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Running a spray tan business – everything you need to know

A woman holding a clipboard about to do a spray tan

Been looking at spray tanning courses and wondering…how can I start running a spray tan business?

Maybe you just want your hobby to become a glowing career. Maybe you want to start a side hustle to boost your income. Or maybe it’s finally time to be your own boss! 

Whatever your reason, running a spray tan business has a lot to offer you – you’ll meet like-minded people, help them feel amazing and see lucrative returns for a quick and enjoyable job. And with the sunless tanning market set to reach $1.8 billion by 2026, it’s a fantastic skill to have. 

Here’s our rundown of the fundamentals of tanning, the best spray tan courses and kit on the market, plus how to kickstart that beauty business the right way. Let’s start with the basics. 

What does a spray tan technician do?

A spray tan technician helps clients get that healthy, bronzed glow without exposing themselves to any potentially harmful UV rays. Their goal is to provide a smooth, seamless tan through using the latest spray technology and an in-depth knowledge of the application process. 

On a daily basis, a spray tan technician will perform a mixture of the following: 

  • Greet and welcome clients to their studio, or travel to the client’s home
  • Perform spray tanning services and appointments 
  • Schedule client appointments and manage their diary
  • Advise clients on preparation, maintenance & aftercare
  • Answer client questions about the service, their products and any other concerns
  • Cleaning & maintenance of studios and equipment
  • Restocking products 
  • Marketing services, promoting their business on social media and collecting testimonials 

What skills do I need to become a spray tan technician?

Are you the life of the party? Do you love nothing more than a good discussion? Have you got an eye for detail?

As a very personal and client-facing role, you’ll definitely need to relish being in the company of others as a spray tan technician. To give that 5-star service, they’ll want to feel confident and at ease in your company, so a warm manner and approachable energy will go a long way. 

Ultimately, to keep and grow your client list, you’ll need the very best professional spray tan training and equipment. To be able to offer an even finish, gorgeous matched tones and a natural healthy glow that wows your clients – you’ll need to look at spray tan courses. 

Our Certificate in Spray Tanning is what you’ve been looking for! 

Through a combination of text-based study and guided video tutorials led by industry experts, you’ll gain the theoretical and practical skills to apply flawlessly streak-free tan and offer bespoke consultations to clients with all kinds of skin types.

Plus, you’ll receive a customised spray tan kit delivered directly to your door, with a full range of the highest quality professional materials needed to start your business. 

Whether you’re completely new to spray tanning or you’d love to hone and refine your existing abilities, we’ve designed our Spray Tan Course to be simple, flexible and packed full of everything you need to succeed. 

spray tan business

How to start a spray tan business

Once you are qualified, it’s time to get that business off to a strong start!

Step 1 – Set Your Schedule

Set your work goals so you can stay on track with your future vision. Do you imagine yourself working in a large salon or for a larger provider? Are you wanting to use your evenings for this side hustle? Or perhaps you want to set up your own small business and work from home (or meet clients at their homes)? 

The beauty of a spray tanning business is its flexibility. It’s built to work for you. So decide on the schedule that fits around your family life, income goals or other commitments. 

Step 2 – Find Your Niche

Are you looking to tan busy moms? College students? Hen parties? Or drop into high-end corporations or stores?

See if you can find a target market that works for your schedule, this way you can put all your efforts into becoming the leading provider for that segment. As word of mouth spreads in that community, you’ll see your client list grow rapidly. 

Could you add a playpen to your home studio for toddlers while mums get a quick tan? Could you do discounted offers for proms and dances? Could you offer bundles of tanning and makeup for hen parties with a local makeup artist? Can you make a deal with a high-end store to run a pop up once a week?

Get creative!

Step 3 – Market Your Services

If you are starting your own tanning business you’ll need to harness the power of social media and start a strong word of mouth referral scheme. 

Start by offering services to family and friends to get initial reviews, content and marketing materials. Create a logo and website that match your style and brand message, and start posting frequently on your social media platforms. 

You could also offer local influencers a discounted rate for a shoutout on their page, which can be a great way to reach your local community. 

For more beauty business marketing tips, check out our guide to social media for your beauty business!

Step 4 – Wow Your Clients

Having happy customers is the best marketing tool for any beauty business!

Have an in-depth consultation to make sure you are aware of your client’s goals and needs. Create a warm and welcoming salon space. Offer added extras like refreshments for those 5-star touches. 

You can also offer different types of tans to customise your client’s experience. As well as your regular offering, you could also include: 

  • Express Tans – The ‘rapid’ tan, or ‘1-hour tan’ is a recent invention that’s becoming super popular for busy clients. Ideal for client’s who don’t have time to wait for the full 8-hour development of a normal spray tan, this formula dries quickly, but continues to develop for the rest of the day. This could be a fantastic option for those busy mums or lunch break professionals. 
  • Airbrush Tans – An elevated version of your traditional spray tan, airbrush tans are applied using a special machine that coats your skin evenly with a tanning solution specifically pigmented to match your clients desired result. This offers a super realistic and delicate finish, ideal for portraits or closeups – ideal for events like wedding days and photo shoots.

Bonus tip – sort the paperwork

Running a business means taking responsibility for the admin that comes with it. Luckily, keeping on top of these papers now is the key to a smooth and hassle-free launch. So here’s everything to sort before opening your salon doors:

  • Name – Check your business name online to see if it is available for use, and also to see if the domain name is free for your new business website and social media pages too.
  • Register – You’ll need to register your new business with the RealMe® and set up a New Zealand Business Number. You’ll most likely start out as a self-employed ‘sole trader’, but you can change this as your business expands if you need to.
  • Bank account – It’s also sensible to set up a separate business bank account so that your tax returns are easier and there’s no confusion.
  • Insurance – Like most businesses, you’ll need to protect yourself against liability. In this case, you’ll need cover for injuries to yourself, a member of the public or any property you tan in. Public liability insurance is a must, but you might also want to look into professional indemnity and personal accident insurance too. 
  • Regulations – If you plan on working from your home, get in touch with your local council to find out their regulations and requirements for you to do so. 
  • Administration practices – Now is a great time to get some efficient systems in place. So get yourself prepared with a client contract, a client record-filing system, reservation software (or a robust diary), an expenses sheet and invoicing software (or a weekly/monthly reminder). This will streamline any paperwork in the future!

How much can you earn as a spray tan technician?

If you are employed by a larger company, your salary will be dependent on their figures. 

However, if you choose to become a freelance tanner, or set up a tanning business, your income can rise depending on your experience, working hours and location. As a beginner, you can charge customers anywhere around $30.00 – $75.00 per tan, or offer packages such as 10 tans paid for in advance for $200.00 upwards. 

If you have the time and flexibility to spray around 10-15 clients per day, you could be looking at a daily income of anywhere from $400 – $600 and upwards. Not bad!

As your experience grows, or your niche market expands to a wealthy area or includes high earning clientele, you could raise your prices further. 

And as always, it’s important to ensure your skills and equipment stay up to date. So don’t hesitate to sign up for our spray tan course and kit combo, as this can help you to stay up to date and in the know. Our spray tan training is one of our most popular short beauty courses, and it’s not hard to see why! 

Join us today and start your dream beauty business now!

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