What You Should Know Before Starting a Tattoo Business

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Starting a Tattoo Business Business Overview:

If you’re ready for a business idea that suits your unique personality and doesn’t risk becoming mundane, why not look into starting a tattoo business? There are several things you’ll want to do before you consider opening a tattoo shop. First, you should certainly be interested in body art and you should also be tattooed yourself (it would be hard to throw yourself into an enterprise like this if you weren’t passionate about it). Then you should learn as much as you can about the art of body tattoos, including the techniques, safety, equipment, aftercare, and laws of the business. If you’ve got these things in the bag, you’ll be ready to learn how to open a tattoo shop of your own. On the business side of this art, you will need a business license and permit, startup capital for a storefront location, insurance, and tattoo artists who you can trust to uphold your business expectations. Your tattooists might come with their own following, but you might have to offer some customer incentives to build your shop’s reputation. Once established, the way to maintain a thriving tattoo business is to keep an impeccably clean shop, provide stellar artwork and customer service, and uphold a fiercely professional atmosphere, even in an alternative business like this one.

A Day in the Life of a Tattoo Shop Business Owner:

This article brought to you by Business Ideas! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the Business Ideas Newsletter to get ideas sent straight to your email inbox.A business like this often keeps later hours than most, opening in the afternoon and closing near or even after midnight, so you’ll want to ensure you’ve got a trustworthy staff if you’re not in the shop each day and night. After opening or checking in on the store, you’ll want to look over your previous day’s client agreements to make sure all your legal responsibilities are in place, and you’ll want to review your payroll and finance spreadsheet to check that your business is financially secure. If you’re also a tattoo artist, you will want to get to work inking customers and interacting with your staff and clients. This is a fairly relaxed business, and many days will have you chatting with and admiring the tattoos of the people you interact with.

About Your Customers:

Customers of a tattoo shop will be interested in getting tattooed or will be accompanying someone who is, either for the first time or as a veteran tattoo lover. They will likely scan your shop for cleanliness and professionalism, and might also want to browse your handiwork—providing a portfolio of each tattooists work is key to attracting customers. Your customers might have questions or concerns before they get inked, and will expect that anyone on your staff will be able to answer them.

What You Need to Start:

  • Business license, permit, and insurance
  • A storefront
  • Tattoo equipment and sterilization methods
  • Tattoo artists
  • Legal contracts for your customers

The Good:

  • If you love tattoos, this is a business you can feel passionate about.
  • If you prefer odd work hours, this alternative business provides that.
  • You get to meet interesting people who share your passion.
  • The business can be quite lucrative once you establish a solid reputation.
  • It’s a business that’s easy to advertise—your customers’ tattoos will often bring in more business than even great marketing will.

The Bad:

  • With the alternative hours and customer base, you might encounter some troublemakers (think: underage kids with fake IDs or intoxicated customers looking for a late-night tattoo adventure).
  • Again, before you actually earn a reputation as a premiere tattoo shop, you will need to offer incentives and below-cost tattoos in order to build your business.


Start This Business Today:

To start a tattoo shop business today, we recommend you purchase the International School of Body Art Tattoo video series. This DVD box set can instruct you in the many facets of starting a business like this, and shows you firsthand how to perform each task of the entrepreneurial process. For more information, or to purchase this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED video series, click here.

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