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Veronique: Many factors. We all know that the highly-publicized risks associated with UV tanning plays a part; but, I believe that there has also been a shift in consumer taste and behavior. We are no longer a population that lingers – we move quickly, we travel, we have access to much more information and consequently, have growing lists of things to do and therefore, when we take time out for ourselves, we want immediate gratification and results. We want to do things that make a notable difference. We don’t have regular facials; we now combine that experience with more invasive treatments that offer lasting results. That is why there are so many day spas converted to medi-spas, dentists converted to dental spas, and that is why Infinity Sun has long been advocating the diversification of services to combine results-oriented experiences in-salon. Sunless tanning is the perfect example of this – anti-aging/skin-firming sunless, even more so. One session, in under a minute, you can look like you have been in the Bahamas for a month (and you won’t exceed your lunch break doing it!). That fits with the new way we live.
Rick: Joe, you remember, in the past, that many tanning salon owners worried about how, and if, sunless could work in their business. I am thrilled to report that I have never heard a complaint after they’ve done it! As sunless methods and solutions have evolved over the past decade, the public as a whole is beginning to learn that you really can achieve natural looking color with a spray tan. You DON’T have to look like a pumpkin! Even better, you can enter the sunless business with a spray-gun, turbine, tent and extraction fan for well under $1,000. In essence, you are adding new equipment and a new service that pays for itself in less than 30 sprays! Additionally, sunless allows a tanning salon an option for those who prefer not to use UV methods – as well as a way to actually educate them about UV tanning, and possibly to even upsell them. The “tanning cocktail” allows them a way to couple their UV service with a sunless session for a larger sale per client. I would venture to say that if your salon does not have sunless, you will be hard-pressed to maintain your share in the marketplace.
Mike: Most automated spray-tans are performed in preparation for the most important social events (big date, wedding, prom, gala, vacation, etc.), when a person can least afford a beauty mishap. Here’s a few things salon owners know about the dramatic improvements and remarkable breakthroughs in automated spray-tan solutions.
Shelby: There are several factors that have played a role in the increase of sunless tanning within UV tanning salons and other forms of salons and spas. People seek instant gratification, and a sunless tan can give them an immediate positive change. Likewise, if time is an issue, a spray-tan session can provide a beautiful glow in less time than laying in a tanning bed or sunbathing outdoors.
Rick: Don’t wait – just do it! High-season is kicking into gear: do it, and do it fast, before you miss out on profits! As I’ve mentioned before, an entire entry-level spray set-up will set you back far less than $1,000. The math makes sense … if you charge $35 for a spray-tan, then you’ve paid for your investment with less than 30 tans. With one special occasion event in your town, you could feasibly pay for it in only one day! Research the brand you choose to partner with. Look for a company strong in support, customer service and education, and that genuinely cares about your business and your success and wants to help you achieve your goals.
Mike: By the numbers! 10 Million: the number of automated spray-tans performed by VersaSpa and Mystic Tan each year. $3: The salon’s cost for a spray tan. $29: The average retail price for an automated spray-tan. 1 year (or less): The number of years to pay back the equipment purchase.
Veronique: Lock up your salon and throw the keys into the ocean – that is just fast-tracking the inevitable. Without sunless, your business is losing value by the day. If you do not give your customers what they want, someone down the street or around the corner will, and you will no longer have a viable business. All we have to do is take a look at all the salons that did not even have one automated spray-tanning system and now have four booths and one custom airbrush room. They did this with resistance. Trust me, I fought with many salon owners from 2005 until now who thought sunless was a fad! They thought that airbrush tanning wouldn’t make them money – but they gave in. They are saying “YES” to consumer demand. They succeed in business.
Mike: On-site training for staff, multiple videos to train on use of the products and routine maintenance of the booth to enhance operation and reliability, as well as a network of 40+ field technicians and a full complement of phone technicians.
Shelby: The rise of sunless tanning systems is transpiring – now – and will only increase and develop for years to come. The growth is remarkable, and in order to compete, stay current, and offer all types of salon customers a method for tanning, it is necessary to offer a sunless service. Airbrush tanning in particular offers platforms that provide immediate, customized results. Additionally, most airbrush systems are mobile, and therefore can be offered from any location – people don’t even have to leave their homes anymore! Offering a sunless tanning option is a profitable opportunity that is simple to execute and should be utilized.
Veronique: Infinity Sun Academy has been servicing the health and beauty industry since 2006. We offer a very structured training program at our academy in West Hollywood, as well as through other digital platforms. We cover the science behind skin, sunless tanning and the position of the FDA on spray-tanning. We consult with health officials on a regular basis and conduct inhalation and ocular testing to ensure we always have data consistent with our beliefs on the safety of sunless with our products.
Rick: Norvell was the creator of the first sunless education program out there, and I am beyond proud of Norvell University and all the work our team has put into it. In fact, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the team has created an all new NU experience that debuted March 1. We have a ground-breaking, award-winning educational program thoughtfully created specifically for those wanting to grow in the flourishing sunless tanning industry. From self-paced webinars that virtually gather fellow spray-technicians across the world, to multi-day symposiums where one will be surrounded by industry experts, Norvell University offers learning for every experience level.
Shelby: People, in general, seek out multipurpose salons and multifunctional products that can achieve a variety of functions all at once. Sunless solutions have already begun to achieve this by offering different levels of color, skin rejuvenation, hiding cellulite, and anti-aging benefits. As these products continue to evolve, I foresee booths, solutions and products becoming even more versatile to achieve more functions and greater results in less time. People feel they need even more, now, to maintain a healthy appearance, hide “flaws” and achieve a beautiful bronze tan that makes them feel good on the inside and glow on the outside. There is a lot to accomplish and so much potential for this industry – endless possibilities and a lot of success ahead.
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
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