be more dependent on telephone service in order to schedule and cancel appointments, answer inquiry calls and order equipment and supplies. For the retail business, a telephone also is essential for inquiries and ordering stock. Phone use for the salon business is usually customer to business while telephone tasks in retailing are usually business to business.

Insurance in the tanning field is a must. This protects the salon owner from claims and loss. There is less of a need for insurance in a retail operation, but a good insurance program can protect the retail business from loss through inventory destruction, fire damage, theft, etc.

Advertising can be the lifeblood of a tanning operation. A salon that no one knows exists will have difficulty getting and keeping business. The retail operation also is bound to good advertising. With a variety of stores to choose from, advertising keeps the salon/retailer before the public eye. Particularly if the retail shop is a new venture, advertising must announce the arrival of this aspect of the business.

Possibly, combination ads targeting the salon client and that client's consumer needs would work best. Some salon owners may want to bill the two businesses as independent of each other and draw in an entirely new set of customers. This could be a part of a coordinated marketing program to find new audiences for tanning. The retail store could be a lead-in to new tanning customers, making the store and salon a one-stop shopping/recreational visit. The possibilities for advertising and promotion are unlimited, but both ventures need sufficient advertising to keep a high profile.

Labor is necessary for the tanning salon, but many people have been drawn to the salon business because they believe the salon offers a service industry with less labor costs. Many owners staff a salon with only one attendant. Here is a big difference with the retail organization. In retailing, the salesperson is the personal representation of the retail store, just as in tanning.

The retail operation requires employees that can sell and sell aggressively. This can mean that more than one operator (depending on the size of the store) may be needed at one time. Though this cost greatly increases the operating expense of the retail store, it does provide several public relations advantages. For one thing, the increased traffic in the salon/retail environment promotes more business in general. Also, the employees that come in constant contact with customers in the retail environment help to sell your salon as well. So, though more money is spent, more can potentially be made.

The big cost for many tanning salons is the tanning equipment. Many salons prefer to lease equipment because of service contracts, and convenient terms and rapid technological advances that tend to date equipment quickly. This is a major cost to many salons and a major drawback to entering the business.

The retailer obtains stock through a wholesaler. Usually once the transaction is made, the retailer has possession and ownership of the stock. Depending on the size of the store, the retail stock can cost as much or more than the tanning equipment. This expense is not leasable. The retailer buys from a distributor or wholesaler and then must sell or liquidate the stock, ideally at a profit. Naturally, this requires smart and efficient buying for success.

An unspoken cost for a retail operation is location. With the number of shops located in malls and other shopping square/village environments, it is difficult to drag the public into an isolated specialty shop. If the salon wants to compete at that level and seek a more generalized business environment it might be wise to move from an off center location to one directly in the thick of the retail climate. The thinking in this approach is that to sell you need to be where the buyers are. This is much easier than trying to drag the buyers to you. In any event, having to relocate the entire salon operation for the sake of creating a retail entity might seem counter-productive, particularly if the salon has established a respectable clientele of regular followers.

Selling Strategy

When the salon owner attempts to sell tanning, the end result is a combination of the tanning technology and the client's own natural tanning ability. When a salon owner goes into retailing, he must follow a different strategy to sell the product. By one means or another, he must inform the public of the product's presence. People have to know it's there to buy it. The retailer must strive to increase his marketshare. The more he can sell, the more he can plan for the future and increase revenue.

One method of creating a market for a product is through the process of differentiating. That is, a retailer can market a product by positioning it as different to any other product like it in its class.

The Selling Step

This process is similar in tanning, but the objective here is to apply sales techniques to the retail operation. There are three steps in the process. First the seller must locate people interested. Then he must make a sales presentation. Finally, he must close the sale. A salesperson begins by finding prospects. A person may browse through a shop, but he may not be intending to buy, for one reason or another (no money, just a passing interest, etc.). This type of window shopper is not a serious prospect. A sales presentation to such a person is pointless. A good prospect is someone with cash or credit who is interested in buying at this time.

The sales presentation should involve getting the customer's attention, then psyching the customer to buy and finally meeting any objections to the product. For example, a good sales presentation was made for a novelty tanning lotion with colorful sparkles built in. The product itself when applied to a model attracted a consumer's attention. The salesperson pointed out that the product was inexpensive as well as novel (stimulating an interest to buy), and when the customer asked if the sparkles detracted from the cream's usefulness, she (the salesperson) answered the objection with cheerful "no." The consumer was sold and so was the tanning cream.

The final process in selling was the closing. This is where the salesperson asks if the consumer would like to purchase some of the product. The closing can be the hardest part of the sale. It shouldn't come as a forced "push the customer" approach, but should seem to be a natural outgrowth of the proceeding conversation.

Auxiliary Functions

The salesperson also performs other functions. One is to cross-promote the salon operation. Other functions may include some recordkeeping, stocking and collecting credit information.


When the retail operation can't sell directly, it is time to consider advertising to locate potential consumers for the product line. Advertising has a number of functions and each is important for the sales process. Advertising can be done at the retail level or at the manufacturer's level. Some of its functions are to:

  • help personal selling by getting the product name out
  • reach beyond the sales floor to approach customers
  • improve ties with manufacturers
  • open new markets
  • promote goodwill
  • create a beginning demand for an unproven product
  • make sales volume higher.

Now that the salon owner has decided to venture into the accessories or retail business, he needs every tool available to him to make his product line shine. Promotions are usually a low-cost way to do just that. When a retailer is not selling or advertising, he is undoubtedly promoting. There are a variety of sales techniques that make promotion successful.

In-house Promotion is simply talking up the product while a customer is there to tan or buy another product.

Point-of-Purchase (POP) advertising displays and posters offered directly at the retail area to encourage more sales.

Specialty Advertising is done by various logo items such as matchbooks, pens or calendars. These items keep the store's name in the consumer's mind and might jog a return visit.

Coupons give the buyer a discount on selected items from your store and promote repeated visits.

Trade Shows provide the retailer with an insight into the newest and most marketable products. The idea is to approach the trade show with a consumer mentality. What do you see there that could work in your salon?

Samples are a particularly effective way to get people to try tanning creams while in your salon. Offer the customer a free sample and if he or she likes it, the customer may decide to buy more.

Contests actually involve the consumer. They keep people thinking about the product and invite repeat business so people can see who won.


It is interesting and important to know about the process of retail selling, but a strong product does a lot of the selling for the salon owner. Consider some of these items as potential money makers for your salon. Each has a definite appeal and can broaden the salon's natural customer base easily. Each builds on the tanning lifestyle and encourages future sales and other retail ventures. Each of the products mentioned in this section have actually been tried in salons. Which is the appropriate product for your area? That is difficult to say. The salon owner must have a clear idea of how to pick the right product for his geographic area, consumer group, salon ambiance, marketing program and price point.

All these factors and more make the selection of a proper product a crucial matter. These brief descriptions are not intended as endorsements of any specific product, but rather as a service to salon owners that have an interest in expanding into retail sales.

Product Selection

The right product can be picked keeping three important points in mind. First, the consumer that is willing to spend for a tan will doubtless spend on other products that can beautify him or her. Also, a good product line can keep the tanning consumer frequenting a salon throughout the year, something that most salons currently don't have. Finally, a distinct and unusual specialty item will keep a customer coming to find what that person can't find elsewhere.

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