With plenty of clients “glowing” about its friendly customer service, Glow Tanning Company of Long Beach, CA is aptly named!
Sometimes, the inspiration to open a tanning salon can be as simple as saying, “I can do it better.” That’s what Dan Hallahan said 12 years ago, after his first “tanning experience” at a less-than-professional neighborhood salon. True to his word, he opened the very spacious and elegant Glow Tanning Co. in May 2000. With confidence in his business model, Dan operated the spa-like salon and established a reputation for service, cleanliness and results. Over the years, he’s had his share of ups and downs in the current economy; but, he maintains a positive outlook on the future and even plans to open more facilities… all with an exciting, new theme.
“Jamaican” Me Tan
Dan Hallahan didn’t start his professional life as a tanning salon owner or even an indoor tanner – instead, he worked as a general contractor. “My wife and I were planning a trip to Jamaica at the time, so she bought me a membership at a local tanning salon to prepare for our vacation,” said Dan. “When I went there, I was surprised to see how busy the place was, especially since it wasn’t the cleanest place in town and really lacked good customer service. I thought that if a place like that could be busy, a quality tanning salon would be even more successful.” While in Jamaica, Dan met Dean Albanese (Exotic Tans owner) and the veteran salon pro gave him plenty of advice, which helped Dan open Glow Tanning Company in May 2000. “Dean is a great guy and was a huge help in getting me started, and I’ll always be very thankful for that,” Dan added.
A Winning Formula
When marketing his newly-opened Glow Tanning salon, Dan wasn’t exactly conservative. “I hired four young ladies to wear bikinis and stand at the corner holding signs that read ‘Free Tan!’”, he said. “The local newspaper did a story about it that was a bit unflattering; but, the publicity still helped us. In no time at all, we had hundreds of clients, some coming from 10 miles away or more!” The continued success of his first Glow Tanning inspired Dan to open a second in April 2003, and he’s very glad he did – he sold his first salon during his divorce, so the second store left him with a viable business to operate. “We built the second store with all the strengths of the first, and this location became an even bigger success and remains that way,” he added.
Glow Tanning features an elegant décor with many Roman-inspired accents, such as tiles and pillars that create an overall spa feeling. “We currently have 10 UV tanning units – three Advanced Ultraviolet Light (AUVL) Elixir sunbeds, three Dr. Müller Sun Sector beds, a Dr. Müller Black Onyx, a Dr. Müller Future Sun high-pressure unit, a Heartland 2M booth and a Classic Legs HL 38 leg-tanner. The salon also offers Mystic Tan sunless, a Rejuvé red-light therapy unit, an Eye Bright teeth-whitening system and Norvell Skin Solutions’ hand-held spray-tan system. Glow Tanning sells lotions by Abaté International, Australian Gold, Designer Skin and Supre Tan, and operates using SalonTouch software by Interactive Designs.
Keywords: Friendly & Knowledgeable
Making personal connections with clients is always a good way to extend the philosophy of customer service and build a business. To do this, Heather Hallahan, Glow Tanning Manager, utilizes the salon’s Facebook page. “It’s always better to be perceived as a friend than just another business, so we don’t just post our specials on Facebook,” she said. “Instead, we use it to make personal connections with clients, such as wishing them a happy birthday, answering their tanning questions or simply saying, ‘Have a great day!’” We also offer specials to clients who check-in with us, which also shows up on their own Facebook pages, promoting our salon to their friends, as well.” Glow Tanning also sends e-blasts including Glow Bucks, which offer clients $10 toward lotions, upgrade sessions and many other purchases.
Customer service is so important to Heather and Dan that they require staff to greet and engage each client in friendly conversation. They also test their employees on a regular basis. “We believe that the better they know each tanning product, the better they can help clients find the lotion best-suited for their skin,” Heather said. “We consistently attend webinars and tanning seminars to learn all we can, and we’re always providing product information to our staff. Each month, we give them short, written quizzes to test their product knowledge, which also helps them excel at selling all the lotions we offer, not just their personal favorites.”
Glowing & Growing?
It wasn’t long ago when Dan owned and operated two tanning salons, and he longs to have multiple locations once more. “I plan to take my time and build my capital; then, when the time is right, we’ll begin our expansion,” he said. “This time, instead of utilizing a large amount of capital on one large, spa-like facility, I plan to open several mini-salons that will offer people a quick and easy option for getting a tan. These smaller, no-frills locations won’t require as much capital up front, which will increase my return-on-investment and provide much-needed convenience for our tanners.” Dan says he also plans to upgrade some of his salon’s older units while researching various spa services, such as body wraps, to augment to his salon’s menu.
In 13 years’ time, Dan Hallahan has gotten to know many of his clients, and says this makes his time behind the counter worthwhile. “I absolutely love our clients,” he said. “Each one of them is a unique individual with a very interesting story, and I truly enjoy listening to all their stories and getting to know the people telling them. Many of these friendships are truly priceless!”
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
Copyright 2020 ist Magazine