We Are Sunshine

Expand Sunless Business with Competition Tanning

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

By Ivy Potter, Image Sun Tanning Centers of NW Indiana

Could you be missing an opportunity to add to your bottom line? The thriving health and fitness industry has carved a niche for sunless success. Bodybuilding and Fitness Competitions are growing in popularity. The sport’s peak season typically falls from July to November and draws a vast demographic with higher disposable incomes. Who doesn’t want to earn additional revenue, prospect new clients, and stay busier during the slower summer months?

Sunless tans are the only option. Regardless of age, gender or race, everyone who steps on the competition stage needs a spray tan. Knowing why is the first step to securing this clientele. The epidermis is almost completely translucent, when exposed to the stage lighting natural skin (even ethnic skin) becomes reflective. Pigmentation will appear much lighter and muscle definition disappears. Competitors, judged on muscle definition and size, require a spray tan that stands up to the stage lights. Keep in mind the quality of spray tan goes toward the competitor’s overall presentation scores, so the tan can make or break a competitor’s win.

So what makes this tan so special? Competition tans are much more than an extra layer of our darkest solutions. Competition solutions are specially formulated with heavy cosmetic bronzers and high DHA percentages to achieve stage-ready color. Application takes place the day before the competition. The competitor doesn’t rinse before hitting the stage, requiring a more precise prep and application process. This service takes more solution, time and skill than a typical spray tan, so it comes with a higher price tag. With prices ranging from $80-$250, this specialty service offers high profit margins. Technicians who offer additional services like travel, body contouring, and show touch-ups will fetch the highest price. Competition clients invest thousands of dollars and months of time to prepare their body for the stage, so getting a great spray tan is worth the investment.

Where to start? Education is the foundation for sunless success; distributors and product manufacturers are excellent resources for education opportunities. Attend some fitness competitions as a spectator, witnessing how a spray tan can bring a competitors physique to life offers an unparalleled perspective. Additionally, seeing how a spray tan is put to the test on show day will better prepare you for those crisis situations that happen to even seasoned pros. Once you have honed your craft it is on to networking and reputation building. Seek out trainers at local gyms, and look up competition prep coaches. Make friends with fitness photographers and offer to cross promote with show sponsors.  Don’t forget to add competition tanning to your service menus and business cards so your existing clients can promote for you. Most important, keep learning so you and your clients always stand out from the competition.

Ivy Potter is a multi-location salon owner with a passion for sunless. She got her start in the tanning industry in 2008 as a salon owner. Ivy travels the country with Fitness Competitors as competition tanning specialist. She shares her enthusiasm for sunless education as a salon specialist with Norvell University.