Some kinds of business go in and out of fashion, but the tattoo industry seems to be a resilient one that stays successful no matter how the trends of business are moving. Customer demand is pretty steady, making a tattoo business a smart option for those dreaming of starting their own business. Here’s how you can get started.
In most areas, you will need to obtain a license before you’re allowed to tattoo or pierce others. In order to get a licence, you’ll probably need to gain some experience. The best way to get this experience is to take on an apprenticeship with a skilled tattoo artist, before you go out alone and open your own shop. You’ll be able to learn from a licensed artist, and learn to design tattoos, sterilize equipment and operate machines. Check if a certain number of hours is required in your area. You may also need to pass a written test and hold a Bloodborne Pathogens certificate. The same rules usually apply for opening a tattoo business as well as holding an individual artist licence.
Get The Right Equipment
You’ll need a few pieces of basic equipment to get you started. To start, you will need reliable tattoo machines and a range of needles. You’ll need a steady supply of sanitized, disposable needles, inks and tubes for the machines and red soap to keep things clean. You might also need to supply shaving equipment for customers, design stencils, and sanitary items. Scanners, computer software and printers are also helpful for custom tattoo art. You’ll also need purpose-built beds and chairs for your tattoo parlour.
Choose The Right Location
Choosing the right location is important for any business, but tattoo parlours face some other legal hurdles too.
Some municipal authorities have land use and zoning ordinances that put limits on where tattoo businesses can be located within the town or city. Some of those rules can mean that you end up with a lot of the same kind of businesses in a small area, making competition a real problem. You might be able to pay for approvals to allow you to open somewhere else and avoid this problem.
Check with your local authorities before you set your heart on a particular location. Seek legal advice to help you navigate the regulations on location.
As well as legal considerations, you’ll also need to consider other factors like passing foot traffic. High traffic areas, near nightlife, are ideal. You need the shop itself too, with options to give your customers privacy and space to add in sinks and electrical outlets. If you’re buying a space, this is easy, but if you’re renting, you’ll need to get permission from the building owner.
Think About Marketing
There’s no point running a business if nobody knows you’re there. Word of mouth is a powerful tool in the world of tattooing, but you will need regular marketing too.
Create a website with a simple, easy to remember URL. List your services, location and other key information. You should also exhibit your work with a site that puts your artwork front and centre. Embrace social media too to showcase work and draw in more customers.