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Biddiscombe Sunless

Staying Ahead of Indoor Tanning Trends

Posted by Karen Swartz on

There is an evolving trend with the indoor tanning industry, and it's time to adapt or get left behind.  In a recent article in IST Magazine (Island Sun Times), the tanning industry as a whole- from industry leaders to mom and pop shop owners- all are finding that there is a distinct list of challenges to not just growing, but maintaining a sunless tanning business.

Many professionals have relied on UV tanning as their mainstay, with customers who are fastidiously loyal to their indoor tanning ritual.  However, the mounting anti-UV legislation fueled by tan taxes, economic hard times and some lousy weather have brought this industry to a crucial turning point, and as IST states, "the writing is on the wall."  This trend is happening all around the world in varying degrees, and the U.S. is not the worst!

Good news can be found in these challenges.  Tanning professionals who have adhered to parental discretion for minor tanners or who have educated their clients on conservative use of UV tanning have done everything to remain in compliance with regulations.  The shops that haven't invested this kind of responsible behavior are hopefully the ones that will shake out in these tough times.

But these are not enough to keep your business healthy when so many other adverse factors are at play.  So if you aren't currently educating your clients, that should be the first thing on your checklist to shore up your bets.  You already know that building a personal connection with your clients is the best way to encourage repeat business, but here's a couple more suggestions that can help you to evolve and prosper.

First and foremost, offer your clients alternatives.  Sunless tanning, or spray tanning is a viable alternative that continues the promotion of good skin care as well as offering clients the color they desire.  The orange stigma of QT and Ross' spray booth experience on TV's Friends are still powerful detractors in the minds' eye of the general public.  Again, it goes back to client education.  Spray tans offer an incredibly wide range of results - a custom service that will build that personal connection to your clients.  What fragrance do they like?  Would they prefer a more blush than bronze color?  Are they more geared toward a natural look?  Many clients don't understand that these options are readily available in spray tanning, so tell them!

Another trend that tanning professionals are facing is the "DIY" or "do it yourselfers", right up to having a tanning bed in their home!  Your business can still build with these tanners when you position yourself as their tanning consultant, and offer them quality self tanning products with the knowledge base to support that.  Understanding the different types of products and impact of different ingredients will save your client a significant amount of time.  Sure, they can Google for products, and they will get absolutely swamped with false marketing claims, one-off entrepreneurs and outright poorly performing products with no one to talk to.  In this, your tanning business will be able to capitalize on the self tanners by becoming the DIY central source for their needs.

Biddiscombe Sunless has been a support lifeline for sunless professionals for decades.  We know first hand the challenges your clients present, and will personally help you to find the best way to evolve your business for success.  As a partner in developing new products with entrepreneurs every day, we don't believe in a "one program works for all" mentality.  The strategies for a mobile tanning professional are vastly different from the salon offering booth and bed sessions.  We offer the products for sunless tanning, but they are based on knowledge of the industry and the folks who use them.

There are also recommendations that you diversify your offerings (some are branching out to signature clothing) or partnering with local, non-franchise gyms.  Social media is no longer an option - it is virtual networking, and it works.

It is not time to abandon ship on indoor tanning!  It is time to embrace alternatives, and Biddiscombe Sunless can offer you great products, affordable prices and personal support to evolve your tanning business! Call us today to learn more about what we do and why we're the best in the business.