How to Start a Profitable Mobile Spray Tan Business from Scratch

Mobile spray tanning is a growing trend in the beauty industry. This is where clients can get their tans done anywhere for their convenience. 

Folks who go for mobile tanning don’t have to leave their homes or offices. You go to them, and that’s why you can charge them premium prices. It’s a niche service. 

Since every mobile spray tanning business will have a slightly distinct customer and advertising strategy, the market is wide open for new enterprises.

Over the past decade, this submarket has picked up quite a bit. Because of the realistic overhead and small upfront investment, you could launch your business for less than $2,500! 

In this post, I’ll walk you through starting your own mobile spray tan business. Let’s get to it. 

What Exactly Does A Mobile Spray Tan Technician Do? 

A spray tan professional works with clients to get a natural-looking bronze color without putting them in danger from the sun. Utilizing cutting-edge spray technology and expert knowledge of the tanning process, they aim to deliver a flawless tan. You don’t need beach time if you can get spray tans!

A typical day for a mobile spray tan technician includes a variety of tasks, including:

Traveling to their clients’ homes, offices, or wherever else their services are needed

Providing safe spray tanning services

Scheduling client appointments and managing their books

Advising customers regarding preparation, maintenance, and aftercare 

Answering customer questions about services and products 

Cleaning and maintenance of spray tan equipment 

Restocking products to use and sell 

Marketing their services on social media and collecting reviews

Related Reading: Which Business Should I Start? – Dive Deeper Here.

Steps For Starting Your Own Spray Tanning Business

1. Draft a business plan. 

Anyone who wants to start a business should plan everything out. That usually involves drafting a business plan. 

This is a lot simpler than it seems. All you have to do is answer the following questions. I took the liberty of answering them to give you a start-off point. 

Be as personal as you can when you answer these questions!

The Business Part 

What is your goal? I want to offer a spray tanning service to my local community. 

Who will be your customers? I want to cater to people who currently go to tanning salons or frequently sit out by the pool/beach. 

How can you add value to your customers’ lives? I’m going to provide them with safe and natural-looking tans. I want to cut down their time under the sun because that can be dangerous. 

The Money Part 

How much will you charge? I will charge $50 per mobile spray tan. I will offer an introductory price of $25 for the first spray tan. 

How will you accept payments? I will set up contactless payment methods for my clients. I’m not going to accept cash or checks because of possible complications. 

How else can you make money? I will resell retail items offered by my spray tan solution provider. I will also upsell packages to gain long-term clients. 

The Marketing Part 

How will you let clients know about your business? I will create a site for my business. I will also claim handles on Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, and Google My Business. I will also try to partner up with complimentary services like estheticians, spas, hairdressers, bridal shops, establishments with tanning beds, etc. 

How will you encourage referrals? I will always try to cross-refer people. I might also offer free or discounted tans to referral partners. 

The Numbers Part 

How many customers should I try to have in a week? 10-15

What is your goal annual net income? $26,000

The Obstacles Part 

This is where you list down possible issues you might encounter as you run your business. You’re going to want to provide solutions for yourself. 

– – –

That wasn’t so hard, was it? In a way, this is kind of the opposite of a standard business plan. There’s no reason why the planning stage should stress you out.

And while this plan is subject to change, it should be good enough to get the ball rolling. 

Typically, in order to attract investors’ financial backing, business plans include a plethora of numerical data and forecasts. 

The good news is that the initial investment required to launch a mobile tanning business will be modest, meaning you won’t have to seek extra funding.

2. Come up with your unique brand. 

The branding part for your new tanning business is the most exciting and imaginative part of the business development process. 

You have to consider the following: 

The values that you stand for as a business 

The mood that you’d like to evoke 

The colors to choose to create a memorable image 

Come up with a company name and logo that strikes a chord with you and your target market.

It might help to settle on a “vibe.” Do you want to project a fun or luxurious image? Are your services more approachable or high-end?

In this phase, you’ll lay the groundwork for the public image that will grow with your company’s success. It’s fine if you don’t know a lot about advertising yet. There are tons of online resources to help you along the way. 

3. Make things of official. 

Taking care of the legal requirements of your sunless tanning business at the outset will serve you well in the long run. 

Find out what documentation has to be filed to start a business in your state, and get cracking! 

Formation of an LLC, sole proprietorship, corporation, etc., is optional and subject to the laws of the state where your business is located. 

Reach out to a tax expert for advice on how to best structure your business if you need assistance making these choices.

4. Get certified and source your equipment. 

Now that you’re officially a business owner, you’ll need tools to provide services to your customers.

Go ahead and enroll in that certification class if you haven’t already! Although most states don’t need spray tanners to be certified, doing so can boost your confidence in your abilities.

You’ll be armed with the proper information to provide an outstanding experience to your clients, which can lead to more referrals! 

Equipment and Supplies You’ll Need

A vehicle 

Spray Tan Machine (and a Backup) 

When you’re on the go and have an appointment, the last thing you need is for your machine to break down on you. 

You can’t fail your customers, especially if the session is for an important event like a wedding. It can hurt business in more ways than one. You’ll lose revenue, and you can say goodbye to those referrals. 

What would you do if, midway through tanning someone, your tanning gun jammed or your machine shut off due to overheating? 

I don’t have to tell you that that would be a nightmare. That’s why I recommend getting a spare tanning machine in your vehicle.

