As indoor tanning professionals, there are so many positive things happening in our beloved industry for us to enjoy. For example, there seems to be a large number of people opening tanning salons these days. Perhaps they didn’t pay attention to all the “doom and gloom” that some have been preaching – instead, these entrepreneurs are choosing to follow their instincts and pursue the American Dream, which continues to make our industry stronger. ist Magazine wishes to recognize these tanning “newbies” with this monthly “Welcome Wagon” series, and we invite you, our loyal readers, to join us in giving them the friendly greeting they deserve!
When the construction industry was hit hard by the economic downturn, Robert Elliott knew it was time to leave behind his 24-year career in that field. He decided to seize the opportunity to pursue his long-held dream of business ownership. “I started tanning in 1986 after my sister got a job at a salon called ‘The Beach,’” said Robert. “Even though that business closed in 1988, the name always stuck with me, so I adopted a version of it when I named my business.” After opening his 10-unit salon, Robert tried a variety of marketing methods, and he’s found social media to be the most beneficial. “One of our most successful promotions is when our clients take pictures of themselves to show off their tans, post them on their Facebook pages and tag us in them,” he said. “This helps generate a lot of positive word-of-mouth, and we average about three new tanners for every client who participates. We also launched our new website in February and since then, we’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback.”
In opening The Beach, Robert wanted to create an environment that was relaxing and enjoyable for his clients, while also building a business with growth potential. He plans to add an Ergoline Open Sun 1050 sunbed within the next few months, and is considering the purchase of a red-light therapy unit later this year. From there, his ambitions include opening a second location in nearby Carrollton, GA, and possibly a third sometime in 2014. “I really enjoy getting to know our clients and being able to help them look and feel good,” he said. “We would be able to serve more people with another location, and that’s a good incentive to expand as far as I’m concerned.”
Thanks for helping us welcome Robert Elliott to the indoor tanning community – we’re sure he’ll like it here! We’ll meet many more new faces and salon places in the months to come. Until then… stay sunny!
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."
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