Much like the fine art of tattooing itself, great precision is required when planning to open a tattoo shop. As an industry which has stood the test of time, the tattoo parlour will always be a part of the local community. But this doesn’t make setting up a tattooing business any easier. To make sure your business is both legal and safe for all customers, consider preparing a business plan. This is a comprehensive approach to establishing your business and is particularly important in order to prepare for the various hurdles you will have to overcome as a newly founded tattoo parlour.
The best place to start is research. If you have a location for your business in mind, then your initial research may be about your local competition. Tattoo parlours tend to have large catchment areas, with customers willing to travel to their favoured artist. How will you compete for this clientele? Have you considered your competitor’s prices, or the particular body art style that they offer? How will you stand out to a market of loyal customers?
If you don’t have a location in mind, then your preliminary exploration may be to see where there may be a market for your parlour. Have you considered the demographics of the area you are considering? As younger people tend to want tattoos, are there any local amenities that may play into this range? A university for example? Once you have taken this all into consideration, you will have a much fuller picture in order to be able to press on with the logistics of your business proposition.
Consider the costs
With such a specialist field comes unique overheads you will have to consider. As a tattoo parlour this would include all relevant equipment: tattoo machines, needles, cleaning equipment, chairs, along with any ascetics for the building itself. You will also have to consider the general business services that will have to be outsourced: marketing, accounting, solicitors for example. Have you made a realistic cashflow forecast to make sure you have enough funds to get through the early months?
Don’t forget the law
One crucial part of your business plan must be a legal consideration, to make sure your parlour meets governmental standards. Naturally, your business must receive planning permission from your local council, but as a tattoo parlour you must also register with the local authority’s environmental health department. Once you’re ready to open, a department representative will be required to carry out an inspection of your premises to ensure it meets the required standards.
In addition, tattoo parlours have what is regarded as clinical or hazardous waste. There are legal regulations that must be met for their lawful disposal. These items, such as needles, spatulas and antiseptic wipes, must be removed by a registered, authorised carrier. This is something which can be set up via your local environmental health department. You will also have to consider that your staff are also handling these types of materials and will have to be trained accordingly. It may be useful to familiarise yourself with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.
If you would like any help with writing a business plan to get tattoo parlour off and running, call cbm on 01604 420 420 or use the contact form on the right.