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How To Open a Tanning Salon

is now "how to start a Health Spa" in 2014

by Rick Houston

This is a newly revised edition of a 10 year old website dedicated to educating users on the basic terms and concepts related to starting your own day spa, tanning salon, or health spa.  I originally wrote this simple guide (more about Rick Houston) in 2004 after opening my own tanning salon in Central Florida and recommending mainly tanning beds for the past 15 years but my opinion has changedhow to start a tanning salon or day spa information dramatically in the past few years.  In 2005, USAToday newspaper reported that Charleston, WV, with a population of 52,000, had over 50 tanning salons in the area.  Compared to the 2 McDonald's and 1 StarBucks in town, this was an early sign the industry was overbuilt and the bubble was about to burst.  Combined with the double-bottom bounce of the inflated economy in 2006 and 2008, the WHO placing tanning beds next to the sun on the known carcinogens list, and the new healthcare tax of 10% on UV tanning...indoor tanning salons were doomed. &  Sure enough, in recent years we have witnessed the closing of many salons and have seen the second hand market flood with indoor tanning and day spa equipment.  So the questions I am asked the most often now are: "is this the right time to open a tanning salon?" and "should I buy used salon equipment for my business?".  The answers are both yes and no!  Allow me to explain.

There are a few concerns about opening "just a tanning salon" and many strong reasons for starting a "health spa" or day spa in today's economy.  In my circle of friends, and most likely yours too, there is a trend towards a healthy and organic lifestyle. example of Lumiere Excel red light phototherapy device Education has been a big part of this as we have all learned about portion sizes, chemicals in our foods and what really is good for our bodies.  The debate on UV tanning rays and whether they are a benefit or detriment to human skin can be discussed forever but the simple fact remains that humans need the sun or equivalent to exist.  The sun or UV light stimulates Vitamin D production, helps with topical skin disorders, and release endorphins to help you feel better.  This is proven by the fact that medical doctors and insurance companies still recommend and pay for UV tanning beds for their patients.  With this being said, there will always be a market for UV tanning but nothing like the demand during the rapid growth periods of the early 2000's.  A new salon owner can not rely on UV tanning revenue only and must explore sunless options, portable saunas and red light phototherapy has emerged as the buzz word of day spas around world and a must have for all salons in 2014.

Tanning salons have slowly transitioned to day spas, tan spas or "health spas" where only 1 or two employees can deliver a plethora of healthy choices for customers.  These new healthy choicesmagic tan versa spa for sale include the sunless tanning options offered by Magic Tan Versa Spa (pictured here) and Mystic Tan HD spray tan booths (read reviews here), personal saunas like the Hydration Station (reviews), and portable saunas like the Hydro Massage Bed and Aqua Massage Tables (reviews).  Finally, red light phototherapy has emerged as a true and NASA verified method to produce collagen in human skin and red light therapy devices like the Lumiere Excel, Solitone 400 and red light therapy beds have become required in most new health related spas.  The list above and left is a quick index to all the topics discussed on this website.  My recommended business models for 2014 and a sample business plan can be viewed here and more options can be found below.  Call 800-760-6017 or email me here with questions or if you would like me to help guide you through the process of starting a salon.



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