Spray tan tent

Prep spray 

Tanning solution 

Barrier cream

Retail aftercare (Tan extender, lotion, body wash, etc.)

Business cards 

Loyalty cards 


Containers for your tanning equipment 

Extraction fan with filters

Paper towels

Protective eye gear

Disposable underwear

Nose plugs 

Shower caps 

Face masks 

Baby wipes

Sticky Feet 

Black towels or disposable dog pee pads 

5. Get insurance and write a waiver form. 

Getting yourself insured is another important precaution to take in case something goes wrong during your scheduled sessions. It certainly won’t break the bank, and it’ll make you feel more secure in your business. 

Prepare a waiver form and any other client forms you’ll need, like spray tan aftercare instructions, to hand out to each and every customer who sets an appointment. 

Planning ahead for a safe and reliable method of keeping track of client appointments and data is essential.

6. Open a business bank account. 

You should open a bank account before you start making money so that you have somewhere safe to put it.

Even if your spray tanning business is a sole proprietorship, it’s still a good idea to maintain a separate business checking account from your personal one. 

This will make tax time much less of a headache and allow you to keep better tabs on your profits. 

When compared to opening a personal bank account, opening a business bank account is a breeze. Ask your favorite bank about the rates and features of their business checking accounts to see if they are a good fit for your business. 

The products and services provided by banks differ, so it’s important to shop around to find the right one for your needs. 

When you’ve settled on a financial institution, you may open a business checking account by providing the institution with your business’s EIN (or SSN, if you choose for sole proprietorship) and other required paperwork.

7. Build your team. 

It’s possible that you won’t need any help getting things off the ground. On the other hand, when your company expands, you’ll probably need to hire people to fill new positions. In the spray tanning industry, you could find yourself needing people to fit the following roles: 

Tanning technicians

General manager (for accounting and scheduling) 

Marketer (for website and social media operations) 

Depending on the scope and needs of your company, you may need to fill all of these roles at once or one at a time. 

Depending on the situation, you may hire a team of people to perform a single task, or you could assign different tasks to the same person.

To find qualified candidates without spending a dime, you can use sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and to advertise job openings. 

Advertisements on premium sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter are also viable options for finding new staff. 

If you have the means to do so, you may want to think about engaging the services of a recruiting agency to assist you in your search for qualified candidates. For example, you might decide to hire only technicians with certifications.

8. The real work begins! 

Now, it’s time to put the work in. Of course, as your business expands, you’ll want to add a lot more features, but this is a sound foundation on which to build. 

Getting your name out there is now your top priority. Start by announcing your availability and introducing yourself to potential clients in your area; you can do this both in person and online. 

It takes time to build a loyal clientele, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t invest in your dreams with your time, energy, and resources.

Getting your new business off the ground should not be a daunting or difficult process. If you have the necessary resources and encouragement, you can make that leap. 

Related Reading: Franchisee Vs. Franchisor – Learn The Difference Among Them.


Can I start a mobile spray tanning business if I don’t know how to spray tan?  Sure! Many people jump into the spray tanning industry without ever having tried it themselves.It will boost your confidence if you get spray tan training and certification. You should choose the best spray tanning training program for yourself and familiarize yourself with the following material:1- Skin prep2- Information about ingredients 3- Application techniques 4- The latest products 5- Safety 6- Customer care 7- Stain prevention 8- Common spray tan mistakes You can shorten your learning curve and guarantee top-notch service by familiarizing yourself with all these facets of the business. How much can you charge for a spray tan?  Your pricing strategy should take into account both the local market and your own personal values regarding what is fair compensation for your work. An average tanning session will set you back between $25 and $35. Prices for professional airbrush sessions range from $30 to $80, with the actual rates depending on factors including proximity to the client and the technician’s level of expertise.How do you settle on a price? Checking local prices should be your first step. For example, spray tan services in New York will be more expensive than those in a small town in Arkansas. One good place to start when trying to decide on your own prices is to see what the competition is asking.Once you know your competitor’s starting price, you can consider your startup costs and time to come up with your own.  How do you gain spray tanning customers?  This is another concern for anyone thinking about taking up a spray tanning gig. It’s nerve-wracking to launch a business and invest resources into equipment before knowing whether or not you’ll ever see a return on those investments.But if you put in the time and effort into marketing and advertising, clients will start flocking to you.When you’ve got everything you need on hand, including advertising, you can get to work. A few ways to get the word out about your spray tanning business are:1- Your own website2- Social media3- Bulletin boards and flyers4- Local online directories 5- Local newspapers and newsletters 6- Partnerships with other businesses 

Related Reading: Vending machine passive income – Check Them out Here

Final Thoughts

The mobile spray tanning gig is a promising one, both as a starting point and a potential for expansion. 

If folks already know you as a spray tanner, your loyal customers are probably asking if you could come to their homes. 

You’ll need access to reliable transportation, and this business model is most viable in a place with a dense enough clientele to make the time spent commuting between clients’ homes worthwhile.

Hosting spray tan parties is a fun and profitable way to earn extra cash. Having a line of customers waiting to get their tans done allows you to spray them one after the other, cutting down on the time it takes between appointments and increasing your profits. 

I hope this guide equips you with everything you need to run a successful spray tanning business.

The post How to Start a Profitable Mobile Spray Tan Business from Scratch appeared first on

Source link