How to Start a Mobile Airbrush Tanning Business

Written by shanika chapman
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How to Start a Mobile Airbrush Tanning Business
(Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Airbrush tanning remains a popular alternative for people wanting to obtain that sunkissed look without spending too much time in the sun. Clients will happily pay £13 to £78 to a qualified technician who can offer the convenience of a mobile airbrush tanning service. You can capitalise on this trend by starting your own mobile airbrush tanning business. Offer your services for bridal showers, hen parties, girls' night out events and birthdays.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Liability insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Training

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  1. 1

    Educate yourself on what it means to be self-employed. While a mobile tanning business offers significantly less risk than renting commercial space, it’s still a significant financial endeavour. Tanning equipment, supplies, licenses and education will cost at least £6,500. You will also be responsible for paying your taxes, accounting, keeping track of your expenses, maintaining your vehicle, documenting business miles and obtaining clientele. The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center is a good place to get an idea of your tax liability and responsibilities as an employer.

  2. 2

    Enrol in an airbrush training course to learn the technique behind spray tanning as well as FDA regulations, skin preparation, allergy concerns, ingredients and how to provide your service to pregnant or lactating women. Visit the National Tanning Training Institute or the American Tanning Institute websites to find a class near you.

  3. 3

    Develop a catchy name for your business and register it with your County Clerk. Obtain a federal tax ID number from the IRS, which will allow you to purchase wholesale goods. Then contact your insurance provider to purchase commercial auto insurance and general liability, which covers you in the event that you cause any damage, such as spilling the tanning solution on your client’s carpet.

  4. 4

    Purchase a sunless tanning system, taking into consideration the overspray, rate of spray, noise factor and equipment size and weight, since you will be lugging it around. Purchase skincare products for resale, such as tanning lotions, exfoliating creams, bronzers and moisturisers. Have a sheet on hand so the overspray won’t get all over the client’s shower.

  5. 5

    Recognise the importance of word-of-mouth advertising. Give your customers the experience of a lifetime and they will happily refer you to their friends. In addition, take every opportunity to advertise your business. If you attend a local gym that doesn’t already have tanning service, ask about setting up shop one day a week.

Tips and warnings

  • Offer wine and cheese tanning parties for groups.
  • Offer discounts for bulk packages.
  • Deck out your commercial vehicle with a fun logo and the fact that you are trained and insured. A professional vehicle will give your business credibility and help it stand out from the competition.
  • Get a merchant account if you decide to accept credit cards.
  • Invest in business cards and hand them to anyone who shows interest in your service.

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