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Starting and equipping a tanning shop

Starting up your own business is always going to mean making important decisions.

With a tanning shop, the main decision you will make is what type of sunbeds do you buy. A few ideas which we feel need some serious consideration are set out below:-

  1. How many machines do I need to make the business work.
  2. What type – verticals or lay downs.
  3. Do I buy new or secondhand.
  4. Can I finance them.
  5. If secondhand, how old are they.
  6. Where do I buy them from.
  7. How do I get them serviced.
  8. What type of electricity supply will I need.

All these questions need answers, and below, we hope to solve some of those problems :-

  1. The number of machines you need will depend on two parameters – firstly, how many can I realistically get into the shop. Secondly, how many can I afford. You will need to carefully plan your shop out for three to five units if possible. Affording them will depend on new or secondhand, and if I finance them to make my budget go further. We offer finance on new and reconditioned beds.
  2. With three units – 2 lay downs + 1 vertical or vise versa. With 4 units – 2 of each. With 5 units – 3 lay downs + 2 verticals would be a good choice. However, the choice is ultimately yours.
  3. New or reconditioned is a budgetary issue. It is always nice to have new beds but the cost can be prohibitive. With new beds, they can be financed but the cost of repayments has to be considered. With secondhand, you can often afford better quality and larger units and make a substantial saving. When buying secondhand, be very careful to buy only top name and top quality machines from a reputable source. Do not under any circumstances buy sunbeds which are too old to make your business work. And do not buy beds with low numbers of tubes in them, even if you are told they are very powerful. Too many times you can be hoodwinked into thinking just because they have 225 watt tubes in they are good. To drive a 225 watt tube, the sunbed needs 225 watt ballasts to drive them, and a lot of times, those 225 watt ballasts will not be in that bed. Check it out carefully and get the truth before you part with your money.
  4. Sunbed & Leisure Systems Ltd is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and our License number is FRN 674513. We are therefore able to offer a competitive finance package through Kennet Leasing or Anglo Scottish Leasing, who are the market leaders in our industry, and they know and understand sunbeds. You will find details about finance and leasing on this website.
  5. It is vitally important to your future business not to get palmed off with any old tatt. Only good quality, large size units from the major names should be purchased. FACT: If the beds are not up to scratch, your customers will go elsewhere and you will not have a viable business. Check the details carefully with the person trying to sell them to you and always go and visit the company to see the actual sunbed you are going to buy.
  6. If buying new, talk to the official dealers in the country. If you buy a grey import, you may find service issues could be a problem. If you are buying secondhand, there is nothing wrong with this, but, buy from a good quality company who plan to be in this business in the future and are not in it for a short term and a fast buck. We at Sunbed & Leisure Systems, are a quality company, dealing in new and fully reconditioned sunbeds. We were fortunate that Tan Biz magazine did an article about us in the December 2006 issue. It's an interesting article and you can read it by clicking on the "Reviews" section on this website.
  7. My business partner Dale and I are both Ex-Ergoline factory trained engineers and carry on Ergolines great tradition of ongoing training with our own team. The sunbeds you purchase from us will be looked after by a quality team of trained engineers who believe in doing their absolute best.
  8. The electricity supply you have in your shop must be sufficient to power your sunbeds adequately. Nowadays, with larger equipment, that usually means a requirement for a three phase supply. Some sunbeds will operate on a single phase supply, but our best advice is to think about the future. If you run smaller beds now, you will in the future want to upgrade your beds, and then three phase will be a must. Better to sort the supply out sooner than later – it costs less in the long run.

I hope the foregoing information has answered some of your questions. There will be more to think about, so, if you want to talk sunbeds, please pick up the phone and call us anytime. We are here to help and advise, and we are a friendly company and will be very honest with you. Like Tan Biz says, This is a company run by engineers who know what they are doing.